When’s the last time that you experienced an amazing hotel concierge? Someone who blew you away with their knowledge and helpfulness, who could effortlessly tap into a myriad of connections and resources?
An exceptional concierge can help you find local tours and sightseeing destinations. He can recommend restaurants and entertainment, help you solve travel challenges and can make your stay in his city amazing. She’s the superhero of the hotel staff!
What does a concierge who can leap tall buildings at a single bound have to do with providing an amazing customer experience?
Welcome to the world of intelligent chatbots
A new class of AI-powered chatbots is transforming the customer experience on modern websites. The services they provide are called “conversational marketing.” These smart assistants can help website visitors find the answers and resources they need, connect them with a salesperson or get support on an existing product and more. Because they’re based on artificial intelligence, they get smarter over time.
By providing an individualized, concierge-like experience, intelligent chatbots can help you generate a larger quantity and quality of sales leads, improve customer loyalty and scale your business.
This technology can be connected to your other marketing technology platforms, including CRM, marketing automation and customer support. This can give you a much fuller picture of the needs and preferences of your prospects and customers.
For small- to medium-sized companies, an intelligent chatbot can help them “punch above their weight” – providing a better customer experience than larger competitors.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing helps you make the most of your website traffic by engaging visitors with personalized conversations based on:
- Who they are,
- How they’re behaving, and
- How they’ve engaged with marketing and sales in the past.
Compare that with the typical website visitor experience and it becomes immediately obvious why intelligent chatbots are a game-changer. On the average B2B website, every visitor gets the same message and experience, no matter who they are. Many companies spend a lot of money driving targeted prospects to their website – only to present them with a generic experience. No wonder they can’t justify their marketing investment!
Another common challenge faced by B2B websites is their size. As companies have gotten better at producing content, their websites have become more complex and harder to navigate. In other words, it’s becoming harder for impatient prospects to find what they need.
If visitors have a question, they’re directed to the ubiquitous “contact us” web page, where they must fill out and submit a detailed form. But they know from experience that there’s less than a 50/50 chance that someone will respond to their inquiry.
An intelligent chatbot, powered by an AI engine, “learns” visitors’ needs and preferences over time. Because it’s connected to the firm’s CRM and marketing automation systems, it can progressively profile them, steadily building up a detailed dossier of their needs and preferences. This enables it to engage in remarkably intelligent ways with website visitors.
Why does a personalized experience matter?
A growing body of research makes it clear that B2B customers expect a website experience that is tailored to their needs. In addition, this approach can have a profound impact on the bottom line:
- McKinsey estimates that companies that optimize their customer experience also reduce sales and marketing costs by up to 25%.
- A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on the bottom line as decreasing costs by 10%.
- Customer experience (CX) leaders grow revenue faster than laggards, according to Forrester.
Applications of conversational marketing
What does conversational marketing make possible? Here are five intriguing scenarios:
An intelligent guide for website visitors: When new visitors arrive at your home page, they can ask the chatbot a question. It will help them find what they need, fast – whether that’s locating a specific product, ordering replacement parts or connecting with a salesperson. No more floundering around for 10 minutes, searching for a needle in a haystack!
Engagement: Intelligent chatbots, integrated with other marketing tools, can supercharge the customer experience like never before. Imagine this: When key visitors arrive at your website, the chatbot recognizes them. That’s because it’s integrated with your marketing automation software, where these people are on a list of targeted prospects. They may also be previous visitors who have been retargeted and are now returning to your website. A third possibility is that the chatbot is integrated with a tool that recognizes their IP and directs them to a personalized landing page.
Armed with detailed information about these visitors, your intelligent chatbot could guide them through a streamlined event registration process or automatically sign them up for your e-newsletter – no more pesky forms to fill out!
Lead generation and qualification: The intelligent chatbot can be programmed to ask prospects a series of questions to uncover their needs. It can use this information to gauge where they are in their buying process and can provide them with immediate, relevant advice.
The intelligent chatbot can be trained to know when a prospect has moved to the next stage of their buyer’s journey. For example, a specific signal could mean that it’s time to schedule a sales call. The chatbot could display the appropriate sales representative’s calendar and could offer to schedule a call with him or her.
Sales enablement: The connected chatbot can access all of the prospect’s previous engagement data, such as ads clicked on, emails received and ebooks downloaded. When it’s time to submit a sales lead to the appropriate sales representative, it’s not just the basics – name, job title, email and phone number. Instead, it can compile an enhanced lead that contains all of their engagement data. This treasure trove of data increases the odds that the sales rep can close the sale.
In addition, the intelligent chatbot only passes leads to the sales team that are truly qualified and ready to buy. That enables them to use their time more productively, instead of chasing low-value leads that aren’t likely to close.
Ultimately, intelligent chatbots can be used to replicate the best sales calls and closes as automated conversations on the website, enabling the company to close even more sales.
Customer support: Based on the questions or comments a website visitor submits, the intelligent agent can automatically route them to a customer support representative or open a support ticket.
When a customer has a problem with your product, they don’t want to wait 12 to 24 hours for an answer. They want their problem solved now! An intelligent chatbot can serve as an efficient “front end” to your customer support operations, saving your human workers time and enabling them to focus on more complex customer challenges or other higher value-added activities.
Intelligent chatbots have a lot of potential to provide your customers and prospects with a better experience – even on your existing website. They’re an ideal tool to remove friction and help visitors with their needs, 24/7/365. They can help your company build relationships with prospects faster by providing them with a highly customized experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.
Intelligent chatbots are a marketing technology you can’t afford to ignore!
Contact Cultivate today to discuss how intelligent chatbots can help you provide a better experience on your website.