As technology becomes more advanced, consumer expectations of brands have continued to evolve. While consumers were once content to wait days or hours for a response to an inquiry, now most prefer something more immediate.
For brands, meeting these expectations can seem intimidating. But, conversational marketing tools have made this possible and even created ways to give businesses a competitive edge.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a one-on-one approach to connecting with consumers at various stages of their journey. Instead of encouraging a prospect or customer to complete a form and wait for a response, they instead get to interact with your brand in real-time to get the help and answers they need.
There are all types of instant communication tools you can use, such as text and messenger apps. But the most effective ones are AI-based chatbots, like Drift marketing, that provide an automated solution and have other benefits that give your brand a competitive advantage.
How Your Brand Can Use Conversational Marketing as a Competitive Advantage
Consumer wants and needs have shifted. Not only does your brand need to deliver a more laser-focused experience to each customer but also one that meets them where they’re at. Conversational marketing, with a tool like Drift offers, is a proven technique that pushes your brand ahead of its competitors. Here are several ways that conversational marketing through a tool like Drift accomplishes this.
1. Convenience for Customers
Customers are no longer patient enough to wait until your business opens for office hours to answer questions. If you’re not available when they have a question, they’re likely to find another company that is online and ready to help.
One of the most significant benefits of conversational marketing is that it works for you and your visitors 24/7. In other words, it’s convenient. Whether a customer wants a question answered at 7 p.m. after dinner or requires after-sales support at 3 a.m., there’s a solution in place to give them what they need.
2. Scalable for Your Business
Depending on how many people you employ, resources are limited. There’s only one of you, and your business has only so many sales executives or product support specialists. Your competitors are likely in the same position.
But, conversational marketing tools are scalable, meaning they can help one, 50, or 500 people simultaneously. No customer gets left behind due to a lack of resources. Everyone receives immediate attention, and your AI-based system can help prioritize escalating matters for human intervention.
3. Context in Conversations
Your conversations with visitors should have context instead of pushing out the same generic text every time. What this means is that AI-based chatbots collect data as they proceed and learn from prior conversations with a visitor to deliver a more useful experience.
For example, a visitor’s first conversation with a chatbot might involve a question about the shipment of an order. When they return a second time for product support, the chatbot should already have the order information on hand and lead off with a question about that recent product purchase.
4. Personalization Tool
In addition to providing context to conversations, using conversational marketing also personalizes the customer experience. Instead of having a website that looks and feels like a billboard or an empty store, the option to interact with your brand humanizes it.
When your Drift chatbot tool starts, it can ask for the customer’s name, or remember it from prior conversations, and personalize the conversation. Instead of “Hey there!,” the customer will receive a message like, “Hi [Customer Name]. You’re speaking with Curt. What questions can I answer for you today?”
5. Use to Create Personas
Think about how much information you already have about your typical customer. Wouldn’t you like to have more insight? Most brands would, and conversational marketing can help you put together some of the most detailed customer personas beyond anything your competitors have.
If you think about it, these online conversations are a window into a prospect’s or customer’s wants and needs as well as a source of useful demographic data. Chat interfaces can be used to record this data to create more optimized customer interactions and even product improvements.
6. Collect Customer Feedback
One of the best ways to improve customer experience is by collecting and analyzing feedback from current clients. This can be a challenge, but conversational marketing provides brands with a builtin tool for collecting feedback.
You already have customers on the line with a question, so why not ask them one or two of your own? As you collect this feedback about what is and isn’t working, you can use this to improve your products, services, and processes.
7. Qualify Leads Faster
How long does it take for your business to qualify a lead? A study by Harvard Business Review reveals that companies that respond to customers within five minutes of an initial contact have the best chance of qualifying a lead. Wait longer, and the odds drop by 400%.
When you use a chatbot to qualify your leads, you can get this done instantly and use human resources on the best leads. You can even use your chatbot to book meetings with qualified leads.
8. Build Customer Relationships
With conversational marketing, your business has a way to reach more audiences across different channels, which can foster stronger relationships and brand loyalty. Harvard Business Review reports that messaging apps can provide a strong “continuous support between customers and brands.”
In the medium to long-term, these tools allow your business to collect an increasing amount of useful information about customer preferences, which makes the conversations more meaningful and personalized. This gives brands the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell as well as encourage customers to share and refer others.
Moving Forward With Conversational Marketing
This list of ways that conversational marketing can put you ahead of the competition is compelling, but where do you begin to implement these ideas? It’s easier than it seems. One of the best conversational solutions for brands is through Drift marketing, which is a cutting-edge provider of AI-based chatbots.
Connection Model is proud to be a Drift agency partner and was named in their list of top agency partners for 2020. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of using Drift and how we can help you deploy and succeed using this powerful solution.
Written By: David Carpenter