On October 15, 2019
Chances are, in the past year, you’ve interacted with an organization via instant messaging. Whether engaging a company’s chat feature on their website or through Facebook Messenger, more and more of us are communicating with businesses through chatbots. While this newfangled form of communication is fresh enough to still feel novel to most, the reality is conversational marketing platforms are being adopted by businesses big and small at a rapid pace. But, what’s convincing them to make this seemingly experimental technology a critical component in their strategic plans?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, “What is conversational marketing? Asking for a friend,” you say. Essentially, it’s what you use for programs that allow businesses to communicate with consumers one-to-one through text or audio. Programs like Messenger, Whatsapp, SMS and web chat. From messenger platforms that let you swiftly learn the hours available for your next massage to auditory assistants like Siri and Alexa, most people interact with at least one a day, and businesses are jumping on the trend faster than your teenager can send a tweet from your smart fridge. But why are companies incorporating chatbots?
Believe it or not, they aren’t being pulled in by the siren song of “NEW.” The technology is decades old, after all (Hey there, ELIZA, what’s it like in Rogerian psychotherapy?) While it’s true conversational marketing platforms are currently all the rage, there’s some serious substance behind that new car smell. The key drivers for virtual assistance’s success are how well they satisfy consumers’ needs when it comes to engaging conversation, solving simple tasks and accessibility.
According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 64% of respondents said 24-hour service was the key benefit, followed closely by instant responses to inquiries (55%) and quick answers to simple questions (55%). Suddenly, consumers have an outlet to not only communicate with companies whenever and wherever they are (wonder how many loyalty points you need for a free hotel room at 2am on a Saturday? NBD.) but there’s actually a conversation taking place. Plus, gone are the days when you email customer service and hope to hear from them in 2-3 business days. That response is here and now, and don’t we all love that sweet, sweet instant gratification? In fact, according to Comm100, millennials consider instant messaging their preferred support channel. Don’t discount their opinion, either; they are quickly gaining the predominant purchasing power.
Consumers aren’t the only ones benefiting, though. Companies are jumping on the conversation marketing bandwagon because the results are in and they’re staggering. Avis was able to automate 68% of its service calls with virtual agents. Dish Network’s DiVA now handles up to 40% of the company’s most common customer intents, totaling a whopping 4 million customer interactions a year. From reducing overhead to streamlining customer service programs, instant messaging does a phenomenal job handling FAQs, scheduling and common consumer inquiries. As noted in the Chatbot Report 2019, 60% of American Express customers said they actually prefer digital self-service tools to get answers to simple queries.
From the businesses who deploy them to the consumers who use them, the benefits of conversational marketing are felt. With the right approach you can experience those benefits too.. So really, the question isn’t why are companies incorporating chatbots, but why hasn’t your company made the plunge?
Schedule a demo with our team today, and learn how you can have meaningful conversations with your customers, in the channel they engage with the most.