Features, Opinion, Technology

Opinion: Answer Six Big Questions to Choose the Right Customer Engagement Platform

Kunal Badiani, Regional Head, MoEngage – Middle East, Africa and Turkey, on how critical evaluation involves asking relevant questions related to offerings of the customer engagement platform.

Customer at the forefront also means customer at the centre of a brand’s universe. This approach of a brand making customers the focal point to provide them with a knockout buying experience comes only when it possesses a deep understanding of their needs.

Whether it’s offering real-time support or seamless omnichannel messaging, every single strategy impacts a customers’ decision to buy and return for more. So, implementing a customer-centric plan is the key to a brand’s success.

The basic question that now arises is how to build this customer-centric strategy. Sure enough, technology is a key differentiator and is at the core of all customer-based strategies. Solutions like customer relationship platforms (CRPs) and customer data platforms (CDPs) are still in use, but with evolving business needs, they have become legacy martech systems.

For example, a surge in online shopping is throwing up new opportunities for brands to engage with potential customers. Tracking and monitoring multiple interactions with existing and prospective customers can be a challenging proposition. Moreover, consumers now also expect a certain level of personalization in terms of communication and prefer omnichannel engagement before making a purchasing decision.

Modern businesses need a platform that offers a higher level of metrics, analytics and customization that’s beyond the capability of CRPs and CDPs.

A full-stack AI-backed CEP (customer engagement platform) is the answer

A CEP is the current state-of-the-art platform that offers the fastest time to value. It enables brands to segment, personalize, and engage at scale. It also addresses all developmental pains by monitoring customer journeys, sending out relevant and targeted communication to different customer groups and providing an omnichannel experience by capturing and organizing interactions across various communication channels.

The decision to invest in a futuristic CEP comes after a brand does a thorough diagnostic study that assesses its current challenges and arrives at a choice of platform that solves the issues. Evolving businesses and brands do opt for an insightful customer engagement platform (CEP) that comes packed with the power of AI and analytics; but not before seeking answers to some vital questions.

FAQs to consider before choosing a CEP

The diagnostic process involves asking some relevant questions before zeroing in on a suitable customer engagement platform.

  1. Why does a brand/company need a CEP when they already have a CRM or a CDP in place?

The reason businesses opt for an insights-led CEP is because their current platform is inept at resolving issues like getting real-time customer and campaign data, unifying and mapping customer profiles and journeys, personalizing customer journeys and the impact of removal of 3rd party cookies.

A CEP acts as a unified platform where a brand can build its marketing automation engine under the same customer data infrastructure allowing marketers to manage the entire customer journey and lifecycle with ease.

  1. When should a brand/company switch to a CEP?

When brands fall short in providing a seamless buying experience across various channels or converting valuable data into actionable insights, it’s time to look for a full-spectrum engagement platform that fills these gaps.  A gap analysis throws light on a brand’s customer engagement key performance indicators (KPIs) and indicate the whether it is fulfilling the brand’s customer engagement requisites.

It helps to pause and look at a brand’s current activities against what it wants to do in future. This gap analysis will not only help a brand identify the right time to switch to the CEP, but also find the most suitable stack.

  1. Which option is better for a brand – build or buy?

One relevant issue that pops up is whether the company has historically built or bought systems. Companies must assess if they have the right resources to build a system, what is the time to the market and how will the brand fill the stopgap during the implementation process.

Factors at play are buying involves higher upfront subscription fee, but significantly lower cost of ownership due to the fixed periodic licensing structure. A ready-to-use stack offers accelerated time to market with expert third party IT and marketing support.

  1. How easy is it to integrate into or migrate to the new platform?

Implementing a platform into an organization is a complex process and requires participation from multiple stakeholders. It involves cognizance of data security, data migration, customization, integration, and change management.

Companies have to overcome challenges like education and training of team members, review of the provider’s security protocols, continuous internal cybersecurity updates and maintain open communication with all stakeholders to address concerns and provide technical support to resolve issues.

  1. What are the critical elements of a CEP evaluation?

Brands have to evaluate a CEP based on critical offerings like data segmentation, analytics, campaign management and automation.

Some of the basic functions that an insightful CEP offers are a storage repository, data orchestration engine, attribution and segmentation engine. In addition, it has to have a user-friendly interface, business intelligence and analytics features, user identity creation capability and also comply with governance and privacy policies.

  1. Can the new platform offer a brand/company the ideal implementation timeline?

Core factors that companies have to consider before the buy decision are the ideal time for the rollout and implementation, data ingestion time required to process other information points like product feed and product catalog and speed of exports of data to other systems.

Some of the basic things that companies expect in a full-stack CEP are DNS set-up, data taxonomy, designing, transformation, testing, training and demos and going live.

A powerful CEP is always all eyes and ears on customer behavior thus becoming a dependable guide that navigates brands in the direction of positive customer experiences. The happy outcome is strong customer relationships that get converted into long-lasting, personalized and meaningful engagement.

Previous ArticleNext Article


The free newsletter covering the top industry headlines