As the year draws to a close, there’s been the usual avalanche of stories focused on must-know digital marketing trends. Most of these stories are all agreed on one point: conversational experiences are going to be more important than ever.
What are conversational experiences?
Conversation experiences is a fancy way to say people are connecting with their favorite brands, retailers, or other businesses using messaging apps. These apps can include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and more when you’re talking about an older target market; Snapchat, Kik and Yik Yak skew toward a younger audience.
Billions of people are using messaging apps on a daily basis. It seems absolutely natural to a customer to use a messaging app to ask a business what time they’re open, whether a particular item is in stock, what are the terms of the latest sale or promotion, to place special orders, to handle complaints and more. Addressing each of these inquiries can rapidly overwhelm an organization. That’s why chatbots, which are automated programs which can understand and answer routine questions, have been created. There’s only one problem: chatbots aren’t human, and they can’t communicate in the authentic, spontaneous method most human shoppers prefer.
In the year to come, expect to see more and more of your customer service inquiries happening via a messaging app or apps. Each business owner will have to decide when and how to deploy chatbots. In the quest to offer a more human, conversational experience, expect to see customization options that allow you to choose the language used by the chatbots to answer questions. The vocabulary that would be appropriate to a fine jewelry retailer can be very different than that used by a hvac supply store – and that’s okay!
Strive to provide an online experience that mirrors what your customers can expect when they’re dealing with you in person. That alignment is especially important to Millennial shoppers, who prize authenticity above almost every other quality when selecting brands to do business with. If you need help making this happen, or you’re not exactly sure how to make use of messaging apps as a customer service channel, get in touch. We can help you make this happen, so you’re perfectly on trend for 2017!