The shift to messaging platforms is disrupting business communication, and chatbots are quickly becoming a mainstay of digital marketing. More and more consumers prefer to interact with brands via messaging, whether its to receive support or to ask questions, and many businesses have now realised the immense opportunities that messaging platforms provide.
But as businesses increasingly turn to messaging to engage with current and potential customers, its important that they have a solid conversational marketing plan in place in order to achieve the best results, and to use messaging platforms to their fullest potential. Here are some reasons why brands need a plan.
To Ensure They Provide Value
Nowadays, companies can’t afford to provide anything but exceptional customer support. Responses to customer enquiries must be speedy, relevant – and perhaps most importantly, personalised.
This is where messaging platforms can help. Interactions with brands that feel more conversational rather than transactional can help customers feel more valued. When using messaging platforms, businesses should think about how they can deliver content in a personalised and engaging way. The customer experience must be well thought out, and the messaging platform must align with other marketing efforts in order to be effective.
For example, Aeromexico developed the first ever airline chatbot in 2016 to help make flying easier for its customers. Travelers can use Aerobot on Facebook Messenger to check their flight schedules and ticket prices, as well as their departure and arrival status.
To Maintain Focus on the Goal
Adding a messaging platform to an existing digital marketing campaign can be overwhelming. Its therefore important for brands to start small and grow their private messaging offerings in line with the number of customer interactions they are receiving.
Businesses can start by promoting a single offer, or offering a single messaging channel to their audiences, in order to grow adoption rates at a manageable pace.
For example, when Sephora launched a chatbot on the messaging platform, Kik, it started with just one goal – “to engage with and educate teenage girls for prom2. By starting with a single campaign, Sephora was able to create and share highly targeted tutorials and product guides which engaged their target audience on their big night, and after.
This specific messaging campaign received more than 1500 questions, and facilitated more than 600,000 interactions, and Sephora expanded to other offerings after that.
To Define Where Marketing vs Sales Teams Come In
A common mistake companies make when offering customer support via a messaging platform is not specifying if the channel will be used primarily for marketing or sales. On top of that, they often lack a clear workflow which defines when the marketing team will interact with users, and when the sales team will take over.
The lack of a defined workflow for incoming messages can quickly lead to confusion and frustration, both internally and for users. Its important to discuss the goal f your presence on a messaging platform, including the core benefits for the brand and how the process can be as frictionless as possible.
Companies should lay out the entire process – from the initial conversation to the final sale – and review it in depth before launching to ensure that everyone understands where they come in, and how interactions will be tracked through sales cycle.