Lead generation has always been a complex issue, but never more so than now. The customers are the same people they have always been, but their habits have changed, with a lowered desire to call and a preference for easy-to-use apps, websites, and chatbots.
In addition to keeping up with this behaviour change, businesses are also realising that leads can be generated from contact that might previously have been overlooked, which we'll delve into in a moment with two case studies.
If you are familiar with chatbots, you'll know that they are great for removing barriers and helping customers obtain the information they want on the spot. Disruption Works has worked with a variety of sectors, implementing chatbots in charities, retail, and insurance. Any large call centre can benefit from a chatbot implementation.
But going beyond customer service, the sales team of any business can benefit from a chatbot being implemented on their website. Chatbots provide quick responses to common questions while in turn obtaining the customer's information. Collecting appropriate information can allow for the chatbot to acquire everything needed to help complete a booking.
Once this information has been collected, the chatbot can either complete the process there and then, provide links to appropriate booking systems or arrange for an informed call back from the sales team. When the enquiry comes in, the team already know who the customer is and what they want. Customers appreciate the excellent customer service this process provides, leading them to trust the brand and makes in very simple to proceed with their purchase or booking.
Let's consider two examples:
The Gym receives a reasonable volume of calls each day and commercially cannot have quite enough staff free to man the phone lines. Customers who visit often complain that they had tried to call in advance with simple queries but could not get through. The Gym's website has a lot of information on it, but it often requires browsing multiple pages to gather the information needed.
The Gym opted to trial a chatbot on their website. The chatbot contains all the information available on the website and more, but of course is not cluttered with information as it only provides answers to questions asked. The most common questions are regarding whether friends can visit too, what times classes are available and terms of membership.
Friends can accompany members, but there is a supplemental fee to pay. The chatbot provides a link to pay for a guest ticket, and the end of that process results in the customer being emailed a ticket to show on entry.
The class timetable is available through the chatbot. Classes are free for members but are restricted in number. The chatbot allows members to pick their classes and sign up, reserving their spot.
The membership query is dealt with, with that query answered the call to action is available and the customer can make an enquiry, so a new member lead is generated, after those initial queries.
As a result, staff are freed to deal with complex enquiries, finalise memberships or simply provide more time to those members that need it. Overall it makes for a better customer experience.
To visit The Restaurant, guests need to book in advance. Because of this, the front desk staff spends a lot of their time on the phone, resulting in guests at The Restaurant having to wait a few moments while these calls are completed. A volume of queries involve common questions included questions about allergens and whether food is vegan or halal or even dress code.
The Restaurant implemented a chatbot on their website and let visitors know that they could easily book in the future via the bot. Customers using the chatbot can ask questions regarding menus, and regardless of the enquiry, the chatbot can find an appropriate moment to provide the link to pass the customer through to the booking system.
The outcome of this was that the volume of calls dropped significantly whilst bookings increased, and front desk staff were freed to be more attentive to guests as they arrived. Additionally, as customers had their initial query answered they were free to book online and the phone line was used less and less for the simple questions.
The greatest power of the chatbot is the ability to provide the desired information and then follow this up with a call to action that the customer wants to follow to complete their journey.
If a potential customer gets in touch with you to ask about opening times, why would you not want to serve them up a simple way to book within those available times? This is a warm lead, with a client who most likely is willing to offer up their name and contact details.
Whether you choose to have a bot try to act as a signpost, directing the customer so that they complete the process themselves, or prefer to have a member of staff make a well-informed callback, the outcome is likely to be an increase in sales.
Remember, customers want a great customer experience, and part of that is the ease of use of your site and the availability of the desired information. Customers do not want to delve 3-4 pages deep through drop-down menus and dense web pages.
The easier the process is for your clients, the greater the brand loyalty you can command.
We have our weekly podcast about a variety of subjects including chatbots, how these impact business and some specific challenges or sector stories to help anyone looking to engage with this technology.