Have you ever opened a bank account with fintech startups such as N26 or Revolut? It’s ingenious: The usually laborious process of verifying your identity in person at the branch is replaced with an instant video chat in-app.
Or have you ever experienced buying running shoes at Lunge in Germany? As part of the sales process, experts talk to you to find out more about you in order to formulate a personalized route for your morning jog
These are great examples of companies approaching experiences from the customer perspective using conversational marketing, such as the use of chatbots. Indeed, customer experience is now the key marketing priority for all forward-thinking companies. Any organisation that designs a product or service from the customer’s perspective creates the potential for extraordinary customer loyalty.
And when you build in dialogue with consumers, you unlock the ability to create lasting memories so much more than a one-way conversation. Using dialogue is also a great way to find out useful information about your customers from your customers, rather than relying on surveys to collect that kind of data.
Conversational marketing can help at multiple parts of the marketing funnel. Among the highlights is the ability to better:
1. Engage: The key to a successful dialogue is asking questions. The goal is to capture people’s imagination with interesting questions.
2. Understand: Furthermore, it’s crucial to determine the interests or purchasing needs of the customers by extracting action-relevant data. You can measure this through the data points collected per user in the engagement process.
3. Convert: The ultimate goal is, of course, to generate revenue by submitting a purchase offer as part of the digital dialogue. The corresponding measurement unit is made up as follows: % increase in sales vs. baseline of users who have interacted in the funnel.
What does that mean in practice? The following three examples show how conversational marketing can fuel the customer experience:
An annual conundrum we face in the consumer age is what to buy for the holidays. This is exactly the question Lego’s messenger bot Ralph asks users.
After a little chat, he offers up great ideas to help people navigate through the toy maker’s extensive catalog. And just to ensure the suggestions are within scope, Ralf always asks the age of the gift receiver and budget of the buyer.
The listing prospectus for the Stitchfix IPO last year, which was worth billions, was filled with remarks stating that the startup, with its curated shopping platform, was not so much a fashion or retail company, but more a data science platform.
More than 100 analysts work on the algorithms that help stylists regularly create personal fashion baskets. Where does the data come from? The answer is simple: Stitchfix doesn’t predict tastes based on customer activity–it asks customers directly through a visual tool.
Instead of long questionnaires, the tool is akin to an interactive version of Pinterest. Each question can be answered in one click and creates added value efficiently for both sides.
Conversational marketing is not only suitable for models close to the end customer. With MindSphere, Siemens is building an open IoT operating system that connects products, plants, systems, and machines, thereby using the wealth of data for comprehensive analyses. (Note: Siemens is an Opinary customer.)
In order to engage possible partners, Siemens begins a dialogue through an interactive tool to find about the actual technical challenges a company faces. The answers are dealt with directly in the tool with highly specific content and–with a click-through rate of over 7%–ends with a request to enter the partner ecosystem.