Customer engagement is essential for businesses that want to grow and retain loyal customers. However, most businesses struggle in this manner and fail to build it effectively.
To help with this essential process, businesses can utilize customer engagement tools. These software applications help businesses communicate, interact, and offer value to their customers across different channels.
In this post, I will discuss some amazing customer engagement tools that can help your business grow, build your brand image, and increase revenue.
Application of Customer Engagement Tools
Customer engagement tools are not one-size-fits-all. Depending on your business goals and needs, you may want to use different tools to connect with your customers.
In this section, we will look at some of the common use cases of customer engagement tools and the best solutions for each scenario. Let’s dive in:
In-app and Web Messaging Platforms
One of the important aspects of any business is to offer seamless communication with its customers. With the help of in-app and web messaging platforms, you can communicate with your customers in real-time through chat, voice, or video.
These tools help your business to offer proactive support, guidance, and personalized offers to your customers at key moments. Here are the three top tools you can give a try:
- REVEChat: This is a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to provide live chat, video chat, voice call, co-browsing, and chatbot services to their website and app visitors. It helps businesses increase conversions, reduce bounce rates, and improve customer satisfaction.
- Intercom: This platform combines chat, email, product tours, and help center features to create personalized customer journeys. It helps businesses to acquire, engage, and retain customers across the web, mobile, and social channels.
- Zendesk: This customer service tool offers a suite of products for customer service, sales, and engagement. It helps businesses to provide omnichannel support, automate workflows, manage customer data, and measure performance.
Analytics tools are essential for your business success. They help you collect and analyze relevant data about your customer behavior and interactions. This way, you can understand your customers better and meet their needs more effectively.
These tools help you collect and analyze data from different sources, like customer interactions, feedback, surveys, and reviews. This helps in generating reports and insights that can inform and guide better customer service decisions and actions.
Here are three tools you should give a try:
- Acquire: This is a customer engagement platform that helps businesses keep interaction history with customers in one place so they can have data from multiple channels (including live chat, website, social media, chatbot, and more) at their fingertips. It also provides features such as co-browsing, video chat, screen sharing, and chatbot builder to improve customer service and satisfaction.
- Google Analytics: This web analytics service helps businesses measure and understand their website traffic and performance. It provides insights into user behavior, demographics, interests, conversions, and more. It also integrates with other Google products, such as Google Ads, Google Search Console, and Google Data Studio, to help businesses optimize their online presence.
- Hotjar: This product experience insights tool helps businesses see exactly how their customers interact with their website or product. It provides features such as heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, and feedback widgets to help businesses understand customer needs, motivations, and pain points. It also helps businesses identify and fix usability issues, improve conversions, and increase customer loyalty.
Customer Feedback and Survey Tools
To understand your business better, you need to pay attention to various data that matter. Customer feedback and survey tools play a crucial role in collecting and analyzing those data.
With the help of such tools, you can analyze feedback from your customers, such as their needs, preferences, loyalty, and satisfaction. This will help your business to improve products, services, and customer experience based on data-driven insights.
Here are my top three picks:
- Qualaroo: This tool helps businesses create and launch targeted surveys and feedback forms on their website, app, or email. It helps businesses understand customer needs, preferences, and pain points and optimize their user experience.
- Jotform: This customer service tool helps businesses create and send online forms, surveys, and quizzes to their customers. It helps businesses collect and manage customer data, feedback, and insights in one place. It also offers various integrations, templates, and widgets to customize the forms.
- GetFeedback: This platform helps businesses create and send branded surveys across multiple channels, such as web, email, mobile, and social media. It helps businesses measure and improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. It also integrates with Salesforce to sync customer data and insights.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
A business’s success relies upon the relationship it maintains with its customers and prospects. You can utilize CRM software to handle such relationships and optimize them properly.
Such software collects and organizes customer data, tracks interactions and sales activities, segments customers based on various criteria, and automates marketing campaigns.
If you want to give such a tool a try, here are some suggestions:
- Scoro: Scoro is a CRM software that helps you coordinate your sales process and improve your team’s performance. It has features such as sales pipeline management, project and task management, collaboration, billing, and reporting. Scoro also integrates with various customer service tools, such as Zendesk, Freshdesk, Intercom, and more.
- Salesforce Experience Cloud: This platform helps businesses create and manage digital experiences for their customers, partners, and employees. It helps businesses build personalized, connected, and secure communities, portals, sites, and apps.
- Kustomer: This platform helps businesses deliver customer-centric service across multiple channels, such as web, email, chat, phone, and social media. It helps businesses unify customer data, automate processes, and optimize agent productivity.
Help Desks and Shared Inboxes
Consistent and timely support is one of the keys to excellent customer service. With help desks and shared inbox tools, customer-facing teams can manage and track customer requests, issues, and feedback.
These tools can significantly help in offering seamless customer support, resolve problems, and improve customer satisfaction.
You can try out the following platforms to get a better understanding of such tools:
- Help Scout: This cloud-based platform offers a shared inbox, a knowledge base, and live chat features. It helps businesses provide personalized, human, and scalable customer service.
- Kayako: This is a platform that helps businesses create and manage digital experiences for their customers, partners, and employees. It helps businesses build personalized, connected, and secure communities, portals, sites, and apps.
- HubSpot Service Hub: This platform helps businesses deliver frictionless customer service across multiple channels, such as email, web, phone, and social media. It helps businesses unify customer data, automate processes, and optimize agent productivity.
Social Media Management Software
Social media has been one of the crucial platforms for businesses to attract their audience. Therefore, you need to leverage these platforms to engage your audience and enhance your brand visibility.
Social media management software helps your business create, schedule, post content, and respond to user comments across multiple social media platforms. Through such software, you can enhance your brand awareness, reach new audiences, and engage with your existing customers.
Here are my recommended tools that you can give a try:
- Sprout Social: This is an all-in-one platform that integrates with various social media networks and offers features such as scheduling, monitoring, analytics, reporting, and more. It helps businesses provide personalized and scalable customer service, as well as measure and improve their social media performance.
- Buffer: This is a platform that allows businesses to plan, schedule, and publish their social media content across multiple channels. It also provides features such as reply, analysis, and collaboration to help businesses manage social media conversations, insights, and teamwork.
- Hootsuite: This platform helps businesses manage their social media presence in one dashboard. It enables businesses to create and schedule content, monitor and engage with their audience, and analyze and optimize their social media results.
Selecting the Right Customer Engagement Tool
Now that you know the different customer engagement tools, it’s time to know which fits your business best.
In this section, I will guide you through the steps of selecting, comparing, and evaluating customer engagement tools. You will discover the key factors and criteria to consider, the best practices for comparing different options, and the methods for testing and measuring the effectiveness of your chosen tool.
Let’s dive in:
Factors and Criteria to Consider
Most business owners struggle to choose the right customer engagement tool that can benefit their business. To avoid such confusion, keep the following three factors in mind while choosing the tools for your business:
- Your business goals are the first factor you need to consider while choosing a customer engagement tool. What are you trying to achieve with your customer engagement tool? Do you want to increase retention, referrals, conversions, or something else? Your goals will determine what features and functionalities you need from your tool.
- The second factor is your budget. How much can you afford to spend on a customer engagement tool? There are many options available in the market, ranging from free to premium. You need to find a tool that offers the best value for your money without compromising on quality and performance.
- The third factor is your customer preferences. How do your customers like to communicate with you? What channels do they use? What kind of messages do they respond to? You need to find a tool that matches your customer’s expectations and preferences and delivers a personalized and engaging experience.
With the view of these three factors, you determine the customer engagement tool criteria that fit your business. Once you have chosen your tool, you begin the comparison.
Comparing the Tools
Choosing the right customer engagement tool can be tricky. There are many factors to consider, such as features, pricing, usability, and integration. So, how can you compare different options and make the best decision for your business?
One way to compare customer engagement tools is to look at their ratings and reviews. You can find out what other users think about the tool, how it helped them achieve their goals, and what challenges they faced. Ratings and reviews can give you an honest and unbiased perspective on the tool’s performance and value.
Another way to compare customer engagement tools is to test them out yourself. Most tools offer free trials or demos that let you explore their functionality and user interface. You can see how the tool fits your workflow, how easy it is to use, and how it interacts with other platforms. Testing the tool yourself can help you evaluate its suitability and potential.
Once you have considered the reviews and ratings, you are ready to test and evaluate the tools.
Testing and Evaluation
Once you have a list of customer engagement tools that you are excited to integrate, go through the following steps to test and evaluate your options:
- Step 1: Define your goals and metrics. What are you trying to achieve with your customer engagement tool? How will you measure its success? For example, do you want to boost sales, retention, loyalty, or referrals? How will you track these outcomes?
- Step 2: Compare features and functionality. What are the key features that you need from your customer engagement tool? How easy is it to use and integrate with your existing systems? How customizable is it to fit your brand and voice? How reliable and secure is it?
- Step 3: Ask for feedback and reviews. What do other users say about their experience with the customer engagement tool? How responsive and helpful is the support team? How often do they update and improve the product? You can also ask for a free trial or a demo to test it yourself.
- Step 4: Analyze the results and ROI. How well does the customer engagement tool perform according to your goals and metrics? How much does it cost, and how much value does it generate for your business? How does it compare to other alternatives in terms of quality and efficiency?
You can select the customer engagement tool that meets your needs and expectations based on your testing and evaluation. You can also look for additional benefits like flexibility, innovation, and scalability.
Best Practices and Strategies
Engaging your customers is crucial for your business as you need to build trust, loyalty, and retention. Utilizing customer engagement tools can help significantly in this manner. But how can you engage your customers effectively?
Let’s look at some best practices and strategies you should implement:
- Know your audience: The first thing you need is to understand what your audience needs, their preferences, and their pain points. Use feedback, surveys, and analytics to segment and personalize your communication.
- Utilize the right channels: Find out where your customers are most active and comfortable. It can be either social media, email, chat, or over a phone call. Make sure you deliver consistent and relevant messages across all channels.
- Input value: Don’t just sell your products or services. Offer solutions, tips, insights, and resources that can help your customers solve their problems or achieve their goals. Create engaging content that educates, entertains, and inspires your audience.
- Measure and optimize: Track and analyze your customer engagement metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, response rates, satisfaction scores, and retention rates. Use the data to identify what works and what doesn’t and improve your strategies accordingly.
Following these best practices and strategies can help you create a customer engagement tool that boosts your brand reputation, customer loyalty, and business growth.
Measuring and Monitoring Metrics and KPIs
How do you know if your customer engagement tool is working? You need to measure and monitor its performance using metrics and KPIs.
Metrics are quantitative indicators showing how well your tool achieves its goals. KPIs are specific metrics that align with your business objectives and strategy.
Some common metrics and KPIs for customer engagement tools are:
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT): How happy are your customers with your product or service?
- Net promoter score (NPS): How likely are your customers to recommend your product or service to others?
- Customer retention rate (CRR): How many of your customers stay with you over a period of time?
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): How much revenue do you generate from each customer over their lifetime?
- Customer effort score (CES): How easy is it for your customers to use your product or service?
These metrics and KPIs can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your customer engagement tool and identify areas for improvement. They can also help you compare your performance with your competitors and industry benchmarks.
Overcoming Challenges and Gaps
Integrating a customer engagement tool in your business may not solve all the hardships you face. Depending on the tool you have chosen and your requirements, you may still have to tackle several challenges and gaps. In this section, I will discuss these challenges.
Common Issues and Challenges
The most common challenges your business may face from customer engagement tools are:
- Integration: Customer engagement tools need to integrate seamlessly with other systems and platforms that the business uses, such as CRM, marketing, sales, analytics, etc. This can be difficult and costly, especially if the tools are incompatible or have different data formats.
- Customization: Customer engagement tools must be customized to fit each business’s and its customers’ specific needs and preferences. This can require a lot of time, resources, technical expertise, and support. Moreover, the tools must be updated and maintained regularly to keep up with the changing customer expectations and market trends.
- Security: Customer engagement tools handle sensitive and personal data from customers, such as contact information, feedback, preferences, behavior, etc. This data must be protected from unauthorized access, misuse, or breach. The tools also need to comply with the relevant laws and regulations regarding data privacy and security, such as GDPR, CCPA, etc.
- Adoption: Customer engagement tools can only deliver value if they are used effectively by both the business and the customers. This requires proper training, support, and incentives for the staff and the customers to adopt the tools and use them regularly. Customer engagement tools should also be user-friendly, intuitive, and engaging.
However, these challenges can be overcome with proper planning, research, and implementation. Let’s discuss them in the next section.
Solutions and Alternatives
Customer engagement tools are not perfect. They may have limitations, drawbacks, or compatibility issues.
The question is, how can you overcome these challenges and gaps? Here are some possible solutions and alternatives.
- Use a cloud-based platform. Cloud-based customer engagement tools offer more flexibility, scalability, and security than on-premise solutions. They also reduce the need for IT maintenance and updates.
- Integrate with other tools. Customer engagement tools should not work in isolation. They should be able to connect with other tools that you use, such as CRM, analytics, or marketing automation. This way, you can streamline your workflows and share data across platforms.
- Customize your tool. Customer engagement tools should match your specific needs and goals. You can customize your tool by choosing the features, functions, and designs that suit your business. You can also use APIs or plugins to extend the capabilities of your tool.
- Switch to a different tool. If your current customer engagement tool is not meeting your expectations, you may want to consider switching to a different one. There are many options available in the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can compare different tools based on their features, pricing, reviews, and support.
- Hire a professional service. If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage your customer engagement tool, you can hire a professional service to do it for you. A professional service can help you set up, configure, optimize, and maintain your customer engagement tool. They can also provide training and support for your staff.
Future Trends and Developments
Customer engagement tools are constantly evolving to meet new demands. Some of the trends and developments that will shape the future of customer engagement are:
- Artificial intelligence and chatbots. These technologies can provide personalized, fast, and efficient customer service and generate insights and recommendations based on customer data and behavior.
- Omnichannel and seamless integration. Customers expect to interact with brands across multiple channels and devices and to have a consistent and smooth experience. Customer engagement tools need to integrate with various platforms and systems and provide a unified view of the customer journey.
- Data-driven and proactive engagement. Customer engagement tools can leverage data and analytics to understand customer needs, preferences, and pain points and to anticipate and prevent issues before they escalate. Customer engagement tools can also use data to segment and target customers with relevant and timely offers, content, and feedback.
- Gamification and loyalty programs. These strategies can increase customer engagement, retention, and loyalty by rewarding customers for their actions, behaviors, and feedback. Customer engagement tools can use gamification elements such as points, badges, levels, challenges, and rewards to motivate and incentivize customers.
- Social media and community building. These platforms can help customers connect with brands and other customers, share their opinions, experiences, and feedback, and receive social support and recognition. To enhance customer engagement and trust, customer engagement tools can use social media features such as likes, comments, shares, ratings, reviews, and testimonials.
Despite all the challenges and gaps, there are multiple opportunities and scops when you are using an appropriate customer engagement tool for your business. Keep a close eye on the challenges and find the correct solutions to solve them. Only then can you get the best benefits and generate better results for your business.
Why Do You Need a Customer Service Tool?
A customer engagement tool helps your businesses interact with your customers in a personalized and efficient way. It can improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and revenue.
Some of the benefits of using a customer engagement tool are:
- You will understand your customers’ needs, preferences, and behavior better.
- CX tools provide timely and relevant support, feedback, and solutions to your customers.
- It can help you create and deliver engaging and valuable content, offers, and experiences to your customers.
- You can measure and optimize your customer engagement efforts and outcomes efficiently.
A customer engagement tool is not a luxury but a necessity for any business that wants to succeed in the competitive and dynamic market. It can help you stand out from the crowd and build long-term relationships with your customers.
The Legal and Ethical Implications
While customer engagement tools can help your businesses improve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention, they also come with legal and ethical risks. Here are some of the main ones:
- Data privacy and security: Customer engagement tools collect, store, and process personal data from customers. You must comply with data protection laws and regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. You must also ensure their data is secure from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.
- Consent and transparency: Customer engagement tools must obtain consent from customers before engaging with them. You must inform customers about the engagement’s purpose, scope, and duration and their rights and choices. You must also respect customers’ preferences and opt-out requests.
- Fairness and accountability: Customer engagement tools must not discriminate, manipulate, or harm customers. Businesses must ensure that their tools are fair, accurate, and reliable. They must also monitor and audit their tools for any potential biases, errors, or negative impacts.
Every technology has its drawbacks. However, with careful monitoring and taking necessary precautions, you can reduce risks significantly.
A customer engagement tool can be very beneficial for any business. It helps you connect with your audience, build trust and loyalty, and increase conversions. Your CX engagement tool can:
- Personalize your communication and offer tailored solutions. This makes your customers feel valued and understood, boosting their satisfaction and retention.
- Collect feedback and data from your customers. This helps you improve your products and services and identify new opportunities and trends.
- Create a community around your brand. This fosters a sense of belonging and advocacy among your customers and enhances your reputation and reach.
Thus, to help grow your business and achieve your goals, don’t miss this opportunity to engage with your customers and stand out from the competition.