As a marketer, you are always eager to apply any technological advancement that will translate into a higher return on investment, what you probably don’t take into cognizance is that preferences of the customers you want to connect with are emerging, evolving, and updating rapidly alongside technology. Smooth sailing and top-notch brands are becoming customer-centric by leveraging conversational marketing.
A study reported by Forbes shows that “top performers” boast a 46:54 talk-to-listen ratio, meaning they speak less than 50 percent of the time. Another test conducted on delivering content offers via Facebook Messenger saw some extraordinary results – the test saw a 2.5X increase in open rates and 6X the number of clicks when compared to email.
The marketing landscape has witnessed a lot of innovations in the area of messaging. We started with letters, then telegraphs, the fax machine, voicemail, email, SMS texts and finally, the live chat all in an attempt to make conversations happen.
With each new advancement in technology about conversations, however, the customers’ accepted response time keeps changing. They make plans faster and businesses must buckle up to provide answers instantly.
The modern-customers expect conversations to happen how, when, and where they want, especially in this age of live chat. Conversational marketing will give you the power to make conversations at scale, while still maintaining the core ingredients of communication.
Conversational marketing isn’t new. People have been having a 1:1 personal conversation right from day one. The only thing that may have changed is that conversational marketing is introducing new technologies to have these conversations across multiple channels.
Customers are able to get answers to their questions in real-time and this extraordinarily improves lead generation and sales. The innovative ways of marketing coupled with machine learning culminated in AI and marketing strategy being merged to introduce chatbots.
Designed to emulate a ‘human’ customer service experience, chatbots are radically changing how modern marketing is approached. Chatbots are software programs that imitate natural language and conversation.
Once they are pre-programmed with responses, you will be able to get many of the benefits of live chat in addition to the fact that you will no longer need anybody to actively monitor chat windows.
Christie Pitts, a manager with Verizon Ventures, says, “Messaging has become a huge component of how we interact with our devices, and how we stay connected with the people, businesses, and the day-to-day activities of life. Chatbots bring commerce into this part of our lives and will open up new opportunities.”
Since marketing is all about getting products and services to the customer, here are five benefits you derive from leveraging conversational marketing.
- Conversations at customer’s convenience
With chatbot technology, conversational marketing is a live chat relationship which can occur whenever the customer prefers. It could be in customers’ real-time, after finishing their meeting, at break time, or late at night when they have time to spare.
Businesses would always want to chat in real-time but this may not always be possible, the most important thing to you, should be how to finish a conversation at whatever pace the customer wants. Any failure on your side to provide such a forum could lead to the customer taking the deal to a competitor.
It’s, therefore, to your brand’s strength and competitive advantage that you adopt conversational marketing in dealing with your customers. You must always realize that the new form of marketing is, building around the needs and perspectives of the customers.
According to Brian Bagdasarian, “Businesses should strive to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person, with the right information, on the right channel, every single time.”
Conversational marketing quite unlike traditional marketing is not interruptive.
- Scalability of conversations
The size of your business is not an issue in conversational marketing. The number of people you may be talking to at any point in time does not mean anything to the customer.
What the customer is interested in, is getting the necessary attention and problem solved. You don’t have to sacrifice human interaction for scale.
Chatbots amazingly is able to operate around the clock. They provide answers to common questions based on programming and data that already exists.
- Understanding your customer better
No amount of forms filled by your customers can be compared to getting them to talk to you. Getting your customers to tell you in their own words what they want to do, learn, or change is a golden opportunity you can never allow to go unutilized.
Apart from also gathering data at scale, you can programme your chatbots to record data that can then be used to optimize for better customer interactions, product improvements, drive conversation qualified leads (CQLs) and opportunities, both of which work together to provide faster paths to the overall revenue and quadruple return on investment (ROI).
Humans are freed for other tasks among other things and chatbots can initiate cross-sell and up-sell in the course of a live chat based on information gathered from customers and their habits.
- Prompt response to customers
Chatbots don’t take breaks, go to holidays, call in sick, eat, sleep, and suffer from frailties. They are there 24/7 to give services that are not compromised. They are very consistent.
Since customers have graduated to demanding for services when, where, and how they want, the only alternative is conversational marketing which is all about getting the customer to live-chat especially with a chatbot.
- An outstanding way to build relationships
Marketing isn’t meant to just take place in one city, in one state, or in one timezone, it should cut across boundaries and happen all around the world, every minute of every day. If it’s true that a whopping 2 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses monthly, there is no reason why you should not leverage that.
According to Harvard Business Review, messaging apps “provide a continuous thread between customers and brands.” It’s a way of building friendship and getting to talk with them more frequently.
The use of chatbots in conversational marketing ensures that all those seemingly annoying questions, criticism, and feedback that emanate from customers are handled proficiently. Chatbots don’t have sensibilities and can’t get annoyed.
With conversational marketing, you are not only improving your customers’ experience but also increasing the personality of your brand.