As 2023 begins, navigating a post-COVID world shaped by digital transformation is challenging. The past year of 2022 has been filled with unexpected changes, from inflation to recession concerns, making it difficult to anticipate customer behavior. With this in mind, a solid customer engagement strategy is more important than ever to stay competitive and thrive in the coming year.
Here are some of the trending customer engagement strategies to look for in 2023:
Harness the Power of AI and Automation
We all know that the USA faced a staggering layoff of 152,000 workers in 2022 due to the economic downturn and concerns of a recession. These layoffs posed a considerable challenge for businesses as they needed to keep their operations running smoothly with a limited workforce. But, thanks to AI and automation, new possibilities opened up for companies to streamline their processes and take their customer engagement strategies to the next level.
One specific application of AI that is making waves in the customer engagement space is chatbots. They can simulate human conversation and respond to customer inquiries 24/7. Apart from chatbots, automated phone calls, emails, self-service portals, and knowledge management systems provide a unique and seamless customer experience with limited human intervention.
For example, imagine browsing a website and needing help with a product. Instead of waiting on a customer service representative, you can interact with a chatbot that can understand your question, provide a personalized answer, and even guide you through the purchasing process without human intervention.
There is no doubt that AI and automation are the future of customer engagement, and with the short staffing and tight budgets, this is the right time to jump on board.
Personalize to Cater to Customer's Unique Needs
Let's start with a real-life example. In just four years, TikTok has skyrocketed to the top of social media, becoming one of the most popular mobile apps worldwide. But how did it achieve this level of success so quickly? The answer lies in its unparalleled ability to personalize the user experience.
TikTok's personalization algorithm is a true game changer. It tracks the type of videos users interact with and uses that data to serve content tailored to their interests. This creates a highly engaging experience that keeps users coming back for more.
But it's not just TikTok that's reaping the rewards of personalization. In today's fast-paced business world, personalization is no longer a nice-to-have feature but a necessity for survival. Thanks to AI tools, businesses can gain insights into customer behavior and preferences by tracking their data to deliver tailored experiences that meet customers' needs.
Gone are the days of simply inserting a customer's name into an email or wishing them a happy birthday. Today's personalization goes far beyond that. The idea here is to meet customers' unique needs and make them feel that the product or services were solely created for them.
Meet Customers Where They Are
Customers interact with businesses across various platforms, from social media to email to messaging apps. As a result, the customer journey has become increasingly complex and hard to predict. But, with the power of omnichannel engagement, you can bridge the gap between different platforms and create a seamless, cohesive experience for your customers.
For example, a customer discovered your business on Instagram and messaged you with a question about your products. You can respond to that from the same platform in real-time. But what if the same customer moves on to your website to make a purchase? They shouldn't have to start over, right? With omnichannel engagement, they don't have to. You can pick up the conversation right where they left off so they can complete their purchase seamlessly.
By tapping into the power of omnichannel, you can streamline all the multichannel into one platform so that you can move seamlessly from one platform to another, ultimately leading to a better customer experience and engagement.
The Best New Customer Is an Existing Customer
When customer spending goes down, retaining customers is more important. The saying goes, the best new customer is an existing customer. This is because it is typically easier and cheaper to retain the existing customer than to acquire new ones. They have already shown a willingness to engage with your business and make a purchase and are more likely to continue doing so in the future. Thus, with a little push, you can retain them for a lifetime.
For example, Starbucks offers Starbucks cards to its regular customers. With this card, the customer can redeem rewards which motivates them to purchase more. This is a much more cost-effective strategy than acquiring new customers by spending on ads.
Thus, while you should look to acquire new customers to expand the business, retaining them through meaningful customer engagement and continued value is crucial. Satisfied customers are assets of a business since they are more likely to remain loyal, make repeat purchases, and recommend the business to others. So, it's important to retain and appreciate them through rewards and loyalty programs.
Unlock the Power of the Data and Analytics
In today's digital age, data is king, and companies that master the art of data analysis can gain a competitive edge and drive growth. Advanced AI-based tools allow you to uncover valuable insights from mountains of data that can be used to create personalized and impactful customer engagement strategies. Collecting and analyzing real-time data will enable you to create detailed customer profiles that reveal how, when, and where to interact with customers for maximum impact.
For example, imagine you own a fashion e-commerce platform, and using the data analysis, you can identify the latest fashion trends among your customers. Using this information, you can create targeted marketing campaigns highlighting the season's hottest products and offering exclusive discounts.
But as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. That's why you must have a solid cybersecurity plan to protect customer data and maintain trust in the brand. A single data breach can cause irreparable damage to a company's reputation and loss of customers. So, it's crucial to consider data privacy and security as well.
Be Available 24/7
Do you know 90% of customers expect an immediate response when they have a customer service question? 60% of customers define immediate as 10 minutes or less. Customers expect prompt and efficient service and 24/7 support solutions. Think of it as having a customer service superhero on call, available to leap into action at a moment's notice.
For example, your customer may run into an issue while using your product at night. Wouldn't it be great if you could solve the problem immediately without requiring them to wait for business hours? This will ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Thus, 24/7 support solutions give you the power of always being there for your customers, leading to a better overall customer experience, and can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Increase Efficiency and Productivity
In today's fast-paced world, efficiency is the key to success. Your customers are always on the go and want quick, high-quality service at a fair price. To stay ahead of the game, you must implement features that streamline customer interactions and make their experience as smooth as possible.
Using efficiency features such as canned messages, scheduled send, single sign-on, and more can help in customer engagement by streamlining the support process and allowing the customer service team to respond to customer inquiries and concerns more quickly and effectively.
- Canned messages are pre-written responses to common customer questions that can be quickly selected and sent, rather than typing out a reply each time. This can save time and ensure that the customer receives a consistent, accurate response.
- Scheduled send allows you to schedule messages in advance and send them out automatically at a specific time. This can be useful for sending out reminders or follow-up messages to customers who may have missed the initial message.
- Single sign-on, or SSO, is a method of access control that allows a user to authenticate once and gain access to multiple applications and systems. This can save time for customers as they don't have to enter their login information for each system or application.
All these features can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the customer service process, leading to better customer engagement.
As we enter 2023, you have a unique opportunity to elevate your customer engagement strategies. The key is to think beyond traditional methods and embrace the power of modern technology and personalization. The possibilities are endless, whether through interactive experiences, social media engagement, AI-powered chatbots, or loyalty programs. With the right customer engagement strategies, you can unleash the full potential of your business and elevate it to new heights.