By James Gilbert, Director of Marketing and Business Development for HubSpot.
One of the biggest challenges for any business is keeping up with the increasing expectations of their current and prospective customers. Today, customers are more independent, more impatient, and less trusting of businesses. They share their dissatisfaction widely and loudly, and they can easily choose one of your many competitors.
Focusing on removing friction in the customer experience should be a priority for all companies. For marketers, that means evolving your strategy to meet people where they are -- today, your customers expect to be able to reach you 24/7, via the channel of their choosing. That might be email or over the phone, which you’re probably already set up to handle, but increasingly, it’s chat channels like Facebook Messenger or live chat on your website where they can get an instant response.
Engage the way people prefer
The more you can engage with people through their preferred method, the more likely you are to provide a delightful customer experience, and as a result grow your business through word-of-mouth recommendations -- happy customers are your most trusted marketing channel, after all. That’s why live chat and channels like Facebook Messenger have become just as important as traditional communication channels like email and phone.
What else is working
At HubSpot -- a leading growth platform comprised of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and a powerful free CRM -- we’ve found that prospective customers who engage with us via chat have a much higher close rate than the majority of our other channels. For us, chat is not only helping us provide a better customer experience, but it’s actually helping us grow our business as a result. Over the past few years, our on-site chat channel has been a significant contributor to the amount of revenue we’ve brought in.
Implementing a conversational strategy -- a communication strategy that’s delivered through chat channels -- can be difficult as, for most marketers, it’s uncharted territory. The tools and technology needed are often new and understanding where chat should be used in place of another communication channel isn’t always obvious. The good news is it’s not too difficult to learn, once you get started. As conversational strategy becomes more and more commonplace, those who are leading the way are publishing endless advice on how to build your own.
James Gilbert is HubSpot's Marketing Director in APAC. Originally from Australia and now based in Singapore, he leads the inbound movement in Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand with a mission of helping businesses grow better by transforming the way they market and sell to match the way modern humans want to buy. He will be speaking at Cebit 2019 on The changing face of customer experience: Creating a conversational strategy.