What’s the difference between an average customer and an engaged customer?
An average customer will buy and leave. An engaged customer will come back and also recommend you to others. So what do you think is worth the effort?
This article is for you if you are into the second option, i.e., customer engagement, and looking for some inspiration to improve customer experience.
Here, we will learn about various strategies and how the customer engagement portal helps you implement those.
What is Customer Engagement and Why is it Important?
Customer engagement is interacting with customers through various channels and supporting them at various stages in their journey. Keeping customers engaged through the buying process helps build customer loyalty and collect valuable information about them.
Customer engagement is more of an emotional connection. It starts with the initial purchase but goes beyond customer support and a seasonal sales campaign. It involves everything customers experience while interacting with your business – speed, convenience, employee friendliness, customer support, etc.
Investing in customer engagement brings in many benefits such as better ROI, happy customers, reduced churn, more sales, and a strong brand presence.
How to Engage Customers
You can use different channels like social media, emails, and push notifications. Offer additional services like shipping and customer support. Here are some ways to engage with your customers effectively:
Create Content Strategy and Share Useful Content
Content has the power to make or break your customer. Hence, create and post content that is valuable to your customers. For that, create a customer-centric marketing strategy. Start by defining a buyer’s persona. Next, use that data to anticipate customers’ needs, interests, behavior, and more. It will help you define the kind of content you should create for customers. It can be video tutorials, webinars, animated videos, how-to guides, blogs, and other educational information.
Create various content formats for multiple channels. Lay down content guidelines, posting frequency, content distribution, and measurement metrics.
Gamify Digital Experience
Take advantage of digital channels. Run contests on social media for product promotion and giveaway freebies. Run a quiz on a website to test visitor’s knowledge and grant valuable resources for free. Plan treasure hunts for events such as sales day and festivals. Incorporate games that help customers earn loyalty points and other rewards for goodies. Here’s how Lifebox Food and Punk and Chancers ran their collaboration contest on Instagram.
Collect Customer Feedback
Whatever platform you’re on, always listen to your customers, ask the right questions like their experience, and listen to their feedback. Not only will it help you improve your services but also increase customer retention. When customers feel they are important and their views are being considered, they are likely to stay.
Most importantly, the interaction will allow you to learn different business perspectives and help you implement your learnings in various departments.
Add Human Touch to Communication
Connect with your customers on a deeper level with live-chats and behind the scene stories. Make your presence felt by simply interacting with them on social media. Stay transparent and real. For example, while planning content, define your own storytelling way that sets you apart and connects you with your audience. Take advantage of different avenues such as videos and podcasts. They can help you connect efficiently as human voices and faces help deliver the message appropriately.
You can even humanize your social channels like Flipkart. They have an official Twitter handle where they share updates, stories, and other events happening at Flipkart.https://twitter.com/workatflipkart?lang=en
Personalize Customer Experience
The easiest way to win customers is to make them feel special. Let them know they are more than sales, and personalized messages and services will help you convey that. For that, leverage collected data and analyze user behavior along with their demographic factors, interests, preferences, and more.
Deliver personalized experience by offering product recommendations, providing customized deals, and basic interests.
Following is the example of personalized push notifications for cart abandonment.
Reward and Acknowledge Power Users
Nurture relationships with highly engaged customers. Give them a sneak peek into your products before launch. Offer free trials, take their feedback, and keep them updated with the latest developments. Engaging with them will go a long way in driving sales and increasing customer retention.
Run loyalty programs. According to Hubspot’s ‘Loyalty Survey 2019’, 79 percent say they are more likely to buy from brands that offer loyalty programs.
Starbucks presents the perfect example to drive customer engagement with loyalty programs.
Implement Omnichannel Engagement
Use all the possible ways to interact with customers – text messaging, social media, website, email, phone, SMS, in-app, call, and so on. Delivering a positive customer experience through all the channels is paramount for success.
Going through these actionable ideas, you might be thinking, “what if I could drive sales, interact with customers, offer discounts, and provide relevant content all in one place?” That’s when a customer engagement portal comes into the picture.
Customer Engagement Portal & Its Importance
A customer engagement portal is a tech solution that provides a secure log-in space with relevant content, communication channels, educational materials, and other features for your customers in one place.
An engagement platform centralizes customer interaction and helps create product experiences that improve customer engagement. They are great for reward systems and to aggregate customer data to deliver excellence.
A customer engagement portal helps automate the following:
- Build an efficient workflow that allows collaboration and customer engagement.
- Form customer segments and deliver a personalized experience.
- Facilitate omni channel communication via different channels like social media, live chat, etc.
- Announce the launch of new features or products.
- Reward users for promoting your brand.
- Define key metrics and measure the output of the communication.
Automating these activities not only helps you streamline workflow but also lifts the load off your customer-facing team. Instead of repetitive tasks, they can focus on developing customer engagement strategies for business growth. Here are a few reasons businesses should go for a customer engagement platform.
Reasons Customer Engagement Portal is Important
Customer experience is the key to business success. According to research, customers are willing to pay 16 percent more if it involves a better customer experience. For that, it’s essential that you interact with your customers, know what they need, and deliver appropriate services.
However, implementing customer engagement strategies requires a lot of work. It’s not a one-time approach. You have to interact with customers consistently, and the portal helps you do that efficiently.
‘You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.’ – Steve Jobs (Apple Founder)
It connects you with your customers in their preferred way—for example, chatbots, in-app messaging, call, self-service, etc. Customer experience gives you an upper hand while dealing with competitors.
Businesses want to increase revenue without spending more on customer acquisition, and that’s where custom engagement software is useful.
It helps engage customers, leading to increased product adoption, upgrades, and revenue. Research by Gallup shows that successful engagement helps companies achieve 63 percent lower churn, 55 percent higher wallet share, and 50 percent higher productivity.
Reduced Customer Complaints
Customers want self-service for easy to answer questions. They want to find answers and solve their queries themselves. A customer engagement platform provides access to necessary information along with a rich resource library to help themselves. This, in turn, results in fewer phone calls and emails to respond to. Your team gets more time to focus on delivering better service.
Customers can access the dedicated space any time and from anywhere, making it convenient to manage busy schedules.
You, on the contrary, can see if there are any pending tasks/ requests or more. Customers can communicate with the team internally via chat messages from any device without connecting with the support team on calls.
For better productivity, you and your team can preview the files without leaving the portal. You can manage files, documents, and other important information from your dedicated space and get better clarity of every stage of customer service and business operations.
Tips to Develop Customer Engagement Portal
To develop a great platform, you need to understand the user journey. Know every stage where you interact with your users and what they want to achieve from these interactions.
It will help you discover the customer engagement platform features best suited for your users.
Think of the interactions that will benefit customers through the journey and find answers to these questions:
- Do you need to support customers at every stage?
- At what stage do you interact more with customers?
- What’s your main mode of communication?
- What kind of help/support do customers expect from you?
Find answers to these questions, and you’ll have a clear picture of your requirements. If you need any help, our team of experts can help you identify the best solution for your business, considering the features, business requirements, and market trends.
Must-Have Features of Customer Engagement Portal
To help you select a suitable customer engagement solution, here are the must-have features that should be on the top of your list.
To divide customers into small groups for better communication. Categorization helps deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.
Your customer engagement portal should have advanced grouping features based on various factors such as demographics, user persona, user journey analytics, product usage, etc.
With segmentation, instead of broadcasting similar messages to all the customers, you can send relevant, personalized messages to different groups of customers.
Analytics and Tracking
Reports with a smart dashboard that provide all customer related information and help make data-driven decisions.
A tracking feature will help see how customers are interacting across several channels at the same time. With reports and numbers, you can know what’s working and what’s not.
A great customer engagement platform gives you in-depth knowledge about users, such as who the users are, their buying journey, what they search for, favorite features, and more.
To automate the emails and engage with users. Your engagement platform should have automation features to send emails, reminders, notifications, announcements, and more.
It should have a chatbot and other communication tools like live chat, in-app messaging, and in-app calls for customer engagement. Most importantly, it should have an in-app onboarding tool to personalize user onboarding.
Implement triggered behavioral automation. For example, sending messages to users who perform a certain action or match specific conditions.
Tip: Ensure communication is contextual and to the point. Make messages relevant to customers and timely.
Automation with a Human Touch
Engagement solutions help manage customer support. However, not all requests will be handled automatically. Some will need manual action or human support.
Hence, your customer engagement portal should have a balanced self-service and customer support feature. For example, chatbots and a knowledge base can help customers with simple queries and in-app messaging, live chat to solve complex questions.
Ensure that your platform communicates with other tools seamlessly. The data should auto-sync, and customers can interact with various channels.
A customer engagement solution with better integration capabilities enhances data utilization across different channels and reduces confusion.
These are the must-have advanced features. Some basic features include:
- Drag and drop builder
- Resource center
- Community support
- Ticket generation
The need to connect with customers on an emotional level is never-ending. And if done correctly, it can be advantageous for your business.
A custom-developed engagement portal helps you protect the information while giving customers the full freedom to control and manage their operations. It also helps businesses promote brand loyalty.
CRMJetty can help you leverage all those benefits by developing a custom solution.
CRMJetty is a hub of portal solutions. We help businesses with readily available and custom-developed portals well-suited by considering the 14 years of industry experience, market trends, and client requirements.
If you need help in developing a custom customer engagement portal, we can be your helping hand.
All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.