Studies show that 51% of customers are more likely to buy products from a business with a live chat function. In fact, they don’t just shop there more frequently–80% of customers said they’re willing to pay more for the same items. Customers want the personalization that they’d get from talking to a store employee in person. Without it, they might as well be wandering through the store alone.
One of the benefits of conversational marketing is that it provides direct engagement with your customers. When you treat customers as individuals, you’ll join the nearly 8 out of 10 businesses that see increased sales with conversational commerce.
What is Conversational Marketing?
In 2015, blogger and inventor Chris Messina coined the term “conversational marketing.” Conversational marketing uses direct engagement to start a conversation with your customers. You speak to customers through social media, text messages and live chats to fulfill their needs and make recommendations. As you learn about your followers, you refine your product line and marketing strategy.
Conversational marketing means showing customers that you’re a real person, not a corporate bot, who can provide them with a better customer experience and answer their questions. This encourages clients to start to trust you to help them make informed decisions.
What Are the Benefits of Conversational Marketing?
You were ready to buy but had a question comparing two items, so you filled out a form on their website with your question and maybe got a response 2 to 5 days later once you had already made a purchase from a competitor’s website. Or you went ahead and guessed, made a purchase but it ended up being the wrong one, you returned the item and decided to never buy from them again. Everyone’s had that experience–and without conversational marketing, that’s the only interaction that customers have with your business.
Conversational commerce does the opposite. With personalization and access to human expertise and interaction, you show customers that you’re willing to set aside time to discuss their needs. The benefits of conversational marketing include:
- You build a reputation as a business that’s here to help your community, not just take their money.
- You provide solutions in seconds. While a chatbot might take thirty minutes to answer a customer’s question, you can provide the answer immediately.
- Satisfied customers place their orders quickly. Then they tell their friends.
- You can resolve complaints and negative reviews, showing customers that you’re listening. This could make frustrated customers come back again and leave a higher review.
- You get another opportunity to make your sales pitch. Don’t push too hard–just make a few recommendations so customers may add more products to their carts.
- Clients are more likely to leave positive reviews, which enhances your reputation.
- You can give customers exclusive coupons that make them feel valued.
- You’ll start a dialogue with customers and learn a little about their lives, which helps you market toward your demographic.
- Customers will leave you positive reviews
Ultimately, the benefits of conversational marketing lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction. You’ll also learn more about each platform that you’re using, enabling you to make the most out of its features. Make commerce marketing part of your strategy along with passive marketing to maximize their benefits.
Examples of Conversational Marketing
In the digital age, each business has multiple ways to stay in touch. Study your demographic to see which platforms they use most, then use platforms like Siri, Instagram, SMS and live chat to reach the most people. If your audience skews younger, they might prefer Instagram and voice assistants while an older demographic might use Facebook and SMS. Every demographic benefits from live chat functionalities.
1. Social Media
Social media provides a direct link to your audience. Instead of passively listening to radio or TV ads, they actively like, share and comment on your posts. Reciprocate by talking to your audience and encouraging them to keep following.
To enjoy the benefits of conversational marketing, reply to followers when they comment on your posts. Engage customers with live video chats and “Q and A” sessions so they feel like they have a stake in your business. Ask questions on your posts to engage them and show that you value their opinions.
2. Text Messages
Text messages are virtually impossible to ignore. While customers can scroll past Instagram posts or forget to check their Twitter DMs, text messages appear directly in their inbox, accompanied by an attention-grabbing notification sound. You don’t want to spam customers with text, but the occasional update about a coupon or deal reminds them to check out your website.
To start a text message campaign, invite customers to submit their phone numbers to get updates. Offer a reward, like 10% off their first order, to get more people to sign up. Send periodic messages to the numbers in your database, then watch your traffic steadily grow.
3. Voice Assistants
With voice assistants, like Alexa and Google Home, customers use vocal commands instead of online searches to find information. They can access information from virtually anywhere, giving you another marketing opportunity. To start, use search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that your site ranks highly when the voice assistant returns the search results.
4. Live Chats
Live chats are a relief for customers who need help and don’t want to talk to a bot. The agent responds to customers in seconds, allowing them to resume shopping as quickly as possible. Agents can also recommend products, tell customers about sales and give coupons to enhance their experience.
Platforms like Optimy add live chat functionality to your website. Customers can start a chat with a click, then talk to an agent who’s knowledgeable about your business. Optimy also offers digital concierge solutions that staff your chat and pass hot leads to your sales team. When they’re done, your satisfied customers will leave glowing reviews.
Why Should Businesses Invest in Optimy?
Setting up live chat platforms is one of the biggest benefits of conversational marketing. Once you’ve invested in Optimy, you’ll see more sales, increased traffic and more five-star reviews. Optimy customizes each client’s experience to treat customers as individuals, giving them the benefits of shopping in person with the convenience of online browsing.
Optimy allows customers to choose their preferred communication method: text, audio or even video chat – allowing someone to actually see the product or do a virtual walk-around. Book a demo today to see Optimy’s features for yourself and learn what they can do to grow your business.