Conversational marketing is a customer-centric and dialogue-driven approach to marketing. It has become the go-to strategy for driving customer engagement, improving customer experience, and growing revenue. The name itself tells a lot about the term already - but if you're wondering how conversational marketing works, why it's so important in 2020, and where it fits in with the world of inbound, keep on reading!
Knowing what resonates best with your audience is often a guessing game. This is where A/B testing comes to play, by helping you optimise content and recognise what works well and what doesn't. Whether you're having difficulties reaching campaign goals or improving your current marketing strategy, A/B testing is an efficient tool for solving these challenges.
Improving lead generation will help your sales build their pipeline and ultimately close more deals. This is a no brainer, right? But 63% of marketers say that lead generation is their biggest challenge. And when it comes to the B2B space, things tend to get a little trickier as there are often multiple stakeholders involved in the purchasing process. Your website plays a significant role in this very complex B2B sales process, especially in lead generation. That’s why we’ve gathered a few tips (five to be exact) for better lead generation on your website:
Live chat and chatbots are both great features to consider during a website revamp. Our customers often tell us that one of the main reasons they have started using chat or chatbots is because they finally have a proper website to showcase the tool on. As with chat tools, websites also need to be continuously optimised and improved to get the most out of them. And since websites are a crucial part of a chat functioning, we wanted to take a glance into the future and see what website mistakes you should avoid in the year 2020.
For over a decade now, gamification has been used by businesses to improve employee training, participation and motivation. Gamification takes elements of video games and applies it into non-gaming contexts, like a specific process inside an organisation - truly taking the motto “work hard, play hard” to a new level!
It’s been more than two decades since, Bill Gates coined the phrase “Content is king!” and the mantra is still very relevant today - after all, content is what drives the world of online. Creating valuable content is instrumental for acquiring and retaining customers. Moreover, consumers today are quite happy to consume brand content, with 90% saying they like the idea of businesses using custom content to engage with them online.
During the 8 years in business, giosg has transformed into a leading chat provider in Finland while challenging the top spot in the UK and Sweden as well. In addition to acquiring customers, we have also built long lasting partnerships with resource partners and through integration partnerships. Moment Group is one of these partners and our shared history goes back 5 years already.
They offer a complete chat solution for their customers with chat agents. As our resource partner, Moment Group provides the chat agents and giosg functions as the platform. After 5 years, we thought it would be nice to round up what it has been like to work with us during this journey.
So we asked.
This is a story told by Pasi Toivokoski, Chief Chat Officer at Moment Group.
The recruitment of students is competitive and if you’re not in the top tier of higher education institutions it can be challenging, to say the least. And with the current climate, applications have taken a dive - data from The Russell Group of leading research universities shows a 3% fall in EU students in the current intake, which is believed to be due to uncertainty over Brexit. Not only has the amount of international student applications plummeted, recent Ucas figures show a decrease of 1% in British student applications as well.
Using time and money efficiently are top priorities for most businesses. The challenge usually lies in finding the right balance between saving resources and providing a top notch experience, especially when it comes to customer support. Naturally, that’s where live chat comes in...
For business owners, faster lead generation, efficiency and saving both time and money should sound interesting, right? Many people associate live chat with the B2C sector and ecommerce - you know, that chat window that pops up, available for questions and complaints. This is definitely one purpose of live chat, but it can be a whole lot more - a lead generator, a goal measurer and a marketing solution for targeting.
The interaction between businesses and consumers has completely changed, due to the increase in mobile usage and the rise in digital.
What is cart abandonment? Imagine a scenario where you walk into a supermarket and start filling up your shopping cart. While shopping you bump in to a neighbour, have a quick catch up, and following the “distraction” you forget all about your weekly shop and head off home.
This scenario is pretty unlikely in real life. However, in the world of eCommerce, it is just another day in the office. In fact, it is anticipated that four out of five shoppers leave their carts without converting.
Despite your well-laid plans, shoppers will visit your site and start shopping, only to be distracted by an email, a notification from another platform or even human intervention. And, they may never return. This forms the basis of cart abandonment. In simple, it happens when buyers add an item to a website shopping cart but never complete the transaction.
So how can you avoid shopping cart abandonment? Here are our top three tips to abandoned cart recovery:
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other major "holidays" can make any customer service agent sweat. Who can blame them though, as the service lines and chat windows pop up one after another.
The popularity of Live Chat has been growing amongst all ages but it’s quickly becoming the most desired method of contact especially (and unsurprisingly) for millennials. They are more likely to prefer chat over other generations, with two top reasons being limited wait time and convenience. And as the popularity of Black Friday and it's online equivalent Cyber Monday grows all over the world, customer service agents manning live chat services have had to up their game!
AI has not yet reached the point of being a mainstream phenomenon and still needs a fair bit of elaboration, but it's certainly getting there. When that time comes, companies will need to be ready to compete in a digital environment where adaptation to AI is a prerequisite for all. For that exact reason, we compiled a list of the upcoming AI trends to give you a head-start, provide you with insight into the AI industry and prepare you for what's to come in the world of AI not only for 2019 but beyond.
In an initial implementation meeting with a customer, clear goals and KPIs for a chat service are always planned. The most common early stage goals often include characteristics like:
- Sales orientation
- Involvement to a multichannel customer service solution
- Supporting role in other functions like helpdesk, recruiting, online store, booking etc.
Live chat is five times more effective than traditional customer service channels, it is easily personalised, and it can be applied at any stage of the customer journey. You might wonder how exactly this is done? Let’s have a look at how to implement live chat throughout the journey.
If you take a quick look at your online sales, what do you see? Have you got a successful digital business model generating all the leads and sales you need? Or maybe you have not yet got the results you expected? Whatever your situation, we are confident that the model we propose below will add significant value to your digital business and considerably improve customer experience.
I bet many potential customers are scrolling your website at the bus stop or whilst sitting on the train, you wouldn’t want to miss out on reaching out to them, would you?
Chatbots are your first line of customer service and a crucial part of your virtual assistance solution. As exciting it might be to have a face to face conversation with a robot, the technology still doesn’t live up to online users’ expectations.
Goal-oriented chatting is more than just live chat, it’s building a strategy of goals and measuring results to keep growing your business. So what is it?
Finnish Centre for Pensions (FCP) is a statutory co-operation body whose responsibilities include research, expertise and service related to the Finnish pension system. FCP’s key values are looking courageously into the future, heeding customers and furthering competence and our strategy emphasises public familiarity with the earnings-related pension provision.
To gain customer insight into eServices development, we conducted a customer survey one year ago. The data collected clearly suggested that a group of our customers would prefer self-service in an online environment over to some of the more traditional service channels. When weighing our options, we came to believe that live chat could help us better engage with this customer group. As an organisation, we like to learn by doing. That is why we decided to start a trial period with giosg in September 2017 with two goals in our mind; one was to see how customers would receive the channel and the other one was to test how customer service employees can adapt to live chat and how they feel about using this new channel.
Disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured and consumed. Setting up a 'virtual branch', that allows financial service providers engage with potential customers on another organisation's domain, is a great way to meet evolving customer expectations using rapidly advancing technology. By integrating real-time credit counselling seamlessly with the purchase journey of a partner site the context where the service is provided is significantly better than in any other form of digital service.
Take booking for a holiday, for instance. Many of us have a ready-made list of dream holiday destinations in our mind, but the reality is that a loan can sometimes be what is needed to bring our plans for a honeymoon, birthday celebration or annual vacation to live. Then, what better moment to be offered financial advice than when we are online browsing for travel services and comparing options?
These days, most house hunters browse for properties online, and they expect to get a response from property companies around the clock, not just during office hours. We work with some of the real estate companies in the UK, including Knight Frank, Connells and Savills, so we were keen to get a greater understanding of the current state of online engagement in the British property sector.
To achieve this, we set out to analyse data from eight of those UK real estate clients, focusing our attention on the website visits of 2,710,592 individuals during a one-month period (May 2017).
The infographic below highlights some of the top findings and conclusions of this exercise. Whilst the data suggests that property companies are off to a good start, it also clearly shows that there is a lot more that they can do to be in sync with the needs and demands of their online visitors.
When talking about machine learning in a commercial context, people often think that their conversion rate will increase just because advanced calculations relating to machine learning are being made in a server room. That is not the case. In order for machine learning to improve the conversion rate, there needs to be a complete use case where a machine learning algorithm figures out something interesting and the customer is able to use this information to their benefit.
In a standard example, you would have a treatment that has an effect of, let’s say, +10% on conversion if offered to every visitor. An example of this would be offering free delivery to every customer in an online store. If you instead targeted this treatment with machine learning, that 10% would set an upper limit to how much your conversion could improve. In the best case, we would find exactly the visitors that bought because they got that treatment and not offer this costly treatment to anyone else. This would land at the same +10% improvement in conversion. In such a case we would have optimised the benefit, i.e. minimised the expense while maximising the return.
In order to reach something better, you need a slightly different setup. If you had a treatment that has a positive effect on some of the visitors and a negative effect on others, you could actually reach a better conversion rate with machine learning than you could by offering that treatment to everyone. This would be a case where you reach some conversion rate precisely because you use it together with machine learning; a case where you could not reach the same conversion rate without machine learning.- As it happens, this is precisely what we have done.
In today's digital age customers expect to receive top-of-the-line service and user experience when and where they want it. This puts companies under pressure to find new ways to impress customers and differentiate from the competition in an increasingly populated digital marketplace. To build an environment that nurtures innovation and meets the ever-evolving expectations of customers many businesses are now collaborating with smaller tech firms (like us!).
As a part of this, in November 2015, Danske Bank launched a new service called ‘Dreams come true’ with the help of Giosg. The solution provided uses intelligent analytics to first, find potential customers in the business’s partner network and then secondly, to offer these customers an opportunity to get real-time professional advice and financial solution when and where they need it.
In 2015, Connells Group, one of the UK’s largest real estate groups – operating across a number of well-known UK estate agency brands, was looking for new ways to drive revenue from its websites. Their biggest revenue stream was the market appraisal bookings for properties but, at the time, website visitors could only book one through online forms or by phoning the estate agency branches directly. As both of these options required a high level of commitment from the website visitor, finding an easier option for the customer to get in touch seemed like the most natural way to increase the number of market appraisal bookings.
After some careful consideration, Connells Group decided to implement giosg solutions on a number of its brand's websites, enabling them to have a discussion with the website visitor via live chat. Eventually, this ability led to a significant increase in market appraisals. But adapting to a new way of connecting with customers wasn’t without its challenges.
In the digital age providing customers with omnichannel customer service has become more of a rule than an exception. Reliable, receptive and timely responses are the most important characteristics that come to mind when thinking about what is important to the customer, regarding service. Still, from the business point of view, there is a big difference in how these objectives are achieved.
Although customers today expect to receive the same level of service regardless of the channel they use, the fact still is that some support channels are more cost-efficient than others. As mentioned in our previous blogs (here and here), the biggest shortcomings of the phone support compared to live chat are higher operating costs and the mere impossibility to have more than one conversation at the same time. Live chat, on the other hand, changes the work of the customer service agents from one-at-a-time processing rate to taking care of 3 to 7 tickets simultaneously. That enables customer service to solve tickets quicker and, also cuts costs as fewer callbacks are required.
Even though self-service is certainly an essential part of digital customer experience, it is much better for both the customer and the company to get the necessary information right in the first time. Handling forms with incorrectly filled in or missing information takes a lot of customer service agents time whereas forms filled correctly can be processed and solved almost automatically. With CoBrowse technology the agent can provide hands-on assistance online so that all sections of the form can be filled the first time correctly.
It is good to make sure you have the best practices in use to direct customers toward the most efficient customer service channels to generate the right value for both your customer and your business. A client of ours, If Insurance (If), provides an excellent example of how a company can enable efficient and smart handling of customer requests in an online environment.
In the past decade or so, the way people search for homes has changed drastically as more and more house-hunters now start their search by looking on one of the major property portals. Recent research in the UK showed that 47% of the population had used a property search website during the last 12 months.
Technology will undoubtedly continue to take away barriers to information, so that portal visitors have even easier and more efficient ways to search for properties that match their requirements. Innovations are also changing the role of an estate agent so that the real issue real estate companies need to address is how to be more responsive to potential customers.
Estate agents are apparently always looking to get more listings but how to find those seller leads on property portals? The answer is quite simple: try asking portal visitors if they already have a home that they need to sell before they can buy a new one.
Customer service is usually the first place we contact if we need more information, want to make a complaint etc. This means that customer service is the main opportunity for service recovery: turning a scratch in Customer Experience into something great. So that the customer ends up feeling more satisfied after the company has solved the problem than if everything had gone as planned in the first place.
With that kind of responsibility, customer service needs to take ownership of every step of the customer experience formulation, starting from the first touchpoint. Otherwise, the opportunity for service recovery is lost in the process. For example, when I recently needed to call customer service of a big insurance company, I spent the first 50s dealing with automated menu making choices and then another 50s listening to elevator music before I was connected to customer service.
By contrast, many of our client companies continue to reach under 10s response times in live chat. From customer’s point of view, this means that with live chat there is basically no waiting time. Plus there is no need to switch to another device as you can just type the question while browsing on service provider’s website. So, like this online technology reviews firm points out, it’s no wonder that millennials prefer live chat over other channels in their day-to-day communication.
Computer-controlled bots who can communicate with customers. That has been the dream of customer service professionals for quite a while now. Corporate giants have been testing them since the last decade but so far, we haven't seen them implemented at scale.
Once again, there's an industry-wide hype around chatbots but this time, that hype will pay off. And there are two simple reasons why they will actually make it.
Live chat has several business benefits, for example, it has proved to be more cost-efficient than other service channels (like the phone). Still, none of this is possible without the necessary human resources to provide customers with personal, timely and accurate support. That is why one of the most critical considerations when implementing live chat is resourcing.
When trying to make sure they can utilise the full potential of live chat as a service channel, companies usually have at least three alternatives. The 1) is to use the same customer support and sales resources they use with phone and email. The 2) is to outsource the chat personnel to a resource company, and the 3) is to adopt an model that combines internal and outsourced resources.
Different alternatives have all their advantages and disadvantages which is why it is good to take time to review each option carefully before making a move.
For all of us at Giosg, it's a true honour to host Petra Mengelt from Euroloan, a seasoned expert of customer experience in the financial industry, on our blog. We have learned a lot from Petra while working with her and listening to her in various stages and conference halls across the Europe. We are sure that her words will shake up your expectations whether you're working to push the financial industry into an era of superb (digital) customer experience, or assessing the experience as the customer.
The Banker said “No!”
Remember the times when mum and dad were getting ready for a meeting at a bank back in the day? Is dad’s tie correct and mum’s skirt long enough? Do they look goodenough to make that critical first impression on the loan officer?What will he think when they arrive, hat in hand, to get the loan for the new appliance?
Like mentioned in a recent Finextra article, there’s one fundamental thing that separates banks from many other businesses; customers don’t want to do business with them. Customers don’t want a mortgage; they want a home. They don’t want a loan; they want a car, or a holiday trip, or something else. Banks for a customer are a means to an end. And those banks that get this also recognise that they need to be offering services beyond the banking product.
Then, how can banks offer services online? A typical situation now is that a website has been designed to bombard visitors with everything possible. Still, for example, new and returning visitors often have different kind of needs which means that it would be wise to personalise the offering to meet the customer's actual situation better.
The most important thing, when trying to engage customers online, is to take a look at what customers are experiencing and then think about how to get their attention and help them. One way to do this is to use different kinds of situational reminders, like personalised and informative banners or proactive live chat, on a company’s website.
Let us show you how!
In 2014, Finnair faced the same problem many customer oriented companies face: customer service costs a lot. Customer service is important and engagement with the customer is directly linked to upselling, but the costs associated with traditional customer service channels are sometimes unbearable. Each call takes several minutes out of a service agent’s workday and each minute costs.
In this blog we will talk the two strategies for converting online visitors; proactive and reactive chatting. We will also give our recommendations based on what we have come to find from our experience and results.
Let us start by explaining shortly what the difference between these two approaches is. A reactive chat means that the online visitors have to, by themselves, click on a button that would prompt the chat to start. A proactive message is an automatically configured message that appears to the visitor.
Now, let's imagine you are a sales rep in an electronics warehouse, a customer walks in and you see him looking at one product for a long time, wouldn’t you go up to him and ask if he needs any help? The likelihood is that he is looking for some information that will satisfy his requirements in order to make the purchase. Well, the same idea applies to a website.
A Forrester research study has shown that a reactive chat will give a return on investment (ROI) of 15% while engaging online visitors with proactive chat will give a return on investment (ROI) of 105%. We have also seen these same results in the field, although they vary by industries and domains. So in the end of the day, when done right, meaning carefully placing the proactive messages in order for the visitors to be prompted and converted, it is just good service.
Live chat has great potential for it meets the customer at the point of the buying cycle where they're going to have questions. Meaning that agents can connect with customers at the point of sale and gently nudge browsing customers into the checkout line.
Besides increasing sales (if that wasn't enough), live chat can help you gain also other type of competitive edge; excellent customer experience. For let's not forget that customers actually like it. A survey conducted by Forrester research says that 44% of online consumers indicate that having live chat available while making an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. And other surveys also state that more than half of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat.
In the previous blog, I discussed at a general level, five considerations relevant when/how to direct salespeople online. This time, I will go deeper into the first level: Sales strategy.
Sales strategy defines the top level of what and to whom chat agents sell. It defines the stage of a purchase process during which the chat is activated. Also, it offers guidelines for sales persons operating the chat. The sales strategy has a strong link to goals,metrics, the allocation of resources as well as post-chat processes guiding how the chat agents work. More specifically, a chat sales strategy reflects for e.g. the choices made related to the visibility and proactive features of the chat.