How real-time customer engagement benefits brands
Customer engagement is a combination of emotion and behavior; it is the interaction of how customers feel and what they actually do. Engaged customers have positive sentiments toward the company and are actively involved with the company’s products or services.
In fact, Yahoo research showed that “Online live viewers are more likely to feel excitement, immediacy, and connection” towards a brand during live-streaming video. This clearly shows big positive correlation between real-time content and online customer engagement.
With 5G services becoming widely available soon, brands need to be prepared to meet online customers where and when they want to engage with live content: across multiple devices.
In today’s increasingly mobile world, it is important for brands to improve their online customer engagement and omnichannel experience. With 5G services becoming widely available soon, brands need to be prepared to meet online customers where and when they want to engage with live content: across multiple devices. 21st century customers are informed and they want to be inspired. They research online and want to know where the products they buy come from, what their shampoo is made of and if they are getting the best deal on their car insurance.
Developing meaningful, trust-based relationships with your customers online, listening to what they’re saying and showing them that you care about what matters to them, can help your brand succeed. It is critical for brands to find ways to engage with their online customers online in real-time. Furthermore, a Forrester report confirms this claim, as it found that about 44% of consumers view the ability to have a live person answer queries in real-time, as one of the most important features a website can offer.
#1 It boosts marketing efficiency
Engagement is the next big thing in digital marketing. Engagement is actually what marketing is all about - increasing communication with potential customers, building trust and forming commitment. Marketing is quickly becoming what marketers have always dreamed of - real-time one-to-one customer engagement. The entire customer experience is now based on omnichannel and real-time strategy. For customer experience to become a part of lifecycle marketing model, marketers must be prepared to evolve and start using new marketing technology that drives real-time customer engagement. The brands that will manage this marketing evolution will be the ones to increase their market share and gain competitive advantage.
Including video on a landing page could increase conversion by 80% and 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video. - Hubspot
Live-streaming video is the new norm when it comes to online customer engagement. Any brand, wishing to succeed in today’s omnichannel world and engage with their online customers should already be investing in this technology. It is a powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects – all in real time. A Hubspot video marketing report revealed that including video on a landing page could increase conversion by 80% and that 64% of users were more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video.
#2 It increases customer satisfaction
While there are numerous drivers of customer satisfaction, including product quality and price, customer engagement is another increasingly important factor in scoring high satisfaction marks. Consumers have growing expectations and needs from the brands, informed by experience with companies in other industries. There are real benefits for brands from a customer base that believes the company is trying to help them save time and money. Not only will these customers play a larger role in achieving their business goals, but they will also be more satisfied and generally supportive of new company initiatives.
According to CustomerThink, online customers are not too different from the ones visiting physical stores. They all have unique questions about products, shipping options, return policies and a host of other things that they need answers to before they feel comfortable buying from brands online. Just like in a physical store, brands need to invest in real-time online customer experience and engagement platforms in order to engage with online customers and keep them. The beauty of live-streaming engagement with the customer is discovering what your audience wants and using that information to shape the online shopping process and influence their buying decision.
#3 It builds trust
People think and behave differently when buying cheap vs pricey items, and the customer journey for big-ticket or high-value items is actually more similar to B2B sales than B2C. People follow a more complex information gathering cycle, they want to gain a 360-degree view of other alternatives.
High-value items have traditionally been bought face-to-face, after a relationship with the brand has been built. Brands need to be able to recreate a real store experience online, and communicate the ‘human’ qualities of their company and help online customers develop a good gut feeling about buying from them. Furthermore, with the right customer engagement platform you can reach your potential customers much earlier in their purchase journey (discovery phase), gain complete control over the message used to create awareness and promote your new products and connect your brand to your audience in real-time.
Brands need to be able to recreate a real store experience online and communicate the ‘human’ qualities.
#4 It differentiates brands
Brands in a saturated market need to bring something new to the table, such as an innovative product or a personal touch that no one has experienced before - this is called differentiation. Most companies, though, don’t stand out. A great product? Sure, they have that. But so do their competitors. It can be difficult to separate your brand from the pack and convince potential online customers that they should pick your brand. For many, this will involve taking advantage of the opportunity that the competitors have missed - improving their online customer engagement.
Vodafone was one of the early adopters of real-time video in the Telecommunication industry and was able to leverage new ways of engaging with customers and establish itself as an innovative market leader. They incorporated live-streaming video on their website and were able to engage with their web visitors in real-time. This platform helped them increase their online customer engagement rate and customer satisfaction rate. They have found a creative and interactive way of attracting and responding to customers online and truly live up to their slogan: “Power to you”. Thanks to this innovative approach Vodafone got awarded ‘best Telecommunications eCommerce Innovation at 2015 eCommerce Awards’.
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Urska is an inbound marketing specialist and content creator at Whisbi. She is passionate about B2B marketing communications, real time customer engagement and all things digital. You can follow her blog here.