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18 Tools Businesses Should Leverage for Customer Engagement in 2021

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Entrepreneurs share their favorite tools, apps, and software for managing and interacting with customers.

Connectivity is of the utmost importance in the modern world. In business particularly, social media, email, and other outreach methods have the potential to engage consumers like never before. In such a highly connected society, a business that doesn't leverage these tools for consumer engagement is at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. 

This is why many businesses utilize several channels of communication to ensure that their customers always feel engaged. But what sort of tools do they use to accomplish that job? Here, 18 members of YEC discuss their favorite tools, apps, and software they use to drive customer engagement efforts and connect with their audiences.

1. Ahrefs

"I think using Ahrefs for SEO research is a great way to help increase engagement. They have a neat tool where you can view what other leaders in your industry are producing content about and which keywords they use. I treat these as a barometer for what my audience cares about. So, I take the data and try to come up with even better content on these keywords and topics." – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

2. Asana

"When you and your team have a clear to-do list and schedule, it's easier to stay productive and finish your tasks. Asana helps us boost customer engagement by keeping our content marketing strategy on track. Everyone on the team uses Asana to organize their tasks and ensure they finish their work on time. Doing so means we can provide a better experience for our customers." – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

3. Facebook ads

"Facebook ads are a good way to keep your clients engaged, because the ads show up on their social media page after the person visits your site. This technique reminds visitors of your brand and increases your chances of getting a sale." – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

4. Google My Business

"I recommend Google My Business. Profile setup is easy, and you even get a basic webpage as well. Your customers can also leave a review or give your business a rating, which is sure to increase engagement." – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

5. User session recording software

"Hotjar and FullStory, two of my favorite pieces of software for customer engagement, do similar things: They record user sessions. You can literally watch what your customers do on your website. You can see exactly where they get stuck, where they have bugs and what they're trying to do. This allows you to see the product through their eyes and solve the problems they're running into much faster." – Cody Candee, Bounce

6. Influencer marketing platforms

"Any of the many influencer marketing platforms would be a good option. Influencer marketing is still vastly underused as a marketing channel, and the CPM rate you can get from working with an influencer is usually far less than the cost of advertising on Facebook and Instagram. More importantly, the promotion will seem more authentic coming from a real person with a real, engaged following." – Andy Karuza, LitPic

7. Instagram

"I'd recommend Instagram. Customers (especially Generation Z) want instant gratification, so whenever we receive a message on our social media accounts, we respond right away. We don't wait for formal emails or take long calls. Instead, we respond to messages and comments ASAP to gratify customers and make them satisfied immediately." – Daisy Jing, Banish

8. Klaviyo

"Klaviyo is a tool that gives the impression of being quite complete. It helps in the personalization of emails from a company's database and offers informative and statistical data about email sales campaigns so you can better know their results. This tool allows you to know important information that is an essential part of customer loyalty." – Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media

9. Alfred

"We personally rely on LinkedIn to engage with our customers via posts, articles, live video, quick video stories, InMails and direct messages. We leverage this on a tool called Alfred. It takes your marketing efforts to a whole new level by automating mundane tasks like engaging with your audience, connecting with your prospects, emailing your LinkedIn networks and sharing posts." – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

10. Livestreaming platforms

"Livestreaming platforms like Facebook Live, IGTV, YouTube Live and Twitch are exploding in popularity. If you're looking for a new avenue to attract a younger audience and you're already proficient in video production, you need to start incorporating livestreams if you haven't started already. Aim for a consistent schedule, and focus on high production value to maximize your engagement." – Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

11. Mailchimp Creative Assistant

"Mailchimp has an evolving and growing tech stack for small businesses. One of the new features I enjoy is Mailchimp's Creative Assistant, which gets to know your brand and creates designs for channels like email, social and landing pages. If you're looking for better customer engagement, you need to lean on tools that leverage artificial intelligence. Creative Assistant is one of those tools." – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

12. Mention

"Mention is a low-cost engagement monitoring platform that uses Boolean alerts throughout the web in real time. Finding a mention days later (or worse, months later) discourages users from further interactions. Getting real-time alerts that show you where the mention is so you can respond and engage as a brand is imperative to growth and better brand management." – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

13. Monday.com

"Monday.com is a really good project management tool, but it can also be integrated into a live chat form to raise issues to tech teams or even drive sales leads forward. That's not its main usage, but it is a way to make the tool even more functional for your teams." – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting Inc.

14. Slack

"We were previously using another chat app until an intern suggested we switch over to Slack. It has been integral to how we do business and get things done internally. We've expanded it to include channels and workspaces for clients to communicate fluidly with our entire team at once in a way that's much faster than email. Slack has been a game-changer for us and in how we manage clients." – Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting

15. Survey tools

"Surveys are crucial tools your business needs to collect consumer feedback and data. This information will aid you in creating effective marketing campaigns, strategies and more so your business gets the best results possible. Any type of survey tool works, as long as it's able to protect user information and deliver it to you safely." – Jared Atchison, WPForms

16. Text messaging

"I'd recommend text messaging! Leverage the opportunity to be different and touch on this novelty form of communication. Text messaging is here to stay, and it will continue to be a great tool to connect with your clients in the year to come." – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

17. Twitter Fleets

"I suspect we will see more businesses use Twitter's new Fleets feature to get customers engaged. Fleets are essentially the same as Instagram Stories – short videos that disappear after a predetermined time. Expect to see brands hosting flash sales and advertising webinars and encouraging other types of engagement with Fleets." – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

18. YouTube

"While it is a social media platform that has been around for years, YouTube has some major perks that not all companies take advantage of. There are many ways to quickly reach your audience by searching for something pertinent to your company. Use this to post and share educational, entertaining, or inspirational videos with a call to action rooted in your company's products." – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers P.A.

Image Credit: jacoblund / Getty Images
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber
business.com Member
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Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.