In 2018, Accenture, an independent IT consulting firm, in partnership with independent research group Forrester, released a study about customer-focused marketing strategies. The research compared collaborative marketing and management practices, in which leaders go out of their way to work across company departments and consumer demographics, to older, more siloed strategies for marketing. The study found that only 15% of customers would rate their shopping experience as "good" or "excellent."
The study recommends that chief marketing officers, or CMO, revise their strategies to improve customer experience and better collaborate across company sectors. The study doesn't mention this, but one way to do this is through the use of conversational marketing. Conversational marketing is, well, using conversations to interact with customers and leads. Let's delve a little deeper into this innovative way of building out your business.
Introducing Conversational Marketing
Talking with customers directly to generate or maintain a business isn't something new. However, the increasing reliance on internet-based technologies has complicated what was in the past a more straightforward endeavor.
How many times have you called a tech support line or customer service line only to sit on hold for forty-five minutes? How many times have you sent an email or left a voicemail that goes unanswered? It would be tempting to chalk these sorts of delays up to laziness or negligence. But that wouldn't be doing the situation justice.
As the internet has made businesses accessible 24/7, relying on human workers to answer all customer inquiries simply isn't scalable past a certain point. That's where conversational marketing comes in.
Check out this picture of our website's homepage. In the bottom, right-hand corner of the page, you'll see a speech bubble, above which appears the words, "Got any questions? I'm happy to help."
That's our handy chatbot. Chatbots are automated computer programs capable of having conversations with human beings. Chatbots are an integral part of modern, conversational marketing. If you're one of our potential customers, the chatbot can likely handle some of your initial questions.
They're also capable of collecting and storing information. A new customer can, for example, enter information into the chat bot's window based on the questions the program asks. Later, if that customer decides to pursue a relationship with you, you can pull up their stored information quickly.
There are quite a few products on the market to help businesses take advantage of conversational marketing. They take some time and know-how to set them up, but once they've been successfully implemented, they can be one of your most valuable tools.
Chatbots can answer common questions quickly (without any hold times), they can work with multiple people at once, and they aren't limited by working hours. When programmed correctly, some chatbots can even help customers accomplish complex tasks like closing financial accounts, paying bills, and resetting security credentials.
Granted, chatbots can't handle every inquiry. Some issues are simply too complex and involved for a program that operates on rails to handle. Luckily, many conversational marketing platforms allow for easy integration with human representatives. That way, if there's an issue that the program can't handle, a human representative can take over. What's more, wait times to talk with human representatives over chat tend to be much shorter than calling on the phone and waiting on hold.
Getting Started with Conversational Marketing
Accenture and Forrester indicate that 87% of the businesses in their study believe that traditional, hands-off style marketing is no longer enough to handle customer demands. Conversational marketing is one strategy you can use to improve your relationship with customers, cut down on onerous customer service mechanisms, and expand your brand.
Web and Marketing USA is no stranger to novel marketing techniques. As we pointed out, we even use some of them ourselves. Click the REQUEST button below to schedule a free in-person consultation. Or, if you would prefer, you can visit our homepage and have a conversation with our chatbot. It's capable of handling many common questions surrounding our services. Don't wait; inquire today!