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It all starts with a good conversation?

It all starts with a good conversation?

by: George Iacovou

It all starts with a good conversation?

Effective communication may be the cornerstone of any marketing or sales technique, but it’s also what makes us empathetic, friendly human beings. After all, effective conversation involves not just telling your own story, but listening to the other person’s too. And with the introduction of newer channels and automations, brands can opt out of ‘hard sell’ marketing that is entirely one-sided, and instead, try a more conversation-driven approach with their customers.

‘Conversational marketing’ focuses on a back-and-forth exchange with the customer that allows brands to interact with customers online as if they are right there, giving them the benefits of face-to-face service. But what is conversational marketing exactly, and what makes it a worthwhile investment for brands?

Start the conversation

Think about the last time someone came at you with an elevator pitch that was monotonous and boring. Something like ‘Hi, my name is So-and-So and I work at So-and-So company.’ Didn’t you tune out straight away? It’s the same concept when it comes to marketing. Passive display ads or static sponsored posts have saturated the market so much that they are often immediately dismissed. Customers don’t want to be told what to like. They want to see how it affects them in real terms. They want a personalized, real connection to the brands they love. In order to get this conversation going, you need to develop a relationship that is friendly, personal, and effective by building affection and trust. This will create a smooth, efficient buying experience that will ultimately bring you more conversions.

The Tools

In its simplest form, conversational marketing typically involves the use of a widget and some form of automation, such as a chatbot which pops up to ask a website visitor a series of questions, and whether they would like to speak directly with a live sales representative. Though the website visitor is essentially just filling out a form, it feels more like a personal conversation, and even if the interaction doesn’t progress to the next level, the company will still have successfully captured a lead. From there, you can cultivate an even closer, more personalized relationship with your customer, based on their answers. You could say it’s the start of a beautiful friendship!

Why do you need conversational marketing?

The way buyers conduct their day to day lives has changed drastically. People are communicating more and more through messaging because it’s easy, fast, and personal. Yet, many businesses have yet to jump on the interactive bandwagon, and still make it difficult for consumers to actually feel like they are speaking with a person. And in this day in age, when the customer experience is just as important as the product itself, a good buying experience plays a huge role in the final purchase decision. This is why brands today need to work towards creating a more personalized, authentic experience for customers and buyers. Conversational marketing is a way to have conversations, build relationships and move your customers quickly and effectively through your marketing funnel.

5 Benefits of Conversational Marketing

  1. Learn about your customers

You may have heard the expression ‘Know your audience.’ Well, it’s just as important to know your customer and their specific set of needs. And a conversation is just the way to get that ball rolling and learn even more about them at a deeper level. Based on where they are in their purchasing journey, you can adjust your communication accordingly, send them relevant, targeted messages and interact with them in a way that is meaningful and effective. By providing this open chain of communication, you can build even more trust in your brand and further develop your relationship.

  1. Maximizing call center and retail staff

Have you ever found yourself indulging in a little late-night online shopping? After all, online stores don’t have closing times, and there are plenty of customers who add things to their cart in the wee hours of the morning. Of course, you can’t answer customers’ questions at all hours of the day. This is where chatbots come in. they can be utilized to engage with site visitors on a 24/7 basis. This means that no lead goes unanswered, and these can then be directed to the relevant channels, so that your call center and retail staff can qualify leads faster and move shoppers through the sales funnel more quickly. Additionally, with smart forms and chatbots taking on the majority of the simple questions a customer may have, your team members can better utilize their time by handling more complicated issues and focus on making conversions.

  1. Increased conversion rates

Conversations can help you engage with buyers who might have otherwise never filled out a lead form. By providing an interactive way for your customers to engage with your brand, you can optimize customer experiences, and thus convert more website visitors into paying customers. Having conversations – particularly with the aid of tools such as chatbots - not only helps you convert leads, but also allows you to sift through the leads to pinpoint the high interest buyers, and target those for a guaranteed conversion.

  1. Create positive experiences

A key marketing component is making sure your customers have a positive experience with your brand through key touchpoints such as your website, social media, or email. However, nothing is quite the same as a having a real conversation that answers your customer’s questions on the spot. It helps bring an interactive buzz to your website that would otherwise have simply been an empty store without salespeople. Now, you can greet visitors and give them the opportunity to start a conversation when it’s most convenient for them. By creating this positive site experience, you build trust with your buyers and, when it’s time to buy, your brand will be the first that comes to mind.

  1. Be a market leader in digital experience

Conversational marketing is a fairly new practice, and by becoming a first-mover in this space, you can significantly differentiate your brand from the others, and carve out a space for you that will put you ahead of your competition and straight into the hearts of your customers. You don’t have to start big – a simple chatbot that can answer a few basic questions is a great start at creating a unique customer experience, and allows you begin creating your own conversations with your customers.

Human beings have been having conversations since the beginning of time. Conversational marketing is simply a way to become a part of this conversation, connecting businesses with their customers and engaging with web visitors in a way that is thoughtful, meaningful, and friendly. These dialogue-driven activities can help convert leads, and create a valuable customer experience that is just as important as the product itself. By engaging with your customers in a way that is familiar to them, you will create relationships that will stand the test of time.​

Are you considering using conversational marketing as part of your future strategy to create positive experiences, improve your conversion rates, and drive sales? Get in touch with us today to find out how best to get started!