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The Rise of Conversational Marketing and the Fall of Chatbots
Conversational marketing is all the rage these days. This new branch of marketing is a feedback-oriented approach that markets through conversation in order to personalize the buyer experience, shorten sales cycles, and gain more information on the behavior of consumers.
Marketers set out to create a different strategy with their sales funnel after recognizing buyer’s behavior had changed drastically since the beginning of the 21st century. With the giant wave of Robocallers and telemarketers, people stopped picking up their cell phones when a call came through, especially if they didn’t recognize the number.
Now, texting has become the primary method of communication for consumers as it is easy, fast, and still feels personable for them. Not to mention, texting can be done on the consumer’s terms, making it that much easier for the salesperson to meet buyers where they’re at in the sales process.
of consumers prefer to text over a phone call and email
Why is conversational marketing so successful?
Shifting the communication to the preference of the customer does several things to your sales cycle. If you can connect and qualify a lead much quicker through messaging than a phone call or email, this will make your sales cycle much smoother and shorter.
There are a few reasons why:
- Simplicity – Because the consumer prefers to text instead of consult over a phone call, texting ends up driving user engagement. 39% of marketers say making an initial connection with leads is their biggest feat. Leveraging text increases your chances at connecting with the lead right away.
- Branding – Because the texting can be pre-scripted, it can also match the voice of your brand. Being able to maintain a brand’s voice throughout the sales process is vital as it can mean more revenue. The average revenue increase attributed to branding consistently is 23%.
- Personalization – While a script is nice to maintain the structure of the conversation, you can easily make the conversation personalized by including names, updating the scripts regularly for relevancy, and utilizing a real person on standby to step in when the conversation needs to be a bit more personalized.
The fall of Chatbots in conversational marketing.
While many companies created a new kind of marketing through Chatbots to see increased conversion rates, there was something still missing when it came to the user experience.
For instance, say you’re a mortgage broker and a prospect starts communicating with a Chatbot about buying a home. This prospect mentions how they lost their home to a natural disaster and have found a new home they want to purchase. A Chatbot wouldn’t pick up on the somber reality of this prospect’s circumstances and might have an insensitive response like: “Great! And what’s your credit score?” This tone-deaf Chatbot causes friction as personalization is lost and the consumer now realizes they are talking to an automated software instead of a real person.
Conversational Marketing, but make it stronger.
Verse knew AI was powerful and more efficient than humans which is why Chatbots were created in the first place. But we also recognized that Chatbots couldn’t always meet the needs of the consumer and caused leads to fall through the cracks. Compromising this was not an option.
Upon creating our 24/7 modern contact center, we built an AI software to help businesses connect with, qualify, nurture, and convert their leads through 2-way SMS, phone call or email (whatever the consumer prefers). Instead of letting the AI software run the entire communication, we decided to pair a 24/7 human concierge team with the AI. This means anytime a conversation may require dialogue adjustment, a human is there to appropriately alter the conversation so that the consumer feels heard. Not to mention, this makes humans less wary as they prefer to talk to humans over a robot.
While Chatbots have increased qualification and conversion rates for companies, it hasn’t always maximized those rates. Verse actually does maximize conversion rates, simply because we considered all parts of the buying experience for consumers in today’s world.
Aside from the omni-channel communication and personalization, we also communicate with the lead within 90 seconds after the lead fills out a form. This helps salespeople gain connection with the lead while your brand is still at the top of their mind and while they are still near their cell phone. Now salespeople can focus on leads that are ready to buy and marketing can continue to focus on generating quality leads for Verse to qualify and convert.
Conversational marketing is a strong force. But Verse makes it invincible.