What is customer engagement, really? There are numerous metrics that go into customer engagement, from simple pages views and time spent on the website to email open rates and likes on social media platforms. But what’s really important is that customer engagement is a direct indicator of how the audience feels about your brand.
People that like and trust your brand would most probably pick you over competitors and they might go as far as give you free publicity by sharing your content and recommending your products or services to even more people.
There is no greater marketing tool than a satisfied customer. But building customer loyalty and getting audience engagement is no easy task. Companies big and small are struggling and putting immense resources into it. And although each business will have its own unique set of challenges to overcome, there are some basic principles that can serve as a foundation for your brand.
Customer Engagement Software Platforms
Just when we thought that social CRMs were the new hot thing that’ll change the game, the industry spawns a new player, also wishing to be the top dog around. Despite the term still being not fully defined and the fact that businesses are still figuring out how to effectively quantify customer engagement, the phrase has already become widely spread and there is a separate type of dedicated software.
What they got right?
Almost every version of customer engagement software was built around two primary interconnected features:
- Triggers. Whenever a client interacts with your brand, it triggers some sort of communication, like email, call, access to additional content and so on.
- Automated communication. Most of the follow-up responses that result from customer interacting with the brand are fully automated and require only initial setup through the software.
Due to the fact that communication occurs only when a client performs some sort of action related to your company, the messaging most certainly reaches the right person at the right time.
What are they missing?
However, despite this seeming like the perfect solution to the customer engagement challenge, there are still some drawbacks and major holes in the model.
The customer isn’t incentivized to engage in the first place. The scenario when your customer does something and software recognizes it and responds accordingly, relies on the guess that there is a reason for the audience to engage. And even if they do, it still only works for one-time communication. After the message has been sent, the system gets back to being not that engaging at all.
So, at the very core, most of the customer engagement platforms are missing means to actually establish relationships, while being really good at delivering the right message.
4 Different Multi-Channel Experience Strategies That Your Business Can Implement
So how exactly can your business benefit from the customer engagement technology?
Partnership with influencers and industry leaders
One of the most efficient ways to establish a relationship with an audience is by partnering with the right major figure in the public’s eye. Endorsement by a celebrity or industry expert is not a new tactic, but not many companies get it right. The message needs to be authentic because people nowadays can pick up “fake” in the marketing and advertising really fast.
You cannot just expect your audience to trust you and engage with your content across all channels. In order to receive something, you need to give away something. This is where the idea of giveaways, coupons, and rewards comes in. The simple ”buy one, get one free” is one of the most successful tactics ever invented.
It’s a perfect tactic, since it gives you a competitive edge as you can provide a greater value for the customer. And while it seems that it comes at a cost and you’ll gain nothing, rewards and giveaways are a perfect option to kick-start customer relationships.
This works great in combination with the previous tactic. According to a research done by Demand Centric, about 60% of buying decisions are influenced by custom content. Personalization is key to great customer service, but getting to know your audience requires a lot of analytical work.
But you can start small. Even a simple personal touch like saying “How can we help you?” on a call-to-action button can make a difference.
Keep up doing traditional sales & marketing work
There is no magic bullet that can solve your business challenge. Customer engagement still falls on your marketing and sales departments. The software is just a tool that can simplify and streamline certain processes in your organization, but you still need skillful people who can operate it efficiently, at the end of the day they are the ones who will be really engaging with the customer, even if it’s by means of a software platform.
Customer Engagement Software Solutions at OMI
Customer engagement is not the final goal of your business, but it is rather a journey that never stops. No business has mastered communication with its audience all 100% and there is always room to improve. In all truth, you do not need a brand new customer engagement software platform. The same effect can be achieved by customizing your CRM and integrating the right extensions. Salesforce Service Cloud is already a great foundation for establishing very advanced customer engagement software in addition to being a great CRM.
Whichever strategies you are planning on using, you’ll require a tool that can streamline the processes and keep you on track. That is why here at OMI, we create fully custom Salesforce solutions that incorporate all key benefits of customer engagement software, while still maintaining essential features of a CRM platform. We can expand your IT system’s capabilities by adding marketing automation and analytics extensions that bring great value to your business and maximize your ROI.