We continue our series of articles dedicated to the prevalence of chatbots as a widespread tool to sell (in honour of our own friendly chatbot). Last week, we scratched the surface of the technology that makes chatbots possible, read here. This week we’ll understand the necessity for chatbots from a purely marketing perspective, and discuss conversational marketing.
Definition: Conversational marketing (alternatively, conversation marketing) scales down brand efforts in regards to conversion to one-on-one interactions that engage customers on an individual basis and in real time. It’s a much more efficient tool compared to the outdated fill-out forms.
The Renaissance of conversational marketing can be explained through customer psychology. Are you more likely to purchase any item by simply going to the website, or after you’ve had a direct chat with a real person? Chatbots recreate the experience of human interaction, while relegating power and control over the conversation to the customer.
Another factor in chatbots’ effectiveness lies in the popularity of messengers across major social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter DMs, Kiik and even LinkedIn. In a growing number of cases, text communication has become more preferable to either face-to-face, phone or email forms of communication.
How Does Conversational Marketing Work in Practice?
Successful salespeople have learned that the key to making a sale lies in timing, swift reaction and a personal touch. Chatbots come in a long tradition of technological automation that has one goal in mind – shorten the sales cycle.
Interactions with chatbots can be broken into three distinct phases.
Phase 1: Engage
Timing makes or breaks a sale. Ideally you want to catch the customer as soon as they land on the homepage, and chatbots provide coverage around the clock even when you don’t have staff online. Chatbots are more preferable to fill-out forms as they can initiate the conversation with a number of personalized questions.
Side bonus – every interaction with your chatbots generates raw data that informs on your target customers’ behaviour, interests, needs and where they left the interaction.
Phase 2: Qualify
Building on the information gathered from the interaction, you’re able to qualify a lead in a few short minutes, because you’re using a more efficient communication channel. Using emails creates long pauses in the conversation, which drastically reduces chances to convert the lead.
Phase 3: Connect the Customer with a Representative
Chatbots might be programmed with a variety of responses to convince your customer to choose your product, but their limitations show when it’s time to close the detail. A chatbot can’t compete with a real person. However, they can be the second-best thing – an intermediary. With the right scripts, a chatbot can direct a specific customer to the relevant sales representative and schedule a meeting at a convenient time for both parties.
One tool demonstrates how you can win business even when no one’s sitting in front of a keyboard in the office.
Conversational Marketing Enrichens Your Company’s Performance
Time to recap the main strategic advantages to introducing conversation marketing to your current marketing mix.
- This new lead generation channel complements and strengthens your existing tools and calls to action.
- Its effectiveness in shortening the sales cycle remains to be matched.
- All interactions with the chatbots enter your database and inform on your customer base in greater numbers.
- More leads equal more sales, and you’re guaranteed constant contact with customers with the built-in 24/7 coverage.
- Everything mentioned above is achieved all the while humanizing your brand.
The information on conversational marketing is going to be our jumping point into the nature of chatbots in greater detail. We’ll be expecting you next week!