Small businesses know that connecting with customers is essential. While voice calls and in-person conversations can get the job done, is it enough to bring your business to the next level? Customer expectations are rising. People want the ability to interact with brands via multiple digital channels whenever it’s most convenient for them.
As 89% of businesses now compete primarily on customer experience (CX) and 73% of consumers indicate that CX is a deciding factor when making purchase decisions — customer communication and engagement is the key to nurturing customer relationships and driving conversions.
Some companies try to cobble together disparate messaging tools, communication apps, and social media platforms to meet customer demand. Unfortunately, a scattered tech stack could drive up IT costs while creating complex workflows that hinder productivity, lengthen response time, and lead to poor CX.
So how can you strengthen your professional image and deliver a customer experience that rivals big brands without the deep pocket?
The good news is you don't have to reinvent the wheel or invest a large sum on enterprise-grade platforms. Instead, use a customer engagement tool that offers robust features selected for the specific needs of SMBs.
Here are some key functionalities to look for:
Outbound SMS campaigns
Did you know that SMS has a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate? Leverage this channel to boost your outreach effort by choosing a customer engagement tool that allows you to send SMS blasts to your customer base and schedule SMS campaigns. It should also enable your team to send 1:1 SMS texts from the team inbox.
The team inbox centralizes all customer messages from multiple channels (e.g., SMS, web chat, social media, etc.) so you can see all conversations in one place. Multiple team members can access and respond to these messages and reference past interactions from other touchpoints to ensure a seamless customer experience.
- Web chat channel
Web chat, or live chat, is now table stakes. 79% of businesses said that live chat has helped them improve customer loyalty and drive sales. It can help increase conversion rates by 12% as visitors who use this feature are 2.8X more likely to convert. As such, your customer engagement tool should integrate web chat as part of the CX.
Facebook and Instagram Messenger
Social media platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram, are critical channels for companies to provide customer services. 80% of consumers use them to engage with brands, and 37% expect to get a response within 30 minutes. Your customer engagement tool should allow you to manage communications via these touchpoints.
Like other marketing campaigns, you need to know how your SMS campaigns perform to refine your messaging and strategy. Your customer engagement tool should offer an overview of your campaign performance with metrics on each send to help you gain customer insights and measure success.
Instead of guessing what your customers really want, why not just ask them? Use a customer engagement tool that allows you to create surveys with different question formats (e.g., freeform, multiple choice, etc.,) send them through campaigns, and analyze the results to gain timely insights.
New chat message notification
46% of consumers expect companies to respond in under 4 hours, and 12% expect a response time of 15 minutes or less. Your team juggles many things — a visual and/or audio chat notification for new messages helps ensure they don't miss any communications and can respond promptly to deliver the best customer experience.
Real-time typing status indicator
This messaging feature signals when another user is inputting a message in a chat conversation. It helps keep users' attention with real-time feedback that mimics the cadence of an in-person conversation. Customers will know that a team member is writing a response, so they're more likely to stay engaged.
Flip to call/meeting
While many prefer asynchronous communication (e.g., text and chat), some inquiries are best addressed with real-time interactions. A customer engagement tool integrated with a world-class unified communications system allows you to make a voice or video call directly from the conversation view to deliver the best support.
Shared contacts and conversation notes
Different team members often need to pitch in to handle customer communications in a small business environment. Your customer engagement tool should allow team members to share customer contact information, tags, and notes in a centralized database so everyone can reference past interactions to inform their conversations.
Up your customer experience game with GoTo Customer Engagement
GoTo Customer Engagement provides all the communication features you need to deliver a responsive and seamless customer experience across multiple digital channels.
We have curated essential features to meet the needs of SMBs, so you only pay for what you need to deliver a top-notch customer experience without complicated functions that require a dedicated team or extensive IT knowledge to manage.
Learn more about GoTo’s top-to-bottom customer engagement toolset to see how we can help you optimize your customer journey and capture more market share.