Contrary to what many may believe, business is no longer about products or driving profit—it’s about customer engagement. 81% of marketers expect to compete almost entirely based on the customer experience.
Customer engagement tools are the key to a profitable customer experience. Unfortunately, many companies are simply overwhelmed by the myriad of different user engagement tools now available.
In this article, we’ll learn about the importance of user engagement in modern business. Then we’ll simplify your decision by analyzing ten of the best customer engagement tools to help you improve your customer relationships and buying experience.
What Are Customer Engagement Tools?
Customer engagement tools are software solutions that facilitate ongoing two-way interactions between companies and customers, which enable companies to gather feedback and insights from the target market and allow customers a means of communicating their needs and interests.
As an organization leverages the analytical features of these tools, they get access to insights about people’s likes and dislikes, browsing behaviors, and purchasing habits.
With this information, sellers can tailor their brand messaging and marketing materials to appeal to buyers. In doing so, companies take a customer-centric approach that leads to a more personalized buyer journey.
Ultimately, customer engagement tools help foster a stronger bond between companies and customers, enhancing the buyer experience and the company’s performance and service levels.
Why Should You Invest in Customer Engagement Tools?
There are between 12 to 24 million e-commerce stores globally, with more appearing every day. Platforms like Shopify and Etsy make it easy for new businesses to launch an online store.
As competition intensifies, the only way to stand out in any niche is by leveraging the tools at hand. There are many benefits of customer engagement tools, as they can help your company do the following:
Boost Sales and Revenue
Do you know that 86% of customers will pay more to get a great customer experience? So, striving to deliver excellent customer service is a surefire way to increase your sales.
You can use customer engagement tools to target, nurture, and engage your leads across various online platforms. The more you can facilitate a smooth customer journey and enjoyable experience, the more likely it is people will complete purchases—and return for more.
Increase Customer Retention
Here’s something to think about:
Customer retention is five times cheaper than acquisition. If you don’t do enough to keep your existing customers, there’s a lot to lose.
Engagement tools can improve the relationship between your brand and customers, as they enable you to go beyond business transactions to understand people’s emotional needs. In turn, that will encourage them to stick with your brand.
Acquire Loyal Brand Ambassadors
The great thing about brand loyalty is that it doesn’t stop with your existing customers. When people feel a connection with your brand, they talk to others about their experience. In doing so, they help amplify your brand message, performing word-of-mouth marketing to attract new customers.
Build Credible Brand Identity
76% of people trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations from their family or friends. You can use customer engagement tools to gather feedback from reviews and adjust your brand positioning in a way that speaks to your target audience’s expectations.
Shorter Sales Cycles
As you invest more effort in getting to know your customers, and their needs and interests, you can tackle reservations and remove obstacles in your marketing funnel. Put simply: customer engagement tools allow you to make it easier for people to get what they want from you. With a more informed sales process, you can reduce sales cycles to close leads quickly.
10 Customer Engagement Tools to Consider for 2021
Now that you know how engagement tools can improve your relationships and grow your business, it’s time to narrow down your choices.
Here are ten customer engagement tools worth adding to your marketing tech stack:
Live chat is one of the best customer engagement tools because it enables companies to quickly resolve issues or answer queries in real-time. Instead of waiting hours or days for a response, people can use live chat to get instant answers. As customers prefer this medium over social media and email help, it’s a no-brainer for customer service and sales teams.
Jivochat is an omnichannel messenger platform. Its live chat feature allows businesses to interact with existing customers and prospective buyers through many different channels in real-time. This platform includes a customizable 360° support system, and users can create message funnels, attend to support requests, trigger callbacks, and sync all communications directly into a CRM.
Live chat triggers
Website visitor tracking
Chat transfers and routing
Pricing: Jivochat has a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. It has a basic plan free for up to 5 agents, while its professional plan starts at $13 per agent per month, billed annually.
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software capable of simulating conversations with human users, typically through written or spoken natural language on websites, mobile apps, or messaging applications.
The main advantages of chatbots for customer engagement are that chatbots can operate 24/7, without breaks or human errors. In fact, with machine learning at their core, chatbots continually learn from their customer service interactions, and therefore, they get more efficient and effective over time.
This continual learning paves the way for greater customer convenience and satisfaction and offers companies more upsell opportunities and higher conversion rates.
JivoChat offers chatbot services that help businesses reduce their support workload by 20% or more, and increase sales volume.
Omnichannel configurations (chat, email etc)
Knowledge base integration
Pricing: As mentioned above, Jivochat offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. The basic plan is free for up to 5 agents, and the professional plan starts at $13 per agent per month, billed annually.
70% of buyers expect a company’s website to provide a self-serve system. Building a central repository or knowledge base is a large project, but definitely one worth undertaking if you want to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.
This type of customer engagement tool offers access to valuable information about your business, products, and services. People can peruse the content at their leisure and find quick answers to frequently asked questions whenever they need.
A great example of a knowledge base tool is Zendesk, which is a customer support solution built to help businesses serve their audience and improve customer relationships.
Simple search functionality
Reporting that highlights knowledge base gaps
Translate articles into 40+ different languages
Pricing: ZenDesk offers different plans based on your customer service needs. It has an $89 per month plan to access the knowledge base software and a $149 per month plan for 24/7 customer support from ZenDesk.
Survey tools are an essential customer engagement tool to help you understand the needs and desires of your target audience.
You can conduct surveys to collect feedback on what your customers—both new and returning—think about your brand. Then, you can harness these insights to guide your decision-making and brand development processes. Over time, a well-defined feedback loop with surveys will help companies improve customer support and the buying experience.
SurveyMonkey is a popular survey service. You can choose from an array of customizable, easy-to-use survey templates and study the resulting data to increase engagement with existing buyers and new prospects alike.
Question bank to help overcome writer’s block
Personalize the survey experience with “Survey Logic” and advanced branching
Question skip logic
Question and answer piping
Pricing: SurveyMonkey is free to join, with limited features on the free version. Its paid plans start at $35 (£25) per user per month.
Email marketing is a powerful and effective engagement tool to reach out to your customers. When you tailor emails with casual, conversational language and personalization, you can drive engagement. People are more inclined to read emails that have a personal touch, and email is an effective way to cut through the noise of cluttered social media channels.
According to HubSpot’s round-up of email marketing stats for 2020, 73% of millennials want to receive emails from businesses. Over that year, 78% of marketers recorded an increase in their email engagement.
With an email marketing tool like Mailchimp, you can foster stronger relationships with your followers through personalized newsletters and earn their trust before sending more promotional emails. With this connection, you can build up customer engagement in an organic, natural way.
Pricing: MailChimp is completely free for your first 2,000 subscribers, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month without cost. However, paid plans start at $20 per month. The top-tier Pro subscription is $199 per month.
Social media began as a means of networking with people in local areas before spreading globally. Now, these platforms offer a vast selection of tools for marketing, sales, and customer engagement.
With over 3.8 billion active global users, businesses across all industries can’t afford to ignore the immense potential of social media. With a clever strategy and smart use of these platforms, you can nurture an audience that will promote your brand and your mission.
The right social media platform depends on your business and your audience. For example, brands targeting Gen Z and young millennials may favor Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.
While an omnichannel approach is a good idea, small startups with limited resources may find greater returns by focusing on just one or two platforms. The rise of remote work has contributed to massive growth on LinkedIn in recent years. Once seen as a business-oriented social media platform, this platform presents excellent opportunities for building a professional network in the B2B space.
Pricing: Almost all social media platforms are free to join. You can pay to run ads on most, including Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn Premium offers more features, with prices ranging from $29.99 to $59.99 for job seekers and $119.95 for recruiters.
The impact of video content on user engagement and conversion rates is well documented. According to the State of Video Marketing 2021 from Wyzowl, 83% of video marketers say using video has increased the average time their visitors spend on their webpages. Moreover, 84% of people say watching a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a product or service.
As the COVID-19 pandemic reset the global landscape of business and work environments, video calling became the new normal.
Zoom enjoyed sensational growth throughout 2020 and shows little sign of slowing down, with projections anticipating a 40% sales growth in 2021. Besides conference calls, you can use the platform to run virtual tours, product demos, and personalized webinars—all of which help increase user engagement.
Audio and video conferencing
Group live chat
Multi-screen sharing for real-time collaboration
Pricing: Zoom has a free plan. The paid plans include Basic (free), Pro ($14.99 per host per month), Business, and Enterprise ($19.99 per host per month).
Push notification software helps brands engage users on mobile devices by sending instant messages directly to users.
These customer engagement solutions are used in marketing to communicate with users in multiple ways. For example, businesses can use this tool to:
Provide information, like flight details or sports results
Send news and weather updates
Improve customer experience with promotional offers and order tracking updates
Notify customers about newly published content
With tools like PushBots, you can send notifications directly to your customer’s device home screen on any mobile platform. This tool integrates to communicate in your audience’s preferred language, and you can track the insights using the built-in analytics.
Pricing: PushBots offers a free plan for up to 1000 monthly subscribers. It also provides Basic ($49/month), Plus ($129/month), and Ultimate ($249/month).
The value of customer loyalty cannot be overstated. According to Markinblog, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits by 25% to 95%.
Companies can run loyalty programs to reduce churn and retain more of their existing customers. Better yet, as people stay with your brand, you increase their lifetime value.
Retention programs like Fivestars allow businesses to onboard new clients using loyalty programs and then offer unlimited promotions.
Segment email campaigns
Pricing: Fivestars does not have a free version or offer a free trial. Its pricing starts at $69.00 per month and is currently available for US businesses only.
Retargeting is a form of advertising that enables a business to reconnect with people who have already interacted with the brand in some way. For example, the user may have visited the business’s website or social media pages or interacted with blog content, video content, or a mobile app.
Nowadays, retargeting ads are a popular customer engagement tool that helps businesses re-engage with prospects because the chances of conversion on further interactions are up to 150% higher.
AdRoll is a leading remarketing solution with robust tracking tools and data analysis features. You can retarget customers using Google, Bing, or social media channels and apply strategies like customer segmentation and automation.
Audience and behavioral targeting
Cross channel attribution
Dynamic ad creatives
Abandoned cart recovery
Automated product recommendations
Pricing: AdRoll offers a free plan (starter package). It also has paid plans: Essentials (starting at $9 per month), Growth (starting at $19 per month), and Advanced Tracking at $450 per month.
It’s not easy to stand out from the competition today. If you want to grow a customer base that will be loyal to your brand, you need to pay close attention to your audience and offer a better buying experience.
Effective use of customer engagement tools will help to start meaningful conversations with your prospects. You can leverage these technologies to improve your audience’s understanding, which, in turn, enhances marketing funnels, customer relationships, and brand credibility.
JivoChat is an all-in-one business messenger that teams use to talk to customers everywhere: live chat, phone, email, and social. Start a free trial and begin building stronger connections with your customers.