What is a customer engagement hub?
A customer engagement hub (CEH) is the platform a brand uses to create continuity throughout the customer experience.
Customer engagement hubs connect all systems within a company, internally and externally, to create a complete, comprehensive customer experience. This includes the sales department, marketing department and customer service department.
Or as Gartner defines it, “A CEH allows personalized, contextual customer engagement, whether through a human, artificial agent, or sensors, across all interaction channels.”
Instead of each internal department working independently in silos, a customer engagement hub facilitates communication and interconnectedness across-the-board.
When customer engagement systems, data acquisition systems and customer service centers are siloed, they can generate inaccurate context surrounding a customer’s profile and recent interactions. This results in a fragmented customer experience, irrelevant messages and offers sent by the brand—and frustrated customers.
A customer engagement hub bridges the gap and fills in the blanks to ensure continuity and context throughout customer engagements, across all touchpoints.
Digital Transformations in the Customer Experience
Once upon a time, the company was in control and customers were subjected to the level of service the company was willing to provide. Customers might wait days for a brand to respond to their inquiries, and there was nothing the customer could really do about it.
Nowadays, as technological advancements have transformed customer experiences by supporting intelligent platforms (like customer engagement hubs) and generating insights through artificial intelligence engines, customers have come to expect an entirely different experience. They want quick responses, personalized interactions, meaningful engagements, and seamless experiences between channels (both in-store and online).
And nowadays, customers can do something about this if they aren't satisfied. They can choose to engage with the competition that is offering an ideal customer experience.
Historically, customer service hubs were call centers or contact centers that didn’t necessarily communicate with the sales team, the marketing team, or the in-store team. As you may have experienced for yourself before the global digital transformation, this siloed state of customer engagement and contact centers can breed some frustration.
Let’s say a customer is on the phone, reporting a complaint to a customer service representative. The customer decides to go straight to the store to rectify the problem, because the customer service rep doesn’t see the recent transaction that spurred this complaint.
When the customer reaches the store, he or she wants the store associate to already have knowledge of the problem. Unsurprisingly, with no customer engagement hub to inform the store associate or provide any contextual information, the associate has no clue of the problem and the customer has to re-explain himself for the third time.
The customer may then complain about this fragmented experience, to which the associate will react to the situation and search for a solution. With non-centralized call centers and disconnected departments, a company is constantly reacting to the situation, not being proactive to adapt to the customer’s needs and predict future behaviors.
CEHs deserve the spotlight in customer interactions and customer service processes, as they enable a 360 view of the customer, valuable contextual information, and the ability to adapt to customer needs proactively.
What is customer engagement?
So why is it so necessary to streamline customer engagements and optimize customer interactions anyway?
Well, simply put, your customers are who keep you in business. Meeting your customers’ needs and desires, and accommodating their ever-evolving preferences, is how your brand keeps them happy, keeps them engaged, and secures their loyalty.
Any interaction a brand has with its customers, across all touchpoints, is customer engagement. With the rise of the mobile era, customer engagements take place primarily online, through a brand’s mobile app or website.
To ensure effective customer engagement, all of the messaging that a brand delivers to a customer, throughout the customer journey, should be optimized to feel as personal to the customer as possible. Digital customer engagements are an extension of your physical, in-store engagements.
Seamless customer engagements feel as though the customer is connecting 1 on 1 with a single store associate, throughout their entire buying journey. When engagements are optimally personalized, customers are more inclined to make repeat purchases, refer the brand to their friends and family, and demonstrate loyal behaviors.
Customer engagement hubs centralize all of these communications, providing a true 360 view of each customer (including their recent transactions, interests, behaviors, personal information and interactions) to transform customer engagement.
How to Build a Customer Engagement Hub
Customer engagement hubs are an end-to-end solution to providing a magical customer experience.
We can work with your marketing team to help you build an effective customer engagement hub that meets all requirements:
- Mapping out the customer journey
- Creating an intuitive interface design
- Leveraging data and artificial intelligence
- Outsourcing for greater efficiency
- Trusting the cloud
Map out the customer journey.
Understanding your customers’ needs throughout the customer lifecycle is one of the building blocks of an effective customer engagement strategy. To be able to appeal to customers and personalize messages across-the-board, you have to understand what your customers want and when they want it.
Map out the customer touchpoints, from awareness to retention, in your unique business to optimize messaging and keep your customer engaged and informed every step of the way. Determine where and when your customer should receive engagements, like personalized welcome messages during the onboarding process, personalized offers as your customer demonstrates their preferences and interests, and referral rewards as your customer makes repeat purchases.
Create an intuitive interface/design.
Providing an intuitive user experience, for your customers and team, is essential for ensuring efficiency in your workflows and providing customers with the features and engagements they expect from you.
Nowadays, customers want to help themselves as much as possible. They don’t want to wait for your team to be available to receive answers to their questions. They want to interact with your brand through an intuitive mobile app that allows mobile order & pay, offers answers to FAQs, and allows them to browse through your products or services whenever they please.
With Plexure solutions, your team will have access to a user-friendly dashboard and data visualization tools, enabling you to see how your campaigns are performing, pinpoint opportunities for improvement and create highly personalized moments of magic for your customers—all in one place.
Our engagement solutions enable effective CRM (customer relationship management) that provides your team with the context you need to provide a stellar customer experience.
Leverage data and artificial intelligence (AI).
Data acquisition and artificial intelligence tools are the center building blocks of a modern customer engagement hub. These technologies and advancements in data sources have transformed in-step with the evolution of modern marketing. In fact, artificial intelligence made modern marketing possible.
As your customer engages with your brand through your mobile experience, our artificial intelligence and machine learning engines will extract a constant stream of customer data. The offers your customer redeems, the product pages they navigate to, the feedback they offer, their zip code and current location, their recent transactions—all of these actionable insights are recorded and relayed to your marketing team to fuel future marketing decisions.
Based on the customer’s location in their journey, or their current touchpoint, your brand can deliver personalized messages at the exact moment they perform an action, through automation and AI.
Customer data produces invaluable insight into customer needs, behaviors and desires, and AI enables efficient, timely execution of all engagements.
Outsource for greater efficiency.
While building a customer engagement hub, your team has a lot going on. Customers are still actively engaging with you; sales are still being made; and the business doesn’t stop while you transform your customer experience.
Outsource any pieces of the customer engagement hub development that you can, in order for your customer service team to continue focusing on delighting your customers without a hitch and responding to customers in a timely fashion. Don’t be afraid to outsource and ask for support, so you can support your customers.
Trust the cloud.
The cloud is the future… and the present, really. Cloud computing is how a company stores and retrieves information, by way of an accessible, general data center on the Internet.
Trusting the cloud is arguably essential for a customer engagement hub, since the point of the hub is to streamline all information and processes, making them easily-accessible to different departments.
Through the cloud, your brand can ensure a consistent, contextual, omni-channel customer experience, as all internal and external systems are pulling from the same source of information. This minimizes the chances of inaccuracies in customer data and fragmented communications, and also facilitates easier, interdepartmental collaboration.
Storing data in the cloud, as opposed to storing data on a computer hard drive or flash drive, allows for ideal security, as the cloud can’t be ‘lost’, physically destroyed, or forgotten at home by a coworker.
Why are customer engagement hubs critical?
Customer engagement hubs are a critical asset for a few reasons. First, they empower your marketing team to master perfect timing—and in customer engagement, timing can make the difference between a loyal customer, and a frustrated opt-out.
Interact with your customers on their terms through a highly intelligent customer engagement hub. Customers are choosing to engage with their favorite brands through their mobile devices, which means your brand needs to meet them there.
With a customer engagement platform, your brand can deliver highly-relevant, personalized offers, recommendations and messaging to customers while they’re active in your mobile app and in response to certain actions.
Your customer navigates through their journey on their own terms, and your brand is there to support them and provide value to them every step of the way.
You know that customer data that informs your marketing decisions to persistently improve your targeting approach and content strategies? Yea, that incredibly valuable data that your marketing team couldn’t succeed without…
Customer engagement hubs continue to acquire this data, through a constant stream from numerous sources, to provide actionable insights that fuel deeper personalization.
Not only does the customer engagement hub extract data from your customers, but it stores this data securely, makes it accessible to be used by all necessary departments, and feeds it to our machine learning and artificial intelligence engines that learn about each customer, to further refine your customers’ experiences in real time.
Leverage your customer engagement hub, and all of its configurable features, maximize the impact of your mobile marketing, and therefore—maximize the return on your marketing investment. We’ll help you do it!
Customer engagement hub = more personalized customer experiences = happier customers = loyal customers = more revenue = maximum return.
Achieve Expert Personalization—by Partnering with Our Experts in Personalization
Creating personalized customer experiences is how your brand can stay ahead of the competition, in front of your ideal audience, and in symbiosis with your loyal customers.
You offer your loyal customers exactly what they want—and they reward you with repeat purchases, referrals to friends and family, and more data to fuel your strategies.
The CEH is where it all connects. It’s your CRM tool, information storage and seamless communication hub all in one.
Personalization is harder with one-size-fits-all solutions; that’s why your CEH should be configurable, intuitive and customizable to meet individual business needs.
At Plexure, we harness the power of data to help brands deliver highly personalized mobile experiences at scale. Our mobile engagement platforms have helped brands achieve significant business outcomes, including:
- Increased average basket size by 55%
- Reached 101% of annual user adoption target in three months
- Increased offer redemption by 60%
To name only a few successes.
Be our next success. Your customers demand a personalized mobile experience, and it’s up to you to provide it. Find out what we can do for you and your customers by booking a demo.