We live in an era where more people are using messaging apps than social media, and virtual chat reps will count for the majority of customer interactions with businesses by 2020.
Live chat has endless benefits. Humans can handle any query, from simple right through to complex, and can provide help whenever customers need it, even out of hours. The obvious benefit of live chat is that the customer will receive a completely personalised, human experience, a major factor in positive customer experience.
Live chat can have phenomenal benefits, but it requires a well thought out strategy. Many businesses download a free widget and put their already-busy team on live chat, so they don’t see the results they want. Setting up a full chat operation in house can be very costly, so in order to see a ROI from live chat, it’s worth it to get some expert advice, or outsource entirely.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger are widely used and can be a great tool for conversational marketing. Using the same principle as chatbots, they can be programmed to understand questions, provide answers and handle tasks.
Using messaging apps allows you to reach your audience directly. Headliner Labs found that people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook Message than a marketing email. By adding buttons users can use to respond to questions, you streamline the process and move them through the marketing funnel quicker. Messenger bots can save you time and money on customer experience and re-engage customers.
The same limitations apply as with chatbots, so it’s always a good idea to have a human option on hand. HubSpot recently experimented with delivering content offers via Facebook Messenger and saw some incredible results – the test saw a 2.5X increase in open rates and 6X the number of clicks when compared to email.
The principles of conversational marketing can also be applied to email. It can seem like the best way to send emails is to promote yourself with CTAs, logos, a description of your absolutely amazing product that the reader just has to have, but according to Drift, only 1 in 5 people actually open an email they receive like this.
Instead of building emails for CTAs, build them for conversations. Get back to a human level and work on building a relationship by referencing something personal to the recipient, mention the last time you were in touch or a new development in their business. Stick to a few highlights of your offering, but don’t sell, simply ask for a conversation. Build intrigue and keep things informal if appropriate.
Forms have always been an easy way of taking leads through your website, but with the growth of other conversational marketing tools, they need a serious upgrade if they are going to be effective. There’s nothing wrong with using a form, but make sure it’s created in a user-friendly way that feels more like an interaction than just detail-grabbing.
Using a quiz-like form to capture information has the potential to triple your conversion rate. Step by step forms can provide extra detailed information within questions, meaning no frustration by seeing that you missed something when you get to the end of your form. Statistics show that conversational forms are likely to convert 70% of people while those boring, static web forms will only convert around 30% of people.
In the past few years, virtual assistants have become somewhat of a phenomenon. Half of U.S. adults (46%) now use voice assistants to talk with smartphones and other devices and 20% of Google searches are voice searches (but in 2020 this could go up to 50%), meaning businesses need to keep up with the times.
Virtual assistants obtain information from a variety of sources, searching through millions of websites and pulling the best information, so by being a site of authority, that is well optimised and structured clearly, you could make use of this. Create content focused on answering questions and work on SEO to reach the top of search results.
- Conversation starter – conversational marketing best practice starts simply with the conversation starter, whether this is a chat box in the corner of a webpage, a CTA encouraging interaction, or a push notification.
- Tools – deciding the tool you need is key, and will be different depending on your business needs. This can be everything from a bot, to live chat and email.
- Strategy – a proven strategy that applies to every issue is ‘engage, understand, recommend, repeat’. First you engage with the customer, you learn about their query, you recommend a product, service or solution, and continue like this until the conversation is over.
Keeping up with consumer expectations is not a choice if you want your business to succeed, it’s absolutely essential. Implementing conversational marketing techniques mean that you are able to optimise your customer experience and increase your conversion.