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What is a customer engagement platform?

Meet the modern way to engage customers and build brand advocacy

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Introduction

We’re entering the golden age of customer engagement. Just personalizing a text or an email with a customer's first name will no longer cut it. Today, businesses need to truly understand their customers’ behaviors and preferences to deliver engagement that exceeds expectations.

But, customer engagement as is, isn’t exactly stellar. In Twilio’s 2022 State of Customer Engagement Report, 88% of companies reported personalization as being extremely or very important to their engagement strategy. Yet while three quarters (75%) of companies claim to provide good or excellent personalized services, less than half (48%) of customers agree.

This noticeable disconnect leaves much to be desired for both sides. Without understanding customer data, businesses and their customers will be left frustrated. Engaging with customers is never as easy as it sounds. So, how do businesses cut through all the digital noise and reach customers in a personalized and secure way? Enter the customer engagement platform.

What is a customer engagement platform (CEP)?

A customer engagement platform is a flexible software solution that helps businesses deliver seamless, trusted, and engaging customer experiences at scale. With insights from first-party data, businesses are able to personalize customer communications and build lasting loyalty.

Help your business turn every interaction into long-term relationships with a customer engagement platform.

Improve customer experiences with trusted data

It’s no great secret that a personalized customer experience builds unbreakable customer loyalty. Look no further than the recommendations you receive on many digital shopping experiences or connected-tv streaming services. Personalized experiences sell themselves.

A personalized customer experience builds unbreakable customer loyalty.

Getting the data to support these experiences, on the other hand, is extremely difficult. Businesses either need to invest massive amounts of money, time, and engineering power to create their own customer engagement platforms in-house or piecemeal personalization together using off-the-shelf solutions, like a marketing stack, a customer support platform, a legacy CRM, and countless other tools. But those systems remain siloed.

And if a business relies solely on third-party cookies, which is the data purchased from data management platforms (DMPs), to personalize how they engage with customers, they will need a new strategy very soon. Already, Firefox and Safari have blocked access to third-party cookies, and Google Chrome will be following suit in 2024. Legacy processes and systems simply weren’t built to scale and support the modern customer’s journey, or privacy expectations.

Modern customer engagement platforms use Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to collect first-party data from different sources (apps, websites, POS systems, etc.) into one unified customer view. From there, a CDP will analyze and activate the data to help create a more personalized experience for each individual customer. This is all done securely on a single platform as opposed to using unverified third-party data.

Historically, this has been a huge undertaking, both in time and money, to implement in-house. Fortunately, CDP solutions are quickly becoming more affordable and accessible for businesses to take ownership and use their first-party data to benefit their customers.

Engage customers in real-time anywhere, on their preferred channels

It certainly doesn’t matter how personalized an experience is, if a customer’s preferences aren’t being honored. From the never-ending marketing emails to hours spent on an automated customer service helpline, customers are leaving brands behind who don’t offer flexibility in their methods of communication.

Customers want autonomy. They want control over how a brand communicates with them. And with 91% of customers saying they’ll stop doing business with a company after a frustrating customer experience, it’s time to take account of what the customer wants before they ask for it.

Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) technology gives businesses a complete set of customer engagement channels. When integrated with a modern customer engagement platform, CPaaS technology gives customers the power to choose how businesses engage with them.

This is where the benefit of choice really shines within a modern customer engagement platform. It helps build customer loyalty by giving them a say in how they interact with businesses.

Customize the the solution for your business needs

According to Twilio’s COVID-19 Digital Engagement report, 53% of businesses added new digital channels to help them meet customer expectations in 2020. And at that moment, those products worked fine. Only years later, as digital acceleration continues to increase, those same businesses are stuck with solutions they’ve outgrown as their customers' needs have changed.

When it comes to technology, you need to buy with the future in mind. With a modern customer engagement platform, businesses have the flexibility to scale and customize as needs change. This helps businesses continually meet customer expectations while reducing technical and operational costs.

With a modern customer engagement platform, businesses have the flexibility to scale and customize as needs change.

For example, a business may scale up email marketing and scale down SMS outreach if their customers prefer email as a primary form of communication. A business could build out an automated chatbot to help customers find answers themselves while reducing call handle time. Or a hospital can text patients when their doctor is ready versus using a physical waiting room. And a business can do all of this on a single platform to keep both the company’s and customers’ data secure.

It's time to drive modern engagement

Customer loyalty has never been more important, and the platform a business uses to reach them has never been more vital. To be a leader in today’s engagement economy, businesses must place their customer at the core of every single touchpoint by providing flexible, personalized, and trusted engagement solutions. A customer engagement platform delivers on all of these attributes while also being cost-effective and easy to use.