Investing in customer engagement is one of the smartest moves a company can make. Engagement is part and parcel of retention, satisfaction, and customer loyalty. But when it comes to the tech you’ll use to support your B2B customer engagement program, there are lots of options. How do you know which type(s) of customer engagement software to choose?
The key is to cast your net wide and explore a landscape of options with different user experiences. Virtual environments (just like in-person ones) require careful thought, consideration, and strategic planning for creating successful interactions.
To help guide your search, we rounded up 7 of the best examples of customer engagement software that help you connect with your customers in meaningful ways. Below, you’ll find some examples to explore.
Browse customer engagement software examples below:
- Online community software
- Virtual event software
- Messaging/chat software
- Learning management software
- Product adoption software
- Video chat/group call tool
- Voice chat rooms
7 Examples of Customer Engagement Software
1. Online community software
Online community software is a way to create a centralized, branded, online space for your customers (and sometimes prospects) to connect with each other and with you. They can discuss ideas and best practices, share feedback, ask questions, and find resources. And online community engagement is proven to create customer loyalty.
Our (Higher Logic) online community platform comes in three options for customer community building. With built-in tools like automation rules, you can send personalized messages to segments of your customer base, prompting them to take another action.
Online community software is our top pick for your customer engagement software, if you have to choose one. Why? Well, you most likely already have tools your company can use for company-to-customer communication, like email marketing and marketing automation software, Zoom for one-on-one calls, even a customer success platform – but do you have a way for customers to engage with each other, too?
An online community brings the best of both worlds together by giving customers and companies a way to interact with each other, all in one central, branded space. And all that interaction gives your company loads of valuable customer insights.
Community building takes work – we won’t sugarcoat it. You can buy a platform and invite your customers, but if you don’t spend energy, time, and resources on making your community thrive, your customers won’t want to come, stay, and return. That’s why it’s so important you have the right combination of strategy, technology, and people at the foundation of your online community engagement plan.
2. Virtual event software
Industry events provide powerful opportunities to bring your customers together, build connections, and support professional growth. But without in-person events last year and the move toward more hybrid events going forward, a good solution for customer engagement is to use a virtual event platform.
Check out Attendify or Hopin. These tools create in-person-like experiences around digital interfaces. With Attendify, for instance, it’s possible to plan, build, and maintain a conference schedule. Using Hopin, event planners can organize main stage events as well as roundtables. Both platforms provide opportunities for networking. Both platforms offer hybrid experiences for when the pandemic subsides.
A big benefit to hosting a virtual event is inclusivity. You can bring together customers and prospects from all over the world — many of whom may otherwise be unable to afford or accommodate travel. You can host virtual events as often as you would like depending on your team’s bandwidth and your customer base’s interests. The silver lining to not meeting up is the ability to create a more accessible experience. The drawback is — well, let’s face it — that you’re not together in real life.
A virtual events platform is great for hosting your event, but it’s not a year-round customer engagement solution. What happens after the event is over? The discussions in the chat, the content – it’s gone…. And once the event(s) is done, you don’t have as much use for it – and few tools to continue engaging customers. To extend engagement, consider building an event community to surround your virtual event with continued opportunities for customer interaction and engagement.
3. Messaging/chat software
You’ve heard of people using messaging tools like Intercom or Drift for prospect engagement and demand generation — but did you know that this same software has applications for external customer engagement? These platforms can be valuable when customers have a question or need support.
With a messaging or conversational marketing app, you can build automated workflows for things like onboarding as new users purchase your software. You could include things like product tours, new feature alerts, and re-engagement messaging along the way, saving your team time and giving customers a clear path to success.
Automated is great – but your customers don’t want only automated. If you decide to use chat software as part of your customer engagement program, make sure it’s not the only element. Give customers a way to connect with each other and your staff in a more personal way so they can realize the most success with your company.
4. Learning Management System
One way to engage your customers is to expand the learning opportunities that your company offers with a learning management system (LMS). Online course platforms such as Docebo and Teachable make it possible for people to learn at their own pace and participate in a group environment through commenting, forums, and other asynchronous social features.
As an example, take a look at Hootsuite, a popular platform for advanced social media management and analytics. Hootsuite has created an online academy to help customers and prospects develop proficiency with social media, giving them not only tips for using social media better but also helping them build marketable skills – a good engagement tactic for giving back to your customers.
Creating a certification program for your software with an LMS helps customers grow their personal brand and boost their resume – not to mention improve at using your software. An LMS can also be great at getting customers onboarded more successfully and adopting your product.
Tip: Courses are more rewarding for customers if you can add an element of community engagement. Consider creating a community to go along with each course or a specific learning community where customers can create study groups, discuss exams, and ask questions.
Courses take internal time and resources to develop — some businesses may consider the resource investment to be a potential drawback. Online courses also require deep focus and tend to be mentally intensive. As a result, you may only attract a small proportion of your customers who value this learning style.
5. Product adoption software
As you take on new customers and grow your business, onboarding each one in a personalized way can be challenging. That’s where platforms like Pendo and WalkMe come in. They provide a streamlined way to get new customers up to speed and familiar with all you have to offer.
Creating a streamlined onboarding experience for customers is a great way to engage them right from the start when they’re most excited about realizing value with your company. Plus, you can provide ongoing tips through a pop-up resource center or on-page help while customers are using the product to give them help right in the moment.
A digital adoption platform is one great aspect of your customer engagement program, but not the only one. When you have users who know the product but want to get better, where do they go for new ideas and inspiration? Make sure to pair an adoption tool with a customer community so that customers have a way to connect with each other for those non-technical, strategic questions.
6. Video chat/group call tool
Wait, a video chat tool? Yes! Simple tools like Zoom can easily be used to spark customer engagement. Whether it’s a one-on-one call between a Customer Success Manager and a customer or a virtual learning & networking session you arrange for interested customers (we like to call them Office Hours or HL Connect), video calls can be used effectively to create new bonds.
Whether you’re using Zoom for customer success calls or hosting Office Hours, customers get to see real faces and hear real voices of people at your company and other customers. Creating more human connections like this is key when you’re looking for customer engagement that leads to loyalty, retention, and growth.
If your customers aren’t used to interacting with each other, they may be intimidated by something like a video call. Plus, Zoom fatigue, anyone? To help customers ease into a new engagement activity like Office Hours, try some creative promotion strategies:
- Make sure each session has a clear topic and moderator, along with questions you’ll cover
- Post learnings and key takeaways from your sessions to your online community and tag those who joined
- Use automation rules in your Higher Logic Community to invite engaged customers to attend
7. Voice chat rooms
Newer to the business scene, the clear example for voice chat rooms is Clubhouse. Clubhouse makes it possible for people to freely move between conversations. At any given time, there are a number of topics to talk about. Companies and their employees can also host regular conversations about industry trends and news. The key is to pick a time and date to be present on the platform — and be consistent.
Especially with so many people working remotely, a lot of people want opportunities to chill out and participate in watercooler conversations. The benefit to apps like Clubhouse is that the platform is vibrant. People everywhere feel a desire to communicate in a live environment, party-style.
At the same time, Clubhouse can be time-consuming, exclusive, and inaccessible for people who don’t have extra time. As a result, Clubhouse has the potential to cause FOMO (fear of missing out) with your important customers. It’s also largely untested on the business side, especially for customer engagement – which might give you pause or make you want to be the first on the scene. You decide!
The Good News About Customer Engagement Software
The good news about customer engagement is that you don’t need to pick just one type of software for customer engagement. All approaches and tools on the list above have utility and value. And if they can work together, even better. Each software can make up a piece of a robust customer engagement program.
Senior Manager of Product Marketing
Alex is the Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Higher Logic. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.
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