Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Therefore, as a marketer, you need to build a trusted culture to solidify your relationship with your customers.
Customer engagement refers to the process of connecting with customers and building strong and healthy relationships with them over time.
Gone are the days when billboards, TV ads, and magazines used to be the medium for brands to engage with their customers.
The rapid technological advancement has given birth to novel and innovative communication channels to redefine the way marketers engage with customers.
Definition of Customer Engagement Software
The customer engagement platform is a software solution that lets marketers manage and coordinate all activities pertaining to customer engagement. Apart from enhancing customer experience, an efficient customer engagement tool helps boost your operational efficiency besides reducing your business expenses.
How are technological innovations revolutionizing customer engagement?
Technology plays a powerful role in transforming customers’ behaviour. Nevertheless, with time, technology is also becoming more advanced and complex. Thus, as a wise marketer, you should take adequate measures to comprehend how your customers are responding to the rapid technological transformations taking place in the customer engagement arena.
Technological innovations have been enabling brands to engage with their customers in ways we could never imagine. Now let’s see how technologically advanced customer engagement platforms would impact the future of customer engagement:
1. AR and VR-Enabled Tools for Effective Storytelling
Since the trend of story-driven digital marketing is gradually gathering speed, businesses are nowadays making all possible efforts to develop engaging narratives for drawing the attention of more consumers.
Companies are leveraging emerging technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for building on the trend of story-driven content marketing. Both AR and VR technology allow marketers to narrate their brand stories in an impactful and immersive manner.
A study conducted by Microsoft states that by the year 2025, almost 95 percent of customer interactions will take place via AI-enabled tools.
AI is capable of extracting huge volumes of data from various sources for data analysis and processing for creating an outstanding customer experience. AI-enabled customer engagement platforms leverage both structured and unstructured data from different sources. It identifies patterns and uses the algorithms for creating highly engaging brand stories.
Similarly, VR technology not only helps generate innovative content but also immerses customers into a completely new world, thus providing a unique customer experience.
Both AI and VR technologies enable marketers to embrace a more personalized approach to content creation across paid, owned, and earned media.
2. Multichannel Communication
If you want your brand to flourish in your niche market, you need to align your CX strategy with the multiple channels you are leveraging for customer communication management.
The leading-edge customer engagement systems offer a multitude of communication modules to facilitate seamless communication between you and your clients. Moreover, with a multichannel approach, you can also win the hearts of your customers so as to ensure the success of your business.
With the ever-growing popularity of social media communications, expectations of customer experience are also changing rapidly. Customers now demand a more personal and immediate approach from companies when it comes to resolving queries or technical issues.
Plus, customers are nowadays becoming more tech-savvy; hence, they are smart enough to identify brands that are easily reachable across platforms. Thus, more and more brands are looking out for ways to transform their customer experience (CX) approach to ensure they meet the expectations of their Millennial customers 24/7.
3. Live Chat Features
Conventional support channels such as emails or phone calls for resolving client queries have become redundant as the Millennial customer demands instant support and real-time assistance via live chat tools. Thus, the most sophisticated customer engagement platform offers live chat capabilities to enable you to interact with your customers in real-time.
Live chat features offer an excellent support system and are considered one of the most useful features for brands launching, selling, or promoting new business offerings in the market.
Additionally, it also serves as an outstanding tool for collecting valuable customer feedback so that you can enhance your services by providing your customers with what they want.
With time, live chat capabilities offered by customer engagement solutions will become more sophisticated. Other than live chat, video, and voice chats will also be used widely for reinforcing customer engagement.
4. Live Video
With the growing popularity of live video streaming on Instagram, Facebook, etc., marketers are nowadays adhering to the one-on-one video approach to follow up with customers. The trend will continue to grow in the coming years.
Live streaming platform is a great tool for grabbing the audience’s attention and keeping them engaged. Since it is easy to shoot videos with smartphones and other handheld devices, more and more marketers are leveraging the power of video messaging to send personalized video messages to their clients.
5. Chatbots for Conversational Customer Engagement
Chatbots enable your business to initiate personalized and meaningful conversations with your customers. This interactive application makes use of the Natural Language Processor (NLP) to respond to your customers’ questions.
Millennial and GenZ customers prefer brands that interact with them continuously. That’s why businesses worldwide are increasingly counting on chatbots to keep the tech-savvy 21-st century customers engaged. A study conducted by Gartner reveals that by the year 2021, 50 percent of businesses will invest more per year in the creation of chatbots and bots than in conventional mobile app development.
The 24/7 availability of chatbots helps you assist customers and drive customer engagement in a better way. Thus, in the coming years, we will see chatbots taking over a majority of day-to-day tasks that presently call for human interaction.
6. Self-service Capabilities
The 21st-century customer demands round-the-clock access to your business as well as its resources. Thus, it is your responsibility to make sure you make all resources available to enable your customers to help themselves.
A lot of customer engagement platforms nowadays come with self-service features, such as a knowledge base, to enable your customers to resolve their queries without having to count on live customer care agents. Thus, self-service capabilities can go a long way towards enhancing clients’ interest in your brand. These features also help your brand achieve a higher ranking in SERPs, thus, minimizing your site’s bounce rate.
Self-serving clients are also likely to become long-term customers. Moreover, when you allow your clients to self-serve, your customer care agents get the opportunity to focus on more important and profitable aspects of selling.
Also, Read: Top 10 Tools to Optimize User Engagement
7. Gamification Marketing
Currently, the concept of gamification is quickly gathering steam across industries. Gamifying customer engagement is a reliable way to keep your customers engaged through games and other fun activities. If utilized properly, gamification can prove highly beneficial to your brand as well as customers.
Thus, a lot of companies prefer implementing gamification soon after a consumer signs up. Customized gamified content is being increasingly leveraged by marketers to allow their customers to interact and engage with their brand in the best possible manner.
Here are some ways how gamified engagement activities can keep your customers engaged:
- It allows marketers to enlighten their customers about new products and services in a fun manner.
- It helps you stand out in the market by differentiating your brand from that of your competitors, thus, helping you forge an everlasting impression in your customers’ minds.
- By gamifying your customer engagement platform, you can help your customers have fun while participating in activities or programs that earn them points or rewards. What’s more, your customers will participate more actively in such fun-filled activities if they enjoy doing it.
So this is how customer engagement platforms would impact the future of customer engagement.
Considering the current technological trends in the customer engagement arena, we can deduce that technological innovations will make nextgen customers more empowered and better informed.
However, to make your customers feel more empowered, you should interact with your customers more often to find out what they expect from your brand/s. Simultaneously, you need to embrace the industry’s best practices (such as adopting AI, VR or ML-enabled tools) for optimizing, streamlining, and improving customer experience.
Furthermore, the higher expectations of the customers will drive small as well as large businesses to embrace an integrated omnichannel collaboration, combined with a comprehensive view of consumer data, and personalized support to stay competitive and relevant in the market. These strategic measures will not only enable businesses to provide customers with more enhanced CX but also drive the future of customer engagement.
The Bottom Line
With a highly customizable customer engagement platform at your disposal, you can not only build a loyal customer base but also retain your existing customers for a longer time. Thus, if you want to derive fruitful results, you should consider investing in customer engagement tools that are capable of gauging how your customers think or feel about your brand and customer service.