Here's one significant reason why our clients love using chatbots for sales and marketing, and why this techology is moving into the digital space like wildfire.
What the consumer wants is ease in all regards. They want the consumer experience to be as natural as possible without being pushy and complicated. Ideally, they don't want to notice that they're having a consumer experience at all. Furthermore, they want to feel safe and secure.
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. You want a widget, so you go to widget.com, but once you go off-page you get followed around every subsequent page by widget ads. Perhaps you think: “OK that widget looks pretty cool,” so you click on one of the ads and leave some details. Next thing you know, you have some pushy widget salesperson ringing, emailing and being a general pest for the next six months.
Who wants this to be their shopping experience? Nobody, that's who.
More and more consumers are becoming tired of modern advertising practices, hence the rise of ad blockers and data deletion requests. Instead of bemoaning this trend, marketers need to wake up, adapt and improve.
So, how does using chatbots come into this?
Chatbots are not the intrusive pop-up beings of yesteryear, like that stupid Microsoft paperclip. In fact, they are now well-designed and non-intrusive. Think of them as the greeter who says “hi” when you enter a shop and then let's you do your own thing. You can say hi back if you want, and if you need a hand you know where they are. That’s it. In this scenario, the consumer is in charge of the interaction, not the sales team.
We spoke with several consumers to determine what factors influenced their online buying habits. We found that when the sales conversation is on their terms, consumers are far more engaged. We also discovered a secondary factor that influences consumers - security.
Chatbots make consumers feel more secure
Now this may seem strange, but when a lot of consumers speak to sales teams they go into defence mode, worried that their words will be twisted and used to manipulate them. Does this sound familiar to you?
Mrs Smith: ‘Thanks but I’m not really interested in buying right now, thank you... *tries to hang up*
Sales douche: “But Mrs Smith, I thought you wanted to save money on your widget?! If you hang up now, then you will just keep wasting money! Seems pretty stupid, doesn’t it?”
Mrs Smith: *sighs* “Well I suppose you make a good point..." *stays on call for another 15 mins*
Not a highly-converting scenario, right? If you use chatbots for marketing, this doesn’t happen. The consumer can leave at any point if they aren't engaged, and there's also a full record of the conversation available to both parties.
Consumers can go back over what they said and the sales team can too. So, rather than having to go for the pushy sell, the sales team can read back the transcript and find ways to add value. Similarly, the consumer can read back and consider what they want. Altogether, this leads to more informed sales with higher conversions.
You may think that this will decrease your conversions. However, for our clients, chatbots have had significant impacts on conversions and sales. Instead of just taking my word for it though, below is some of the evidence.
Chatbots increase qualified HNW lead volume by 17%
With one of our high net worth clients, we were seeing a great click through rate and good time on-page engagement but an average conversion rate. We installed a chatbot with a few qualifying questions and a direct link to the phones of the sales team. We outlined a Service Level Agreement (SLA) whereby the sales team dealt with any enquiry within four minutes to establish basic contact with the consumer. This didn’t have to be a full-scale sales conversation, just enough to qualify the lead and arrange a subsequent goal-setting call.
The result was a 17% increase in qualified leads which coincided with a record quarter for sales. With an Average Order Value (AOV) of £16.5k per sale, this had a significant impact to the company's overall profit margins.
Chatbots reduce Cost Per Lead (CPL) from £130 to £33 whilst generating 577.5% Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) in just three weeks
We work with a B2B startup company that offers niche services in an industry soon to be heavily affected by GDPR. Having seen that we could generate leads with chatbots for other clients, we decided to start this campaign with chatbots featured as a core part of the lead generation mix. We started with a direct response PPC campaign, and we had been up and running for three weeks when it was time for the first monthly review.
When we looked at direct form fills alone, the CPL was £133, not a success by any means. However, when we looked at chatbot conversations, the overall picture changed dramatically. When marketing with chatbots, the CPL dropped to £33 for a qualified lead. This led to a ROAS of over 577.5% in the first month, setting the business up for subsequent acceleration of their sales.
Chatbots increase internal leads by 20%
At Six & Flow, we like to practice what we preach when it comes to marketing. Before we implemented chatbots on any of our clients, we trialled the technology on our own website. We didn’t want our initial interactions to be pushy or go for the kill with direct conversion though - instead we wanted the bot to give a window for a brief qualification, then allow our sales team to begin a conversation by linking them to a relevant blog.
Within a month of implementation, we had seen qualified leads rise by 20%, with that 20% having their initial touch point from the chatbot.
We are only beginning to see the power of using chatbots for lead generation, customer service and more. There may be hesitation in their adoption as people still think they are intrusive and annoying (damn that paperclip!) but this isn’t the case anymore. Many of our clients are quite open about the fact they don't like leaving information on forms, as it often leads to incessant pestering. Chatbots solve this issue, and as we have seen from the three examples above, this is positively affecting us and our clients.