At every stage of the online customer journey, effective communication is essential to meet the ultimate goal of achieving sales. Yet, marketers who continue using forms seem to believe that passive, one-way communication is an engagement booster.
Forms may convince some visitors to provide their details, but they do a poor job of introducing the company and inviting visitors to explore the product or service they seek. Forms lack the humanistic touch of conversing with people via digital media.
Experiential consumption is in demand
The experience trend has become widespread, from preference for dine-in experiences to personalized shopping experiences online. Brands that are consumed passively are losing out to peers who have invested in experiential makeovers.
The quality of consumer-to-brand interactions at various digital touchpoints dictate consumers’ perceptions, encouraging or disinclining them to share their information or continue their informational or transactional journey. Contact forms fail to immerse visitors in a natural, seamless conversation that builds trust and motivation for further engagement.
Conversational Marketing help create intimate and personalized sales journeys. A conversational marketing platform can enhance the brand engagement experience by ensuring a two-way conversation.
Conversion rate optimization is a sum of many factors
From designing an easily navigable website to adding videos, using testimonials and clearly stating product/service benefits, optimizing conversion is a multi-pronged approach. Optimizing forms to improve conversions typically involves including as few fields as possible, A/B testing calls to action, and adding a guarantee, among others. A number of discrete elements need tweaking, and it is not necessary that results will remain consistent, calling for frequent testing and optimization.
Conversational Marketing is premised on the foundation that two-way engagement builds trust. Companies that begin conversations with customers who are browsing on their website are more likely to elicit a response – whatever it may be.
A positive response, such as asking to view a product demo, serves as justifiable evidence of user intent. User behaviours on the site can offer deeper insights into intent – do queries and conversations indicate that visitors are comparing offerings, interested in a particular product/service feature, or planning to buy in the near future?
A form is ill-equipped to enable marketers to do a deep dive into user intent. Consequently, marketers are unable to judge the individual customer journey and offer information or assistance that convinces them to give the company a try.
Forms may boost micro-conversions but not necessarily lead to macro conversions
A macro conversion is a website’s primary goal: completing a purchase, subscribing to a service, or requesting a quote. Micro conversions are the smaller engagements that lead to a macro conversion: creating an account, signing up for your email list, or adding a product to the cart. Micro conversions may not always lead to a macro conversion, but they help marketers gain insights into how visitors are navigating, engaging and interacting with the website.
Visitors who sign up with a form need to wait till the company gets back to them via email. The engagement is not dynamic and there is the risk that the email may be missed or arrive in the spam folder. This is counterproductive to conversions, bringing engagement to a halt.
A Conversational Marketing Agent will ask visitors what they wish to know and put them in touch with the appropriate representative. For customers located in a different time zone, the agent can ask if a meeting can be scheduled at a convenient time. This approach moves the visitor along the sale path more agilely, and – if the conversation goes well – achieve sales quickly.
Keep waiting periods short and put prospects in the driver’s seat
Chatbots speed up the informational or transactional journey by offering visitors multiple options, such as watching a live broadcast of a product in use or putting them in touch with the correct department or product representative. Visitors control their engagement path – they can choose to learn more about a product or talk to a point-person right away. They can eliminate waiting periods if they so choose, which is especially important if they are ready to buy soon.
With forms, potential customers have to cede some control to the company, as the engagement is passive. In an age of same-day deliveries and on-demand information, the conversational marketing approach is best positioned to meet evolving customer demands.
Forms don’t keep customers in conversations
Forms are designed to compel as many visitors as possible to provide their information. If visitors are not sufficiently motivated to provide their information, just the form cannot do anything to convince them. If they would like to speak to a company representative before sharing their details, they must visit the ‘contact’ page and then place a call. The ball is entirely in the customers’ court.
Dynamic sales chats offer options to place voice calls via VoIP or a phone line in real-time. They keep customers in conversations via the method they feel most comfortable with. Customers can have their questions answered and make decisions more promptly on whether to continue engaging the company or look elsewhere. When decisions are taken in favour of the company, conversions can be achieved quickly at scale.
Forms are unsuitable for high-involvement purchases
The ability to engage customers in a direct manner online supports high-involvement conversions. For instance, automotive brands can explain all the features of a car model via web-sharing or walk customers through car configurations. This element of Conversational Marketing is missing in forms, contributing to a longer sales cycle. When conversion rate optimization is a priority or companies have high expectations from their new campaign or product, forms cannot deliver the desired sales momentum.
A reliance on forms for conversion rate optimization is highly unlikely to yield robust results.Conversational Marketing build trust, personalize and enrich the customer journey, and remove friction points that otherwise deter engagement. By providing a dynamic, convenient and customer-focused approach to online engagement, Conversational Marketing offers immense potential to companies across industries to take their conversions to the next level.