A customer engagement platform is software that helps businesses analyze, manage and optimize the customer journey. By sending personalized messages to customers, customer engagement platforms improve customer happiness, sales and retention.
With 75% of customers choosing brands with personalized messaging, offers and experiences, it’s no surprise that more businesses are turning to customer engagement platforms to help reach customers on their terms:
Customer engagement tools help businesses utilize a wider range of customer data to create more personalized experiences.
What kind of experiences? Here are three examples of how you can engage your customers more with a customer engagement platform.
Customer engagement example
Let’s take this example, from Koia, who grew their online sales by 92% with better customer engagement:
- When a new subscriber signs up for Koia’s newsletter (sent using ActiveCampaign), Koia enters the subscriber into a welcome email series that shares promotions and coupons, as well as education about their product.
- Depending on what the subscriber opens and clicks, they’re added to a specific Facebook Custom Audience for future retargeting
- Koia then asks the subscriber to join their loyalty program, the “Koia Krew.”
- The Koia team uses powerful analytics to track actions the subscriber completes using ActiveCampaign’s CRM (a popular customer engagement tool)
- If the Koia team learns where the subscriber likes to shop, Koia can use the subscriber’s location to send personalized messages and promotions.
There are also a number of other things you can implement just as easily as the Koia team has, such as:
- Pausing marketing emails for customers with open support or helpdesk tickets
- Sending personalized messages based on geographic location, like Hipcooks
- Focus your messaging, improve customer relationships and get 70%+ of your subscribers to open your emails, like Bonjoro
The benefits of using a customer engagement platform
With 70% of consumers saying a company’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty, customer experience must be at the core of your customer journey.
And yet, the customer journey is so much more of a squiggle than a straight line:
Whether chatting with your customers on your website, on Facebook, or via SMS, engagement tools make it easier for customers to engage with your business.
Without even needing to ask, and often before they even know they have a problem, customer engagement platforms make customer feel seen and heard with:
- Personalized recommendations
- Answers to commonly asked questions
- Resolutions to their problems
This is all done within the customer’s preferred channel, further increasing the likelihood of a positive customer experience.
Earning trust and loyalty has never been harder, or easier. The competitive landscape has made it table stakes to deliver fast and personalized experiences, while engagement tools have made it easier for small businesses to engage customers more deeply than ever before.
The largest benefit of using customer engagement tools is automating a significant portion of the customer journey so that businesses can find new ways to support, surprise, and delight their customers.
Choosing a customer engagement platform
With so many different ways to engage with your current (and potential) customers, delivering the right message to the right person at the right time can feel overwhelming.
Yet, the challenge to keep pace with current customer expectations isn’t insurmountable. With a smart customer experience strategy in place, an engagement tool becomes increasingly powerful.
The four pillars to creating an incredible customer experience include:
- Automation — Execute your marketing strategy continuously with technology
- Segmentation — Track and coordinate the information you have on your customers to customize their experience
- Personalization — Create a unique experience for every single customer
- Orchestration — Create a more connected customer experience by bringing together data from multiple platforms
With an understanding of those four pillars, developing long term relationships with customers is absolutely possible with the right customer engagement platform.
However, not all customer engagement platforms are created equal. If you want to improve your customer engagement, you need a platform that can provide:
- Analytics and real time insights
- Track customer engagement across multiple channels
- Assist business owners and marketers in making data-informed decisions
Businesses that want to better manage their customer relationships should use a set criteria for evaluating the best customer engagement platforms, such as the level of marketing orchestration, personalization and automation possible.
Best customer engagement platforms for 2021
At first glance, every small business chooses platforms and tools based on two important criteria:
- Can I afford this today
- Will this grow alongside me as my business grows?
However, there are other considerations that have to be made. Here are the top features of the best customer engagement platforms in 2021:
Will this meet my customers where they’re at?
Top customer engagement platforms allow for messaging on multiple channels, such as live chat, SMS, and social media.
Will this platform increase customer loyalty?
Customer loyalty is driven by personalized experiences. You need a customer engagement platform that will link together your customer data such as : order history, engagement history, demographics and geographic data.
Will this platform support my employees?
Even with automation and centralization of communication, engagement tools will also help employees more easily and effectively engage with customers.
Will this platform reduce support time?
By giving customers the ability to self-serve, top engagement platforms allow customers to get answers to their questions faster, reducing the time that you have to spend on the phone, or in your inbox, supporting repetitive issues.
Will this integrate with my other software?
Most businesses are utilizing a suite of different tools including live chat, email marketing, shipping, ecommerce, analytics, calendar scheduling and more. When your tools are better connected, your team becomes exponentially more powerful, providing a better customer experience.
Will this be easy to set up?
You want to spend your time growing your business, not administering an engagement tool. The best tools are easy to set up, use, and allow you to focus on what matters most: your customer.
Will this bring together all of my data?
The top customer engagement platforms unify all of your customer data so that your team can have a 360 view of the customer.
A business can create deep emotional connections with customers by engaging with them on the channels they like most. New opportunities emerge every day to find new customers and earn repeated business from current customers. Ready to start making this work for your business? Click here to get started.