Have you heard about the term conversational marketing? Would you like to know more about the newest technology and the buzz word in the field of marketing? Let us understand the concept of conversational marketing and its use in education technology in more detail in the following blog.
Introduction to Conversational Marketing
Technology has had an impact on almost every aspect of our life right from the way that we communicate to the way we commute. We have come a long way from communicating through landline phones and travelling using steam engines. Technology which is brainchild of humans has helped the humans to automate complex processes, lessen manual efforts and lead a life of luxury.
The advancements in technology have also changed the way we reach our customers and market our services. Gone are the days when we used to reach our customers through cold calls and pamphlets.
Now, we have entered the age of digital marketing where we use media or other digital channels to promote our brand or products.
Unsuprisingly, developments in marketing have not stopped there. The brand new technology which is taking the marketing world by storm is “Conversational Marketing”.
Now, let us understand the definition of conversational marketing and what it really is.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a marketing technique which is based on the consumer-centric philosophy. The term conversational means having a real-time conversation while marketing. It aims to provide assistance to customers at their convenience.
These tools give customer the service and efficiency of talking to a real person and simplify the process. Thus, the technique used by conversational marketing helps to build a one-to-one approach by making the team talk to the customer directly which helps to fasten the sales process, build a good rapport and relationship with the customer, provides more humane experience to the customer and thus ensures customer satisfaction.
How do you do Conversational Marketing?
Not a day goes by when we don’t check at least one of the platforms social media platforms such as Facebook messenger, WhatsApp messenger or Emails. Considering this fact, conversational marketing is carried out using one of these platforms. It is only logical to use these platforms to directly connect with customers.
Facebook messengers allow interested customers to connect directly to the representatives of the company. This helps to provide a superior experience to the customer as they don’t have to fill long forms or wait for days to hear back from the business.
Live chat options or windows are also very effective. These allow customers visiting the page to directly chat with one of the executives from the company.
This creates a positive image in the customers’ mind who is interested in knowing about your institution at that point of time. Live chat helps them get their queries answered within minutes. This has also proved helpful in generating more leads.
Future of Conversational Marketing
It is clearly not possible for a person to be available 24*7 to attend the queries of the customer. It also affects the ability to multitask as one person can carry out a comprehensive conversation with at the most two people at the same time.
The bot is able to simulate conversations carried out by humans. It can carry out one-on-one conversations with people using both texts as well as speech. Speech-based assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Google Home are all examples of the same.
Chatbots are user-friendly and convenient. They can be customised and developed with different algorithms to suit the customer’s requirements. They can be designed to answer the questions which are frequently asked by the customers.
They can also be customised to provide options relevant to the questions presented by bot or the answer given by the customer. Due to these reasons that chatbots are being preferred much more over the traditional forms of marketing.
Chatbots are able to follow the steps of the customer and can store the relevant customer data. They use targeted messaging services to provide them with a professional and highly personalized experience.
Thus we can see that the realm of conversational AI is huge and is directly proportional to the future of conversational marketing. The time has arrived to use this technology in education as well to brighten up its credibility.
Conversational Marketing in Education Technology
With the changing times, most of the educational institutes have their institute websites up and running. This helps them expand their reach and attract more students.
However, the problem of dealing with student queries arises. This becomes even more prominent when the university markets to students who do not live in the same time zone.
The tools of Conversational Marketing like chatbots have been known to be very efficient in dealing with these problems. Once they are programmed they can be placed on the website to help students any time of the day from any location.
These bots are initially trained to spot the keywords that are used by students like “courses” or “admission”. Once the bot is trained it can easily handle the queries that are asked by the students.
For instance, if a foreign student wishes to know about a particular course in India, he can visit the website. While surfing the website a query arises in his/her mind. But due to the difference in time zone, no one at the university is able to offer him/her any assistance.
In such a case, an active bot would be able to guide the student through the website and answer any basic query that may come up.
If the student puts in the question, “What is the fee structure for BBA course”, the bot recognises the words ‘fee structure’ and ‘BBA course’ and helps him reach the place where he can find his relevant information. It can do this by providing a link to the web page where the fee structure is mentioned.
This helps the student’s queries to get answered and also improves the image of the institute in the student’s mind.
The bot would is also developed to take a lot of workload of the administration so that they would not require a person to be constantly available to clear the doubts of the students. This would also allow them to cater to more students in less amount of time.
Today, we are living in a fast-paced world and the techniques of marketing have changed along with the world. The normal e-mails and form fillings just don’t attract customers anymore.
Therefore, it has become important for even educational institutes to update themselves with the changing times. It is time to get smarter with marketing by adopting the advanced techniques of AI based conversational marketing.
Now, let us have a look at the advantages offered by Conversational marketing.
Advantages of Conversational Marketing
1. 24 x 7 Availability
One of the most vital and noticeable advantage that a chatbot serves is availability. It may be the time you must be eating the morning bread or it could be the time you must be lying in your bed. But if the customer belongs to any other country or time zone, then customer might knock in at any point of time.
There has to be a provision to handle these spontaneous show ups!!
Well, a chatbot is a key to tackle this issue. A chatbot is a 24 x 7 marketer for your respective service or product that can welcome the customer on behalf of you and pave up the sales pitch.
Conversational Marketing is nothing but the availability of the bot at any instance of time on the site. This helps the customer to get the answer as soon as he asks the question.
As we refer to it as a 24 x 7 marketer, it deserves to know all about your product or service, in order to perform the sales pitch. So, how can we achieve this? Well, although it seems like a tough task, in reality developing a chatbot is not only way easier than training a salesperson but also way more time efficient!
A bot can be programmed to answer the most frequently asked questions. The bot does it through identifying the keywords and giving the appropriate answers.
If the questions asked are too complex, it gets transferred to representative from the customer service.
A customer usually visits a site when they are interested in the product or service that the website is offering. At such a time, they are ready to invest. If they are greeted by an efficient chatbot which can quickly answer their queries, their chances of investing in the product increases.
2. Marvellous User Buying Experience
One of the reasons that people appreciate messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook is because of their ability to facilitate human interaction.
Attention is a feeling that no human can avoid. A platform that vends attention to each and every need of its customer never has to face a downfall. In making an online platform more user-centric, a chatbot plays a role of vital importance.
When you are into a selling segment, winning the trust of your prospect customers is inevitable, in order to meet your desired number of conversions.
To build trust, you need to give a reason to your consumer, a reason to visit your platform, a reason to trust your brand and products/services, a reason to buy your products/services and last but not the least a reason to become a regular customer.
Human interaction plays an important role in building trust with the brand. One of the reasons people prefer in-shop shopping is because they know that there is someone to assist them as and when they need help.
Although online platforms are offering the products/services beyond the edge of expectations, this psychological factor has made online portals suffer through hardship.
It is really difficult to create this kind of connection between consumers and brand through online portals. This is why conversational marketing is becoming increasingly popular.
Conversational marketing techniques help customers to glide through your website. They almost act like the helpful pedestrians while you are trying to find an address.
The features offered by conversational marketing such as live chat and chatbots help in establishing a rapport with the customer. They help in building the trust level that human interaction offers.
3. Highly Cost Effective
A head count is a very crucial number in terms of growing ventures, as it has to maintain the acute balance between the company’s finances and wages of the employees.
Customers are nothing but the fuel agents that help a venture grow. So a company has to take care of all the needs and queries that the customers come up with.
In order to deal with customer queries, companies tend to hire special teams who can look after and resolve them. They have to cater to the demands of the customers whenever they arise.
In addition, if a company wants its services to be available around the clock, they have to invest in extra manpower. On the other hand, representatives can handle a maximum of two inquiries at the same time without jeopardising their efficiency and customer service.
These problems can be resolved with the help of Conversational Marketing tools like chatbots!
Chatbots can carry out the conversations smoothly and can refer the customer to the sales team whenever the questions get too complicated.
An efficiently trained bot can work with 10 agents simultaneously. It might need some back up when the complexity grows high. Ultimately, by the end of the day, the company gets to collect a great number of leads in the bucket, which it probably would have missed without utilizing the benefits of conversational marketing.
Chatbots eliminate the need for a person to sit behind a desk 24 x 7 to provide customer service. At the same time, it also does not compromise on the effectiveness to deal with problems.
Thus, conversational marketing techniques such as Chatbots leads to huge savings on the costs involved in hiring people to provide customer service and making infrastructure available to them as also saves the management from making them work in different shifts.
4. Time Efficient
With the help of internet applications like Google and Siri, humans nowadays have everything that they require at their fingertips when they ask for it. Because of this customers also expect their questions to be answered immediately after they ask them.
Conversational Marketing tools help to do just that. Due to their availability and accessibility, they can answer the questions of the customers whenever they need it. This saves a lot of time and helps to generate leads.
5. Customer Information
In traditional ways of marketing, while taking follow-ups on the query or site visit, the person managing the correspondence has to pull up various details of the customer such as customer id, name, complaint history, etc.
Then they need to constantly confirm the details with the customer which quite frankly can get very irritating.
This kind of correspondence gets tiring and repetitive because every time the person’s details need to be confirmed before handling their inquiry.
Advanced conversational marketing tools like chatbots have the ability to save customer information as well as the details of their query. This information can be made available at any time suitable to the administrator. The customer just need to provide any one detail and rest of the information is extracted from the database easily.
This helps to eliminate the repetitiveness caused by filling of forms or answering same questions related to customer information every time and helps to provide a superior customer experience. This information can also be used by the company to analyse various consumer data.
6. Unlimited Correspondence
As we have discussed earlier, there are limitations to the capacity of work that a human can do. A single team cannot effectively handle all the issues that come up to them, at a certain time!
This problem does not arise while using chatbots. Since the data in chatbots is pre-fed and stored in database, they can carry out any number of conversations at any given moment of time, with the same effectiveness and efficiency.
This eases the load on the customer service team and they can function more smoothly with the problems that ultimately come to them.
Thus, any sort of a conversational marketing tool installed on your website boosts the morale of the customer service team and the whole Customer Relationship Management process can be smoothened out.
Due to so many advantages, conversational marketing has become a technology which is being sought after by all. It has already being used worldwide for different reasons. Let us have a look at some of the amazing facts and stats about conversational marketing and its tools.
Astonishing Facts & Stats about Conversational Marketing
Here is a list of some facts and stats about conversational marketing which will blow your mind.
- 39% of consumers said that they had a good experience with online chats.
- By 2021, 85% of customer interaction will be handled by chatbots without any human intervention.
- 37% consumers use a bot for customer service to get answers quickly during emergency
- 50% of businesses plan to spend more on conversational marketing.
- 64% of consumers liked the feature of 24×7 availability of chatbots
- The top five countries in terms of usage of chatbots are USA, India, Germany, the UK and Brazil.
- By the end of 2023, companies will save 2.5 billion hours of customer service due to the use of conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing has been proved to engage customers, develop customer base, ensure their loyalty and thus grow the revenue. It is a way to extend some honest help to the customers which in turn will be appreciated by them as well. It can do wonders in the education system if the educational entities accept this as a part of educational technology.
The best part about conventional marketing is that its strategies can be used on its own or even alongside traditional form of marketing. Thus, doubtlessly conversational marketing tools are the best choice when it comes to growing your business online. So what are you waiting for? Enter the world of this modern and powerful technology of marketing which will help you lead to the path of success in your ventures.