Every customer journey follows roughly the same steps: awareness, interest, desire, and action. But the pathways customers follow can cross over multiple channels. If you can tailor your engagement strategies to customer behavior and preferences, you can add two more steps to the customer journey: retention and advocacy.  

Businesses that optimize multichannel engagement retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that haven’t implemented cross-channel engagement only have a retention rate of 33%. In this post, we’ll talk about how customer engagement tools can help you support every customer throughout their journey, boost retention, and grow advocacy.


What Are Customer Engagement Tools?

Customer engagement tools are tech-powered solutions for engaging and retaining customers. Many of these tools include AI that learns from each customer interaction, anticipates what customers might need, and personalizes messages based on customer lifecycle or purchase history.

Businesses use customer engagement tools to augment their service, sales, and marketing teams. For example, an automated chatbot can engage users when they land on a website, address them by name, offer assistance, and transfer the interaction to a live agent for further support or sales enablement. 

A customer engagement mindset means inviting your customers to participate in conversations, provide feedback, and share your content. With the right customer engagement tools, you can do all of that.  


How to Choose the Right Customer Engagement Tool

The first step in choosing a customer engagement tool is to define what you want to achieve. Some possible goals might include: 

  • Generate new business
  • Gather input for product development teams
  • Grow existing customers
  • Accelerate onboarding and customer journey
  • Foster brand loyalty through online communities 
  • Improve customer retention

Once you’ve defined your goals, you can start looking more closely at omnichannel and website engagement tools. Read user reviews and see what training and support resources are available. Watch demos, sign up for free trials, and ask your team to share their opinions as they test-drive the software. 


12 Best Customer Engagement Tools (By Use Case)

Now let’s dive into the best online customer engagement tools, so you can see which one supports your goals.


Use case(s): Fostering customer advocacy, building and managing customer communities, streamlining reference and referral management

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Influitive is a full-stack customer marketing and advocacy solution with the key features and capabilities businesses needed to start, run, and scale a customer engagement program. With Influitive’s customer engagement tools, you can collect in-app feedback, build a powerful reference pool, and interact with customers in your online community. 

Integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, and other marketing and sales platforms make it easy to manage engagement across any channel. And Influitive isn’t just for customer engagement — you can also use it internally to onboard, train, and engage employees.

Customer engagement features:

  • Gamified engagement, with points, badges, and rewards
  • Personalized, automated messaging for every stage of the customer journey
  • Total visibility into which types of customer advocacy drive the most ROI
  • Learning modules, quizzes, and challenges
  • Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn sharing with engagement analytics
  • WYSIWYG rich-content editor

What customers are saying:

“Influitive was a game changer for our program. We went from a very manual reference program to a phenomenal advocacy program. Our customers love it as much as we do!” Lauren Irvin — Senior Manager, Customer Advocacy, Verint (G2 Review)


Use case(s): Identifying and automating workflows that generate expansion revenue

G2 rating: N/A (doesn’t have enough reviews for a rating)

Parative is an AI-powered customer data engine that identifies revenue expansion opportunities among existing customers. It’s headless tech that attaches to other systems, so companies can continue using the dashboards and tools they prefer. And Parative offers two expansion modules that consolidate other tools into a single CX platform. 

Customer engagement features:

  • Customer data deduplication
  • “Expansion readiness” customer scoring
  • Triggered workflow automations
  • Customer behavior-tracking


Use case(s): In-app messaging and user engagement

G2 rating: 4.6 stars out of 5

Appcues is a SaaS user enablement platform that helps businesses customize onboarding for improved activation. With a simple drag-and-drop flow-builder, any team member can create flows that track user behavior. And its Segment integration lets you easily add Appcues to your product. 

Customer engagement features:

  • Templates for checklists, hotspots, and NPS surveys
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Audio-visual walkthroughs
  • Multi-language support 
  • Behavior-responsive messaging

What customers are saying:

“I love the weekly reports telling me how many people logged in. It helps me keep tabs on usage over time. The flows are also easy to set up and are pretty customizable.” – G2 review

Hubspot Service Hub

Use case(s): Managing omnichannel customer service

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

HubSpot Service Hub funnels all customer communication to a single inbox, for simplified management and organization. You can use in-app AI chat to engage customers, and you can set rules that elevate those chats to live agents, when there’s a sales opportunity that requires a personal touch.  

Customer engagement features:

  • Ticket resolution workflows
  • Reporting dashboard
  • Conversation routing
  • Customer monitoring 
  • In-app surveys

What customers are saying:

“The HubSpot support ticketing system integrates well with their sales CRM, which was one of our major requirements. Additionally, the flow is customizable with automation options that work well for us.” – G2 review


Use case(s): Real-time omnichannel support

G2 rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

LiveChat is an omnichannel customer service platform that uses AI to automatically route inquiries to the right team. You can also manually transfer chats, which is a helpful feature if a customer has a complex issue that requires input from more than one team. 

Customer engagement features:

  • Customizable chat widget
  • Integration with 200+ tools
  • In-chat screen-sharing
  • On-demand reporting

What customers are saying:

“The interface, great performance, and extra details about the visitor, such as their location, what they are typing, and how they are navigating our website, are all things I appreciate.”– G2 review


Use case(s): In-app support for mobile games and consoles

G2 rating: 4.3 stars out of 5

Helpshift is a mobile-first customer engagement tool that you can use to offer in-app support. Its AI-powered Smart Intents feature predicts what information customers might be searching for, based on their past behavior. That means Helpshift can quickly serve answers, so there’s no disruption in customer app engagement. 

Customer engagement features:

  • Self-service portal
  • In-app feedback collection
  • Bug and crash reporting
  • Gaming console support
  • Customer service chatbot

What customers are saying:

“The ability to automate and provide strong self-service options while simultaneously collecting all necessary information to ensure agent support is fast and effective.”– G2 review


Use case(s): Engaging high-value website visitors

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Drift is a customer engagement tool that detects when someone lands on your site and immediately engages them, based on the stage of their customer journey. If leads are perusing your site in the middle of the night, Drift fills in for live agents, answering questions, suggesting products, or asking for feedback and stores a record of all interactions. 

Customer engagement features:

  • Zapier automations and native integrations
  • GPT-powered chatbot
  • Pipeline analytics
  • Real-time notifications
  • A/B testing
  • Knowledge base

What customers are saying:

“The thing I like the best is the instant ability to connect and offer assistance to a customer on our website. I enjoy the real-time interaction and the personalization I can bring into the conversation.”– G2 review

SurveyMonkey by Momentive

Use case(s): Gathering feedback through surveys

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

SurveyMonkey is a customer engagement platform that allows businesses to quickly generate and deploy surveys, thanks to its suite of survey templates. And with AI-powered analytics, you can see the types of questions and surveys that generate the most engagement, then update surveys accordingly.

Customer engagement features:

  • Progress bars
  • Scoring system
  • Skip logic and branching

What customers are saying:

“SurveyMonkey has an incredible amount of functionality to ask questions the way you want them and to assemble the data in multiple formats. Multiple choice, freeform data entry, radial dials etc. are available.” – G2 review


Use case(s): Creating rich-media support interactions

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Twilio lets businesses engage customers with in-chat videos, images, and voice responses. Its API works across many platforms, such as SMS, WhatsApp, email, IoT, and IVR (voice-response phone-tree systems). The Twilio brand encompasses many module-based products that users may need to combine to get the most ROI from this tech. 

Customer engagement features:

  • CDP integration
  • Omnichannel communication tracking
  • Code-free communication workflows
  • Analytics and reporting

What customers are saying:

“I like Twilio because of its seamless integration with website/CRM platform. It is reliable and consistent with SMS. Once it is set up, I don’t have to think about it.” – G2 review


Use case(s): Self-serve knowledge bases

G2 rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

The term “self-service” may seem counter to the idea of “engagement,” but most customers want to solve their own problems. And letting them do that is a great way to improve customer satisfaction. Document360 helps businesses set up and manage self-serve knowledge bases, product manuals, and dynamic user guides. 

Customer engagement features:

  • AI knowledge base assistant
  • Automatic API documentation
  • WYSIWYG homepage builder
  • Version comparison and rollback
  • Search analytics to reveal top customer needs

What customers are saying:

“I like how intuitive it is to use and how easy it was to get started. The features are exactly what we are looking for. The more we explored the capabilities of Document360, the more we found our customers enjoyed our documentation site.” – G2 review

Intuit Mailchimp

Use case(s): Email marketing engagement

G2 rating: 4.3 stars out of 5

Intuit Mailchimp includes 20+ AI and data tools for personalizing and optimizing content for email, social, ads, and more. With webhooks integrations for other tools, businesses can preserve the automation they’ve already created and use it within Mailchimp.

Customer engagement features:

  • Predictive segmentation
  • Multivariate A/B testing
  • Automated customer journeys
  • Email templates with custom coding
  • Campaign benchmarking 

What customers are saying:

“Intuit Mailchimp stands out for its great flexibility. It allows you to adapt to both simple and complex needs, which is beneficial, as it can scale along with the growth of your business.” – G2 review



Use case(s): Creating in-app guides and visualizing user paths 

G2 rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Pendo is a low-code platform that integrates with apps to analyze and improve the user experience. You can use it to promote new features within your app, segment customers based on their behavior and engagement, and identify any feature gaps in your product.

Customer engagement features:

  • Event tracking
  • Retroactive reporting
  • User, role, and access management
  • In-app NPS surveys

What customers are saying:

“I like the control and customization that Pendo gives us. With their suite of tools, we don’t have to build a messaging system from scratch. It’s easy to implement within our application.” – G2 review


One Engagement Platform to Rule Them All

Now you’ve learned about some of the best customer engagement tools, and you probably noticed that some of them have narrow use cases. We call those tools “specialists” — they’re highly effective for a handful of uses. But if you’re looking for a “generalist” — an engagement platform that helps you manage every interaction across all channels — Influitive is the right choice. 

Influitive helps brands improve every step of the customer journey, grow advocacy, and boost customer-led growth. With Influitive, you can invite customers to be a part of your story, amplify their voices, and empower them to help each other. 

Find out how our customers are using Influitive to engage, delight, and retain customers.