The interplay between technology and conversation is changing the way people choose to communicate. A Facebook study showed that one-on-one messaging is becoming the preferred method of communication for all generations. Prospects now expect more information, more personalization, and faster communication. Today, the customer decides how they want to engage with the business.
Shared knowledge is key to conversational growth because as you strive to build personal, one-on-one relationships with visitors and prospects, you need to deliver correct information. That means you need unobstructed access to known information to customize the conversational experience to meet your needs.
Another key element of a conversational growth strategy is time to live or TTL. In a marketing, sales or service context, time to live the time period between sending a message and receiving a response that is considered acceptable.
You will discover that different dialogue tools have different survival times. For most people, there is no expectation of receiving a reply from snail mail (letters sent through the post office) within 30 days. There is a noticeable drop in this time period as you pass information through different channels. Fax allows for a few days of lag, and email is 24-48 hours. When it comes to text messaging and instant chat, the TTL duration drops to minutes or even seconds.
If you’ve ever called a customer service line twice, asked the same question, and got a different answer twice, you’ve encountered “non-standardized” information. Thus, when delivering content in a conversational way, make sure you deliver consistent information across all channels, every time.
Know where your visitors are in the buyer’s journey and make sure you have the right information when they need it. With the right interactions time and time again, you can positively impact the relationships you build with visitors, leads, and customers.
Make sure you’re using the information your company has about each visitor to delight them with a more personalized one-on-one experience.
Conversations are, again, about building one-on-one relationships with people. People don’t want to be just a number for your company. Do everything possible to facilitate personal connection and show you care, even if you use automated tools across channels.
Talking directly to each visitor with the information you gather gradually is the first step in personalization.
Ensuring that you recognize the emotional tone of the conversation and construct subsequent responses on an emotional and factual level, with appropriate adaptation, is a core component of properly scripting a conversation.
For example, when a person is upset, it is important to acknowledge their feelings and include an acknowledgment and a soothing tone in the dialogue script. If you don’t, then you may not get the fact but a distorted response that makes it difficult for us to solve the problem at hand. As said before, people want to feel that they have a physical connection to your brand persona.
You want to provide your site visitors with answers to their questions in a way that maximizes the strengths of a particular channel while mitigating its weaknesses. For example, simply providing a link does not improve the experience when using channels like live chat or chatbots. You shouldn’t complicate matters while striving to improve the customer experience.
You also want to try to understand why and how your visitors use a particular channel, and what their underlying motivations are. That way, you can better help them achieve their goals. Once this is understood, you should feed these experiences back into the relevant channel solution model, and the subsequent overall experience for the channel will add value.
You need to provide the most important information to your visitors first. This requires you to identify what the visitor is trying to accomplish, what they have accomplished, and what work needs to be done. To understand this, study buyer personas. Why do they look at certain pages?
Gain insights from your analytics data. What happens once a visitor lands on the site? Engagement data can help you build relevant descriptions. Do you notice any trends? Use this information to start delivering a conversational experience that delights your web visitors by delivering the right information when they need it most. Again, give them the opportunity to ask more questions and get more answers.
Here are steps to help you gain a deeper understanding of how to put your conversational growth strategy into action.
The first is the thinking step. Take the time to think about the most impactful conversations your company has with website visitors. You may even find it helpful to sit down and write about every way your business interacts with people. As you identify the areas where you’ll build the strongest relationship with your visitors, keep in mind that each conversation should meet the following criteria:
It should be repeatable. Any conversational messages you implement should be based on recurring, welcoming interactions. For example, most businesses ask the same few support questions over and over again. This type of repetition shows that automating and optimizing this interaction can improve the overall visitor experience.
Next, it needs to be predictable. Any conversation you implement needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. When using this interaction to validate a lead, you need some specific information to make the most of the interaction. As with conversations that take place in the real world, you want to make sure that the structure of the online conversation ends at the right time.
Finally, conversations should be designed to be impactful. Every conversation should add some form of tangible value to your business. For example, help people understand your pricing model and move them further down the funnel.
If one of the interactions you’ve listed meets all three of these criteria, that’s a great place to have a conversation.
Based on the above criteria, you have started to identify the most impactful use cases and areas of implementation dialogue. Now, go ahead and list every piece of information you need from a prospect in every type of communication, role-playing how the conversation would play out if you had this interaction in real life. Write down what you say, because it might surprise you where the conversation goes.
When you design a conversation, try to plan ahead for all the places where potential customers might deviate from the ideal path of the conversation flow. Challenge yourself, and if the conversation veers in an unexpected direction, you need to identify ways to guide visitors back to the topic of the conversation. Writing in a conversational tone may feel difficult at first, but it gets better with practice. The perfect conversation happens if you pay attention to the details.
The thinking, planning, and growth steps will help you identify the conversations that have the greatest impact on your users. While each conversation is uniquely relative to each visitor, you can begin to design the ideal flow for each interaction type and what information your team needs to gather to make the flow even better.
In general, conversations are like any other element of your inbound marketing strategy. Continual experimentation and optimization are required, over time. This will ensure that you continue to create a delightful experience for your visitors throughout the buyer’s journey.
What should you consider when comparing different messaging channels? When comparing messaging channels, you want to consider three things:
First, let’s consider where your potential customers are. Think about which of your channels generates the most traffic to your website, and whether it’s possible to add interactivity to the experience through a messaging app. Finally, consider asking potential customers directly where they prefer to communicate. By understanding where prospects and customers like to communicate, you can begin to develop strategies to meet their needs.
The second thing to consider is how your potential customers want to communicate with your business. This often coincides with the buyer’s journey stages and what visitors are trying to accomplish when they come to your site.
During the awareness phase, visitors are looking for educational resources. At this point, a chatbot can be one of the best conversational tools to consider because it can speed up someone’s ability to find the information they want.
On the other hand, for visitors in the consideration stage who are looking for more information about your business, consider using an always-on channel like Messenger or WhatsApp.
Finally, for decision-making visitors who want to get in touch with your team directly, being able to use the live chat option is probably most useful. The exact options are up to you. However, you should align them directly with your buyer persona’s needs.
In the end, make sure the channel works for your team. If you have a small team that doesn’t always stay online, maybe live chat isn’t for you. Conversely, if your team prefers one-on-one customer interactions, it might be a good idea to move away from app-based channels, as using an agent may feel a little worse than talking in person.
The behavior of your characters gives you insights into which channels they prefer to have conversations. These behaviors can range from the web pages they browse to the time of day they open their emails, and even disengagement such as jumping away without further clicking on a web page, or not opening an email.
Building a conversational growth strategy around the right buyer personas helps you deliver value to them and grow your own business. Remember, having the right conversations with the right people is the key to building inbound marketing success.
If you have experience with Zoho’s marketing software stack ( MarTech ) and understand this inbound marketing strategy foundations, you have a very powerful marketing starter pack ready to be configured and unleashed!
QuakeCinch can always help with your Zoho Marketing initiatives, just reach out to us!!