How to improve sales with enhanced conversational marketing
Customers are no longer satisfied by transactional relationships with businesses. They want to deal with organizations that make them feel connected to them. That’s why companies are trying to find new ways to engage their customers and make the customer experience feel more personal. That’s not easy, and it can be difficult to scale. But conversational marketing can help.
Relationship marketing at scale
As companies grow, their customers may have to wait for a callback, and communication often happens via email, which can be frustratingly slow. This often leads to customers canceling orders or simply not purchasing anything, because they couldn’t get answers to their questions on time.
Conversational marketing offers a scalable way to develop deeper relationships with your customers while increasing conversions. In this article, we’ll look into how you can leverage conversational marketing tools to better connect with your customers, achieve higher levels of engagement and increase sales.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing refers to the use of software like chatbots, live chat, voice assistants, and browser-based video chat to guide your customers through the customer journey. Instead of passive marketing campaigns that deliver one-way messaging, the goal of conversational marketing is to actively engage and collaborate with customers in interactions with your company. The approach relies on existing marketing resources like your website, but adds a communication component to add value for your customers.
Conversational marketing opens new communication channels to supplement your customer engagement strategy. You can add one of these tools to your website or social media accounts and provide customers with a space to ask their questions and receive helpful, relevant, and personalized answers in real-time.
The benefits of conversational marketing
Conversational marketing enables companies to supplement their existing marketing materials with live interactions that deliver answers to the specific questions their visitors have. For example, if a company’s pricing isn’t available on their website, or the customer can’t find it, a live chat agent can provide the information and attempt to engage the customer with further questions.
This can lead to a more personal relationship between the buyer and the seller to ensure long-term commitment rather than a one-time purchase. And, in the short-term, research shows that these conversations increase conversions because users find them informative and persuasive.
To scale their conversational marketing efforts, many companies rely on the assistance of AI-powered chatbots. In some ways, these bots can provide better service than a person because they are able to offer personalized recommendations based on user data. And natural language processing has advanced to the point that these bots seem human, and, even though they know it’s a machine, customers relate to them as they would a human.
When a team member isn’t available, the chatbot can guide the visitor, answer questions, and collect the visitor’s contact information so someone can reach out to them later.
Introducing conversational ads
In addition to websites and organic social, conversational marketing can now be delivered through digital advertising campaigns. Customers can engage with these conversational ads on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn as they guide them through the sales process.
AdLingo, a platform built in Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator, allows businesses to create meaningful connections with their customers by providing them with instant answers, one-on-one assistance through conversational display ads.
How to optimize your conversational marketing approach
Most conversational marketing begins with a question. It could be something as simple as a “Can I help you?” popping up when you’re on a website with live chat. But there are more effective ways to begin the conversation if you have a strong understanding of the customer journey and each visitor’s intent.
You can collect the data you need to develop this understanding with tools like Google Analytics, Microsoft Clarity, Hotjar, and HubSpot. Then you can see how your customers navigate your website, what problems they encounter, and what information they need.
Based on that data you can segment your traffic and develop specific messaging for each segment at each stage of the customer journey. You can also use conversational marketing to respond to objections and help visitors get around obstacles before they arise. That way, you get the opportunity to provide customers with the right answers instantly and move them through your sales funnel faster.
Additionally, AI-powered chatbots give you direct access to your customers’ most frequently asked questions in their own words. That allows for further optimization, as you can figure out what customers are looking for. If there are information gaps in your existing content, you can fill those in.
And you can use what you learn to create even more engaging marketing materials, using their language to write copy that resonates with your target audience.
Enhanced conversational marketing
In some ways, conversational marketing is like sales. Instead of launching a marketing campaign and looking over a report to assess the results and make optimizations, conversational marketing offers real-time feedback through direct business-to-customer interactions.
To blur the line between sales and marketing further, you can integrate visual marketing software with your website.
Visual engagement tools like video chat and co-browsing software, make it possible to emulate the in-store or in-office experience online. Instead of a live chat pop up, you can enable your customers to initiate face-to-face interactions with a member of your team from your website. They can browse product pages together, walk through paperwork, and even sign documentation.
Suitsupply, an online fashion company, took this approach so their retail team members could show customers different styles and help them select customization options. This enhanced approach to conversational marketing increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Other examples of conversational marketing
Achmea, a financial services company, took a similar approach to Suitsupply to improve their customer journey. The company added video chat and co-browsing functionality to their website so that contact center agents could transform calls and web chats into opportunities to collaborate and navigate websites together in real-time. NPS scores and first call resolution rates increased as a result.
The telecommunications DNA used the same tools to increase conversions by 400 percent. After coming to an agreement with a customer, one of DNA’s sales reps could draft an offer and upload it so the customer could e-sign it immediately. They were able to reduce the entire sales cycle to one interaction.
Make sales by making conversation
If you’re already executing a relationship marketing or customer engagement marketing strategy, conversational marketing is a perfect complement to each of those approaches. It’s a powerful way to provide more value to the customer at each stage of the customer journey so that you can close more deals faster.