When is the last time you’ve had to wait on-hold?
I’ve been doing quite a bit of it lately. We’re consolidating a lot of our phone, internet and streaming services into a couple providers, and so I’ve been on the phone canceling services and the like.
Have you heard the faux “typing” noise on the line when the phone-answer-robot tries to bring up your account information? What is the purpose of that? It’s clear that you’re not talking to a live person.
Similarly, conversational marketing can be a Catch-22. Personalized, real-time, one-on-one messaging is one of the best marketing tools out there—but most folks on the other end of a text message or chat box are savvy enough to know when they’re dealing with a machine. Chatbots and AI get smarter every year. Still, they’re not smart enough to qualify leads past a few explicit data points.
Luckily, there are other ways you can leverage conversational marketing for B2B, from improving UX for online users of your site to recognizing loyal customers.
Improve Website Navigation
Your website probably has a built-in chatbot. If set up incorrectly, speaking with an AI can increase customer frustration and lead to an unsatisfying user experience.
The Nielsen Norman Group’s research on chatbots as a marketing tool shows that bots have a hard time when customers deviate from “simple linear flows.” Luckily, you can tap into linear flows to improve UX and better utilize your chatbot.
A well-designed chatbot should identify user queries and redirect them to relevant areas of your website. Case studies in the manufacturing industry? Check! Careers? Check! Pricing and packages? Check!
If your chatbot can successfully manage a range of queries, you will get more use out of your website and convert more leads without getting trapped by the natural limitations of AI tools.
Connect with Loyal Customers
You’ve already got customers. Now you need to hang on to them.
High customer retention rates are directly linked to profitability: According to B2B International, “the most profitable firms enjoy customer retention rates of around 95%.”
One way to build customer loyalty is by recognizing your customers and acknowledging their status. VIP treatment isn’t only for the initial stage in the buying process. If customers return to your company to buy again and again, they should be rewarded for their loyalty.
Conversational marketing can be a great way to build in customer rewards and recognition. These tools allow you to automatically segment customer accounts and connect with them at regular checkpoints without time-intensive human input on the back end.
Conversational marketing tools can also get your customers the information they need, when they need it, providing them with a seamless customer experience. Use them to troubleshoot common issues and redirect customers to relevant FAQs and online content so your sales team can dedicate their energy to more in-depth questions.
A well-built chatbot should also quickly connect your customers to their dedicated account manager for a buying experience that moves without friction from question to answer.
Remind Your Community of Events
What good are lead-generation events if your leads don’t know about them?
Use your conversational marketing tools to remind your community of events, webinars, product demos, and other time-based marketing experiences. These tools can supplement email efforts, providing in-the-moment reminders of web experiences for busy professionals.
Increase your uptake by promoting your events across platforms, including social media, email, SEO conversions, and text and chat invitations. Conversational marketing can be a core component in your event marketing strategy, from initial invitations to final blasts.
Conversational marketing isn’t yet at the point where it can replace human conversation. But done well, it can be a core component in converting leads and keeping customers happy. You just need to remember what conversational marketing tools do really well: get information out to large numbers of people within a limited linear structure.