When Facebook released its chatbot platform in 2016, many people in the marketing world believed that chatbots would become the next great digital channel, and this was for good reason. Over 1 billion people used the app at the timeAnd the intimate, one-to-one nature of instant messaging means that the platform is expected to become Create a personalized customer experience This translates into a real conversion.
Over time, we have come to realize that this hype is largely unfounded. Messenger is not the marketing behemoth that many people think, and many people are It even called the platform “dead.”“Of course, this does not mark the end of the entire chatbot. On the contrary, it just marks the transition of technology to a new environment. From the decline (and rise) of Messenger, marketers have learned that the killer use case of chatbots is not as a A brand new digital channel, but as a brand new digital channel As a conversion rate optimization tool.
In this article, we will discuss How marketers use chatbots Make the information on their website and login page more accessible and Make potential customers more attractiveIn the process, we will determine how these changes translate into higher conversion rates and greater return on marketing investment.
Before digital marketing
Decades ago (in ancient times), when the Internet did not exist, people would go to physical stores and offices to buy things. With the advancement of technology, mobile phones have become more and more common, and some of them have begun to be consumed remotely. Of course, even if progress is limited, Buyer journey It remains the same in the pre-Internet era: reliance on human interaction.
Whether you walk into a store or call a merchant, it is likely that at some point in the buyer’s journey, you will talk to another person to complete the transaction. The travel agency helped us plan our vacation, the receptionist helped us make appointments for the dentist, and the clerk helped us find suitable clothes. Regardless of the industry or vertical, it is someone’s job to help consumers complete the purchase process.
The problem with this trading method is that it is not scalable. The friction associated with getting people to leave their homes to enter the store or take the time of the day to make phone calls is high, making business difficult. Even if you can overcome these obstacles, your sales staff will not be able to expand with your customer base, so inevitably, your store will become crowded, telephone lines will be blocked, and the customer experience will be affected.
The arrival of digital marketing
The appearance of digital marketing Subvert this artificially driven sales model. As companies turn to the Internet, consumers can browse the web to understand the buyer’s purchase history. You do not need to go through a travel agency to find and book all the hotels, air tickets and activities you need for your vacation. Instead of talking to the receptionist, you can make an appointment with the dentist through the appointment scheduling widget. Instead of letting the clerk recommend suitable clothes for you, you can also scroll through Amazon’s thousands of product lists to find the most suitable clothes for yourself. in other words, Business has become self-service.
For a long time, this shift has benefited both consumers and businesses. Provide convenience for consumers Find and buy products from wherever they want. You can order anything you want from Amazon and lie on the bed (I am unfortunately affected by this activity myself). For businesses, it makes contact with customers quite easy, because platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to be in front of almost all potential customers, and more importantly, because customers serve themselves, it reduces sales staff to you Dependence.
Limitations of digital marketing
Although digital marketing has undoubtedly brought immeasurable scale and customer convenience to enterprises, it has also brought a series of new problems, which have surfaced today. As online shopping becomes mainstream, login page And the website has worn out, giving way to digital fatigue. In short, customers no longer want to read lengthy login pages, scroll through endless lists, or fill in boring forms.
This is why the conversion rate at the top of the funnel in various industries and vertical industries is extremely low.For example, most advertising campaigns Produce a conversion rate of less than 10%.
Turn back to dialogue
To solve these problems, companies have reverted to the old sales model by incorporating interpersonal interaction into the journey of online buyers. The basic logic behind this shift is that for all the convenience of online purchases, people would rather have a conversation than read a text or fill in a form. In practice, we can see this transformation reflected in the reappearance of cross-site real-time chat widgets.
Nowadays, the websites you visit rarely have friendly chats or websites where the CTA is prominently displayed, requiring you to talk to an agent who can solve your problem and help you complete the purchase process.
With the shift to a customer service-oriented sales approach, companies are resolving the scalability issues they faced before turning to digital. Companies once again find it difficult to expand their real-time chat operations based on the traffic they receive. Inevitably, the number of conversations initiated by buyers exceeds the number of agents, and the waiting time soars. In addition, the lack of availability outside of working hours means that companies cannot always provide a conversational buyer journey.
This is where automation emerges. Using chatbots, companies can create automated customer service agents to guide customers through the purchase process without human assistance.
This method of online sales is somewhere between an unattractive self-service webpage and an attractive but expensive human-driven buyer journey. Like self-service web pages, chat bots are fully automated, which means they can scale perfectly with website traffic, ensuring instant response to customer queries. Relatedly, since chatbots do not need to sleep, they can answer queries 24/7. However, perhaps most importantly, since chatbots are software, They do not incur the costs associated with human-driven sales methods.
Of course, with all these benefits, they still maintain the conversational nature of human interaction, break the monotony of regular login pages, and are favored by customers.
The concept of selling through dialogue is not a new concept. For thousands of years, humans have been talking to each other to buy, sell, and trade products. The emergence of the Internet and digital marketing has subverted this paradigm. With the emergence of landing pages and websites, we have entered an era of self-service purchases. This era quickly became the norm. We forgot the art of conversational commerce. However, declining attention spans and conversion rates have brought this trend back into fashion. Today’s customers want to interact with companies in a conversational way. Of course, this trend also brings a series of problems-that is, the inability to expand the human dialogue agent. Automation is the solution. Using chat bots, companies can provide customers with the high conversion rate and conversation experience that customers want at a price that the company can afford-the final result: more satisfied customers and higher conversion rates.
About the Author
Arnav Patel is a content marketer and chatbot expert tar, A product that uses conversational technology to help companies increase conversion rates and automate customer service requests. Arnav builds chatbots and often writes about dialogue design on the Tars blog.