Relationships are at the heart of marketing in 2016. Ads need to be personalized if they are to be effective. The general consensus among leaders in the marketing world is that personalization is the true future of marketing. Appearing authentic and approachable can be difficult for both big corporations and small brands. If you’re a marketer, how you reach out to the world to spread your message is every bit as important as the message itself is. The good news is that today’s technology can help you make every customer feel like you’re investing time and money into giving them a satisfying, customized experience. Whether your customers want questions answered or they need help finding products that fit their needs, you can use technology to give them what they want without assigning a team of employees to cater to them. One-on-one marketing is a beautiful thing because it creates the illusion of personal service without the costs and time commitments associated with actually creating that level of service. Are you wondering how to make your business more personal? Here’s a look at the top three ways to boost customer engagement.

1. Interactive Details

The Internet’s most appealing ads have a lot in common with Las Vegas. The right colors, sounds and messages can entice someone to pull a lever. It is really important to make sure your online presence has some interactive features. The interactive element of your online identify can come in the form of a polls, feedback form or contest. People really want to feel like the places they visit on the Internet are living places. One of the best ways to create a living community is to offer a discussion forum where users can interact. A forum creates a level of engagement and loyalty that can make a person feel invested in a brand. Quizzes that help users identify the products or services they should seek out based on their needs are also helpful.

2. Responsive Design

Design that doesn’t respond is dead design. Not having a responsive website simply isn’t an option in this mobile-driven world we live in. However, a shockingly high number of websites from brands in consumer-based industries still aren’t responsive. It is essential to design your brand’s website using touch-friendly, highly visible design elements. In addition, pages should be able to load quickly on mobile devices. Pages that aren’t responsive make it impossible for users to engage with a brand the way it was meant to be engaged with. Distorted images, buttons that don’t work and features that don’t load create a frustrating experience that users will want to avoid in the future. Users are likely to abandon a transaction if completing it becomes too difficult and frustrating.

3. Live Support

It is hard to tell when a day begins and ends in today’s virtual world. People are chatting, posting and making purchases around the clock on their computers and mobile devices. The days of having rigid customer service hours are over. Customers want to know that the brands they trust will wait up for them. Of course, many people prefer to keep the conversation digital because they are shopping from their workplaces. It is important for brands to have representatives available to answer questions and assist with orders around the clock. People simply don’t have the attention span or willingness to wait until the morning to call a telephone number to get customer support. They are far more likely to simply seek out a similar product elsewhere on the Internet. A live chat option for support is something that every brand should implement. Customers report much higher ratings of satisfaction if someone is available to assist them virtually when they have a question or encounter a problem. What’s more, a live agent can help to get a sale finished in one step. The personal touch of having someone chatting on the other side of a screen makes customers feel valued.

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