Some digital marketing teams see chatbots as nothing more than a distraction for website visitors. However, there are other digital marketing teams that see chat via chatbots as a critical customer engagement tool, a lead generation strategy, a platform for up-selling customers, an innovative way to deliver content, and the ideal resource for guiding prospects through a website. So, why is there a discrepancy between those who eschew chatbots and those who swear by it?
Chatbots Are More Than Customer Service Tools
One of the knocks against adding a chatbot is that it’s nothing more than a customer service tool, one where customers sometimes come away frustrated by the lack of pertinent information. Additional concerns include the chat’s impact on conversion rates as some digital marketing teams complain that it takes away from the offer on the landing page. In their view, the chat is a hindrance that diverts the customer’s attention from what really matters.
Fortunately, these aforementioned issues have more to do with how the chat box is introduced, when it’s introduced, what it looks like, and how it's used. When optimized, the chat not only improves how your customers are serviced, but it increases lead generation, increases sales, provides real-time customer data and drives customer engagement.
Chatbots make conversational marketing possible.
Conversational marketing is based on real-time, one-on-one conversations. These conversations can help your business connect with leads. Chatbots are much more engaging than lead capture forms. Besides merely connecting with the leads, a chatbot conversation can gather information about and help qualify leads. All of this happens while the leads are on your website.
Here are some points to consider when putting a chatbot to work for your business.
Lower Costs and Increased Customer Loyalty
Instead of handling a single call on the phone, conversation marketing with a chatbot enables your business to serve multiple customers at a time. This means it’s far less expensive than providing phone support.
The best chatbots can deliver an experience comparable to speaking with a human. They can answer questions based on keywords. Chatbots can resolve customers' problems and increase customer loyalty. This helps you build a positive reputation and keeps customers focused on your brand. It’s an easy-to-use and a convenient solution that customers appreciate.
Faster Service and Problem Resolution
Faster service is another direct benefit. In an age where speed is everything, increasing your response times often means the difference between winning or losing business. Customer issues are quickly resolved. Chatbots can do everything from helping customers better navigate the website so that they can find what they need when they need it to driving the customer's attention towards specific offers or discounts.
Conversational marketing is about uncovering ways to help. It is built on 'listening to feedback' and answering questions. Customers don’t have to waste their time aimlessly looking for answers, which is both time-consuming and frustrating. As customers are served, data is gathered. That information helps you better serve customers and it gives you insight into any recurring issues customers may have.
Lead Generation and Sales
Digital marketing teams are starting to see chatbots as the ultimate voice-of-customer (VOC) data resource. It provides invaluable insight into recurring customer problems and helps the entire business development team identify customer fears, concerns and pain points. All that real-time data can be used for lead generation and up-selling during the chat itself, while also being leveraged across all of the company’s digital marketing strategies.
Conversational marketing makes it easy to up-sell complimentary products. The conversations can generate leads and follow-ups for sales and marketing on other product offers. Chatbots messaging means customers can avoid the tedious task of filling out forms. Context-sensitive dialogue helps move customers through the sale funnel. And because the chatbots can read and react to input, they can help qualify leads. Intelligent routing helps ensure that the lead will be connected with information he is seeking. This is a non-intrusive way to move leads through the funnel.
Better Definition of Buyer Personas
All of your marketing strategies are focused on increasing engagement. That requires an in-depth analysis of your customers. Companies devote a large portion of their digital marketing budgets to better understanding who their buyer personas are and what they want.
Understanding your buyer personas allows you to deliver a more personalized experience, and in today's ultra-competitive marketplace, it's those companies that personalize their marketing message that end up winning the day. Chatbots provide a constant source of real-time customer data. You can use that data to better understand your buyer personas and map out a better customer journey.
Getting the Details Right
Implementing conversational marketing with a chatbot on your website should not be taken lightly. Take some time to determine the placement, timing, colors, images, and fonts, just as you would any other digital marketing strategy. Introduce the chat too soon and your customer will leave. Introduce it too late and the customer will ignore it altogether. Placing it in the wrong place on your landing page might take away from your call-to-action (CTA) and directly affect your conversion rates.
The user experience includes the personality of the chatbot as well as its appearance. Consider synchronizing your chat introduction to coincide with the average time users stay on a given landing page. Your goal is to find that point where customers welcome the chat and don’t see it as intrusive. That takes some time and your willingness to investigate the best fit.
Stay the Course
Your customers prefer conversational marketing because they've been conditioned by your competitors to use it. Doesn't it just make sense to offer the same level of service? It most certainly does.
Conversational marketing with a chatbot is a real-time customer engagement tool. It allows you to better serve your customers while helping you to better understand their needs.
Connection Model can help you determine how and where to use conversational marketing. We can help you quickly see positive results. If you're interested in putting conversational marketing to work for your business, why not schedule a conversation with us. We'd love to tell you more about chatbots.
Written By: David Carpenter