Conversational Marketing: The Definitive Guide
As technology evolves, so do consumer preferences. Today’s customers react better to a dialogue-driven communication experience in which they can ask questions and have them answered in real time. To offer your customers the sales experience they prefer and expect, your business needs new tools to keep up.
You don’t have to monitor your emails 24/7 to give your clients a great sales experience. You can use conversational marketing tools to personalize communication and aid your clients any time they need you.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing refers to marketing channels through which you communicate directly to your customers. It includes chatbots, live chat, voice assistants, SMS, or other conversational AI tools to interact with clients in real time.
Customer preference for this type of communication has been driven by traditional marketing and sales practices which leave them frustrated with their experience. Over the past five years, poor customer service has been cited as one of the top reasons people stop doing business with a company. In 2020, 40% of customers named this as a reason to stop using a business.
Virtual agents, live chat, and conversational AI solve this headache by answering common questions and specific inquiries. It lets you answer questions and handle inquiries in real time without having to be available every hour of every day.
What Conversational Marketing is Not
One of the benefits of conversational marketing is that it offers customers a personalized service experience. Although responses to common questions can be automated, they should still read as personal. Conversational AI tools offer this level of personalization.
A Traffic Driver
Live chat and other messaging resources are not made to drive new users to your website. They are instead created for people who are already there. You can use conversational marketing to engage new potential customers who have already found your site.
To make a sales inquiry, customers have to fill out a form with their contact information and wait for a response. Or, they have to call a toll-free number and get stuck in an automated loop being passed from agent to agent, sometimes never receiving an answer to their inquiry.
Both of these tools often cause your customers to stop interacting because they don’t want to share their information or they don’t want to be stuck in a digital telephone menu. Conversational marketing can help you better retain your customers because they can handle issues with a simple chat.
What are Virtual Agents?
Conversational marketing is driven by artificial intelligence. Rather than serving as a replacement for the human touch, virtual agents complement the service experience by providing meaningful interactions for each customer, allowing them to answer basic questions in real time and direct the situation to a human service person if needed.
Virtual agents refer to the automated, live chat features on your website, social media, or SMS. They are made to speak with users the way a real person would. You can use conversational AI tools that function through machine learning, in which they learn from each customer interaction and tailor their language accordingly. You can also use tools that learn by natural language processing, which uses a program to decode user questions and answer them accordingly.
Virtual agents let you tailor your texting, live chats, and other tools to offer a more personalized interaction that goes beyond pre-programmed chatbot answers. It puts customers more at ease because these tools make them feel as though their issue is being handled by a person at the other end of the chat.
How Conversational AI is Reshaping the Marketing Landscape
Improves the Customer Sales Experience
Since artificial intelligence makes virtual agents feel more human, customers have begun to expect personal service interactions at every level. Not only do these tools let you interact with your customers on their time, but they also give you valuable insights into your clients.
Conversational AI tools let you monitor what people are looking for and how often. Using it, you can start to monitor shopping habits and buying patterns. You might notice that there is one feature of your product or service that is generating a lot of user inquiries. This information helps you refine your products and services to make them more user-friendly.
Boosts Customer Retention
Unlike forms and phone calls, conversational AI lets you respond to customer inquiries immediately. Customers are usually more satisfied with these interactions, meaning that they are less likely to leave your company due to a bad experience.
New customers and potential leads are also able to get answers to their questions without waiting for a representative to contact them later. Your company can more easily convert these leads while they are interested instead of contacting them when the moment has passed.
Although conversational AI isn’t typically used to drive business to your website, you can still use the information gathered to better target your marketing and generate new leads. What you learn about your customers and their shopping habits helps you tailor your digital marketing strategies to target similar potential clients. AI can also identify potential clients and send them to your human salespeople.
How Conversational Marketing Benefits Your Customers
The biggest way that conversational marketing helps current customers is by allowing them to access information and handle service questions in real time and through their desired platform. Conversational AI is adaptable. You can use it as a live chat feature on your website, run it through an SMS platform, send customers text messages, or implement it through social media messaging. Your clients have different communication preferences, and conversational AI allows them to interact with you using their desired method.
You don’t need someone monitoring your inbox at all hours to effectively handle customer interactions. Sometimes, people will have questions that arise outside of normal business hours. Conversational AI handles these concerns and can direct them to human representatives if necessary. This keeps your phone lines free for more complex concerns since simple questions can be taken by the virtual agent.
How Conversational Marketing Benefits Your Company
If your company is growing quickly, a conversational marketing strategy can help you scale your messaging without hiring more employees. Some parts of your sales process can be automated through conversational marketing, meaning that you can generate more sales without increasing your overhead. You will pay the same rate whether you’re dealing with 50 new customers or 500 new customers.
Since conversational AI can filter people through the sales pipeline more quickly, your salespeople will be able to work efficiently. They can spend their time and energy on leads who are genuinely interested in your products and services.
It’s More Effective Than Other Strategies
After years of being bombarded with spam calls, it’s not surprising that almost 90% of customers don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize. Since conversational AI is more personal than other sales channels, it is easier to convert people while they’re already on your site. You can capture them while they are interested and start building relationships more quickly.
Conversational marketing is more engaging than other lead generation tools. While content marketing helps you build a relationship with your clients, they can’t respond to content in real time. They can comment on a social media post and wait for a response or reply to an interesting newsletter piece, but they aren’t having a two-way conversation.
It Can Automate Touchpoints
Conversational AI offers more touchpoints for engaging your clients. It handles initial requests for information without wasting a customer’s time. When they can get simple answers from a virtual agent, they are more likely to see the interaction as favorable, making them more receptive during other touchpoints.
Using conversational marketing helps you better understand what your leads are looking for. Since they can talk to you during the research process when they are already considering buying, you get a better idea of what they are looking for. This helps you tailor your engagement and sales strategy. You can highlight features of your product or service that speak to these needs rather than using a pre-written message and hoping it lands.
Get Started With Conversational Marketing With Aktify
Conversational marketing is growing fast, and it’s time for your company to hop on board. By using conversational AI and virtual agents, you can improve the sales experience and activate higher quality leads without significantly adding to overhead.
Once you’ve started using these tools, you will be able to identify helpful information that lets you improve your digital marketing and sales strategies.
If you’re interested in improving your customer service and sales experience, Aktify is here for you. Aktify’s conversational marketing solutions are responsive and friendly, everything your customers have come to expect from you. Use our platform to build a better relationship with your clients and drive more conversions.
Contact us today to see how we can help you.