Proactive vs reactive customer service

Posted & filed under Authorized Agents.

In an industry with varying levels of expectations, it’s important to remember that high caliber customer service looks different in the eyes of each customer. One may prefer email while another may favor a call or text. Some may choose quarterly business reviews and others may select weekly updates. However, despite all the differences, there tends to be one attribute that is prioritized by all: proactive customer service. Learning to be proactive in our interactions is paramount to the success of our relationships.

Gather Customer Feedback

As mentioned above, each customer has their own preferred style of communication and receiving updates. When you’re regularly communicating with your customers, you have the perfect opportunity to ask them what they expect from you. This simple question can save you hours of wasted time and risking miscommunication at important times with this customer. Once you understand what your customer’s needs are, the more you can be proactive in your communications.

Be Honest and Upfront

Do we shy away from being the bearer of bad news because we fear the consequences? If we choose to avoid sharing bad news with our customers, we risk a damaged relationship that took months of cultivation, a potential loss of sales, fear of insecurities and failure. As the familiar saying proclaims, “It’s not if something goes wrong, it’s when something goes wrong.” And when that inevitable time comes, it’s reassuring to work with a partner who is proactive rather than reactive. Such an approach can help preserve working relationships, mitigate those potential losses, and reduce fears and insecurities.

Go the Extra Mile

Mutually beneficial relationships are built over time and include a foundation of hard work, trust, transparency, and dedication. Consistently being proactive in your customer service is one of the most effective ways to reinforce the commitment between you and the customer. Although we may not have all the right answers, customers can appreciate our effort in providing a solution to an otherwise unsolved problem. Whether it be an alternative resolution for a truck in transit, a remedy for an upset shipper, or a needed rate adjustment, there is power in proactive communication. Be assertive. Be a solutionist. Be forward thinking.

Today’s transportation environment can feel overwhelming and unwelcoming. Don’t let it be. Don’t allow space for a reactionary attitude when it comes to managing the customer experience. There’s an opportunity to thrive, to exceed expectations, and to show value in the face of adversity. If you haven’t already, now is the time to take advantage of consistently being proactive in your actions. Success follows strong initiative. When we take proactive customer service seriously, we tend to see improvement in all facets of our business. An example of this is increase in volumes, positive customer engagement, more considerate relationships, and superior carrier loyalty. It all starts with taking action – massive, imperfect action.




The England Logistics Freight Agent Program provides companies with information and tools to expand and allow them to manage their business. Backed by the England Logistics brand, participating agents enjoy increased market visibility and established business connections. Our dedicated team also delivers consistent support for day-to-day operations. This allows freight agents to expand their portfolio while reinforced by a reliable team.