It seems like there’s a new marketing buzzword every other month—but Conversational Marketing isn’t one of them. This new way of marketing enables you to directly reach your target audience at the bottom of the funnel when they’re ready to purchase, thanks to the authentic, back-and-forth conversation of a chatbot.
While the word “chatbot” sounds too new-age for most customers, 37 percent of customers in the U.S. said that they trust a chatbot to deliver a quick, accurate and reliable answer in the case of an emergency, according to Drift. For enterprises, this quick and efficient marketing and conversion-driving model is as ideal as it gets.
The chatbot is encoded to process customer queries, scan its internal knowledge base, and then supply a tailored, contextual answer in real-time. This is convenient for the customer while helping you reach them when they need you most, all without picking up the phone. Holly Rollins, president of 10x Digital and digital marketing veteran, explains:
“Whether it’s a smart live or offline chatbot or messaging (versus complicated forms or other types of lead generation), Conversational Marketing is a new spin on foundational best practices for business. It’s all about interaction and learning about the prospect or the consumer’s needs in real-time. It’s a no-brainer that engagement, on-the-spot information, and answers to questions that will potentially move the viewer of a site closer to purchasing is optimal in today’s world.”
Thanks to the inherent value for both consumer and business, Conversational Marketing is projected to be worth $1.25 billion by 2025. If you’re new to this marketing approach, consider the many reasons for implementing it within your own marketing processes.
It’s a Customer-Centric Approach
With 24-hour access, quick response time, detailed feedback, convenient interface and user-friendliness, Conversational Marketing is actually the communication method that 69 percent of customers prefer, according to Salesforce.
When done right, customers feel heard and have easy access to the answers they need to make a purchase. You’re always available to an always-on consumer who wants accurate and easy-to-find answers right when they have questions.
It’s Cost Efficient for Your Business
The initial expense of chatbot technology and software ranges in cost from $3,000 to $5,000 to upwards of $50,000, according to Kelly Garrett, Creative Director at Ekcetera, tells CMSWire. The costs largely depend on whether you build it yourself or use a chatbot building, the former being more expensive than the latter. Despite the upfront expense, the long-term value of Conversational Marketing is clear.
Read the complete guide to Conversational Marking here.
In two major industries where Conversational Marketing has been implemented—banking and healthcare—the average estimated cost savings per chatbot interaction is $.70, according to Juniper Research. This could result in a total savings of $8 billion by 2022.
What’s more, Conversational Marketing has the potential to reduce up to 30 percent of customer service costs by handling routine inquiries at a higher faster rate, suggests Chatbot Magazine. This decreases the wait times and allows the human agents on staff to resolve more complex, escalated issues.
It Streamlines the Conversion Funnel
Retailers are no stranger to cart abandonment and Conversational Marketing could help them tackle this issue head-on. An estimated 26 percent of consumers abandoning their carts before checkout because the website’s transaction process is too long and complicated, according to Baymard Institute.
“By reducing the time between logging on and making a purchase, you are reducing the chances of the potential customers getting bored, tired or turning to your competition,” explain experts at Understanding eCommerce
The instantaneous nature of chatbot Conversational Marketing can minimize the lengthy process currently required, as customers deal with various touchpoints along the conversion funnel, like email verifications, personal data fields and multiple webpage transfers. In fact, the South American insurance company elMejorTato has received a 21.5% boost in sales as a result of using a chatbot, reports Business News Daily.
It’s Both Automated and Intelligent
It seems like software is getting smarter and smarter with each new feature release and update. Similarly, chatbots get smarter—but it happens automatically. This tool stores information from previous interactions and uses that knowledge to answer future inquiries.
Natural language processing makes this automated experience feel human-life, allowing a chatbot interface to mimic an actual human’s conversational skills. Towards Data Science continues, “where it is not merely observing others engage in conversations, but actively fine-tuning and adjusting speech based on feedback from conversations.”
It Delivers Post-Transaction Metrics
Conversational Marketing boosts conversion and enhances the customer experience, but it also collects buyer behavior data to help you identify trends and patterns in how consumers interact with the website and your products and services. Post-transaction analytics detect which queries users ask most often, which products or services are most likely to be purchased, and what unmet needs and demands your target audience might have that you could tap into.
These metrics will become integral to the rest of your sales, product and marketing plans, allowing you to better understand customer needs without ever having to ask. Shopify explains that you can also gather post-transaction data by encoding the chatbot to ask for direct consumer feedback after a sale.
This “post-purchase check-in” is an automated message thread the chatbot sends on which customers can write a review, rate the product and shopping experience, or share on social media. This automated follow-up allows you to collect more data while ensuring customers feel heard.
Use Conversational Marketing as an Enterprise
The ease of this automated tool reduces the burden on enterprises while allowing them to be consistently available to the consumer—no matter the location or time of day. The same data reveals that 64% of consumers rank this 24-hour availability as the CM feature they benefit from the most, making Conversational Marketing is a win-win. Give customers what they want and save time and money as a business.
Jessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting, an organic content marketing agency for mid-size B2B businesses outsourcing content marketing. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fast Company. She also regularly contributes to Virgin, Business Insider, Glassdoor, Score.org and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.