Nowadays, customer orientation plays a critical role in companies of all sizes and industries. Modern cloud tools from from marketing, sales, and support are revolutionizing the way companies communicate with their customers at every phase of the customer journey. We present professional alternatives from which startups and SMBs can benefit.
Online tools for effective customer communication
The times when a high-quality product was enough to successfully position yourself in the market are long gone. With the powerful developer tools and cloud technologies available today, new products can be brought to market in record time. Due to the stiff competition and rapid dynamics prevailing in today’s markets, efficient marketing is becoming a critical success factor. The proliferation of new marketing channels and the emergence of new platforms, especially social and mobile. As well as the use of new methods of analysis . All of them are revolutionizing the way companies today target their customers and (have to) market their products.
However, in recent years, the tasks of the sales and support teams have also changed significantly. These specialized departments must take into account the changes brought about by digitalization. And meet the growing expectations of their customers. They will face increased workload and new challenges that can no longer be mastered with e-mail, Excel, or SaaS services that were grounbreaking ten years ago. That is why customer orientation and effective customer communication are crucial in these areas.
These specialized departments must take into account the changes brought about by digitalization. And meet the growing expectations of their customers.
In this context, effective means that you address your customers in the right place, at the right time. And with the right message, regarding marketing and sales. Or you are always there for them when they have questions or need help, regarding support.
Telephone, e-mail, and traditional contact forms are no longer enough to effectively organize the dialog with the customer in times of WhatsApp, chatbots, and the like. Therefore, leading companies rely on modern solutions that not only optimize customer communication on traditional channels. But also enable completely new and more efficient workflows.
Find below some of these tools for different application scenarios. From which not only large companies but also startups and SMBs can benefit.
Intercom: Cross-departmental all-in-one solution
Intercom is one of the best examples of how modern customer communication works. Especially for Internet companies who call their customers users. It is a comprehensive all-in-one suite consisting of several sub-products. “Platform” for user analytics. “Messages” for personalized sales and marketing campaigns. “Inbox” for e-mail and Live chat support. And “Articles” for creating a help center. This means that it covers all interactions between a company and its customers at every phase of the customer life cycle. Keyword: “customer engagement”.
With the help of various SDKs (Software Development Kits), Intercom can be integrated into any web, desktop, and mobile apps. Developers can specify in the code exactly which user actions (registration, login, purchase, etc.) should be recorded. Using the recorded data, companies can then segment their customers. And address them at the right time and on the right channel. By email, push or in-app notifications, using a live messenger that works similarly to WhatsApp. Practical: With the offered chatbots, companies can partially automate their workflows in the areas of marketing, sales, and support. For example, if a customer asks about a specific product feature, the bot can suggest a suitable article from the integrated help center.
Zendesk Chat: Real-time support and much more
The customer service specialist Zendesk offers another professional customer communication solution. Zendesk Chat has successfully positioned itself on the market as a reliable solution. According to the manufacturer, more than 100,000 companies from over 100 countries are among its customers. Similar to Intercom, the service enables e-commerce providers, software manufacturers, and website operators to integrate a live chat widget into their own website. This enables a direct dialogue with web visitors.
Another plus point: Zendesk Chat can be seamlessly integrated with Zendesk’s other customer service solutions (knowledge base, community forums, help desk system, etc.).
Customer.io: Send personalized messages automatically
Customer.io enables companies to automatically send transactional messages and personalized marketing campaigns via email, SMS, and push notifications. Customers can be professionally segmented using triggers, customer attributes, and filters. The highlight: After integrating a tracking code, similar to Google Analytics, into your website or app, relevant user actions are recorded. These can then be used as triggers or filters.
For example, you can automatically send every customer who has just registered a welcome message that is adapted to certain profile attributes such as country of origin or industry. In addition to the tracking code, Customer.io also offers an API. Developers can use it to record any logs, events, and customer parameters on the platform.
Another advantage: the marketing team can easily create the content for e-mails and newsletters on the online dashboard using an integrated rich text editor.
Front app: A central inbox for the whole team
Good old e-mail is seen as the number one productivity killer in internal corporate communications. However, it is still indispensable in external communication with prospects, customers, and partners. Here comes the cloud service Front in the game.
Since its foundation in 2013, the French startup has secured almost $ 80 million for its expansion. And that from renowned VCs and business angels such as Point Nine Capital from Berlin, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield, and the startup incubator Y Combinator. The application enables companies to optimize external communication with their customers.
You can manage different e-mail addresses such as contact @, sales @, and support @. As well as other communication channels such as SMS, Twitter, LinkedIn, and telephone centrally on a single platform. Front relies on a high level of usability. And practical tools that enable the collaborative processing of customer inquiries in a team.
With Front Chat there is also a live messenger available for websites. It does not only work like Intercom in terms of functionality, but it is also an almost identical imitation of the market leader’s solution.
EmailAnalytics: Track and improve email response time
EmailAnalytics enables companies to automatically track email activity across every employee, including emails sent, emails received, and email response time. This is especially useful for sales and customer service teams, where email response time is a critical KPI.
You can see how many emails each team member sends and receives each day. Wich customers or prospects send your team the most emails. And which members of your team have the heaviest (and lightest) workloads so you can re-balance accordingly. Learn the busiest times of day, and see who’s working after business hours. Drill-down into your top senders, top recipients, and see response times for individual emails.
Use advanced filters to keep out unwanted data, and see only the meaningful email activity. It’s not only a fantastic way to monitor and improve productivity across your organization. But also to improve customer satisfaction and sales through email response time management and improvement.
Why online tools play a critical role?
The barriers to market entry are lower today than ever before. New products can be brought to market in record time. The competition is enormous. Against this background, a great product alone is no longer enough to win customers.
Against this background, the subject of customer orientation is playing an increasingly important role in the digital economy. And that applies not only to product development but above all to all processes relating to marketing, sales, and support. With the modern cloud solutions that we have presented in this post, companies can ensure that they offer their customers a personalized and optimal experience at every touchpoint during the entire customer lifecycle.