5 digital consumer engagement solutions
Here are a few tools you can use to improve your digital consumer engagement
Digital consumer engagement is a fundamental step for any brand that wants to remain competitive. In fact, today's competitiveness is not so much played on the quality of products and services (which consumers take for granted), but on the experience they live when interacting with a brand. Do they have positive feelings? Is the brand creating an emotional connection? Do they feel trust? Does the brand use the technologies as they expect?
Brands now have many tools to improve digital consumer engagement to help them deliver the most satisfying consumer experience.
Let's take a look at the five key ones.
1) CRM to know your customer
Every good customer engagement strategy starts with a CRM. CRM means "Customer Relationship Management" and refers to a digital platform where all information about customers is collected and processed.
Thanks to CRM you can, for example, know which channels a customer prefers to engage with the brand, the last time an agent called them, which products they prefer, how many purchases they made, or what problems they have faced in the past. In a sense, it is the biography of the individual customer that allows you to predict their behaviour and anticipate it. Thus, by keeping track of the entire customer journey you can create a personalised customer experience.
Are you afraid that CRMs are complicated? Don't worry, most of them have dashboards to have immediate and intuitive access to all customer data.
2) Surveys and feedbacks to monitor what customers think about you
"Surveys help to reduce customer churn rate.”
You need to know what customers think about your brand, products, and services.
In fact, CRM gives you a very concrete picture of how they interact with your brand, but it doesn't tell you anything about opinions, satisfaction, or expectations. However, having a good product or service is not enough: digital consumer engagement requires an emotional connection.
If once you could only rely on market research agencies, today you can get this information on your own.
- check online reviews (on social media, on review sites);
- keep an eye on the comments, posts, and messages that users leave on your social media profiles or on your site;
- create surveys (there are many tools for creating online surveys);
- ask for direct feedback from your customers after they have purchased.
All the information you collect will help you get to know your customers directly, identify patterns, obtain statistics and segment them based on different criteria. You will also be able to find out more about your brand, if your customers appreciate business choices that go beyond your products or services and relate to your values (for example sustainability or transparency).
Most of all, you can collect information about those potential customers that are already interacting with you even if they haven't bought anything yet.
3) Digital self-service platform to give customers autonomy
By digital self-service platform, we mean online platforms on which customers can find information on products and services and solutions to problems for themselves. It can be a website, a blog, an e-learning platform, or a set of these and other tools.
A digital self-service platform helps you with customer onboarding, but also with customer service. The entire customer support becomes available 24/7, in real-time. By giving automation to your customers you satisfy their need for quick answers, increasing customer satisfaction, while reducing the costs associated with these services.
4) Chatbots and virtual assistants for an even faster customer support
The autonomy of a self-service platform requires minimal effort on the part of the consumer: they must access information, search for what they need, and read or watch tutorials. Sometimes they don't have all this time, or they just don't want to struggle. Here is where chatbots and virtual assistants become useful.
A chatbot is an instant messaging interface, which helps users solve problems by providing answers to FAQs without the intervention of a human agent. Similarly, virtual assistants are digital tools that help users complete various tasks, from ordering a product to booking a table at a restaurant.
Thanks to machine learning, both are getting better and more human every day.
You can use them to provide faster and better customer service but also for marketing purposes, like sending personalised messages).
As for the digital self-service platforms, chatbots and virtual assistants:
- ensure real-time, 247/ available customer support;
- reduce costs of call centres and live chats;
facilitate the work of human customer assistants.
5) Digital consumer engagement through emails, push notifications, in-app notifications or messaging app
There are so many communication tools that you can use for creating a personalised consumer experience!
Emails and newsletters may seem outdated, however, they are still effective. In-app messages are notifications that appear while the customer is using the app, while push notifications are messages that appear on the screen of a mobile device even when the user is not using the app.
These communication tools are great for digital consumer engagement because they allow you to send engaging content to your customers and keep them updated. But they can also encourage customers to take action, like taking advantage of special offers and flash sales, sharing content, or downloading files.
Of course, you need to send content that meets their expectations and desire, when they want it, and how they want it. Use them carefully so as not to become annoying and risk being ignored or even turned off by the user.
Activate your products
Whichever engagement solutions you choose to adopt, you can increase their efficacy and deliver more customer satisfaction by making them available via your products themselves. Adding digital tags to your products that can be scanned by consumers using their smartphones, provides seamless access directly to customer assistance, and is an effective way to generate registrations to loyalty programmes and enrich CRM data, as well as conducting specific surveys with consumers in the moments when it counts.
Why you should invest in customer engagement tools
Customer engagement is what creates trust. A customer who knows that a brand is acting in their interests and caring for them is a loyal customer. And brand loyalty is fundamental because it is what drives a customer to continue buying from that brand. But there is more. A loyal customer is a brand ambassador, ready to spread your name among friends, family, and colleagues. In short, it is a very powerful and cost-free brand awareness tool.
In other words, engagement helps you achieve your business goals, also because some tools also allow you to reduce costs.
Remember that today's customers expect to have a digital experience (even better a phygital experience) when interacting with a brand. And your job is to create the best one for them! Otherwise sooner or later they will choose a competitor more capable of fulfilling their wishes.