Conversational marketing and chatbots 101: Understanding the buyers’ journey
In a technologically advanced world that promotes fast-paced consumerism and instant gratification, 21st-century consumers have become that much more demanding.
The digital marketplace has largely eliminated the need for face-to-face interaction and, as a result, modern consumers crave personalised engagement and interaction from their service providers. They want a speedy response to queries or concerns, they want engagement on social media and they want to be treated like human beings, not metrics or dollar signs.
In response, marketers should be focused on putting the human element back into the sales process, and the best way to do so is to adopt a conversational marketing approach, which includes live messages and chatbots.
But first, what’s your ‘Why’?
Before you hop on the chatbot train, it’s important to determine why you’ve decided to host a bot on your website. What’s your goal? What do you hope to get out of it?
For most businesses, it’s about driving better engagement and, ultimately, revenue. This is achievable with a bot because bots see to web visitors’ demands immediately, removing as much friction from the buying process as possible.
However, each business is different, and conversational marketing success will look different to everyone. This is why it’s important to determine what you want out of a bot application.
Now, put yourself in the buyers’ shoes
Bots are about creating an engaging marketing, sales and support experience for the customer, and are therefore redundant if your buyers still have to jump through hoops to get what they want.
So put yourself in their shoes and go on that sales journey for yourself. Navigate your website as a potential customer without any conversational marketing intervention. This will help you understand where the points of friction are on your site, and where a bot can help alleviate that friction.
If, for example, the goal of the buyer is to request a demo, they need to be able to do so as soon as possible without having to first perform a number of actions (like finding and clicking on a call-to-action, or filling out a landing page form). With a strategically placed bot, your prospect will not only be able to request a demo, but can even book a time slot with the relevant salesperson without having to wait several hours or days for that salesperson to follow up via phone or email.
With a bot, the response is immediate. However, because different types of products or services will attract different types of buyers, you’ll first need to track your buyers’ journey to figure out where best to position that bot.
Remember, the goal is to shorten the sales process and provide optimum value as soon as a prospect enters your site. You want to give them less time to lose interest, second-guess their decision or, worse, move on to a competitor’s site.
Next, target your high-intent pages
Once you’ve tracked the buyers’ journey through your website and have identified potential points of friction, use your website metrics and analytics to gauge which pages leads typically visit before converting on a sale.
You might find, for instance, that users often visit the product catalogue pages before requesting a demo two to three days later. With this type of information on hand, you’ll know which pages are working, and which pages can be improved to better facilitate lead conversion.
Lastly, approach your customers before they approach you
Think about it: when you’re shopping for something specific in a store, a shop assistant will almost always ask if they can help you find what you are looking for. You don’t first browse around, go back to the shop a few days later, and ask to schedule an appointment to chat about the product before (maybe) buying it.
Conversational marketing values engagement above all else. Therefore, when your bot pops up in the corner of a page on your site, it should look and feel like human interaction.
You should always strive to make the buying experience as streamlined as possible for your prospects. This will increase the user’s likelihood of following through with a sale.
This article is written by YVB and originally published here