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What is proactive customer outreach?

Customer success professionals talk a lot about being proactive. It’s something we know is critical for success—avoiding angry reach outs from customers, promoting early expansions or renewals, and building strong customer relationships. But what actually is proactive customer outreach? What does it look or feel like? How do you know if you’re doing it right?
November 29, 2022
Blog, Outreach

Simply put, there are a lot of ways to approach it. To better understand the nuance, we reached out to a few professionals to get their take—keep reading to learn more.

Ashley DeJesus

Ashley DeJesus

Ashley DeJesus is a Marketing/Sales Manager at AIS Network.

Consolidate Your Efforts

Proactive customer outreach is about engaging your potential customers by voluntarily spending resources in reacting to existing communication and initiating dialogues that help you build on any mention related to your product, service, brand, or industry. While such opportunities exist all over the internet, especially in social media, only some brands have the potential or the resources to discover their potential or transform them into engagement and sales.

Not every business has resources to spare for proactive and actionable outreach, but with a platform to aid this process, your team can always take over the concluding stages after automated solutions have lined up high-potential targets. Automated customer outreach software can help your team consolidate efforts and aim for higher sales, from labeling and tagging to downright highlighting solid leads on a dashboard.

Laura Rike

Laura Rike

Laura Rike is a Pinterest Coach.

Establish Trust and Loyalty with Customers

Proactive customer outreach is a strategy used by businesses to identify and reach out to their existing or potential customers to create or strengthen relationships. There are many different ways businesses can reach out to their customers, but the goal is always the same: establish trust and loyalty with customers so they will continue doing business with you in the future.

Some of the most common methods of proactive customer outreach include email marketing, social media marketing, and phone calls. Whether or not you think proactive customer outreach is a good strategy depends on your perspective. Some people see it as an annoying way for companies to spam their customers with unsolicited messages, while others see it as a valuable way to build strong relationships with their customers.

With that being said, you need to find a happy balance between automated and personal outreach. People know the difference, and you can turn someone off to your brand really quickly if automation is not used the right way.

Demi Yilmaz

Demi Yilmaz

Yilmaz, Co-Founder of

Proactive is Preventative

The goal [of proactive customer outreach] is to build relationships and keep customers engaged with your brand. Businesses proactively reach out to customers for a variety of reasons, be it to introduce a new product or service, offer a discount or coupon, request feedback, resolve a customer issue, or simply check in to see how they're doing. Compared to reactive customer outreach, which is only initiated in response to a customer inquiry or complaint, proactive customer outreach is preventative and more engaging.

This proactive approach is necessitated by the need to personalize the customer experience, gain a competitive advantage, and meet the demands of the modern consumer. Automating customer outreach is an efficient and effective way to improve customer relationships. It allows businesses to take a more personalized and proactive approach to customer outreach, which can result in improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Chris Stevenson

Chris Stevenson

Chris Stevenson, CEO, VirtualRealityRental Las Vegas.

Monitor and Support the Customer

Proactive customer outreach is all about monitoring and supporting the customer experience even when there haven't been any issues or problems so far. It's about building a relationship with your customers so that their first response to adversity isn't to leave a bad review on social media or immediately stop doing business with you.

It's a better fit for some industries than others. Situations where your customer is subscribing to a service or buying from you regularly are a great fit for this approach. The need to automate this service really depends on the size of your customer base and your customer service budget. Actual human customer service providers are the gold standard here, but they're also expensive.

Sean O'Neal

Sean O'Neal

Sean O'Neal, President at Onclusive.

Help the Customer Before the Problem Happens

Proactive customer service means that the company helps the customer solve a problem with the product before it happens. This is a big step that saves the customer time and makes it easier for them to fully take advantage of it. Because of this, the client feels both appreciated and satisfied.

It's a good idea to automate it, and it is necessary to do so to alleviate the cost it entails. The catch is that the automation process must always be monitored and improved so that it doesn't end up being the cause of the complaint and that it is doing its intended purpose.

Trevor Sookraj

Trevor Sookraj

Trevor Sookraj, CEO, Divisional.

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Proactive customer outreach is essentially anticipating any questions, confusion, or challenges customers might have and then reaching out to them so that you can help them prior to the issue becoming a big problem. It’s a way to offer excellent customer service by eliminating roadblocks for customers and demonstrating that you are going to do whatever it takes to make things easier for them.

It’s not necessary to automate, but automation can be incredibly helpful if you do a lot of proactive customer outreach.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect Catalyst’s opinions or those of any other people, businesses, or contributors. Our goal with articles like these is to showcase the variety of perspectives in our diverse industry.

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