The importance of effective customer engagement continues to rise1.
So, as customers demand more immediate and personalized engagement, companies should increase their efforts to meet their expectations. Implementing a customer engagement automation strategy is a way for companies to better attract, retain, and engage with their customers.
This article will explore what customer engagement automation is, the tools you’d need to implement it, and the benefits you can gain from using customer engagement tools.
What is customer engagement automation?
Customer engagement automation (CEA) is using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to provide the best customer engagement, and foster customer relationships, through personalizing the experiences, delivering timely responses, and providing consistent engagements across the entire customer journey.
Customer engagement automation involves:
- Automating communications: Using AI-powered chatbots, or intelligent virtual assistants, companies can instantly answer inquiries, send targeted marketing messages via customer segmentation, and provide personalized recommendations
- Data management and analysis: Using data collection tools, companies can collect, manage, and analyze their customer data to better understand their needs, shopping habits, and purchasing behavior
- Omnichannel engagement: By storing all data in a central database or CRM, and feeding it into chatbots on multiple channels – websites, mobile apps, social media, and physical stores – companies can provide a consistent user engagement
Companies can automate their customer engagement either by using a series of individual tools from different vendors or with an all-in-one customer engagement solution.
The decision of which to use depends on various factors, including your business’ size, needs, resources, and strategic goals. You should also consider the following factors:
- With individual tools, you have the flexibility to choose, pick, and spend money on what you need, but could have difficulty integrating them all together
- With comprehensive customer engagement solutions, although you’ll work within an integrated ecosystem, you’d be locked within in and could end up paying for features you don’t need
The individual tools that can help you automate specific aspects of customer engagement include:
- Chatbots: For handling customer inquiries on multiple channels, providing immediate responses, and engaging in customer conversations consistently
As a Meta’s certified partner, Haptik’s Interakt chatbot on WhatsApp lets businesses run their marketing campaigns, provide product catalogues, and integrate their different marketing automation platforms into it.
PaisaBazaar is a financial consulting firm that used Haptik’s chatbot and achieved:
- x15 return on their ad spend
- 65% abandoned cart delivery
- 2x engagement increase
- 5x higher renewal rates than traditional SMS
- Email marketing tools: For automating the process of sending emails to customers, ranging from welcome emails to promotional messages and personalized recommendations. Examples include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse.
- Social media tools: For streamlining and automating social media-related tasks, like posting content, tracking customer engagement, and responding to comments and messages. Examples include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: Automating the process of collecting, managing, and analyzing customer data to help businesses understand customer behavior and preferences in addition to anticipating their needs and engaging with them proactively. Examples include SAS Customer Intelligence, Zoho Analytics, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Creatio.
- Customer engagement software: A customer engagement platform offers all the tools for engagement automation in the customer journey, including automating customer interactions (via email, social media, chatbots, etc.) to tracking customer behavior and analyzing data.
Examples of customer engagement software solutions include EngageBay, Salesforce, and HubSpot.
What are the benefits of customer engagement automation?
Customer engagement automation offers the following benefits to businesses:
- Improved efficiency: Engagement automation eliminates repetitive manual tasks, like drafting messages, data entry and collection, content creation posting, and more. This frees up employees’ time to focus on more strategic and complex issues.
- Enhanced customer experience: Automating customer engagement, either with individual tools or customer engagement software, helps provide a fast and consistent customer interaction across various channels 24/7. The effect is increased customer satisfaction and higher retention and conversion rates.
- Personalization at scale: Automation and predictive analytics tools can leverage customer data to learn about customer behavior and preferences and create personalized experiences at scale. This is an improbable task if taken up manually.
- Reduced costs: By delegating mundane tasks to bot, businesses can reduce labor costs. In addition, enhanced efficiency and higher productivity can lead to cost savings in the long run.
- Improved sales and revenue: By providing a superior customer experience, personalizing interactions, and being available 24/7, businesses can boost their sales and revenue. Additionally, the insights gained through CEA can help businesses identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
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This post originally appeared on TechToday.