Customer engagement is essential for business success. It costs 4 to 5 times more to attract new customers than to keep existing ones. How do you keep your current clientele interested in your services or products? Quality and trust are essential. However, studies also show that positive and high-value customer interactions can increase loyalty.

A good customer engagement platform can help create such interactions with existing clients. These platforms can be especially useful for small businesses.

They can automate tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming. They also collect customer data to help personalize services and messages.

In this article, we will look at customer engagement platforms. We will explore features and benefits. Then, we’ll delve into the process of choosing the right customer engagement platform.

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What is a Customer Engagement Platform?

A customer engagement platform is a computer program that manages communications with customers. It is more than messaging software. It helps collect and organize data. And it streamlines the communication process.

Here is a closer look at how you can use a customer engagement platform’s functions:

Track Customer Communications in One Place.

The platform unifies customer communications. It collects emails, chat messages, and texts in one place. Good software will also include social media interactions. You can track requests and problems each customer has across all platforms. You can use this information to address customer issues efficiently.

Collect Client Data.

The system also collects information about customers. For instance, it logs their preferences. It also keeps a history of their interactions and purchases. These insights are important for analytics. They can help personalize messaging and offers for each customer.

Categorize Customers.

The software can help you categorize customers. You can use different factors like age and location. Categories can also include buy history or preferences. This allows you to tailor communications and offers differently for each customer segment.

Automate Communications.

A customer engagement platform can automate emails, texts, or other messages. You can send offers or communications based on customer categories. You can also automate responses to certain types of customer queries.

Other automated messages, like appointment reminder texts, are also possible on these platforms.

Customer engagement platforms are often part of larger customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

CRM platforms focus on all aspects of customer-related analytics. It manages acquisition, marketing, and sales efforts. Of course, customer engagement is an essential part of this bigger picture.

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What are the Benefits of a Customer Engagement Platform?

Is it worth investing in a customer engagement platform? Businesses of all sizes can see the benefits of using this software. In fact, it can be especially useful for smaller businesses.

Here is a closer look at what you should be able to accomplish with the right platform:

Personalize Customer Interactions.

You’ll be able to collect data on individual customers. This will allow you to personalize interactions. Personalized communications and recommendations are now expected by 71% of customers. Individual messages can also help with customer retention. This is because they create a personal connection to your brand.

Get Better at Customer Service.

You can track customer interactions across different channels. You can address issues in a unified way, and you can track progress. Your reps won’t repeatedly have to ask the same questions. They can also log their progress to ensure a quick solution.

Improve Efficiency and Save Money.

With a customer engagement platform, you will have client information at your fingertips. Also, you can automate communications. Instead of sending emails and texts, you’ll be free to take on higher-level tasks. The automated tools can also save money. You won’t have to pay employees to handle emails and appointment reminders.

Add Scalability to Your Communications Platform.

Customer engagement software is often scalable. You can add bandwidth and features to your account as needed. This is especially true of cloud-based platforms. You can keep the same engagement system in place as you grow.

Get Insights About Your Customers.

You can collect large amounts of data from your platform. For instance, you might use responses to messages to gauge customer interest in a product. You can also use individual information to categorize customers for more targeted messages.

These benefits are most evident if you choose the right customer engagement platform. Which one is the best for you? It depends on your business’s needs, customers, and communication style.

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Key Considerations When Choosing a Customer Engagement Platform

You can start your search by defining what you need in a customer engagement platform. Then, you can create a shortlist of software that fits these requirements.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for your perfect customer engagement software.

Does the Platform Match Your Business Objectives?

Start by defining your goals for customer engagement. You might want to increase customer satisfaction.

Or, you could be seeking a tool to automate marketing emails. Your software may not help you reach all your goals. But it should provide support to reach your primary ones.

Is the Platform Scalable?

The platform should grow alongside your business. It should offer increases in data volume and user numbers. And it should be able to grow without sacrificing functionality. You also need to consider the cost of adding more data or users. Are these price increases reasonable and proportional?

What Are the Security Features?

Anytime you handle customer data, cyber security is vital. Any platform should have robust features to protect data. It should also offer regular updates to account for new and evolving threats.

What Type of Support Does the Software Company Offer?

You’ll rely on your platform daily. It needs to work correctly. And you need to be able to troubleshoot quickly if problems pop up. See what kind of customer support the software offers. How many communication channels does the provider offer? Can you reach them 24/7? Or are they at least available during regular business hours?

Does the Vendor Offer Support for Training?

You and your employees need to become experts in your chosen platform. See if the vendor offers in-person or online training. They might provide training materials. In this case, see what type of training support they offer if you have questions while learning.

How Intuitive Is the Software?

The software should have an easy-to-understand user interface (UI). Your staff will likely be familiar with email and messaging tools. The UI should be easy enough for them to use basic features without much training. You shouldn’t need an IT degree to access advanced features.

Can You Integrate the Software With Other Platforms?

You should consider integrations. For example, you might want to connect your software to your CRM system. This will allow you to share data between the two platforms.

First, see if the customer engagement software makes this possible. Then, learn how complicated such an integration would be.

Is the Platform Accessible Remotely?

Accessibility is another key feature. Cloud-based platforms allow remote access. But you should see how the software performs on mobile devices or tablets. This can increase accessibility while you’re out of the office.

Will the Features Save Time and Fit Your Communication Needs?

You should look at the features you will use most often. For instance, assess the automation tools on the platform. Imagine you rely on text messages to communicate with clients. The software should allow you to automate these communications.

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How You Can Start Choosing a Customer Engagement Platform Right Now

Customer engagement software is an investment. But you can begin looking for the best tools right now without having to spend anything.

Take a careful, step-by-step approach to this choice. It will give you the confidence to choose the best customer engagement software.

Here are 5 tips for starting your search for the perfect platform today:

  1. Look at your current engagement tools. Audit your current customer engagement setup. Define the channels customers use to interact with you. Look at what works and what doesn’t in your current system. This will give you a starting point for your search.
  2. Rank necessary features. Decide which features you need. Rank them according to their importance. If you rely on data in your current setup, information and analytics tools will be vital. Also, consider features that will be nice to have but aren’t necessary. This might include automation tools you might use in the future but don’t need right now.
  3. Identify shortcomings. Your new software should address your current pain points. You can define these problem areas at the start of your search. Software would need to solve these issues to make your shortlist. For example, you might spend too much time responding to direct messages on social media. Any software you choose should have automation options for these channels.
  4. Decide on a budget. Your chosen platform will require an investment. Look beyond the initial price. Consider any ongoing subscription or maintenance costs. Also, look at possible increases in price if you scale up. Decide too if there will be costs for training or integration.
  5. Request demos. Many software vendors allow you to try before you buy. Ask potential platform providers about demo options. This will allow you to see features without having to buy the whole product. You can involve select employees in this test drive. Get feedback from them to help you make your decision.

Achieving high customer satisfaction is crucial and a strategic priority for businesses of all sizes. This becomes particularly challenging for larger enterprises, with regional or even global operations, necessitating innovative solutions to sustain service excellence. In response, AI is emerging as a key player in redefining these companies’ approaches to customer satisfaction.

You may ask yourself, “What exactly is AI, and why do I keep hearing people talk about it?” AI is like giving your computer a brain that learns and adapts. It can analyze data, identify patterns, and even make decisions to improve your business. AI is more than just a buzzword; it’s a powerful tool capable of revolutionizing operations, maximizing efficiency, and providing unparalleled insights at scale. With this rapid technological growth in our industry, we want to ensure no one is left behind.

How AI Can Help Your Business

For large-scale franchises and multi-location businesses navigating the complexities of diverse customer experiences, harnessing the power of AI offers a distinct competitive advantage. With the ability to rapidly analyze the feedback of countless customers, you can pinpoint areas needing improvement at specific locations, or across the board, at lightning speed.

Understanding your customers’ experiences is the first step in improving customer satisfaction. AI can quickly help you understand what is or isn’t working and, perhaps most importantly, the changes needed to improve customer experience. Making changes at scale can be very costly, so having a way to reliably quantify customer satisfaction data en masse is an exciting opportunity with AI. As they say, time is money, and AI’s ability to save you time is an invaluable asset.

Additionally, AI can be a powerful tool for communicating with your customers. An AI-powered chat function or AI-assisted communications can be a great way to engage with customers, ensuring everybody feels seen and heard. This kind of enhanced customer service can drive increased customer loyalty and growth. A report published by Capgemini in July 2020 shared that 54% of customers engage in AI-enabled interactions like chatbots, assistants, etc. So it’s safe to assume that 4 years later, that number has only increased.

Embracing The Future of AI

Are you ready to leap into the world of AI? From streamlining processes to personalizing customer interactions, AI empowers businesses to meet and exceed customer expectations. Now is the time to embrace these opportunities to grow your business!

At Listen360, we’re embracing AI’s potential. We’re currently building out our solution that will help businesses like yours thrive in today’s marketplace. Launching later this year, Listen360’s AI solution will be an exciting new way to drive improved customer satisfaction and business growth. If you want to join our waitlist and learn more, click here!