There’s no way around it: In order to succeed in today’s competitive market, you have to create a customer journey that actually puts the customer in the driver’s seat with conversational marketing. That alone is a huge twist compared to how business was done for decades, and meeting consumer expectations is tougher than ever. Not only are you expected to meet demands right here and right now, but customers have come to expect a more personalized, seamless experience at every point of interacting with your brand. There’s very little patience for irrelevant recommendations, lead capture forms, follow-ups, not to mention the wait for customer support.
For a long time, this meant hoping for the best with the experience you offer and tracking a lot of leads on your website, only to see them abandon the customer journey. Then comes conversational marketing, saving both customers and businesses plenty of frustration.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing, as the moniker suggests, refers to the practice of having one-to-one personal conversations with prospects and customers across multiple channels. It’s the use of live chat, social monitoring, and chatbots to provide guidance and support for customers through genuine conversations. However, conversational marketing isn’t only about live chat and chatbots – it’s about meeting the customer whenever and however they want, so it can extend to phone calls, email, text messaging, Facebook Messenger, etc. It’s not a revolutionary idea – conversational marketing suggests that doing business well means listening to your customer’s needs and adapting to them. But the way it is executed is revolutionary, and it’s fundamentally changing the customer experience while simultaneously saving businesses time and resources as they provide personalized journeys.
The great thing about conversational marketing is that it can combine the use of sophisticated technology such as chatbots with the work of live chat agents to minimize friction in the user experience. While chatbots can interact with users 24/7 and replace lead forms with conversations to enhance the user experience, live chat agents are there to take over the reins and engage them when human interaction can’t be replaced with technology. Most importantly, this is how the barriers between marketing, sales, and customer service are broken, allowing for an intuitive customer journey. To show you how this plays out, here are some great examples of companies utilizing conversational
The airline industry giant is no stranger to utilizing the newest, most sophisticated technologies, and it doesn’t overlook their potential for cultivating customer relationships either. KLM’s Blue Bot (BB for short) is the company’s chatbot that can be used on Facebook Messenger.Serving as a smart assistant, BB can be your right-hand man (right-hand bot, that is) for planning trips, booking, and staying updated on your flight information. Better yet, BB is available in Google Home, offering even videos to help with packing and prompts to stay on top of everything.
With a chatbot like this, KLM not only manages to stay connected with their customers through multiple channels, but it offers the invaluable help needed to relieve the pressures of travel – which is a sure way to build a loyal following.
2. Australian Open
For this year’s Australian Open, Tennis Australia had built a chatbot specifically for the tournament. The effort was part of a Facebook advertising campaign whose goal was to attract the fans who would normally hold off purchasing the tickets until a date closer to the event. The bot would offer help finding tickets, then take the user through the process through conversation – without strenuous forms or links to exit the conversation. Without a doubt, it paid off, resulting in 170% more conversions than directing users to a ticketing website and 25 times the return on investment.
This example really shows a straightforward combination of personalized marketing, sales, and customer support through sophisticated technology – and the results this kind of approach drives. If you’re considering a conversational marketing campaign for your business, or for a single event like Tennis Australia did, you want to think from a holistic standpoint: How can conversational marketing be used to unify your efforts throughout the sales funnel?
You can refer to an online directory of digital marketing agencies to find experts that can help you align your overall strategy with this new approach. Don’t wing it – whether you decide on live chat outsourcing or the various chatbot options, you’ll first need to set the goals and strategies of your campaign.
3. London & Country
This is a mortgage service dedicated to providing expert advice and guidance for finding the best mortgage deals. With a simple chat interface, it relieves the strenuous process of research and filling out forms to determine whether you’re suitable for a certain mortgage. The chatbot ideally replaces filling out a long, serious form, guiding the user to leave all the necessary information through a conversation. Most importantly, L&C combine their conversational marketing tactics to offer the user the most effortless experience, which is what it’s all about. Firstly, you can call the provided number to get advice if you’d rather do that instead of interacting with the chatbot. If you opt for the chatbot, however, you’ll get a call from the company the next business day to take you to the next step of the process and gain access to a channel with suitable mortgages.
One of the most famous companies in the meal-kit delivery business, HelloFresh, has made another stride in their successful operation when they launched their own chatbot in 2017, Freddy Freshbot. Freddy interacts with users through Facebook Messenger, making it easy to explore the service offerings and supporting them through their meal prep experience. He offers recipes and menus, clickable buttons for topics and questions, and even serves as a chef assistant that sets reminders. Freddy is a genius move on the part of Hello Fresh because he’s proving that the company cultivates a superb experience well after shopping and delivery are completed. He helps make cooking a more pleasurable experience for those who feel intimidated by it and serves as the face of a powerful brand image.
Hopefully, these examples have provided useful insights into the art of conversational marketing. If you want to dive into it, start crafting your strategy and make the implementation of conversational marketing a company goal for 2019. Seeing the results it can provide, you definitely won’t be making a mistake – just make sure to take your time defining your campaigns and setting everything up before launch. Remember, it’s all about engaging with your customers whenever, wherever, and however they
Ready to get started with conversational marketing and chatbots?
Nina is a technical researcher & writer with DesignRush, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies. She loves to share her experiences and meaningful content that educates and inspires people. Her main interests are web design and marketing. In her free time, when she’s away from the computer, she likes to do yoga and ride a bike. You can find her on twitter