…And the #1 reason 95% of businesses will
never get them to work
Real-time customer engagement is not a fad. Your website visitors expect it, and not meeting that expectation means throwing marketing money down the drain.
A shopper wants new shoes, so they visit your online apparel shop. But accessories are on sale this month.
The visitor gets bombarded with ads for rings and purses. They promptly leave the website.
You wasted your funds on those ads for nothing.
Maintaining a product-centric, sales-first online space is a losing battle against new trends.
What should you do instead?
Emphasising the experience is the way to win.
Real-time customer engagement boosts ROI by improving a visitor’s experience on your website. You collect data signals from shoppers and tailor what they see accordingly. As a result, prospective clients receive relevant information for every stage of interacting with your company. They feel understood, purchase from you, and remain loyal.
What is Real-Time Customer Engagement?
Real-time customer engagement is a data-driven strategy for momentary personalising a shopper’s experience. It requires understanding their preferences, past purchases, and the situational context.
Armed with information, you send the appropriate message to prolong an interaction and lead customers down the sales funnel.
Real-time audience engagement lets you capture shoppers’ attention by catering to their needs. It’s the difference between sending all discounts to your entire mailing list and directing preppy female buyers to dress sales.
Contextual engagement requires:
- Speed and adaptability: responding at the moment of engagement while remaining non-intrusive. Behavioural triggers and automation assist with this factor.
- Data for personalisation: getting a sense of the customer and adjusting their experience accordingly. Information gathering and analysis software are essential.
- Cross-channel optimisation: real-time interactions via all channels and communication methods. Gathering and utilising data through social media, ads, and website portals.
The Benefits of Real-Time Customer Engagement
Engaged customers correlate with high returns on investment. Marketers affirm: increasing positive interactions is a top objective for contemporary companies.
A real-time engagement strategy makes you appear attentive, trustworthy, and suitable for the shopper. It brings the following benefits:
- Greater marketing efficiency: average revenue per user grows by 166% with relevant recommendations.
- Greater sale rates: consistently positive customer experiences lead to repeat purchases.
- Greater brand loyalty: real-time engagement helps you know your customers on a personal level, which encourages loyalty.
- A competitive edge: shoppers expect a frictionless shopping experience and stick with brands that provide it.
Real-time engagement lets you overcome the hurdles of predominantly online shopping spaces. It pairs the convenience of doing business online with the human touch of in-person companies.
Examples of Real-Time Customer Engagement
You know the real-time engagement meaning for companies now. Let’s see how it looks in practice.
Go through the list and see which example fits your engagement model the most.
1. Product design
Some companies embed real-time customer engagement in their products. Look at Uber, GrubHub, or Netflix. They recognise people’s need for a service and immediately deliver it. There’s no wait: the platform is the service.
For example, a food delivery service will keep track of what you order and from which shop. The next time you log in, you’re offered to ‘order again’ or be directed to similar dishes or restaurants.
What if you’re running a shop?
You can still predict and proactively engage customers and meet their needs through streamlined navigation, bots, and interactive questionnaires.
2. Product recommendations
Online stores can encourage real-time engagement via specialised product recommendations. Instead of having the customer browse through the virtual shelves, you quiz them and suggest matching items.
Say you’re selling protein supplements.
You start the purchasing journey with a quiz about the visitor’s preferred product type, flavour, and dietary restrictions. The algorithm lists appropriate items, completing half the sale process.
3. Quote estimators
Shops list item prices, and buyers know what they’ll pay. Services aren’t as straightforward.
The quote depends on your customer’s precise needs. Helping them estimate the price is an opportunity for real-time customer engagement.
If you were a roofing contractor, you’d ask about the size (approximately) and the extent of the damage. The visitor gets an expected cost and a window encouraging them to contact you.
4. Consultation surveys
What if you offer a scope of services and your shoppers aren’t sure which one they need? Instead of contacting you via phone or email, they could get real-time automated consultations.
If running a healthcare clinic, inquire about symptoms and existing diagnoses and suggest a check-up category. Pair the consult with a quote estimate for bonus points.
The tactic also works for eCommerce. A gift shop could introduce a quiz in place of a physical worker. Customers enter the recipient’s gender, age, and hobbies; you suggest several presents they may like.
5. Chatbots / Customer Service
Reaching out to slow and unresponsive customer support is a friction point. It can drive down conversions, revenue, and your customer base.
Instead of relying on email and support tickets, introduce a live chat option on every page.
Chatbots are the perfect example of real-time engagement software. They immediately address customer concerns and suggest desirable courses of action.
Pro tip: Don’t limit your live chat to the website. Companies now use social media applications like Facebook Messenger automation to meet customers where they are.
6. Tailored proactive communication based on analytics
Real-time engagement platforms analyse the data trail left by your customers. You can use it to personalise your offers.
Let’s examine another scenario:
You’re operating a gym with several subscription plans. A person may pay for 12, 16, or 20 monthly sessions.
You have a shopper nearing their 12th workout with fifteen days left till they can recharge. So, you’ll notify them before they run out of sessions.
Why not push a sale while showing them you care?
Instead of a notification, direct this person to a page for upgrading their plan. A proactive message doubles as a potential purchase.
7. Real-time triggers
Real-time engagement software uses customer engagement metrics and behavioral triggers to determine which message to send. Instead of generating pop-ups as soon as a visitor loads your website, it gauges their expected action and reacts accordingly.
- Detect when visitors are about to leave the website and show relevant pop-ups.
- Show particular offers and campaigns based on the website area. Think discount codes in checkout and appropriate sales for each category.
- Display deals when the customer shows interest by scrolling down the page.
Most software solutions are available cross-platform. Besides engaging on-site, they may send a discount code via SMS when customers abandon a cart.
8. Personalised sales & landing pages (LeadsHook)
Sales and landing pages are conversion tools. Personalising them is a powerful real-time engagement strategy.
Say you had a bilingual website. You greet US-based visitors in English and those from Mexico in Spanish. Both groups feel your company is for them, becoming loyal customers.
What if working with a first-time visitor? Have a live chat option at the bottom of your homepage and prepare several landing pages. Ask questions to determine where to send them.
The Biggest Challenge of Real-Time Customer Engagement – DATA
Real-time engagement is the future of running a business. Why isn’t everybody doing it?
Many companies hop on the trend and fail. They try to run before they can walk, skipping the starting step: data.
To execute this strategy, you need an accurate and always-updating data source on customers.
Real-time customer engagement problems are three-fold. Barriers include not gaining insight quickly, lacking data, and having inaccurate information. Machine learning is only valuable once you have a sample to analyse.
Many businesses rely exclusively on third-party data, like demographics and focus groups. This information type is inadequate. It paints audiences in broad strokes instead of understanding them as individuals.
You need first-party data.
What is first-party data, and why is it valuable?
First-party data includes facts you collect directly from your customers, like their past purchases and preferred content types. It can complement and enhance other information types.
Look at Google. It’s a data-sucking machine, which is why it serves you accurately and seems to read your thoughts. (Ahem, Alexa.)
It’s collecting data from you and using it to modify your search results.
Using your first-party data, you know exactly where the customer is on the journey. It’s not just a man from Connecticut. It’s a man from Connecticut who bought white running shoes and now needs black socks.
Knowing that lets you suggest the perfect product and engage him.
First-party data has its challenges, though.
Information must be in one place, accessible, and understandable across the organisation’s channels. Most companies must overhaul their existing data framework and categorise information before leveraging it.
Efficiently managing data requires the right engagement technology, procedures, and people. Many businesses aren’t willing to face the financial challenge.
But trust us, it pays to invest in a real-time engagement platform. These analytics let you cater to, satisfy, keep, and monetise your customers.
The Bottom Line
Customers are becoming more frustrated with generic companies and one-size-fits-all marketing. They desire speedy and relevant services tailored to their preferences. They willingly share their information and count on exceptional service in return.
What are we trying to say?
Data-driven marketing is no longer a buzzword for modern advertisers. It’s an expectation your clients have of you and necessary if you wish to scale and dominate your industry.
Combine it with real-time customer engagement, and you’ll be unstoppable!
And if you want to be unstoppable, you can sign up for LeadsHooks Free 14-Day Trial below.
Where you’ll discover what real-time customer engagement REALLY looks like…
And how it can give you a REAL edge in your industry.