Why Conversational Marketing Is of Great Business Value
Providing an authentic experience for each customer has never been as important as it is today. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish that, but conversational marketing is one of those that can really help you hit the bull’s eye.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is exactly what it sounds like – a case of fostering a dialogue-oriented relationship with your (potential) customers. Essentially, it’s what you use when you strive to meet all your customers’ demands as well as you can – in the shortest possible time span.
Every internet user is likely to have encountered conversational marketing more than once, especially in the recent years. It has become an integral part of the buying process in almost every industry.
Namely, businesses have been trying hard to keep up with the ever-increasing customer expectations and stay afloat. For this reason, many of them have been implementing conversational marketing tools like chatbots and live chat on their websites, or reaching out through messaging apps.
You’ve certainly heard of chatbots, and you’ve probably also heard that they’re the next big thing in marketing.
Chatbots are AI-powered programs integrated into websites and aimed at assisting website visitors. They’re programmed to understand specific queries and guide potential customers to the final answer they’re seeking.
Essentially, a chatbot is a conversation simulator. While there is always a developer behind the scenes, you are really only participating in a “dialogue” of sorts with a computer program.
However, chatbots are specifically designed to deliver the exact content visitors are looking for. It has been revealed that they may even reduce customer service costs by up to 30%. So, although there is technically no human-to-human interaction at play here, they remain massively popular tools for the improvement of customer experience.
Live chat is an increasingly popular medium for connecting with customers in a matter of minutes. Unlike chatbots, live chat software connects you to a real person.
It has become a beloved alternative to e-mail and phone support. Businesses that have live chat integrated into their platforms enable a much shorter response time. Customers no longer have to wait in call queues or wait for days to get an answer per e-mail.
In addition, since phone calls are an awkward experience for many, live chat is a great option because it provides a more comfortable communication environment.
Instant messaging apps
The IM apps people use on a daily basis to chat, send quirky stickers and exchange adorable pet videos can actually do wonders for businesses. You can leverage them to boost your marketing and get through to your customers quickly and successfully.
In a way, messaging apps are a fusion of the perks of both chatbots and live chat. On the one hand, they can be used to send automated notifications, offers, or AI-driven customer support prompts. On the other, they can be your go-to channel for live customer service.
Considering, the wide use of IM apps, it’s not tough to see why they’d be a great asset in any marketing strategy.
Why does chatting with customers matter?
Customer experience is the number one priority in the world of business and commerce. No matter the industry, your primary goal is to please customers. For instance, 90% of respondents to a survey by Oracle have stated that CX is the main focus of their organisations.
Therefore, business should definitely be putting effort into efficiently meeting customers’ demands and building a relationship with them. And what better way to achieve that than through a conversational approach, on a channel they’re familiar with or enjoy using?
In fact, more than two thirds of customers actually prefer live chat and chatbots to forms and phone calls. Moreover, 87% will feel frustrated if they have to switch between different communication channels to get a query answered.
But even without the stats, think about how much a dedicated approach means to people. With digital transformation in full bloom nowadays, it’s only logical that they would expect businesses to be able to resolve their dilemmas quickly and in a way that makes them feel valued.
The power of conversation
Now that we’ve addressed the theoretical part, it’s time to look into the specifics. What exactly are the benefits of conversational marketing? And is there any tangible evidence of its business value?
There are numerous advantages of a good conversational marketing strategy, both for customers and businesses. Let’s take a look at the most notable pros for customers first.
Convenience: Customers can strike up a conversation with your business at their own convenience. A chatbot provides an automated solution at any point during the day or night, so it’s essentially a 24/7 support system. Alternatively, if customers reach out via IM apps or live chat, they can count on assistance by a real person in real-time. They can rest assured that their problem will be solved no matter what.
Immediacy: Most of the time, conversational marketing tools guarantee that the customer’s issue will be solved quickly, and usually within one communication channel. Consumer demands have grown and patience has dwindled. Therefore, as a business, you should give your customers what they want the moment they want it.
Personalised solutions: Conversation, be it AI- or human-powered, is meant to provide solutions tailored to each customer’s unique need. Taking into account the growing significance of content personalisation in the digital world, this is definitely something worth keeping in mind.
Building rapport: Through conversational marketing, you’re able to establish a better connection with your customers. Existing customers will remain loyal to your brand, while potential customers will feel welcome and valued.
With the improved customer journey the aforementioned benefits bring, you can only expect advantages for your business growth as well. Let’s shed light on the most prominent benefits your brand will reap from conversational marketing.
First of all, you will be able to gain more insight into your customers. You can collect information and gather feedback, which will allow you to improve your products and services. Furthermore, it may help you immensely in creating personas and target audiences.
Secondly, conversational marketing shortens the sales cycle. Automated solutions and offers reach customers directly, through a channel they’re likely to be using most of the time. Besides, easily reaching out to support agents means their problems will be solved efficiently. This kind of immediacy improves satisfaction and will probably lead customers to buy from you right away.
Sometimes, people will reach out to you only to inform themselves about your products and services. This is the perfect opportunity to generate new leads, so make sure to asses every query and see how you can convert these contacts into customers.
It’s also worth mentioning personalised experience and readiness to offer immediate help will undoubtedly increase customer loyalty. This is a massive factor in your brand power, because customers genuinely care about how a business treats them.
Finally, here are some more conversational marketing statistics to wrap up the story:
- 79% of businesses say live chat has positively affected their revenue, sales & customer loyalty
- Facebook Messenger conversations between businesses & customers have a 30% better ROI than retargeting ads
Examples of conversational marketing
Home furnishing brand Living Spaces reports that using a live chat software has greatly enhanced team efficiency and channel consistency. Ultimately, the ability to provide immediate personalised experiences has led to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The flower retailer and distributor 1-800-Flowers is a great example of making the most of the chatbot function on Facebook Messenger. The chatbot allows users to easily place orders, ask questions, or start a chat with the 1-800-Flowers support agents. What’s more, it’s also possible for customers to do this via Amazon Alexa. This customer-centric approach and the effort to streamline the purchasing process have contributed to the overall success of 1-800-Flowers as a leader in its industry.
For a long time, technological advancement had been diverting people from the good old practice of conversation. But now conversation is making a comeback – and it’s essential for business success. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is establish a substantial connection with your customers. After all, they are what will make or break your business.
If you have any questions about conversational marketing or need help coming up with a strategy, the team of 20+ experts at digital agency GRM Digital are here to assist you.