In an increasingly digital world, technology is one of the best ways to connect with your small business customers. But it can be tricky to identify which platforms and software are worth the hype—and which aren’t.
Below, we’re sharing five tools that can help improve customer engagement, strengthen customer loyalty, and increase your sales and revenue.
A help desk ticketing system gives you a simpler way to address the customer inquiries and concerns that come in from your business’s social media, email, and website forms. Consumers today expect excellent customer service—and help desk software can help you deliver.
Half of the customer service professionals surveyed in Intercom’s 2023 Customer Service Trends report said that creating a more efficient workflow has made them better equipped to respond to customers. With a help desk ticketing system, you can funnel customer service messages from various channels to one central location, where you can organize and respond to them faster.
Depending on the help desk platform you use, you can adjust your settings to sort messages automatically based on their content, send auto-replies to your customers, and prioritize urgent requests. You can also track the types of messages that come in and use the information to pinpoint common problems with your business’s products, ordering and shipping process, or customer support.
Bottom line benefit: A help desk system gives you the tools to address customer needs swiftly and completely, while also solving larger business problems.
Popular platforms to consider: Hiver, Zoho Desk, Zendesk
If you run an ecommerce store or rely on your business website for lead generation, a chatbot can help you maximize customer engagement and drive conversions. According to 2023 data from Tidio, 74% of the business owners who use chatbots said chatbots helped them achieve their business goals.
Chatbots—pop-up boxes generated by AI-–are an efficient way to support your customers 24/7 without overextending your resources. You can program your chatbot to:
- Answer questions about your business hours, products, or prices.
- Direct customers to FAQ pages.
- Recommend products or shopping pages.
- Provide contact information for further questions.
- Share product discounts and promotions.
- Remind customers about items in their carts.
Like help desk ticketing systems, chatbots also let you gather information about your customers and identify ongoing issues or resolve customer service complaints.
Bottom line benefit: Chatbots help you address customer questions faster, raising customer satisfaction rates in the process and nudging customers forward in the buying process.
Popular platforms to consider: Tidio, Smartloop, and Botsify
Web personalization tools help you cater to your customers’ changing needs more easily, raising customer happiness and deepening loyalty. True to its name, personalization is about personalizing experiences and support for specific customer groups.
According to the Intercom report, companies that offer personalized support are two times more likely to report an increase in customer satisfaction and retention.
Some personalization platforms give your customers specific shopping recommendations based on their website behavior, while other ones let you run tests to figure out what works on your website, blog, or email channels. Some platforms help you change your website features and layout or adapt your email messaging to certain customers.
Bottom line benefit: Personalization tools give customers an easier, more enjoyable experience with your business—while also driving sales.
Popular platforms to consider: Apptus, Personyze, and Google Optimize
Want more personalization tips? Check out our comprehensive guide to content marketing.
Social listening and monitoring tools give you insight into what customers say about your business, competitors, and products and services online. In addition to tracking your business’s mentions, many social listening platforms will follow key conversations related to your industry or competitors and provide audience behavior insights.
You can use these behind-the-scenes social tools to gather information about your customers’ likes, dislikes, and online or shopping behaviors, then create a better customer experience for them. Here are just some of the ways to use social listening platforms:
- Identify and respond to customer complaints immediately.
- Address negative comments online with apologies or proactive solutions.
- Provide more personalized experiences for your customers.
- Gather data about your customer base and what they want.
- Improve your business’s social media presence and engagement levels.
- Anticipate and adapt to social media or business trends.
Bottom line benefit: Social listening and monitoring tools keep you in the loop about customer sentiment toward your business, allowing you to correct issues and make proactive changes.
Popular platforms to consider: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Zoho Social
Customer survey feedback tools streamline a tried-and true approach to raising customer satisfaction levels and improving your overall customer experience: collecting and implementing customer feedback.
Surveys provide valuable data; you can use the information to make sense of sales patterns, correct problems before they escalate, and make concrete changes to your customer service or products. Plus, sending surveys makes customers feel cared about. Three in four US consumers surveyed in Intercom’s 2022 customer report said feeling valued is a top factor in their decision to use a business.
Survey feedback tools help you create personalized templates for your surveys and compile relevant questions. Plus, they automate the sending, then gather and organize the responses.
Bottom line benefit: Customer survey feedback tools make it easier to communicate with your customers and implement changes that boost sales.
Popular platforms to consider: SurveyMonkey, Fynzo, and Typeform
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