Today, customers expect one-to-one conversations with brands to occur at a time that’s convenient for them. This requires having real conversations with your customers. To become customer-centric, you should be leveraging conversational marketing.
For years, we’ve stopped listening to our customers. Instead of speaking with them about their problems, we’ve been talking at them. This approach to marketing no longer works today as preferences are changing faster than ever.
As new tools like messaging platforms allow us to interact with customers in real time, we have to stop talking and start listening with conversational marketing. Here are six reasons why you business should implement it:
1. It goes hand-in-hand with inbound marketing.
The core of inbound marketing is to provide value in a helpful, noninvasive way that's contextually relevant. Inbound marketing is about meeting people where they are and providing content to help them solve their problems. Conversational marketing follows the same principles.
Using a chatbot or live chat on your website isn't interruptive. After attracting potential customers to your website with inbound content, having a chatbot on your website that provides them with more information helps to supplement their experience. For potential customers that don't know what they want or would rather have a conversation, this is an easy way to make sure that they stick around and learn more about your offerings.
2. It interacts with customers when it's most convenient for them.
With chatbot technology, customers can communicate where and when they prefer. It only makes sense to have a conversation with a customer when they have free time to talk. Even if a live representative isn't available, a chatbot works 24/7 and collect leads around the clock.
This customer-first model strengthens your competitive advantage in the marketplace. The key to marketing is building your offering around the needs and perspectives of your customers. This means delivering the right message, at the right time, with the right information. Implementing a conversational strategy allows you to do this and more.
3. It allows you to collect data faster.
Similar to inbound marketing, chatbots should ask questions that help identify where your user is within the buyer’s journey. It's appropriate to prompt a first-time user for their contact information or their reason for visiting the site.
4. Chat allows users to engage with your brand.
The easier it is to communicate with your customers, the more engaged they'll be with your brand. Chatbots give you the opportunity to showcase your brand's personality.
Although tools around conversational marketing are relatively new, the same marketing principles apply. Being able to message your customers directly with a voice that reflects your brand will help your business differentiate itself from the competition.
5. You'll understand your customers on a much deeper level.
No amount of forms filled will give your business insight into your customers needs quite like a conversation. Getting customers to talk to you about their wants, needs and pain points is the best opportunity you can have to meet those desires. Apart from gathering this data at scale, your chatbot can provide you with actionable data to cross-sell, up-sell and improve your product.
6. It's a great way to build relationships.
If your business deals with people, you're in the “people business.” Customers buy from people they like and people who care about them. This level of trust isn't gained overnight.
With conversational marketing, businesses have direct access to the customers they do business with. Brands should be jumping at the opportunity to build deep relationships with customers. These relationships create loyal customers and can significantly increase their lifetime value.
The future of business is customer-centric. Learning what your customers need and want is the key to the long-term success of your business. Using conversational marketing as a tool to learn these insights will allow you to build long-term success by understanding your customers better than your competition.
Although chatbots allow you to automate part of your conversation with customers, it should never replace a one-to-one conversation with a real person.