Customer Engagement Tools: 9 Solutions for Higher Retention

March 20, 2024 12 min read

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon

What are customer engagement tools?

These are software solutions that help businesses interact with customers, build relationships, and drive loyalty.

Nowadays, going the extra mile in customer service is standard practice. Customers expect a stellar customer experience (CX) whenever and wherever they interact with your brand. Users might disengage and lose sight of your business if your user experience isn’t intuitive, frictionless, and personalized.

Positive interactions can encourage customers to stick around longer, which increases retention and revenue. But it’s not always obvious which CX analytics will clue you into where you need improvement. The right customer engagement tools can measure and analyze customer data and help you turn it into actionable insights to retain more customers.

These are today’s nine best customer engagement tools to improve CX, boost retention, and increase revenue.

Customer Engagement ToolBest ForFeaturesStarting Price
NextivaMost businesses Omnichannel support, detailed reports, third-party integrations$18.95 per user per month, billed annually
LiveChatLive agent customer support Customizable chat widget, omnichannel support$20 per person per month, billed annually
DriftCreating customer communication strategies Playbook functions for out-of-the-box automations$2,500 per month, billed annually
Intuit MailchimpEmail marketing campaignsCustomer journey builder, A/B testingFree
SurveyMonkeyCollecting and analyzing feedbackAI-powered surveys and targeting$25 per month, billed annually
Hubspot Service HubManaging support ticketsCustomer portal for all interactions at a glance$90 per month per seat, billed annually
HotjarTracking visitor movementsAudience heatmaps, visitor session recordingsFree
KeapPersonalized account management Automation builders, lead dashboards$159 per month, billed annually
QualarooCreating custom surveysTargeted survey questions, adaptable skip logicFree

1. Nextiva

Best overall tool

A screenshot of the Nextiva platform.

Nextiva is an AI-driven platform that helps facilitate seamless, personalized customer interactions on every channel. It offers a full suite of business communication tools to boost customer engagement, from Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service to full CRM integration.

With data-driven insights from all your customer touchpoints, you can determine:

  • Where your customers are engaging the least
  • Which pages your customers read before buying
  • What customers do when your proactive chat appears

Fostering engagement and building relationships is key to survival, no matter how big your business is. With engagement insights, you can see where you’re falling short on that mark and what you need to fix.


Nextiva has first-class features to help you level up customer engagement, which include:

  • Unified communications to streamline communications across multiple channels into one convenient dashboard
  • Advanced customer analytics that gives you details into team performance and specifics on customer interactions
  • Built-in video conferencing for seamless cross-team collaboration and file-sharing, ensuring everyone has the information they need

Plus, with Nextiva, you have the peace of mind that 24/7 customer support and data encryption can offer.



Nextiva offers a wide range of pricing options depending on your desired features, how many seats you need, and your preferred payment terms.

  • Essential: $18.95 per user per month, billed annually
  • Professional: $22.95 per user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $32.95 per user per month, billed annually

The Professional and Enterprise plans also feature mobile SMS and MMS messaging, plus unlimited conference calls.

Detailed customer insights
Third-party integrations
Comprehensive reporting dashboards
Unlimited voice and video calls and faxes
Live support limitations
Not suitable for companies outside of the US

2. LiveChat

Best for live agent customer support

A screenshot of the LiveChat platform.

LiveChat is a live chat software solution with a chat widget that you can add to your website. It allows your users to interact with customer support agents or sales representatives.


LiveChat helps manage your customer conversations with features such as:

  • Customizable chat widget for a consistent, familiar experience on all devices
  • Detailed reports and analytics to review customer satisfaction and chatbot performance, including missed and abandoned chats
  • Omnichannel support across communication channels like SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger

Notably, LiveChat’s starter package only keeps a 60-day chat history. If your customer tickets are ever open for that long or longer, you may lose access to valuable conversation context.


LiveChat offers three main pricing tiers depending on how many monthly visitors you want to track:

  • Starter: $20 per person per month, billed annually (limit to one seat) for tracking up to 100 monthly visitors
  • Team: $41 per person per month, billed annually for tracking up to 400 monthly visitors
  • Business: $59 per person per month, billed annually for tracking up to 1,000 monthly visitors

If you need greater tracking capabilities or prefer a dedicated account manager, you can also opt for LiveChat’s Enterprise package.

High-quality live chat support
User-friendly interface
Third-party integrations
Lack of notification options if the customer forgets the chat
Limited number of live chat agents

3. Drift

Best for creating customer communication strategies

A screenshot of the Drift platform.

Drift is a customer engagement platform that focuses on improving marketing and sales through conversational artificial intelligence (AI). It offers a chatbot feature that you can use to engage with website visitors in real time, answer questions, qualify leads, and schedule appointments.

Illustration of conversational AI as a part of proactive customer service.


Drift has some great features to help boost customer engagement, like:

  • Playbook functions with out-of-the-box automations for inbound and outbound customer communications
  • Machine learning that analyzes user behavior to develop high-converting communication strategies
  • Trainable AI that can analyze your trusted knowledge sources for brand and messaging consistency

It also offers email automation and analytics tools to help you personalize your customer interactions.


Drift has only one price package for small businesses:

  • Premium: $2,500 per month, billed annually

If your business is larger or needs more complex insights and options like audience mapping or A/B testing, opt for Drift’s Advanced or Enterprise plans.

Automatic lead collection
Comprehensive reporting dashboards
Third-party integrations
More expensive than competitors
Limited functions for teams outside the Enterprise plan

4. Intuit Mailchimp

Best for email marketing campaigns

A screenshot of the Intuit Mailchimp platform.

Intuit Mailchimp is a marketing platform that can help manage your email campaigns, create automated workflows, and analyze campaign performance.


Intuit Mailchimp has many features that contribute to its status as a leading email marketing platform:

  • Customer journey builder to tailor communications based on preferences and behaviors
  • Landing page builder to create custom pages and showcase products
  • A/B testing to test out and analyze campaign performance

Intuit Mailchimp also has generative AI to help speed up your email campaign creation process.


Intuit Mailchimp’s pricing for each of its four tiers changes based on how many contacts you have. 

  • Free: $0 per month for one seat and audience; up to 500 contacts and 1,000 monthly email sends
  • Essentials: $13 per month for three seats and audiences; up to 150,000 monthly email sends
  • Standard: $20 per month for five seats and audiences; up to 6,000 monthly email sends
  • Premium: $350 per month for unlimited seats and audiences; up to 150,000 monthly email sends

This pricing reflects each tier at a max of 500 contacts — and the Free tier is only available for up to 500 contacts. For an additional cost, the Essentials tier can accommodate up to 50,000 contacts, and the Standard tier has a limit of 100,000 contacts. The Premium tier doesn’t have a contact limit.

User-friendly interface
Automatic lead collection
Third-party integrations
Unsubscribed users count toward your contact limit
Limitations on the Free plan

5. SurveyMonkey

Best for collecting and analyzing customer feedback

A screenshot of the SurveyMonkey platform.

SurveyMonkey is a survey platform that helps you create surveys to gather feedback from respondents. It offers more than 250 survey templates, plus over 100 third-party integrations and the ability to distribute surveys across nearly every channel.


SurveyMonkey offers several features to pique customer engagement, including:

  • AI-powered guidance for faster survey questions and unique recommendations to avoid response bias
  • Targeted questions triggered by the user’s time on the page, pages viewed, or visit frequency
  • Skip logic to add or remove survey questions based on the responses given by the user

In addition to creating and distributing surveys, SurveyMonkey can help you analyze responses and generate reports summarizing them.


If you’re a solopreneur or have a very small team with no need to share control of surveys and data, you might opt for an individual plan. But if you want to take advantage of survey sharing with different team members, SurveyMonkey offers two Team Plans that start at three users per plan:

  • Team Advantage: $25 per month, billed annually
  • Team Premier: $75 per month, billed annually

If your needs balloon in the future, SurveyMonkey also offers enterprise plans for large businesses. 

User-friendly interface
Extensive survey templates
Survey customization capabilities
Third-party integrations
No free trial period
Limited customer support

6. HubSpot Service Hub

Best for managing customer support tickets

A screenshot of the Hubspot Service Hub platform.

Hubspot Service Hub is a customer engagement tool that can help you manage customer inquiries, tickets, and feedback. It organizes customer interactions and automates support to make communication more efficient; it can also help measure CX via metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT). 

List of 10 CX metrics


Service Hub has several features to foster better customer engagement:

  • Customer portal for tracking all customer interactions, including inbound calls and ticket conversations
  • KnowledgeBase self-service integration so customers can tackle low-level inquiries on their own
  • Live chat to route customers to the right destination automatically

It also integrates with HubSpot’s CRM platform, allowing you to manage customer relationships across sales, marketing, and support teams.


You can choose from two Service Hub pricing tiers for your business:

  • Professional: $90 per month per seat, billed annually; $1,500 one-time onboarding fee
  • Enterprise: $130 per month per seat, billed annually; $3,500 one-time onboarding fee

Service Hub also offers a free plan to give the product a test run or individual plans if you’re a solopreneur or a very small business.

Fully-integrated CRM software
Detailed customer insights
Service-level agreements for transparency
Limited automations
Costly onboarding fee

7. Hotjar

Best for tracking visitor movements

A screenshot of the Hotjar platform.

Hotjar is a visitor recording tool that allows businesses to see real-time customer movement across platforms. This helps spot areas where customers might commonly leave your site, indicating poor customer engagement.


Hotjar has several features that help to map your customer engagement:

  • Audience heatmaps to visualize how your customers interact with your brand
  • Session recordings to track customer movements across channels in real time
  • AI-powered surveys to hear firsthand customer opinions with little to no effort

Hotjar requires a bit of coding, so you should make sure someone on your team has developer experience.


Hotjar separates its audience heat mapping and surveying functions into two packages: Hotjar Observe and Hotjar Ask. Each has a free tier plus three priced options:

Hotjar Observe

  • Basic: $0 per month for up to 35 daily sessions
  • Plus: $32 per month for up to 100 daily sessions, billed annually
  • Business: $80 per month for up to 500 daily sessions, billed annually
  • Scale: $171 per month for up to 500 daily sessions, billed annually

Hotjar Ask

  • Basic: $0 monthly for up to 20 monthly responses on up to three surveys and feedback widgets
  • Plus: $48 monthly for up to 250 monthly responses on unlimited surveys and feedback widgets, billed annually
  • Business: $64 monthly for up to 500 monthly responses on unlimited surveys and feedback widgets, billed annually
  • Scale: $128 monthly for up to 500 monthly responses on unlimited surveys and feedback widgets, billed annually

Hotjar also allows you to customize your package, combining selections from the Observe and Ask offerings. You can increase your daily session limits up to 270,000 and your monthly response limits for the Business (up to 100,000) and Scale (up to 1 million) tiers for additional costs.

Detailed customer insights
Accurate heat mapping
Real-time session recordings
Third-party integrations
Difficult user interface
Limited customer support

8. Keap

Best for personalizing account management

A screenshot of the Keap platform.

Keap is a CRM software that is particularly useful for contact management. It can help you keep an eye on your customer relationships and allow you to automate marketing campaigns and streamline your sales process.

Thanks to its useful CRM interface, Keap can create personalized email campaigns and track your leads as they move through the sales funnel.


Keap’s features help you optimize account management:

  • Automation builders to take over repetitive tasks and email follow-ups
  • Lead dashboards so you can capture, organize, and close leads in one view
  • Integrations with thousands of third-party apps for automated workflows

Keap also offers a business phone number that can send automated replies to missed calls.


You can choose one of three paid tiers from Keap:

  • Pro: $159 per month, billed annually for 1,500 contacts and two seats; $29 monthly per additional user
  • Max: $229 per month, billed annually for 2,500 contacts and three seats; $29 monthly per additional user
  • Ultimate: $229 per month, billed annually for 2,500 contacts and three seats; $29 monthly per additional user

Keap can continue scaling with your business, even when your contact list grows to more than 4 million strong.

Automatic lead collection
Combined sales and marketing automations
Difficult user interface
Costly fees with some integrations
Pricing model increases with your contact list size
No free trial period

9. Qualaroo

Best for creating customized surveys

A screenshot of the Qualaroo platform.

Qualaroo from ProProfs is a customer feedback and survey tool that can help you gather insights from website visitors and customers.


Qualaroo offers several different customer feedback features:

  • Exit surveys to gain insight into failed user conversions, abandoned carts, and more
  • Targeted questions triggered by the user’s time on page, pages viewed, or visit frequency
  • Skip logic to add or remove survey questions based on the responses given by the user

Qualaroo also offers Net Promoter Score® (NPS) surveys that you can embed to collect feedback from different touchpoints.



Qualaroo offers a free tier and a paid tier:

  • Free Plan: $0 for up to 50 survey responses
  • Business Plan: $19.99 monthly per 100 survey responses, billed annually

For the Business Plan, users can save 50% with annual billing options. “One hundred survey responses” also assumes 5,000 email sends and 100,000 pageviews.

Survey customization capabilities
Third-party integrations
Limited starting survey templates
Difficult user interface
No live customer support

What Sets the Best Customer Engagement Software Apart?

Not all user engagement tools are alike. You need a tool that helps you understand your customers’ behaviors while allowing you to adapt strategies on the fly. A tool that helps manage CX in multiple ways will have long-term relevance, giving you forward-thinking insights and helping future-proof your CX strategy.

Customer engagement tools offer several benefits to businesses to help integrate with your business systems and assess ROI.

The best customer engagement management tools have:

Together, these qualities help free up internal resources for more meaningful customer interactions. Think about it: If an intelligent virtual agent handles customer engagement at lower-priority touchpoints, your team has more bandwidth to address high-priority tasks and solve more complex problems.

Related: Intelligent Customer Experience (ICX): How to Deliver It

Level Up Your Customer Engagement with Nextiva

Improving customer retention is easy if you have the right customer engagement tools in place. These tools give you the know-how to see exactly where your CX strategy needs improvement. That could lead to redesigning your site, adding new channel capabilities, or leveling your AI-driven customer service automations.

There are dozens of tools to grab customers’ attention, but the best ones will help you build truly engaging experiences that lead to higher customer retention and lifetime value.

Surprise and delight customers.

Have conversations with customers the way they prefer to communicate – in a single app.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

Customer Engagement Tools FAQs

For even more on customer engagement tools, review these frequently asked questions.

Why does customer engagement matter?

Customer engagement matters because it can clue you in on how to boost your customer loyalty, revenue, and brand reputation.

Loyal customers are more likely to be repeat buyers and brand advocates, leading to higher customer lifetime value and lower churn. And data backs up the assertion that you should engage customers. More than two-thirds of customers want you to proactively engage them rather than having to come to you.

How is customer engagement different between small businesses and enterprises?

Customer engagement strategies vary between small businesses and enterprises mostly due to differences in these businesses’ scale, resources, and customer base.

Small businesses might know their customers better and be able to offer more personalized, hands-on support. On the other hand, enterprises have access to more resources to expand their customer engagement efforts.

What are the common challenges with implementing website engagement tools?

The most common challenges when implementing website engagement tools are:

Integration complexity pairs the new analytics tools with your existing business systems
Data management maintains your customer’s data privacy and security
User adoption ensures that your employees are trained and motivated to use the new tools
Scalability allows the software with your business without compromising performance

Additionally, customer engagement apps can be expensive to implement and maintain.

How can businesses measure their ROI on customer engagement strategies and tools?

You can measure the ROI on customer engagement strategies by:

Setting clear, measurable objectives
Tracking key customer service metrics
Analyzing customer data across channels
A/B testing to compare different strategies

You can also ask for customer feedback through surveys, interviews, and reviews to understand their perception of your engagement strategy and its impact on their experience.

Ken McMahon


Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

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