The blurred line between marketing, sales, and customer service
Conversational commerce is blurring the line between customer service, marketing and sales, we look at how businesses can adapt.
Lately, conversational marketing has become a hot topic. Last week we discussed how it came about, why it is not a new phenomenon, and why businesses are taking notice. We mentioned that, as businesses grew and moved online, un-scalable elements like conversations were left behind and the purchase experience became less personal.
Then as technologies like smartphones, social media, and messaging apps made conversations easier, customer expectations changed and businesses were forced to re-introduce conversational channels in their communication plans.
Today, we’ll dive deeper and look at two interesting side effects of the return of conversational commerce: the blurred lines between communication functions and a surprising treasure trove of information.
Blurring the lines
As the conversation between consumers and businesses slowly shifts from websites, forums, and emails to messaging apps an interesting thing is happening: the divide between functions and channels is getting blurred. The new channels are, in effect, becoming a single point of contact.
From a user’s perspective, it is becoming easier to communicate with companies. The trend is unlikely to stop, and we are seeing consumers, especially of younger generations, messaging companies directly to ask for what they need, just like they would do with a friend or family member. This is especially true on mobile devices where studies indicate that, on average, just 3 apps constitute 80% of the device’s use, and where websites and search engines are harder to navigate.
For companies, the trend towards conversational commerce represents a great opportunity but also a potential threat. Customer expectations are trending steadily towards messaging companies at any time, from anywhere, about anything. Fulfilling these expectations with traditional teams has the potential to be extremely expensive, and chatbots are emerging as the only feasible solution.
A single chatbot can handle hundreds of conversations at the same time, interface with CRM booking systems, databases and also connect users to the right human inside the company. They also have another secret power: data collection and analysis.
A new world of data
Unlike traditional person-to-person interactions or e-commerce, conversational commerce generates a lot of data, in the form of written conversations. These conversations, if mined well, can provide precious insights into how customers view the product, what problems they are trying to solve and what language is more natural to them.
If harvested correctly, it can be used to get a picture of customers’ needs and how their product is perceived that is far superior to traditional systems like website analytics or A/B testing. After all, looking at a website we can see what people click on, but the data is limited by the options that are available on the page and cannot be compared to a customer directly expressing what they need and why.
Chatbots and conversational commerce can open new horizons for all companies. All it takes to get started is one simple step: clicking on the contact link below.