Statistics show that businesses with robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies report an 89% boost in customer retention compared to those with weak omnichannel strategies. Also, effective customer engagement contributes to up to two-thirds of a firm's profit. Consequently, many companies are prioritizing real-time customer engagement to ensure success and survival. More than half of marketers affirm that increasing engagement is a top objective.
Benefits of Real-Time Customer Engagement
- Boosts marketing efficiency: by increasing communication with customers and building trust, real-time customer engagement enhances the efficiency of your marketing efforts
- Generates sales: when you are more available for your customers, conversion rates increase
- Enhances your credibility: real-time customer engagement helps you establish a reputation for being communicative, accessible, and understanding.
- Increase customer satisfaction by answering customer queries in a timely manner
- Humanizes your brand: real-time communication enables companies to recreate a real store experience online, which humanizes a brand
- Offers a competitive edge: Real-time experience sets a company apart from the competition
How to Engage Customers in Real-time
In the current digital age, customers expect brands to listen to them and show they care about what matters to them. Also, they expect fast and timely responses from brands. Consequently, companies must develop meaningful and trust-based relations with customers. They must find ways to engage customers in real-time.
Here are five ways brands can engage with customers in real-time.
1. Live Streaming Video
It is the new norm in real-time customer engagement. Companies desiring to succeed in the current omnichannel world and engage with customers online should embrace this.
Live streaming video allows you to communicate your value proposition, build relationships with customers, and give your brand story. According to Yahoo, during a live-streaming video, viewers have 'feelings of excitement, immediacy, and connection'.
Live video streaming increases conversion by 30% and organic traffic by 157%. In addition, viewers of live video are 67% more likely to purchase a product or service.
HubSpot research shows that including a video in your landing page can boost conversion rate by 80%. Also, 64% of consumers are likely to buy a product after watching a video.
2. Have a Social Media Presence
One surefire way of engaging customers in real-time is having a presence on social media. Social media is no longer good-to-have, but must-have in the current internet age. In 2019, 65% of marketers increased their social media spending to harness the benefits of social media marketing.
Unfortunately, many businesses use social media as a tool for sharing and posting content. Nevertheless, enterprises must recognize that social media is a powerful engagement tool to interact with customers in real-time.
You can create business pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach customers in real-time. However, rather than posting photos of your newest product, answer questions on these pages. Start by 'liking' and responding to customer comments on your feed and highlighting valuable feedback. Engaging with your customers and prospects on social media will make them feel appreciated and valued.
When using Facebook, do not forget to activate Instant Replies feature on the Messenger app. This way, when customers message you, they get an automated reply to greet them and thank them for contacting you. It also assures them that you will respond to their questions promptly.
3. Offer Live Chat
No one wants to call a business to inquire about something only to be put on hold for 20 minutes. Such a customer gets frustrated and may take his business to your competitor. A live chat is a great way to engage customers in real-time by answering their questions promptly. It allows customers to interact with your brand seamlessly to get the information they need.
Research reveals that 63% of consumers have a high probability of returning to a website with live chat. Also, live chat increases conversions by 8-20%. Live chat is beneficial for customers as it saves time while increasing satisfaction rate. Also, it frees up support's time so that they answer more customer questions.
It is best practice to have a live chat option emerge in the corner of your homepage when a customer gets to your site. Furthermore, you can use live chat as a part of your social media strategy. You can chat with customers on Facebook to build personal connections.
4. Create a Digital Community
When getting customers to engage with you, you must give them a platform to do so. Creating a digital community for your offerings, brand, and industry is a great place to start. You not only give your customers a place to interact and connect with your business and each other, but also increase brand awareness. Effective digital platforms allow customers to create content, answer questions, and become ambassadors for your products and services.
Sephora's Beauty Insider is a prime example of a digital community. With almost 1.5 million members, the Beauty Insider draws users with a common interest in beauty and makeup. Designed like a social media platform, the digital community shares makeup tutorials and other valuable content related to the brand.
By creating a digital community, your company provides a sharing and discussion forum to establish a community of users with a shared interest and builds a loyal customer base.
5. Host Events for Customers
Apart from using technologies for real-time customer engagement, it is vital also to have platforms for in-person communication. Hosting events is an excellent way to engage with customers' in-person. Also, they build trust, create a community of loyal customers, and position your company as an authority in your field. Customers also connect emotionally with your brand through events. AdWeek reports that customers who feel emotionally connected to a company spend two times more than those who do not.
Real-time customer engagement has short-term and long-term benefits for your business. You increase marketing efficiency, build trust with customers, enhance your credibility, and attain competitiveness. This article examines five strategies companies can use to improve real-time customer engagement.
Notably, ensure that the different channels and platforms you use have a connective tissue between them to ensure seamless communication. If you are looking to increase real-time customer engagement, then ScreenMeet's real-time video support is the best option.