Keeping a close eye on customer interactions is a challenging but vital undertaking for any size business operating in any industry. You can win customers' loyalty over the long term by executing a brilliant customer engagement strategy. But to help you do that, you'll need to invest in one or more customer engagement solutions.

Read on to learn about different types of customer engagement software and get an overview of the most popular solutions in the market.

What are customer engagement platforms?

Customer engagement solutions are any tool that can help you deliver and improve your customer engagement strategy. The terms 'customer engagement software' or 'customer success platform' can mean either a single solution that focuses on just one element of engagement (e.g., surveys) or a host of applications that work seamlessly together to help you handle your entire strategy.

Customer engagement platforms aid with the organization, management, personalization and optimization of customer conversations and interactions, enabling you to deliver the best possible customer experience and encourage brand loyalty.

Types of customer engagement solutions

Customer engagement software solutions can be categorized into the business functions they serve.

Communication tools

These platforms allow you to create and send transactional, promotional or conversational messages. For example:

  • SMS marketing – ideal for short messages such as flash sale notifications and special offers, back-in-stock alerts, review requests, appointment reminders and order confirmations.

  • Email marketing – suits long-form content, such as e-newsletters, new product launch details, etc.

  • OTT messaging – e.g., WhatsApp and Messenger instant messaging apps, which are great for chatting with brands (and also work well for creative marketing campaigns as you can include a range of media content).

  • Live chat – for rapid back-and-forth customer service conversations.

Social media management software

These can help you engage followers and attract new audiences – some offer content creation tools as well as social media post scheduling and social listening. You can use data insights to track and monitor customer activity and learn what content gets the most engagement (and when your followers are most likely to engage).

Survey tools

Survey software can help you gather and analyze crucial information about how customers perceive your brand. One of the best surveys to feed into your engagement strategy is a loyalty survey that calculates your Net Promoter Score (NPS). It tells you how likely customers are to recommend your business to others. You can also use surveys to open doors for two-way conversations. Read how to get maximum response rates.

Self-service portals

Many customers find self-service portals helpful, as they can often resolve problems themselves without waiting for an agent to assist them. If your product or service uses tutorials or demonstrations, they can be stored in a knowledge bank for customers to access at their convenience.

Automation solutions

Automation is a critical feature in most engagement solutions today, helping streamline processes and speed up customer communication.

Automated communication is often based on customer behavioral triggers, where the customer or web visitor takes a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter, adding an item to their shopping cart or completing the checkout process. Examples of automated comms include onboarding materials, abandoned cart reminders, order confirmations, event reminders, review requests and even re-engagement and retargeting campaigns.

SMS, email, and push notifications can all be leveraged for automated messaging. An example is an SMS chatbot, which can be programmed to handle the above use cases.

Analytics and insights tools

All platforms will offer some form of analytics, enabling you to collect powerful data which can then be used to inform business decision-making. You could track campaign engagement, online user activity and individual interactions from social media or your website. Then, analyze the results to see what customers like or don't like and adjust your strategy if needed.

Some customer engagement platforms will combine several of these tools to give a holistic view of customer engagement and help you deliver a cohesive strategy where brand voice and image are consistent across all communications. Others are standalone solutions. We’ve compiled a list of both types to help you understand which might be best for your business.

12 leading customer engagement software solutions

1. Messente

Messente is an SMS API provider for businesses in all industries, from fintech and retail to health and beauty. It helps you connect consistently with your target audience at all stages of the customer journey.

Messente's key features:

  • One-way mass texts – for promotional or transactional notifications, updates, announcements, and alerts.

  • Two-way SMS messaging – enabling customers to swiftly respond or initiate contact, for example, to participate in text-to-win contests, answer short SMS surveys, enquire about a product or service, confirm an appointment or lodge a complaint.

  • Custom templates – saving time and hassle when creating messaging campaigns.

  • SMS chatbots – so you can set up automated texts and immediately reply to incoming customer messages.

  • Automated message scheduling – ideal for appointment reminders, abandoned cart reminders, shipping confirmations, and more.

  • Contact management – build and manage lists of new subscribers or import existing databases.

  • Personalization tools – audience segmentation and ‘tags’ which pull personal information from your customer database into your text messages.

  • Easy integration – Messente integrates with hundreds of other tools, software, apps and platforms to help you combine your engagement efforts.

Pricing: Messente only charges for the texts you send. Prices vary depending on the destination country and whether messages are one-way or two-way. For example, it costs €29 per month to send 500 one-way texts to France. (€0.058 per SMS). Calculate pricing here. Custom pricing is also available for particularly high message volumes.

2. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is best known for being a user-friendly email marketing platform, but it now has many features to help businesses of all sizes engage with customers through world-class marketing campaigns. In 2021, Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mint.

Mailchimp's key features:

  • Email marketing tools – subscriber signup forms, email templates, audience segmentation, campaign scheduling and analytics.

  • Social media marketing – creative assistant design tool, calendar to track and plan campaigns, user behaviour tracking, automated social media posting.

  • Website builder – landing page templates, built-in signup forms and surveys.

  • Marketing automation tool – works across multiple channels and can be used alongside third-party apps like Shopify and Salesforce, enabling you to deliver personalized campaigns based on shopping behaviours.

  • Integrations – Mailchimp integrates with more than 300 apps.

Pricing: Mailchimp offers a free plan which gives you one audience list and 1,000 email sends per month. There are three paid plans – Essential (£10.54 per month), Standard (£16.22 per month) and Premium (£283.81 per month). Advanced features like custom-coded templates, predictive segmentation and campaign manager are only available with the Standard or Premium plans.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media scheduling tool designed to help you engage new and existing audiences on social and grow your business. It supports Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

Hootsuite's key features:

  • One single dashboard – brings together all channels in one tab and a universal social media inbox.

  • Social media marketing – create, schedule and publish content across all channels.

  • Automation – automated replies and an AI tool that helps you generate social captions, content ideas and hashtags in seconds.

  • Content creation – built-in Canva templates.

  • Deep analytics – tells you the best times to post, what's working (and what's not) and compares performance against competitors.

  • Social listening – monitor hashtags, keywords, mentions of your brand and industry trends.

Pricing: The cheapest plan (Professional) costs £89 per month for one user and ten social accounts. The Team plan allows three users and 20 social accounts for £249 monthly. There's also a custom plan for enterprises with more complex needs – a demo is required to get pricing details.

Girl holding a sign with social media likes

4. SurveyMonkey

As the name suggests, SurveyMonkey's core offering is surveys. It helps businesses worldwide capture crucial audience feedback and insights to inform strategies and decision-making.

SurveyMonkey's key features:

  • AI-powered guidance – to help you ask the right questions.

  • 250+ survey templates – written by experts, which you can customize.

  • Multiple survey methods – web links, email or forms and surveys you can embed into your website.

  • Analytics – built-in reports or advanced, customizable dashboards. Data can also be exported and analyzed in third-party software.

  • Online forms – which can also collect payments as well as information.

  • Integrations – works with over 100 apps and plugins.

Pricing: There are three plans (Team, Individual and Enterprise), each with different pricing options. For example, with the Individual plans, you can choose from Standard (£99 per month), Advantage Annual (£384 billed annually) or Premier Annual (£1,428 billed annually).

5. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a type of helpdesk solution used by customer support teams. It helps businesses build and maintain customer relationships, and deliver personalized experiences.

Freshdesk's key features:

  • Easy ticketing – generate tickets from customer conversations which you can prioritize, categorize and assign to specific agents. Send quick responses with pre-built replies.

  • Collaboration tools – link related tickets or share tickets with other teams while keeping visibility over resolutions.

  • Omnichannel support – combine all support channels (email, phone, chat, social media, etc.) into one system and benefit from a centralized inbox.

  • Automation tools – reduce repetitive tasks with automation rules to route tickets to the right agents according to the correct priorities. Freshdesk's AI feature learns from past tickets to suggest tags for new tickets.

  • Self-service portal – where customers can help themselves through a knowledge base and Freshdesk's forums.

  • Analytics – understand agents' performance and gauge customer satisfaction to improve support function.

Pricing: Freshdesk offers a free plan with basic features for up to ten agents. Paid plans give you advanced features and range from £15 to £72 per agent per month.

6. Salesforce

Salesforce is a comprehensive CRM solution that unites all departments across a business to give them a single, shared view of customer data, including purchase history, support chats and website behaviour. Thus helping teams deliver consistent and seamless customer experiences. The entire suite of Salesforce products and services is called Customer 360.

Salesforce's key products:

  • Einstein – an AI tool built for CRM, helping you generate relevant content at scale.

  • Data – connect and unify all customer data to deliver the right experience for every customer.

  • Sales – lead management and account management tools, workflow automation, forecasting, and analytics.

  • Marketing – lets you connect marketing data from other apps via an API.

  • Service – self-service hub, cloud telephony, visual remote assistant, service process management and AI-powered chatbots.

  • Commerce – digital storefronts, merchant dashboards, AI insights, order management, social channel integrations.

Pricing: The cost varies depending on the Salesforce product you want to use. For example, Salesforce's Small Business solution, which includes marketing, sales and service for small teams, costs $25 per user per month.

7. HubSpot

HubSpot is another CRM solution that helps businesses deliver a connected customer experience. The product consists of 'Hubs' for marketing, sales, service, content management and operations, which can be used together or alone.

Hubspot's key features:

  • Marketing – campaign automation, SEO tools, video hosting, social media solutions, content creation tools and analytics.

  • Sales – CRM system, sales workflow automation, email flows, predictive lead scoring and custom reports.

  • Service – knowledge base, multiple ticket pipelines, customer feedback tools and automation tools.

  • Content management (CMS) – blog and content creation, SEO tools, live chat, lead generation tools and security monitoring.

  • Operations – programmable automation, data tools, workflow extensions and team management.

Pricing: Hubspot offers a wealth of free tools for all Hubs to help you start generating leads and measuring success. The CRM Suite Starter package is designed for new customers and currently costs £216 per year (usually £324).

8. Pipedrive

Built by salespeople for salespeople, Pipedrive is a CRM system that helps small businesses grow and scale. It centralizes customer data, gives visibility to sales processes and boosts day-to-day productivity while helping you improve customer relationship management.

Pipedrive's key features:

  • Sales software – lead management, sales automation, sales insights and reporting, sales templates and workflow automation.

  • Email marketing – drag and drop email builder, audience segmentation, customizable templates, email tracking and analytics.

  • Easy integration – connect Pipedrive to more than 400 other services or tools.

Pricing: Five plans are available, starting at £14.90 per user per month for the cheapest 'Essential' package. The most expensive is the Enterprise plan, which costs £79.90 per user per month.

9. MoEngage

MoEngage is an insights-led customer engagement platform that enables you to build personalized experiences and keep customers engaged across multiple channels, including email, SMS, push notifications, WhatsApp or in-app.

MoEngage's key features:

  • Omnichannel solution – personalized customer communication across all channels.

  • Customer insights – AI-driven analytics to help you understand every customer interaction and engage in the way they prefer.

  • Customer journey orchestration – automated engagement campaigns to help build the customer journey.

  • Website personalization – no-code visual builder for contextual web experiences.

  • Sherpa – an AI Engine that can optimize your campaigns to help you communicate at the right times and on the right channels, based on customer behavior.

  • Transactional alerts – multi-channel messaging API.

Pricing: Two packages are available – Grow and Scale – and you can also purchase custom add-ons, such as WhatsApp Business and AI-driven Predictions. You'll need to request a demo to get access to pricing. You can try out a limited version of MoEngage for free.

10. Zoho

Over 250,000 businesses worldwide use Zoho, an award-winning CRM system that can help you convert leads, engage customers and increase revenue. It brings your sales, marketing and customer service activities together in one platform to streamline processes, policies and people.

Zoho's key features:

  • Sales automation – lead and deal management, contact and account management and sales workflow automation tools.

  • Canvas design studio – which lets you effectively build the Zoho CRM with your preferred layout and design.

  • Marketing automation – customer segmentation, lead nurturing, Google Ads integration, event management and more.

  • Performance management – sales forecasting, AI prediction and territory management tools.

  • Process management – enabling you to build scalable sales processes, set up automation rules for lead assignment and case escalation, and improve approval management.

  • Team collaboration tools – keep all staff updated through Zoho's 'Feeds', chat integrations, notes, tags, user groups and 'Projects' tab.

Pricing: Zoho starts at £12 per user per month and goes up to £42 per user per month (billed annually). All packages offer a free trial.

11. Hotjar

Hotjar provides advanced website analytics to help you understand how visitors behave – what they need and how they feel – while browsing your site. It helps you empathize with customers and improve their online experience with your brand.

Hotjar's key features:

  • Heatmaps – a visual representation of how web visitors move, click and scroll through your site.

  • Screen recordings – where you can watch a visitor's entire browsing journey to uncover UX issues and problems.

  • Live feedback tool – discover what users like or dislike about your site as they're browsing so you can prioritize what needs improving.

  • Surveys – AI-powered survey builder.

  • Engage – one-to-one interviews with research participants based on any research goal.

Pricing: Hotjar offers different pricing plans for each of its features. For example, for heatmaps and recordings, paid plans range from €32 to €171 per month. However, you can get started for free with Hotjar's 'Basic' plan.

12. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics solution. It collects data from your website and apps to measure traffic and provide reports on how people use your site. Google Analytics can be integrated into any website that allows you to add code snippets.

Google Analytics' key features:

  • Realtime overview – insights on website users in the last 30 minutes, where they've come from, user type, first-time visits, etc.

  • Lifecycle data – user acquisition, user engagement, monetization and retention reports.

  • User data – demographic reports and tech information (e.g., what platforms visitors are using).

  • Events – reports on conversion events such as first-time visits, starting the checkout process, or making a purchase.

  • Analysis hub – various reports or techniques you can use to analyze your web traffic.

Pricing: Google Analytics 4 is free for everyone to use and is perfectly adequate for small to medium-sized businesses. Google Analytics 360 is much more advanced and comes with a hefty price tag of $150,000 per year.

Analytics search term in Google

Win customer loyalty with customer engagement tools

A well-planned and executed customer engagement strategy will help you build customer loyalty and extend the average customer lifecycle. Many customer engagement solutions today can help you improve customer service, make meaningful connections and increase your brand's visibility. Use our overview of the best customer engagement software as a checklist to help research the best platform for your business's needs.

Before you go, read about the benefits of WhatsApp Business for customer communication.