Conversational marketing involves having real-time conversations with customers across multiple channels, especially those that leverage mobile technologies. Enabled by chatbots, conversational marketing helps organizations interact with customers in a manner that is proactive, personalized, and automated (or primarily so).
Being proactive means initiating and extending conversations with customers in ways that solve their problems and simplify the buying process. The personalized side of conversational marketing requires an understanding of the individual customer based on their profile, previous purchases, search patterns, etc. This form of marketing is automated at its core while inserting the human touch as customer needs require.
The Rationale for Conversational Marketing
Across all sectors, customers appreciate organizations that consistently meet and anticipate their needs. We’ve all had experiences in which a salesperson reached out to us to mention a special offer or let us know that an item we were eyeing was back in stock. We’ve also had salespeople inform us of unexpected delays, which allowed us to adjust our plans. Such interactions tell us that the salesperson cares about us and our needs, and their behavior builds customer loyalty.
Conversational marketing is like a good salesperson. It builds customer satisfaction and loyalty by quickly solving problems and communicating with customers about products of interest. It answers their questions, finds suitable products, and resolves complaints in their early stages. This leads to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth.
The proof is in the pudding. When comparing firms that have implemented a complete omnichannel messaging strategy versus those in the immature stage, companies with comprehensive solutions are:
- Over three times more likely to report a significant increase in revenue growth over the past year
- Nearly three times more likely to report that they deliver an excellent customer experience
- Much more likely to respond to customers in real-time or in less than an hour (more than one-half versus less than one-third)
Implementing Conversational Marketing
Imagine a salesperson who regularly forgets your name and preferences and is unaware that you talked to their colleague yesterday. Consumers often face this situation. A recent study showed that nearly two-thirds of marketers and three-quarters of customer support teams have zero or limited visibility into other team members’ customer interactions. This should not happen today, given the availability of Mitto’s Conversation, which integrates customer conversations across all channels into a single dashboard.
Effective marketers create detailed customer profiles and employ intelligent AI-assisted chatbots to drive their conversational marketing efforts. They integrate and constantly update customer information from an omnichannel messaging perspective. This step makes it possible to have real-time conversations using the customer’s chosen channel, such as live chat on the company website, SMS, WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, Viber, or another application. When done well, the results are conversations with customers that:
- Embrace the brand’s positioning and style.
- Personalize recommendations and suggestions based on the customer’s preferences and behavior.
- Speed the sales cycle and increase spending.
- Know when to divert the customer to a human agent to address more complex issues.
Among the most valuable benefits of conversational marketing infrastructure is that the data integration that enables the automation of conversations also enhances the customer’s experience when human agents enter the conversation. Rather than wading through multiple screens and having customers repeat themselves, the human agent obtains immediate access to integrated information about each customer’s recent interactions, profile, and history. This information allows the agent to quickly address the customer’s issue by focusing on problem-solving rather than data collection.
The integrated information and chatbots enable proactive text marketing and SMS campaigns that are fully prepared to engage in real-time conversations with customers, regardless of when or how they respond.
The Conversational Marketing Challenge
The challenge for companies that have not embraced platforms like Conversation by Mitto is that nearly 90 percent of consumers expect quick replies from customer service teams. The need for speed and personalization is not going away. Instead, expectations for proactive and personalized interactions continue to rise, and the only viable and scalable solutions require automation. So, get ready to engage with your customers and deliver on their requirements.