A lot of unseen effort goes into creating great customer experiences, especially when it comes to customer engagement. It can be challenging as you need to effectively and carefully plan every stage of their interactions with you.
Knowing what tools you need, in what order and where to start looking can be dizzying. It can be difficult to know which one to go for, or which one would even be a good fit for your business.
Furthermore, once you find a tool that you like, you’re often locked into a six-to-twelve month contract. If the tool ends up not being useful, you’re stuck with it until your contact is finished.
Solutions like customer data platforms can be a big help as understanding your data makes it easier to devise an engagement strategy. But that’s just one tool for customer engagement in an ocean of them.
Lots of these tools are great though. It’s just finding the right one that meets your business needs.
Why Customer Engagement Is Important
Customer expectations have significantly increased when it comes to engagement. They want the business they are dealing with to know them on a personal level. There was a time when batch and blast emails were the norms. They simply don’t do the job anymore.
Customer data platforms have had an effect on the type of campaigns businesses are producing. And that’s a good thing. Your campaigns can be much more targeted and relevant to those that receive them. You should be using similar tools to create memorable customer experiences that keep them coming back through your doors.
Providing these types of campaigns and customer experiences will be beneficial to your business in the long run. Customers are not short of choice, so giving them the best possible experience through personalised engagement will make you more popular.
Increases customer loyalty and trust
The more you stay in touch with your customers, the more often they will think of you. Engaging with them on a regular basis and showing that you know them will give you a boost in customer loyalty.
Customers will also begin to develop a deeper level of trust in your brand. This comes off the back of showing them that you understand their wants, needs, and preferences. They trust that you will give them the best deals and shopping experience possible.
Valuable customer feedback and insight
As much as customers want you to communicate with them, they also want to communicate with you as well. Giving customers the opportunity to provide feedback on products can make them feel as though they are making a difference to your business. Something like this gives them an avenue to interact with your brand.
Again, it leads to a higher level of trust in your product for future customers. With countless brands and products to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust and shop with. The fact that online customers can’t physically hold a product before purchasing means that reviews play a large role for potential buyers. In fact, 63% of consumers are more likely to buy from sites with reviews.
Using reviews for customers to get a better understanding of the product can really aid in guiding them towards completing a purchase. They can also dispel any uncertainty customers may be having.
Negative reviews can help you eradicate any issues that customers are having with your product. Doing this also makes customers feel heard and their opinions valued.
You shouldn’t be afraid of reviews that customers leave you, especially if they aren’t good ones. They can help you fine tune your product and improve your business in the long run. Negative reviews can also make positive reviews seem more genuine. You should be actively seeking reviews from your customers.
Improves customer experience
Really good customer engagement leads to an increase in the quality of the customer experience overall. Your customers will begin to feel much more involved with your business.
Every customer is looking for a unique experience when it comes to shopping. Providing them with that unique, personalised experience comes largely through the form of how you engage with them.
This is not to say that customer experience and engagement are the same thing. However, they do go hand in hand.
Tools to help with customer engagement
As customer engagement has become more of a priority for businesses, more and more tools have come out to help you provide the ultimate experience.
With the advanced technology we have at our fingertips, businesses should look to streamline customer interactions. By doing so, you’ll start to achieve better results.
Customer Engagement Platform
Customer engagement platforms allow businesses to manage, analyse, and optimise their customer journeys.
Using the data from your customer data platform, you can create amazing campaigns that are delivered at the optimum time.
These types of platforms allow you to create personalised messages at different points along the customer journey. Companies have seen a 140% ROI through the use of these platforms. So, they are beneficial and are worth investing in.
A customer data platform is one of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal. Especially when it comes to customer engagement.
The need for businesses to understand their customers on a deep level is massive. Having that information and consolidating it leads to far more successful customer engagement campaigns.
Using a customer data platform to understand your customers on this deep level is certainly the way to go. They are incredibly effective in helping you create meaningful customer experiences.
There are hybrid platforms that combine the best of both tools. Customer data and customer engagement tools can live under one roof.
The advancement of chatbots over the years has been seriously impressive. They have begun to play quite a large role in customer engagement.
In the past, approaching a business with an issue has been a drawn out process. It would have taken several minutes to get through to an agent. And even when you do get to that point the process is long. Agents would have to deal with multiple customers at once.
You would also be limited by the knowledge of the agent. They may not know the answer straight away and have to trawl through CRM’s and knowledge centres to get there.
The modern day chatbot is much more advanced than this. Not to mention they work 24/7. They can respond to a customer instantly as well. This is down to the use of conversation context and keywords. They search for the right information and give it back to the customer.
Chatbots are mostly used for customer service queries. But they can also suggest new products or shopping ideas for the customer. They can direct users to certain pages on your website, answer questions, or just be there to provide a fun chat.
Using chatbots can really enhance the customer experience and engage them in a unique way.
Feedback and Survey Solutions
We mentioned the importance of using customer feedback earlier on. But gathering that feedback can be a pretty laborious task without a tool.
There are customer feedback tools out there that create and distribute customer surveys. This helps to gain valuable insight into your product or website and identify areas to improve without too much hassle. Not only is customer feedback good for identifying problems and engaging customers, but it also helps to retain customers.
SurveyMonkey is probably the most popular tool for survey solutions. But Survicate is also a very beneficial solution that integrates quite easily with marketing applications. Although maybe not as well known, it is equally as powerful.
Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is almost enough, but not quite. You need to understand where to send them messages. It’s not all about what you send, but how you send it.
There are plenty of tools out there that help you understand what channel is best for your customers. They often provide multiple channels as well for communication and engagement.
There’s a misconception that emails are losing their place as a solid customer communication channel. But it’s just as relevant as it ever has been.
Email marketing technology and tools have advanced steadily over the years, making it one of the most versatile and engaging marketing tools available. Automation and data integration means you can build email marketing campaigns that consistently deliver value.
SMS remains a really strong channel, with an open rate of over 90%. It allows you to speak to customers who aren’t subscribed to your emails or opted-in for push notifications.
Again, plenty of tools exist that help you build sharp messaging for SMS communications and get them to the right people.
Web and App Push
Push notifications are the most common thing you see on your phone these days. They are a useful way of engaging customers who have downloaded your mobile app. They are also easily customisable and provide a personalised experience for your customers.
In-App and Onsite Messages
In-app or onsite messages help you connect with your audience in real-time and nudge them through the early life cycle towards becoming regular users. Once you’ve done that, these messages are a perfect way to share the latest deals and even recover abandoned purchases.
All of this is done while customers are on your app or website, keeping them engaged throughout.
63% of millennials use social media to keep up to date with brands. This could end up being where you communicate with a large chunk of your audience. It’s a place where your customers can interact with you and create two-way conversations.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now TikTok are all great platforms to build more of a rapport with your customers.
Whatever tools you decide to make use of, the most important thing to remember is that the data you collect plays a major role.
Without it, the tools you use won’t be as beneficial as they should be.
To learn more about how Xtremepush can help you engage more effectively with your customers, get in touch today and request a demo.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.