Achieving Real-Time Engagement – Challenges And Opportunities To Consider

Discover key drivers, challenges and opportunities behind real-time customer engagement and know how to approach in delivering it.
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Published June 16, 2021
Last updated November 14, 2021

Real-time engagement is the process of tying the customer behavioural signals to a company response in a highly personalised and contextual manner.

The end goal of real-time engagement is to drive the conversation further, following the customer-relevant next best action logic, rather than just pushing the sale forward.

Achieving real-time engagement is not an easy undertaking. The prerequisite is to know your customers, continuously listen to their needs and build a customer-centric engagement strategy to showcase your care.

The Importance of Real-time Customer Engagement

Research has shown repeatedly how customer experience (CX) is the primary differentiating factor for consumers nowadays. In fact, 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.

Furthermore, over half of the B2C customers said they would switch brands if they didn’t feel they were receiving a personalised experience.

The consequence of advanced personalisation is a decrease in the number of primarily product-focused companies. Thus, product-focused companies can’t sustain their long-term growth, that is, if they choose to ignore the customer-centric way forward.

With AI capabilities and ever-evolving next-gen technologies such as customer listening capabilities, the trajectory of personalisation is set, and it’s a matter of time when customers will no longer tolerate a generic company approach.

Nowadays, it’s expected for a company to have a genuine interest in their customers. We can witness many companies learning how to engage with customers in a personalised, contextual and time-sensitive manner.

The new aim is to deliver a seamless omnichannel customer journey connected with invisible ‘care’ tissue.

Want to know more about our B2C Omnichannel Behavioural Campaigns?

Overall Challenges and Opportunities for Real-time Engagement

Mindset 
CHALLENGE

The primary concern for many companies is reviewing their company approach, starting with the employee mindset. Change, even though it’s the only constant, doesn’t come easy to many. Therefore shifting a company mindset from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric one requires attention and strategic planning.

OPPORTUNITY

To encourage a customer-centric mindset, organisations often create incentives, such as rewarding completed customer surveys after a product sale. Customer surveys help create a healthy feedback loop and are a great source of first-party data that can later be used for personalised real-time engagement. As the famous saying states — change starts from within — so make sure you have your inner company world polished before you implement outbound customer engagement strategies.

Technology 
CHALLENGE

Many companies don’t have or don’t know how to use their marketing technology stack to achieve real-time customer engagement. Tools such as CRMs, MAPs and CDPs, while worth implementing, are irrelevant if not used to benefit the customer. Moreover, when considering technology, many companies are on standby with the latest AI-powered features.

Some organisations are only using what’s necessary instead of what’s efficient and innovative. Predictive analytics, micro-segmentation and hyper-personalisation are enabled by machine learning, so it’s crucial to use it to make a difference within customers’ journeys.

OPPORTUNITY

Technology is the foundation that enables real-time engagement. From omnichannel marketing automation platforms that empower adaptive real-time campaigns to social media listening tools that shine the light on customer sentiment, companies nowadays can optimise their approach to delight their customers beyond what’s imaginable.

However, technology application fused with innovative AI tools is what will move the needle forward and enable the real-time marketing we all want.

Data 
CHALLENGE

Data kept in a silo can easily hurt customer engagement levels. If the service representative doesn’t share the same customer view as the sales rep, the customer suffers. Similarly, to enable real-time engagement, organisations must have a strong understanding of their customers through every stage of their journey, linking behavioural patterns across online and offline channels.

At the same time, personalised real-time engagement goes way beyond just customer’s demographics — you want to consider a spectrum of customer characteristics, from purchase patterns, context to values and beliefs.

OPPORTUNITY

Solutions such as Customer Data Platform (CDP) enable free data flow by pulling data from multiple technology solutions and stitching it into one single and real-time customer view.

For data to do its magic—technology is a minimum investment, and for real-time customer engagement—data is the foundation. Marketing methods that use customer usage patterns to predict the next best action (predictive modeling) and adaptive real-time campaigns need high-quality customer data to yield impactful results.

Some of the most successful organisations in the world are already utilising data and technology to evolve their campaigns to a new level with real-time, omnichannel and context-driven messaging, so you may want to consider the same idea as well.

Final Words

At the end of the day, real-time customer engagement will drive deeper customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.

In today’s noisy world, that’s what makes the difference.

Are you ready to make a difference?

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