Usually, when people talk about using chatbots for business purposes, they focus on customer service and satisfaction, or even sometimes on the marketing potential of this specialized software. Today, we will investigate a more direct utilization of chatbots, more precisely, using them to help boost conversions.
To do this, we first have to discuss chatbots’ potential to aid your conversion rate optimization efforts and then provide a few tips that will help you tap into that potential.
Saving Time and Effort
The most obvious way in which chatbots can help companies boost their conversion rates is by shortening the time website visitors take between first coming over and making a purchase.
Just imagine your own journey when you visit a website you wish to buy from. Unless you followed a very specific link, you land on the home page and then start your search for what you need. Depending on how well the website is designed and how many products/services they sell, it can take you a while before you finally find what you are looking for.
A chatbot can dramatically reduce the time needed to do this, especially if the visitor knows what they are looking for. It all comes down to narrowing down what they need until they are presented with the exact product or service.
By reducing the time between logging on and making a purchase, you are reducing the chances of the potential customers getting bored, tired or turning to your competition. It is as simple as that.
Perhaps the best thing about this is that a well-designed and executed chatbot can help even the most unfortunately designed and optimized websites increase their conversions.
Pulling In the Customer Early
According to Gartner, more than 70 percent of buyers would initiate or accept a contact request from a business they never bought from during the initial phases of the purchasing process (the early exploration and evaluation phases). And keep in mind that this research talks about B2B buyers who are usually tougher cookies, so to say.
In other words, sometimes you can turn even the “just browsing” visitors into buyers, but you have to initiate contact. This is what chatbots were made to do. You simply set up your chatbot to react to a certain amount of browsing or content consummation and hit up your visitors with offers that can even be tailored to the pages they spent the most time on.
A Whole New Set of Data
We can all agree that in order to be able to do proper conversion rate optimization, you need data. By deploying a chatbot, you get a whole new set of data that can help you learn new things about your customers.
For example, by doing various tests on the ways to approach visitors and the offers to put in front of them, you can get additional data on their sentiments and preferred customer journey.
What is even better is that you have their actual words, as opposed to raw data that only tell you what they do on your website.
How to Get the Best Results
Like with anything else, it takes quite a bit of effort and hard work to make your chatbots work for you in a way that will truly boost your conversion rate. You have to keep in mind both the big-picture stuff and the little things. Since there are just far too many of the small things, we’ll concentrate on the high-level considerations here.
What Your Actually Customers Need
Before you even start building (or shopping for) your chatbot, you need to identify what your customers would like to get from it. You can do this by either analyzing your CRM data or by putting yourself in their shoes. The combination of the two works best, as usual.
You may discover, for example, that your customers spend too much time working out the difference between the various pricing plans for your product. In this case, you set up your chatbot so that it leads with this and that it can handle all kinds of questions about pricing plans, guiding the potential customers to the one that works best for them.
Or, you may find out that some of your products require too many steps before people can actually purchase them. In this case, you would use your chatbot to compress the funnel and make the purchase quicker.
Regardless of how well your chatbot is built and how much time you spend on perfecting it, the reality is that we are still a long way away from chatbots that are anywhere close to handling a conversation as a real person. This is why you should never try and hide the fact that your customers are talking to a chatbot – they will realize it anyway within the first few lines of exchange.
It can also be a challenge to find the right tone for your chatbot. You want it to be conversational, but there is a very fine line between conversational and forced.
Finally, always make it possible for your customers to get in touch with you and your (human) people. Sometimes a chatbot just does not do it.
Tinker with it
It is far more likely than not that your chatbot will be less than perfect the first time around the track. There are just too many variables and too many things that you can do wrong (and that can go wrong on their own).
Because of this, you should never consider your chatbot a one-and-done type thing. It is a long-term investment and not just in the financial sense. You need to dedicate time to analyzing your chatbot’s performance and its effects on your conversion rates, as well as on finding different ways to make it better.
Chatbots hold a massive potential when we are talking conversion rate optimization. However, you will need to be serious and strategic in your approach to this if you really want to reap all the benefits.
It does pay off in the end, though.