Whenever customers set foot into a store, they are usually not just handed some pamphlets to read and learn about the business, and shop assistants wouldn’t just turn their back on them, hide from them, avoid eye-contact or act super-busy. At least, you wouldn’t experience this in stores that truly care about their customers. The first and foremost thing a customer-oriented businesses would do is to engage visitors in a conversation to find out about their needs, figure out how they can be supported, and offer genuine help.
Conversion and Conversation, the two words do not only sound similar, but they are very closely linked. While it’s a known fact in the offline world that engaging shoppers in conversations lead to higher conversions and customer loyalty, many online businesses fail to take this approach to the online world. The best chance you can give yourself to convert a visitor into a customer is by starting a conversation.
Here are 4 examples how conversations can help you to build meaningful relationships with your visitors and create trust – on and off the site.
On the Site – Live Chat:
Live chat works pretty much the same like a salesperson in a brick and mortar store. A visitor lands on your website and is greeted with a welcome message from a sales representative proactively, and the conversation follows. There are many plugins and applications on web that will allow you to quickly setup live chat function at your store.
But there are some drawbacks. Research indicates that customers expect a response within 30 seconds and if your site is experiencing a traffic surge, it might get quite difficult to serve all visitors in time, and the cost can quickly get out of hand.
On the Site – Product finders:
You don’t really have to hire dozens of product experts to guide the customers towards the best possible product. Instead, you can use interactive product advisors to play that role. Interactive product advisors ask need-oriented questions and use the input for picking best possible products from your inventory.
If done well, interactive product advisors can replicate valuable 1:1 conversation: You are able to engage visitors in conversations to understand their needs and requirements, and guide them to products that make sense to them. Especially in domains with complex products and little product differentiation, these Guided Selling solutions can help to effectively communicate distinguishing factors, educate visitors, and guide them to their best possible option. The best part, it will incur lower cost than hiring a team of standby-customer service staff.
Off the Site – Social Media:
Engaging customers via social media channels has become indispensable in B2C industries, where there is a high volume of customers seeking to connect, receive support, or discover product updates and deals.
Tapping into meaningful customer conversations via social media and embracing this social opportunity, allows businesses, especially telecom companies and banks, to forge closer relationships with existing customers, earn new customers, and gain trust.
Off the Site – Online Communities:
If you look around the World Wide Web, you will find many online groups, communities, and forums which are directly or indirectly related to your business. Google+ Communities, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn Groups are just a few of the many social networking sites that allow businesses to engage in a conversations with their target groups.
These are the places where conversations are already taking place. Simply joining these communities and being a part of these conversations can help you gain valuable insights on how your target customers think and what they like or dislike.
Engaging in conversations with customers is paramount in today’s marketplace. They help you build relationships, and relationships help you to earn brand loyalty, advocacy, and drive sales.