Multiple brands engage on the topic of Customer Engagement, however when it comes to interaction or True Engagement they pass the ball to automation.

My argument is that Customer Engagement requires presence, and Live Chat does exactly that. And here’s why.
Customer Engagement Redefined

In my opinion term Customer Engagement has a little too broad of a meaning. I would define it as engaging your customers with enough relevant value to always be present on your customers’ radar.

This “radar” is what defines what your customers are interested in, and by providing relevant value your company becomes RELEVANT to them. And this is what matters the most these days. Relevancy is what sets you apart from your competitors. It is what lets your take part in the customer journey.

I’ll say it once again, BECOME RELEVANT to your Customers.

Remaining on their radar would mean constant interaction between the brand and the customer base, or in other words with its potential followers allowing the brand to prosper. Such interactions are vital to keep your customers in the loop and engaged, and while at it making your product relevant to them.
Outsourcing the Customer Engagement

Ever since outsourcing was formally identified in 1989, it has been expanding its reach to different industries, taking different shapes, forms and meanings. However, still serving the purpose of a business strategy designed to relieve the burden of taking care of every action in-house.

As outsourcing crawled into Digital Marketing, it has taken shape of marketing automation. Emails, notifications, pop-up ads, forms, social media updates. Now add Automated in the beginning of each one. Sounds like a dream come true from 10 years ago.

Even the social media, tool that comes the closest to socializing your brand, has been subsequently automated, allowing responses to be scheduled before time. The problem doesn’t occur when talking about automation of information sharing until customer interaction comes into play.

According to The Social Customer Engagement Index 2014 “27% say it takes them less than an hour to respond to questions/issues on social channels”.

But What if Customers want to interact here and Now?

When compared to an e-mail response averaging 17 hours for Top 100 retailers, social media definitely stands out. However, even by cutting the response time down to 1 hour it fails to provide customers with necessary presence at the exact point of interaction. And that window of time is short. Not every customer has an hour to wait around for you to react.

Which is precisely where Live Chat comes in.
Engage them at the right time with Live Chat

As Jan Vels Jensen of Trust Pilot puts it in The Customer Experience Is Key :

„At every stage in the customer lifecycle, take the opportunity to engage in a personalized manner”

Think about it, you’re engaging your customers at different stages, on different platforms, yet when they finally get on your page, you outsource your whole representation to page design, forms, friendly CTAs, possibly even engaging blog, but How can you provide the mentioned personalized approach when for different customers with different interests, mindsets, and views of your value you provide a generic approach?

By realizing that the best tool for customer engagement is human presence.

And what’s the best way to show Human presence on your website?

Live chat

I know what you’re thinking, how can live chat, a customer support software, be associated with engagement. Well I’d like to redefine live chat as a solution that has the potential to boost customer engagement by providing the human presence your customers require.
3 Ways How Live Chat Can Boost Customer Engagement

  1. Instant Engagement, that goes beyond Instant Help. Who said that live chat should be only support-oriented? Remember, that behind every live chat there’s a real person interacting with customers in real-time, able to simply chat with them, discuss their problems, and engage the customer.

Bonus: Here’s how Amazon and Zappos handle weird questions on live chat and build Customer Engagement.

  1. Relevant value on the spot. By introducing live chat, you provide your customers with a solution able to provide relevant value at the time of interaction by listening and adapting to every customer. Just don’t forget to encourage personal approach, and ditch the pre-scripted canned answers.

Bonus: Here’s how Canned Responses can be slowing down your Customer Engagement.

  1. Human Presence. Live chat allows you to stop relying on offline solutions for engagement, and offer the most engaging tool of all – a Human interaction. Outsourcing your engagement to automation means risking relevancy to your customers.

Bonus: Slideshare presentation on 10 Steps towards a more Human Marketing to increase Customer Engagement