Conversational marketing strategy puts a priority on real-time connections between the business and the customer or client. Examples you see on websites are chatbots, social media message automations, live chats and answers that include resources from a specific customer question. The art of conversational marketing is not about being efficient, but about being memorable. If you are memorable to your customer, you were probably efficient in answering their questions, but also left other positive impressions through your dialogue and website technology behind the scenes. If your business utilizes conversational marketing, here are some great tips to keep in mind:
Personalize your interactions with customers by using their preferred name in your chatbot or virtual greeting. Some chatbots keep logs of previous conversations so when the customer comes back for a new inquiry, the chat is ready to provide a more educated answer. Providing information is another way to be memorable to your customer. If you want to be efficient, fill in customer data every time they need to confirm it is correct for a transaction or account inquiry. I still see sites frequently ask for me to input information they already have and have asked for previously. The extra sixty seconds to a customer feels like an hour when they see a page with blank form fields waiting to be filled in.
Conversational marketing and consumer engagement crosses multiple platforms today. Your customer can be active on your site, your social media page, with your chatbot or on the phone with a representative – and could be doing more than one of these actions simultaneously. It is key to ensure your conversational strategy is ready to engage with your customer on any platform, at any time. A common oversight by brands is to focus only on the website experience not considering that the costumer will be able to feel the disconnect on another platform or device. If your website chatbot performs well but it is difficult to find a contact call-to-action on your Facebook page, the consumer will see the inconsistency.
If your chatbot is not getting used as often as you thought it would, should you turn it off? Unless the chatbot is causing a negative user experience, the question you should ask is “What are my customers saying?” Using the actual conversation data (that is available and law-abiding) to pinpoint two issues to fix in a month is more valuable than shutting something off and potentially missing a key piece of information a customer will share that can change your business or sales positively if corrected. You can also go deeper when looking at the actual conversations to understand if customers repeat themselves. Asking the same or similar questions signals that your chat feature may not be providing specific enough answers, wrong answers may be getting served, or there is a gap in the descriptive brand language your consumers use versus your brand.
Service within your conversational strategy should be thought about as ‘being present at the right times.’ However, you must still be conscious of privacy and maintaining the right distance from your customer so they can browse, shop and gather information they need first. It isn’t negative to have automations that reach out to the customer first, but allow your technology stack to do that at certain moments where the customer has a better chance of needing help or using the information you provide. A great example is a chatbox popup that lets me know the jeans I’m looking at are buy one, get one 50%off – but it only tells me on the jeans category page. Offering promotions, asking for information or just saying “Hi!” can become negative if done too much throughout a customer’s journey.
As new website apps and technology continue to be developed, you can expect conversational marketing to become more precise and more efficient, giving the customer exactly what they need with one answer. Continue to be creative and test new opportunities and resources for your customers. Conversational marketing strategy will be measured by and feel like a real human interaction when operating at its best.