To build a strong relationship with customers, businesses need to engage them on multiple communication channels and keep the conversation going. Customer engagement software makes the job easy for SMEs by providing them tools for social media monitoring, email marketing, content marketing, customer data collection and analysis. In the end, this helps businesses personalize their marketing communications and improve the quality of customer service. Read the full software guide...
Customer engagement software is a comprehensive suite of software systems designed to facilitate customer interaction, communication and service across multiple channels and touchpoints.
Customer engagement is the extent of the relationship that a customer has with a specific brand or organization. It is the emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. This connection is beneficial as an engaged customer will potentially purchase more of the brand’s products and/or services, they will promote it more to colleagues and friends and they will demonstrate further brand loyalty.
A customer engagement platform actually covers quite a few customer-centric software solutions, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing personalization, customer self-service, webchat and social media. The goal is to have a fully capable and feature-rich platform that allows businesses to manage the entire customer journey, from the initial interaction all the way to the after-sale or after-service support process.
As the name suggests, this particular software solution is ultimately designed to engage customers, although a true engagement software system encompasses the full spectrum of customer interactions, helping and providing better experiences to current customers as well as leads through their entire journey.
A good customer engagement software solution is not only about providing the right information to the right individual at the right time. It ensures that your brand or business is consistent in maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction and improving user experience to your entire customer base.
The main purpose of customer engagement is to build and strengthen customer loyalty. The ultimate goal here is to retain as many customers as possible, leading them on a journey toward loyalty and evangelism.
When you’re planning on using customer engagement software, you’re going to have to consider how it is going to be deployed and implemented into your current software infrastructure. There are two main options available: premise-based or cloud-based deployment.
Premise-based or on-premise deployment refers to software systems that are installed and hosted locally in the company servers. If you choose this route, you will have to make a one-time payment for a single license upfront.
While there are no additional subscription fees to continue using the product, setting up the customer engagement platform, customizing the platform, installing updates and doing regular inhouse maintenance can rack up additional expenses.
This deployment method is not really that common among smaller businesses and startups as it can be costly and requires more time, effort and technical experience. This deployment option may be ideal for businesses with enough resources and are focused mainly on customer data and data analytics to interact with their customer base.
The cloud-based deployment model refers to customer engagement software hosted in the cloud. Also known as web-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS), this deployment option has the software and all of its features managed and maintained by the vendor or service provider. You would only need to subscribe to a specific plan to gain access to the customer engagement platform.
The best part about cloud-based customer engagement systems is that they are easily accessible from virtually anywhere, at any time, using any internet-enabled web browser or mobile device. Users can log in to the platform, engage leads and gain access to real-time data regarding your target customers and social media profiles.
Web-based engagement software vendors often follow the subscription-based pricing model, where you choose a subscription package and you pay for it on a monthly, every three months, quarterly, every six months or yearly basis.
The difference between each subscription plan varies, either based on features and capabilities offered or based on the number of users who will have access to the platform. Cloud-based deployment is the most popular model in the software market.
There are many different types of customer engagement tools available, each one intended to help drive customers to complete core actions that deliver a lasting impact on the brand. It all begins with understanding your target demographic, your target audience and the tools available at your disposal.
Customer relationship management software, otherwise known as CRM software, is a business process solution that allows organizations to quickly and easily manage their relationships with customers including the information normally associated with them in a web-based data center.
Modern CRM solutions are designed to integrate and automate three core functions: customer support, marketing and sales. To effectively perform such tasks, the CRM software has to collect and store important customer data, which includes customer accounts, contact details, customer history, past sales, and previous marketing endeavors. As such, CRM platforms generally come with features and capabilities for customer engagement.
The main reason businesses and organizations create and maintain a social media profile is for customer engagement. More than anywhere else in this day and age, better customer engagement often occurs on social media networks.
By using social media-based software, businesses and organizations will be able to manage customer engagements on popular social media platforms. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more on one fully integrated dashboard.
Whether a company operates as a business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), or a combination of both, a good marketing software solution can effectively facilitate the automation process in an effort to increase revenue.
With consistent and effective digital marketing, brands will be able to stay relevant in the minds of their target customers. They will be able to attract more buyers as well as personalize their offerings and outreach to meet the needs of each individual consumer.
Live chat applications have a variety of functions. They are typically used to provide tech support to customers, communicate with teammates with collaborative tasks, provide answers to customer queries and to engage with website visitors in real-time.
This type of function allows brands to communicate or engage visitors to their website—visitors who could potentially become paying customers. A live chat function is essentially a tool for engagement, with the visitor having the option to use the live chat button to start a conversation with an actual brand representative.
Choosing the right customer engagement software solution can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Having a complete checklist to guide you in finding a software solution that fits your business processes is a good way to assist your search.
If you’re in the market for a good customer engagement platform for your business, instead of focusing on the different categories, you may want to consider looking at the features and the capabilities of the product. There are a number of fundamental features that comprise an engagement software solution to help you develop long-term relationships with your target audience. The following are some of these core features:
Any software solution you choose should have quick and easy integration capabilities with existing platforms. A good customer engagement software solution must integrate seamlessly with other marketing systems, business development platforms and customer support services.
You should consider a customer engagement platform that will easily sync with your existing business applications and software infrastructure. To ensure adaptability, the software has to serve different aspects of your business including sales, marketing and customer service.
This is arguably one of the most important features to come with customer engagement systems. A platform that is flexible and easily customizable can improve the overall customer experience when leveraged properly. The engagement software must be flexible enough and easily adapt to existing systems and processes within an organization to deliver what it is intended to do on a regular basis.
The software you pick should offer extensive customization, allowing users to maximize its potential and take advantage of its feature set to engage customers and improve productivity.
Mobile and remote access to your customer engagement platform is an essential factor that should be considered when choosing the right software for your business.
Employees tend to be more productive when they are allowed to work at their own pace and in a more ideal environment outside of an office environment. An engagement software solution that is optimized for mobile and remote access allows employees and teams to operate more effectively and have the right tools at their disposal to best do their jobs.
Real-time reporting is a feature that has become a staple in top-tier cloud-based software solutions, not just customer engagement. This is an important feature as it enables you to generate real-time reports at any given time. The system can provide you with useful insights and help both management as well as the employees to make better more informed business decisions.
Good customer engagement software needs to be paired with equally good campaign management solutions to maximize the results. With a robust and highly efficient campaign management system, your engagement software will only elevate your customer interaction and communication efforts with every marketing campaign in a more consistent manner.
Customer engagement should be incorporated into campaign management, from the planning phase to testing and implementation. This will allow you to keep track of your customer base and conduct real-time follow-ups to improve their experience and ensure customer satisfaction.
Customer engagement software is very diverse in terms of the range of features and functionalities they offer. There are many benefits for businesses of any size in virtually any industry who use customer engagement software, the most notable being:
Customer engagement software solutions not only enable support teams to address customer issues and questions about their product via the phone but they can also address them through live chat, social media platforms and through email.
Through multichannel customer engagement, you can maintain a more unified message across all channels, providing high-quality customer service whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them.
Best-in-class customer engagement software will have web analytics capability and an integrated campaign management system, with interactive components that can elevate your products and services to new levels.
With more traditional marketing automation systems, you can create and send out marketing emails automatically. With an engagement software solution, you will also have the ability to view and evaluate past the customer email responses and use the insights you gain to create more personalized messaging. In some cases, this entire process may even be conducted automatically.
When using customer engagement solutions, users and teams can collaborate as most offer cloud-based platforms. Having centralized access to official information, tools and other features encourages individuals and teams to work together and bring them closer to a common goal.
Having improved team collaboration is hugely beneficial, especially since most businesses and organizations have inter-connected teams/departments, i.e. sales and marketing, communications and customer support. This will help promote better working relationships in the workforce.
Good customer engagement allows you to deliver the best customer service possible, which leads to better customer experiences, higher customer satisfaction and ultimately better brand recognition and loyalty.
The software allows you and your teams to access the information from anywhere through a web browser or mobile device. This is becoming more important as your employee base can include remote workers, contractors and freelancers who may not have access to the software when deployed through more conventional methods.
Customer engagement software is essential for managing and handling customer interaction, communication, engagement and service across multiple channels and touchpoints. When used effectively, the software can increase customer relationships with your brand, give better satisfaction levels and help build better brand loyalty for your business.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Call Tracking||Track which of your online and offline marketing efforts are successfully generating calls.|
|Chat||Live text chat with customers, website visitors, mobile contacts and others.|
|Click-to-Dial||Dial telephone numbers with one click.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Lead Management||Manage business leads to improve sales outreach processes or stay on top of prospect inquiries.|
|Lead Scoring||Manually or automatically assign quality scores to business leads to target / segment sales outreach efforts.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Net Promoter Score||The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
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