It's fascinating how something as simple as conversations can change the outlook of transactions, customer support, business deals, and whatnot.
Conversations have always been at the heart of conducting business.
It is a testament to the fact that understanding the nuances of the way humans communicate is what connects businesses to their customers and employees alike.
Today, conversations still rule the game. New technologies have only changed the way we communicate. But at its core, the reasons are more or less the same — to employ advanced communication tactics to enhance customer experience and streamline internal processes.
However, matching the scale of communication in today’s enterprises is not a cakewalk. Because of multiple stakeholders and fulfilling the expectations of a growing customer base, it’s challenging to maintain a consistent communication strategy that benefits everyone.
To address this, companies are implementing what we call conversational marketing strategies.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing enables companies to foster long-lasting customer relationships through one-to-one, automated, real-time interactions across multiple platforms. According to Hubspot, there are four key elements to conversational marketing which are:
Real-time: The idea is to have conversations with customers at their time of convenience. Even if it's a weekend or midnight, customers can communicate with the company at any time and expect an immediate response.
Context-oriented Conversations: Conversational marketing leverages data to add context to conversations. It makes it convenient for chatbots to start and continue conversations with relevant customer history.
Scalability: Automation paves the way for scalability. The best part about conversational marketing is that whether you have 500 customers or 5000, everyone will get a consistent experience and continue to do so even if the number of customers reaches 50,000.
Meeting Customers where they are: Conversational marketing makes it possible for companies to have real-time automated conversations on any digital platform and be present where the customers are.
Now, onto our main question — should brands consider conversational marketing?
In a highly digitalized world, strong conversational marketing is essential to remain competitive and fulfill consumers’ increasing demands.
Chatbots and live chat are becoming key components of any marketing strategy for numerous reasons. So in a nutshell, yes, conversational marketing is a must-have strategy for today’s brands. Why so? You’re about to find out.
7 Reasons Your Brand Should Consider Conversational Marketing
1. Faster Data Collection
All marketing activities today are backed by concrete data, leaving less room for guesswork and aiming for accurate results. Conversational marketing tools give a deep insight into what the customers want, how they want it when they want it, and so on.
This holds especially true for messaging channels like chatbots. You can integrate them into your CRM system and gather data at scale as it records the conversations that can be used to optimize for better customer interactions, product improvements, develop engaging content, and more.
Automated messaging gives insights into top customer pain points and fixes them in advance, which can ultimately save the business money. The data also paves the way for cross-selling and upselling. For example, if a customer is chatting with a representative on a live chat about the items they are considering buying, the rep can leverage the opportunity to sell complementary products that customers bought based on conversational history.
2. Generate Higher Quality Leads
Since customer expectations are changing, you have to go beyond the lesser interactive forms and opt for interactive messaging channels to generate leads. Lead generation is one of the most time-consuming and essential activities in marketing. The point isn’t just to automate the process, but automate it in a way that is still engaging and urges the users to provide their information.
Through conversational marketing tools like omnichannel chatbots, brands can easily generate leads and even qualify them to an extent. Instead of having the users fill out lengthy forms, bots and live chat make lead generation more engaging and also add a touch of personalization.
And since there is a seamless flow of a two-way conversation, you can also take up the opportunity to ask screening questions that qualify the leads. For example, if you’re a SaaS company, you can ask the name, approximate employee size, location, revenue, etc on the chat interface itself. Based on the answers, you can easily qualify the clients and check who has potential.
3. Goes In Hand-in-Hand with Inbound Marketing
Businesses are always looking at ways to improve their inbound marketing efforts since inbound marketing techniques are non-invasive. It is all about meeting people where they are and providing them with the content they need at the right time.
Conversational marketing is based on the same principles. Bots or live chat don’t hamper the continuity of the website or social media experience. It just supplements that experience by providing the users with more information.
For potential customers who are surfing through social media handles and websites, it becomes easier to have a simple conversation directly with the company as they would with a salesperson in an offline environment. It is also an affordable inbound marketing technique since with the numerous options in chatbot pricing, you can get a plan that fetches you the greatest ROI and elevate your marketing efforts.
4. Proactive Engagement
You cannot deny the power of proactive communication. 85% of consumers are interested in receiving proactive notifications from brands. Besides, you cannot wait for the customers to contact you. Having customer-centric support means being able to reach out to customers before them, on a platform they prefer.
With conversational marketing, you can make the customer’s experience more delightful by proactively communicating everything they’d want to know. Bots can send personalized notifications based on user activity or the lack thereof. Be it an eCommerce industry or a healthcare institution, a proactive message to a customer can change the trajectory of a customer’s buying journey.
For example, you can send discount offers and coupons to reduce cart abandonment in online shopping, you can send appointment reminders for doctors and saloons, and send notification updates about shipping, orders, payments, and so on.
5. Easy Relationship Building
A company’s goodwill is a representation of how well it treats its customers and employees through valuable communication. Conversational marketing drives this principle through interactive and responsive communication that forges a personal relationship with stakeholders. AI chatbots have the ability to have human-like conversations with customers that empowers the customers throughout their buying journey by providing an authentic user experience.
Conversational marketing allows you to match up to the pace of providing timely support and just being there for the customers at all times. Customers feel they are being heard and are more likely to trust the brand with their money.
Real-time communication and 24/7 availability builds trust and shows that a brand takes its customer support seriously. It further helps a brand in accomplishing its objectives and accelerates brands to effectively engage with customers and increase the overall revenue across the marketing funnel.
6. Escalate Customer Service
Efficient customer service relies on three prominent factors — speed, accuracy, and time. With conversational marketing, you can achieve all three with minimum effort. For example, if a user raises a question to a chatbot, “What is the status of my order?”, the bot immediately requests the order number.
It then fetches the details from the online store integration and provides the customer with an accurate answer, all within minutes. It reduces the waiting time that customers often face when they raise a query through a call.
Conversational marketing also blends the elements of human interaction and automated support. It means that if the customer is not satisfied with the bot support, they can always request a human handover in the chat. It shifts the conversation to a live agent right away who continues to provide support.
7. Stimulates Sales
Since conversational marketing aids with lead generation, it provides a greater chance of increasing sales. You can guide your customers at each stage of the buying journey before they make a purchase decision. You can provide personalized recommendations based on customers’ previous histories and inquiries. Conversational marketing also allows you to nurture leads strategically and reinforce relationships at every stage of the buying journey.
Bots and chat interfaces also allow users to book appointments and schedule demos from the customers’ end. It shows that they have a higher commitment to the brand. It adds another channel through which customers can place their orders and request services without the need for human interaction at any time of the day.
One important thing that brands should know is that automation is not at the center of conversational marketing, conversations are. Be it live chat, social media chatbots, or website chatbots, the ultimate motive is to strive for customer satisfaction and improve lead generation through engaging conversations.
Conversational marketing is already adopted by companies worldwide because of the obvious benefits it provides. It makes brands more scalable and efficient for customers. In a world where personalization is the need of the hour, conversational marketing helps brands achieve just that, and that too with a solid approach towards relationship building and elevating customer engagement on digital platforms.