Customer engagement is necessary for business success, but, depending on your approach, can mean the difference between a booming business and one that’s just sort of limping along. Since 72% of companies say that improving customer experience is their top priority — and customer engagement is one of the chief ways to do so — you have two options: proactive engagement, or reactive engagement.

Reactive engagement is the weaker of the two, but it isn’t inherently a bad thing. It defines itself: you deal with problems one by one as they come up — you react to them as they occur. Nobody can say you aren’t doing your job, but you aren’t necessarily doing it to the best of your ability, in the best way it could be handled. While you’ll be meeting customers’ needs, you won’t be impressing them.

Proactive engagement involves an active approach, and almost always sees better results. Rather than waiting for something to go wrong and dealing with it then, you actively work to stop such events from happening at all. You prefer to take the initiative when presented with it, showing customers how much they mean to your company by making preemptive strikes toward a better customer experience. Issues are tackled head-on and immediately, usually with swift and effective resolutions.

Customers notice the difference; though they may have become complacent over time, proactive engagement will show them how customer service should be and will spur a large return on investment in terms of retention. Here are two ways you can proactively engage with your customers:

  • Customer service call centers: The commitment to a quality experience through inbound sales calls can make or break that customer’s decision to buy your product or service again. Outbound sales calls that are specifically targeting those who have expressed interest in the products or services can let customer’s feel important and like their wants and desires matter. Cold-calling should be eliminated from customer call centers, as they do the exact opposite.
  • Performance marketing groups: Performance marketing focuses on using massive amounts of consumer data to create an advertising platform that inspires an action, whether it’s a sale, lead, or click. The use of this specific data can create an intimate and personalized experience for the customer, which is becoming more and more desired in today’s society. They can even be implemented in customer service call centers, killing two birds with one stone.

There are many more ways to proactively engage with your customers, but these are two of the easiest (since many companies already have customer service call centers in place). With the right attitude and willingness to take on challenges head first to prove to your customers how much they matter to your business, you can’t fail.