(disclaimer: the example may be old, sort of a throwback to the happy travelling days!)
Booking tickets is not an easy task and most of us always end up spending a lot of time in this process. Imagine yourself waiting for your most-preferred travelling brand’s website to load. And suddenly, a question pops up on the screen – “Planning a trip? Let me help you.” While this chat prompt initially seems salesy, your fascination and curiosity get the best of you (Like always). While you choose the different options, you end up realising that your entire trip booking is already done. With utter disbelief, you continue to wonder how the ever-cumbersome process of ticket booking just became so simple?
What made the whole process smooth and efficient? Why did this experience matter so much? Simple, it's because of the ease of use and a touch of personalisation. These two factors have always proved to be the best way to ensure an amazing customer experience. And what made this possible in this case? A simple chatbot.
Our interest to understand this amazing invention led us down a path of research. (Turns out, it wasn’t as simple as it seemed)
A chat about chatbot!
Before we dive deep into what can be done with chatbots, let’s know about chatbots! So, what is a chatbot anyway?
They are computer programs that have been trained to simulate human-like conversation to interact with real people to help out with their issues and also aid in completing their tasks with more accuracy. Since the introduction of chatbots in the market, they have been used in various purposes such as sales, customer service etc. However, one interesting process that has also begun to use chatbots is marketing.
Chatbots, when employed in specific marketing campaigns such as lead generation, resulted in a 500% increase in engagement and a 200% boost in conversions. After witnessing this potential. marketers have had their eyes set on these skilled bots. With a majority of them keen on using them in their marketing strategies, a new branch of marketing evolved along with this thought – Conversational Marketing.
Enter Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is a personalised approach to doing business that allows marketers to understand and deliver what their audience needs by engaging them in a real-time conversation. According to a study, not responding to your customer within 5 minutes can result in up to 400% decrease in chances of lead conversion. However, this is where your intelligent conversational agents step in. Due to its ability to build relationships with the customers through just a conversation, chatbots have proven to be very effective in lead generation.
From driving user engagement to expanding your customer base, the use of conversational marketing has claimed its spot as a successful marketing tactic. In simple terms, with the use of conversational AI solutions like bots, you not only get new customers but get more relevant leads. Due to a high response rate from this method, brands began to experiment with the use of chatbots for various operations and processes. The high scalability of chatbots allows them to perform better at lead generation than live agents. This not only helps in solving the immediate queries of the customers but also keeps them on-site, giving marketers to skilfully plan in placing elements that would help the brand cross-sell and up-sell.
What else is conversational marketing capable of? Let’s talk about it!
Due to their ability to give faster answers, more than 61% of customers were interested to converse with chatbots. Identifying this trait of chatbots got marketers keen on implementing them to get the best results. In the end, as everything boils down to data collection, the use of chatbots paved the way for marketers to get refined and accurate data that helped them with better customer interactions and sales. From the data shared directly by the customer to past data such as buying history, chatbots can collect ample data for the marketers to analyse their target audience’s buying patterns. With the data in hand, the brands begin focussing on providing more seamless customer experience, thereby helping them to convert them into leads easily. Along with this, one another advantage of collecting customer data was the chance to show the right advertisements to the audience, therefore resulting in better conversions.
Conversing better – How can it be done?
Thanks to the data collected, marketers show the possibility to overcome the drawbacks faced by chatbots. From simple surveys to detailed feedback collected by observing the overall conversion process, they can optimise their bot to overcome the various conversational challenges faced. While improving how chatbots communicate, they found an amazing way for brands to showcase their personality.
By employing the new process of conversational copywriting, brands could now shape their bots accordingly by giving them a proper personality. In this method, a right mix of copywriting, images and videos, helps you shape your conversations and gives it a personality – a personality that affirms your brand voice. This makes your brand enjoyable and fun to interact with making it likely for customers to return.
While the possibilities that sprout from conversational marketing seem endless already, brands are still warming up to this idea. As customer expectations continue to grow, the need for personalisation is evident. With chatbots and other conversational marketing strategies evolving, brands are bound to utilise them to meet this demand. While it may possess challenges of its own, conversational marketing has started to change the way companies talk with their customers. And by demonstrating the ability to make customer interactions seamless and faster than ever before, conversational marketing is sure to stay!