As we enter a new decade, the trends in marketing and sales are almost unrecognizable from those just ten years ago. The rise of Conversational Sales is just one aspect of this, but it’s an important one, radically changing the way customers interact with companies online.
By taking a look at recent research, we can learn a lot about what customers expect from Conversational Sales, what they’re happy with, and what they want to see more of.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the trends in this space and what they mean for businesses. First, let’s dive into some of the key trends.
According to a report by Whisbi:
- 55% of people say talking to a live human is better CX than using a bot
- 68% use bots/live chat over forms or phone
- 94% expect live chat to have an immediate response time
Expectations Are Changing, Fast
Browsing and shopping are increasingly happening online today, and that was highlighted pretty starkly in Whisbi’s survey results. For example:
- 65% of respondents said they now purchase most of their products online
- Even more — 88% — said they either buy most products online or do online research before buying in-store
- 55% of auto customers said they wanted the option to book test-drives online without having to call or visit a dealership
E-retail revenues are projected to grow to $6.54 trillion by 2022, following an incredible growth curve over the last decade or so. The digital channels customers use are also expanding — 55% of people now say they’ve made a purchase directly through a brand’s social media.
What does this tell us? One key takeaway is that people like the autonomy of browsing, buying, and testing in their own time, according to their own schedule. This has quickly become the expected norm, and it’s vital that businesses understand this need and offer online features to support them.
It’s All About Convenience
Another growing trend around Conversational Sales is the increasing demand for convenience and immediacy. 81% said convenience is a major factor when choosing a brand, and 67% said they’d avoid a brand if the buying process was too tedious.
Whisbi’s report also found that 57% of customers expected an immediate response from a chatbot, and 47% expected this from live chat.
Users also dislike switching between channels — 87% of them said they found it frustrating. Users today expect to be able to deal seamlessly with brands, without the need to change between apps, windows or browsers.
Convenience is perhaps the biggest reason why anyone shops online, cited by 43% of customers in a survey by CivicScience as the main reason they made a digital purchase.
This means companies in 2021 have to focus on providing convenience and ease of use to their customers. Chatbots should be designed to respond immediately, and the interaction process should use as few communication channels as possible.
People Want to See Videos
Video content has long been a staple part of building an effective digital presence, but the report showed that video is even more popular than you might expect.
80% of the respondents in Whisbi’s report said they’d rather watch a video than read a blog, and 82% said they prefer live video from a brand to social posts. Video plays a crucial role in the buying process, too — 79% of those who’d recently watched a live video broadcast said it helped them make a purchase decision.
Did you find it helpful to watch a live video to make a purchase decision?
What’s more, the demand for video content is increasing. According to HubSpot, 54% of users want to see more video content from the brands they support.
The conclusion for sales and marketing teams is pretty straightforward — make more video content. Think about channels you can use to reach your audience, not only the obviouse such a Youtube and Social media, but don’tdont forget about your website visitors that you can easily reach with live broadcast straight from a landing page. which ch like YouTube where you can reach customers easily.
A powerful way to do this is through video broadcasts — live presentations to customers with an option to send the customer to the landing page to buy the product right there. This allows you to share videos with your users on a large scale, increasing engagement and reach.
Customers Have High Demands for the Future
Conversational Sales and chatbot-driven websites seem to be popular with users overall, with 69% preferring this approach (Salesforce). However, there are still some areas users would like to see improve going into 2021. In the report, the most common issues were:
- 45% of people said chatbots were too basic and struggled to find answers to simple questions
- 31% said websites weren’t mobile-friendly enough. Since mobile traffic accounts for nearly 80% of internet usage and 40% of people search only on smartphones, this is something businesses will need to urgently address.
- 26% of customers were unhappy with the time delay after filling out contact forms
To continue delivering effective Conversational Sales, brands should therefore focus on these areas. Prioritize fast responses to customers, continue to make chatbots more intelligent and advanced, and optimize Conversational Sales for mobile devices.
There’s still a Big Appetite for Human Interaction
One of the key takeaways from the report is that even though customers are generally happy with chatbots, most people still gravitate towards real human staff.
55% of respondents said they prefer human interaction (in the form of a call or live chat) over a chatbot, and 38% would prefer a smart mix of both. The solution here is a hybrid chatbot, like a Conversational Sales Assistant, which features a bot combined with the option to talk to a human team member.
Overall, customers are happy with Conversational Sales and Conversational Marketing and have high expectations for this space. By taking this report’s findings into account, you can deliver the best service going forward, delighting your customers and boosting your own results.