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What Is Customer Engagement Management?

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April 1st, 2021 - 11:00AM

Customer engagement management (CEM) is a marriage of two concepts marketers already understand well.

Customer engagement is defined by the customer, or, more specifically, the action(s) that customer takes. It could be an open or click in an email. It could be an impression on a social media post or online ad. Everything from visiting a website to buying a product to even entering a physical storefront counts as customer engagement.

Your ideal customer is engaging—taking action—with your organization.

The management component is where marketing comes into play: deploying campaigns that elicit a desired response. Managing these interactions includes tracking customer behaviors—both in response to the campaign and separate from the campaign—and optimizing the next point of contact.

Customer Engagement Management: Build Customer Relationships

The concept of customer engagement management as a strategy and platform has only recently become a part of the marketer’s toolbox.

In the not-too-recent past, customer engagement was a one-way street. In its simplest form, it was a brand creating materials to try to earn a positive response from its customers—a purchase, a subscription, an email sign up. Today, customer engagement is more about creating a constant stream of two-way communication between brands and their audiences. No matter how small, every message and impression is part of an ongoing conversation.

But CEM isn’t just about increasing the number of touchpoints with customers, although that can help. It’s more about upping the ante when it comes to the quality of interactions you’re having across the customer journey.

Because this relationship can be strengthened—or diminished—with every interaction.

So how do you make sure every touchpoint in your marketing journey is meaningful? You make the conversation hyper-personalized to each customer’s preferences.

The concept of personalization and preferences isn’t a new one. But its importance is emphasized by the fact organizations that don’t lean into this lose out to their competition. Consumers have come to expect customized experiences—after all, a normal conversation is always personal. Why should a conversation with a brand be any different?

Fuel Customer Engagement Management with Data

You can’t have a meaningful conversation with a customer without knowing relevant information about them. In normal conversations, you ask questions. In marketing, you gather it from forms and preference centers.

Leveraging every inch of this data for messaging is what will make your customer engagement management successful.

CEM uses the framework of the customer journey to guide every conversation. It incorporates omnichannel marketing into each stage to reach customers where they want to talk, when they want to talk. And real-time data is the crux of the operation, creating a seamless experience for the customer with messaging that changes to fit the new dynamic of the conversation.  

With such emphasis on the importance of (healthy) data, gathering and maintaining excellent data about your customers needs to be a priority. Gather demographic information through opt-in forms and behavioral data through purchasing behaviors, email marketing metrics, and social media insights.

Bonus: With data in hand, it’s imperative you organize it in a way in which it can be easily accessed and incorporated into marketing messaging. Experts recommend a CEM platform to achieve this.

Benefits of a Customer Engagement Management Platform

Imagine being proactive instead of reactive with your marketing messaging, anticipating the next want or need of each individual customer before they do. By adding your data to a CEM platform, you can do exactly that.

A CEM platform isn’t just a way to store and leverage your data—it’s a means to apply it to your customer journey messaging. Setting up omnichannel marketing campaigns that drive awareness, welcome new customers, address customer satisfaction issues, and upsell and cross sell.

And you can do all this through online and offline channels.

These smart campaigns imitate human-to-human interactions and customize messaging based on what a user prefers, integrating email marketing, social media, SMS, and ringless voicemail into one marketing campaign. You’ll be everywhere the customer wants to interact with you without lifting a finger.

Create a Conversation with Customers

High quality products and services are the hallmarks of the best companies. But in today’s marketing world, that’s not enough.

To stand out from your competition, you have to emphasize the difference between you and your competitors with CEM. Automating the process with a CEM platform is a no-brainer, with customer engagement management, you can:

  • Increase customer satisfaction & brand loyalty
  • Earn more new customer referrals
  • Decrease cart and customer abandonment
  • Increase returning customers and sales

Most importantly, you can start and maintain that critical conversation.

It’s something you can’t afford not to take advantage of in our current landscape. There are too many chances you’ll miss opportunities to connect and increase your bottom-line.

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