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Must-Have Features of a Customer Engagement Platform (CEP)

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Engagement is more than just a buzzword. According to Chris Hexton, the founder of Vero:

Engaged customers boost trust and sales – the data confirms it. It’s critical to invest in fostering loyal customers and not just forever chase new ones. Not engaging with your customers is like planting a garden without tending to it: customer retention is crucial to building a sustainable business.

Turns out, building strong relationships through consistent communication leads to increased purchases. Think emails, push notifications, SMS – they all contribute to enhanced trust and increased average order value. It’s a proven strategy for your bottom line and your brand’s overall success.

In fact, a fully-engaged customer represents an average of 23% more revenue. Moreover, businesses with robust omnichannel engagement (which involves interacting with customers through multiple channels, such as in-person, online, email, social media, etc.) retain an average of 89% of their customers. While many businesses focus on pulling in new customers, without adequate engagement, those customers won’t return.

Excessive churn as a result of poor retention hinders your ability to grow through customer loyalty and caps your profits.

So, by now you’re probably wondering what the silver bullet is – the secret weapon that can transform the growth of your business with increased customer engagement.

Enter: customer engagement platforms.

What Is a Customer Engagement Platform (CEP)?

A Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) is channel-agnostic software that fine-tunes customer interactions by automating personalized messages and notifications across multiple platforms. It acts as a universal key to a multitude of channels, ensuring seamless customer experiences and improving overall engagement.

Customers receive notifications or messages specific to them based on their data, such as their order history, their wishlist, their social media activity, or other customizable variables.

And with 80% of consumers being more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience, there’s never been a better time to factor personalization into your strategy.

Why Every Software and SaaS Company Needs a CEP

Software companies can benefit from the introduction of customer engagement platforms for various reasons. With SaaS in particular, it’s easier to see which step your users are at in their process, making it super simple to personalize a message or notification. CEP’s can offer valuable insights into how customers are interacting with your product. By leveraging this data, you have the opportunity to enhance user experience and improve sales.

Here are just some of the benefits SaaS companies enjoy with a CEP.

  • A more personalized customer experience. Provide a tailored experience for each user that gets them to their ‘a-ha’ moment more quickly.
  • Reduce churn. When users go quiet, send perfectly-timed messages to re-engage them and get them back onto your platform.
  • Build targeted user segments. Learn more about your users and categorize them by connecting your CEP with your product data.
  • Save time and money. Why hire an entire team of engineers to do what a customer engagement platform can do for you? Save valuable time and money by automating manual processes.

CRM vs. CEP

You’ve probably heard of a CRM or perhaps already use one, and you’re wondering how it compares to a CEP.

A CRM is a tool used to record and organize information on, and interactions with, customers. It’s less about driving action and more about recording it. CRMs are generally used by businesses with a “sales team-first” go-to-market. With a CRM, your sales team can track its interactions with prospects and customers.

CEPs fulfill many of the roles of a CRM, such as giving a view of customer data, sales, support, marketing, and even your core software usage data. B2C businesses, in particular, require a CEP to effectively communicate with customers.

However, a CRM alone simply won’t cut it. While you can sync data from your CRM to your CEP, CRMs generally aren’t in the business of automating messages sent to users. In businesses with a product-led go-to-market, a CRM can be _part _of a CEP.

Must-Have Features in a Customer Engagement Software

Some features appear repeatedly in customer engagement platforms. Some software may feature all of these features in one or, more likely, you’ll want to stitch together different software to create the best CEP solution for your business.

Access data from your core software product

Data from your core software product is the glue that pulls everything together. With this useful data you can gain insight into your users’ actions. Plus, you can see when they’ve been inactive for a long period of time and send them personalized messages and notifications to give them a nudge.

Vero partners with customer data platform, Rudderstack, which collects user activity data from your web, mobile, and SaaS applications. You can send data from Segment to Vero in just one click!

Segment is another integration that streams data from any platform, available for you to use in Vero CEP with equally effective results.

Stitch together the identity of your leads and users

A customer engagement platform empowers businesses to create meaningful segments by unifying customer data into coherent, comprehensive "identities" through a process known as "identity stitching".

This involves connecting various customer touchpoints, such as linking website pageviews to actions taken within a mobile application.

By harmonizing disparate sources of behavioral data, businesses can better group customers based on attributes and online activity, facilitating targeted, relevant communications across their user journey.

By combining tools like Rudderstack and Vero you can build a "single view" of each user of your product or service. This gives you a powerful platform on which to message your customers.

Interface for teams to design automations

The most effective customer engagement platforms allow your marketing and product teams to design automations without the need for constant input from data engineers.

With the right platform, you can really get into the nitty-gritty of things. This includes designing automations based on data about your users, their activity and behavior.

Interface for teams to design messages

You shouldn’t have to be an expert graphic designer to create attractive and eye-catching messages and notifications. Look out for a customer engagement platform with an easy-to-use interface that allows marketing teams to design messages for every step of your users’ journey.

And don’t worry if this sounds technical. Your best bet is to opt for a super simple, no-code drag-and-drop creator and templates; even the least experienced designer can create content that’s guaranteed to convert.

A central place to manage omni-channel communication

The ideal customer engagement platform serves as a central hub to manage and govern your omni-channel communication effectively.

You can conduct automations, curate personalized messages, and dispatch these messages across various channels from this unified platform—eliminating the need to juggle multiple software platforms for each individual task.

Reporting on campaigns

If you don’t analyze, you can’t improve. Keeping track of open, delivery, and click-through rates to assess how well your messages are performing and adjusting them accordingly is a key step in getting the most from your CEP.

Bringing It All Together

As you explore options for enhancing customer engagement, it’s essential to recognize that you shouldn’t limit your search to one single tool that offers all the features. Instead, adopt the mindset of building a "stack" tailored to your specific needs to create a truly scalable Customer Engagement Platform.

By integrating multiple software and services that complement each other, your customized stack will enable you to cover every aspect of customer engagement. This collaborative approach allows for flexibility in choosing the best tools for your unique business requirements and ensures smooth scalability as your company and customer base grow.

This is where Vero comes into play – an invaluable component in your customer engagement repertoire.

Vero: A Critical Part of the Cep for Software Companies

With businesses battling endless open tabs and decreasing attention spans to fight for their customers’ engagement, CEPs have never been more fundamental to success.

At Vero, we’ve created a platform that allows you to engage with customers on their terms seamlessly, all from one simple-to-use space. From our drag-and-drop message editor to our straightforward automation designer, our tools mean you can meet your customers at the right point in their journey to engage them successfully.

Try our product today entirely free of charge.

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