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Conversational marketing is a customer-centered approach that opens the lines of communication between company and client. Everything you do should be from the stance of what’s best for the buyer and how you can make their experience the best it can be. Startups and entrepreneurs can benefit from building strong relationships in the early stages of setting up a new business.
Emerging technologies are driving conversational marketing via automated chatbots and SMS features. Gartner predicts around 70% of customer interactions will tap into some type of machine learning by the end of this year.
Figuring out how to make the customer experience (CX) amazing for your users isn’t easy. You can stand out from more established companies in your industry by tapping into relationship building. Here are some ways your business can embrace the trend and improve results via conversational marketing.
1. Know Your Customers
Topping most lists about improving CX is the idea of knowing who your customer is. You can’t create content for your clients if you don’t know their pain points. Take the time to survey your customers and study patterns and demographics.
If you don’t have any customers yet, do your best to determine your target audience. Study the demographics your competitors use, and stalk groups on Facebook to learn how people think and what their pain points are. Dig deep into what makes your potential customers tick.
Know the psychographics behind your buyers. What drives them to look for a product or service such as yours? What are the emotions behind the action? For example, someone searching for life insurance does so to protect those they love should they die. Love and fear drive them to seek a solution for an unexpected event.
2. Answer questions immediately
Around 79% of people using live chat do so to get an immediate answer to a question. If your system isn’t programmed to answer the most common queries, then you’re missing a big opportunity. You also must train your live agents to respond fast and solve problems on the fly.
Make a frequently asked questions list and program your SMS and live chat software to answer common queries. Part of your mobile marketing initiative should include a plan for engaging via SMS.
Startups may struggle with the costs and logistics of staffing a live chat 24/7. It’s a good idea to set hours of operation for your chat feature and utilize a chatbot and messaging the rest of the time. Respond as quickly as possible to keep the conversation going.
3. Prep the cross-channel connection
Paying attention to cross channels is one of the biggest marketing trends of today. Customers want to feel heard and not repeat themselves every time they contact your brand in a new way.
For example, if a customer initiates a conversation via live chat on your website, the bot may not be able to issue a refund. A live agent will need to step in at some point and finalize the transaction. The caller shouldn’t have to repeat the issue when the agent comes on the line. Instead, the worker should have access to the chat log and be able to let the customer know they’re aware of the problem and how they will resolve it.
4. Engage on social media
Conversational marketing is about interacting with customers one-on-one. Professionals suggest taking the time to respond to social media mentions, even if it’s a complaint. Show your current and potential customers you care and want to give them great CX.
Appoint a couple of people to respond to comments on different platforms. Wendy’s does an excellent job of engaging consumers via Twitter and Facebook. The restaurant chain has a fast and sometimes snarky response when someone mentions it. The brand is pretty famous for its comments about other hamburger restaurants.
Smaller brands or startups can stand out from even huge corporations by investing a little time and effort into communicating with followers. Engage them in the conversation and ask pertinent questions. Invite them to create some user-generated content for you.
5. Forget cold calls
People today rarely answer telephone numbers they don’t recognize. Too many spam calls and robocalls have made potential customers leery of opening the lines to others. Cold calls are rarely effective these days, so make sure you use digital advertising to drive people to initiate the conversation.
For example, offer them a freebie if they share their email. There are numerous ways to get creative with your marketing without driving millennials crazy by overcommunicating. Many startups generate a buzz before their product hits the market by utilizing viral campaigns.
Benefits of conversational marketing
Discover many benefits of this marketing trend, such as a closer relationship with your clients. You’ll understand their needs better. You’ll also save time and staffing costs when you automate parts of your live chat. Conversational marketing is more about your focus on the customer than anything else. It’s a cost-effective way for newer brands to get their foot in the door with their customer base.