Web chat (commonly referred to as a CHATBOT) and SMS text are highly recommended as must have upgrades to your B2B and B2C digital presence. If powering these engagements has not been on your radar, then make it a priority right away. On demand chat and a structured text messaging cadence is vital for customer outreach. Additionally, continuous communicative updates and continued 2-way messaging must be a part of a successful customer engagement strategy.
Going Beyond Lead Capture
The typical chatbot pitch focuses on “lead generation”. Commonly, the user experience has a floating widget which serves to collect contact information and replies using a static “Thank You” message. The main setback of a traditional chatbot is the lack of an immediate response or other related form of continued interaction. The Botsplash platform gives your company the ability to go beyond “lead capture”.
- Lead Capture, Creation, or Update: Botsplash has several industry leading CRM integrations, so when lead information is captured, it is followed by an action to create the lead or update (de-dupe) an existing lead within your CRM.
This will trigger all the necessary CRM rules as required whether it’s a welcome email, lead assignment, call center distribution or other journeys and flows.
- Lead Management and Assignment: Botsplash offers several lead distribution algorithms in order to minimize visitor wait times and maximize LO availability. Many of our clients use a mix of CRM and Botsplash distribution in order to allocate LO resources and efficiently reduce response times for visitors.
- Schedule a Call / Follow Up: Want to offer after hours support? With Botsplash, the visitor can schedule an outbound call right from the widget. The visitor is greeted with the option to schedule a call back in the next three business days. This functionality allows them to choose the most convenient time for them and gives the agent the idea of the customers schedule and that they’re high intent.
- Spanish Translation: Botsplash supports automatic Spanish translation. If you do not have bilingual agents, you can still keep the conversation going and provide support.
- Affiliate Thank You Page Chat: Botsplash chat is made available to you wherever you choose to display your brand. A widget can be deployed on your affiliate, marketplace, rate-table and matched page experiences. Give a continued experience for the visitor, let them initiate a conversation from wherever they are!
- Pricing Engine Quotes: Our integration with the Mortech engine allows you to provide conditional pricing and quotes for web chat and Facebook flows. Check out a demo here.
Powering Up Servicing, Support and New Sales Experiences
Not all website visitors are considered leads. Many visitors to your website will, in fact, be returning customers who are reaching out with an inquiry or for support. Each section of your website and/or micro site will likely cater to a specific audience whether they’re there for payments, new sales, support or something else. A single chatbot widget spread across the entire site can cause frustration to the user attempting to ask a question.
An example of a chat experience model could be:
Homepage : No questions asked! Less friction to encourage interaction.
Profile page : Gather information about the visitor, so the connecting agent can better help answer questions or provide solutions. Upon receiving consent, the agent and customer can choose to migrate the conversation to an SMS channel.
Demo-page : Experience the widget and encourage further interaction.
AI powered SMS or NOT?
Many SaaS messaging vendors seem to be superficially promoting automated text messaging, which can be dangerous. Below we analyze why an engagement model like this could cause more harm than good for business owners.
1) What is the value of a new lead? What does 1% mis-managed (lost) lead cost you?
Almost every business implements security measures such as locking down websites for US traffic only, adding recaptchas, or using a not-a-robot or other challenge to ensure the interacting visitor is a genuine person. These measures are put in place to remove robotic lead submissions. Since this is the case, why would you welcome a real prospect or customer with a robotic smart AI based experience? If a high intent lead is connected to automated qualifier it could be costing you, your brand, and your reputation.
2) Text scams are rampant. Are carriers marking your text messages as SPAM?
Have you ever had to ask your vendor why your company’s engagement is being flagged as SPAM? If the carriers are marking your messages as SPAM, how long will you suffer during the outage? What is the impact of such a SPAM outage on your business? It’s important to have reporting measures in place to avoid possible outages, or prepare to take proper measures during an outage to quickly get back up and running again.
3) Artificial intelligence or an intelligent agent, what would you choose?
Across different industries new engagement opportunities are drying up. During such a critical time, what is a better choice - building relationships through one-on-one live conversations or allowing AI to manage this important initial engagement opportunity? Every business invests in their workforce, agents, and continued training and coaching. What measures are you taking to review and train the AI experience?
4) Best practices and strategy when offering web chat and SMS
- While there might be some pages or applications on your site suitable for automated chat, most will require a better agent driven experience for a prospective high intent customer. It’s important to curate chat experiences based on topic, interests, and the intent of the audience.
- Not every visitor landing on your website is a new-lead. Site visitors may have different reasons for exploring so it’s important that you don’t treat everyone as a new-lead. Give different options and experiences to choose from, this way the customer can be directed to the correct department and support groups within your business.
- Not every site interaction needs to be in CRM, which is like adding more hay over the needle in the haystack. New, existing, and returning customers should be put into your CRM. Who shouldn’t be in there are external stakeholders. These stakeholders can be individuals such as partners, vendors, agencies and other actors. If you have multiple CRMs, you need to be sure the right information is in the right systems.
- Deliver value so the visitor is encouraged to further engage and transact. Integrations among multiple platforms and systems have become easy and convenient via APIs. It’s crucial to provide a seamless, non-chaotic experience to customers, so that they enjoy interacting on your website which creates the right atmosphere to discuss potential transactions with your business.
- Beware of consent to text. Based on your businesses brand reputation, it’s necessary to take precautionary measures to evaluate if a text should be sent (TCPA times). Every business has different policies and rules with respect to SMS. In fact, the use cases may differ as well whether it’s a text confirming appointment setup vs sending login verification code vs status update on process. Each of these scenarios serve different priorities and might require your business to follow TCPA texting rules and time restrictions.
5) Don’t over rely on performance KPIs:
You have a unique business model that differs from your competitors and need a well-defined cadence and engagement model. While industry standards for KPIs are good, the direct comparison of a digital strategy through KPIs can be harmful. One example would be a client we’ve worked with who had a strict 8:00am-5:00pm schedule for the loan officers and didn’t work after hours or on weekends. While text responses were decent, customers that responded after hours and weekends were very frustrated with the lack of followup engagement. This, in turn, negatively impacted the lenders call strategy as many choose to mark with DNC due to the lack of timely SMS response. Comparing these engagement rates to a different lender that has a larger coverage and a text-first strategy, the KPIs and engagement metrics will be very different. Before you set a baseline expectation to evaluate your engagement strategy, review your engagement cadence, agent availability, business criticality pointers and committable plan for your business.
Hmmm, who’s this? Let’s do a quick memory check - What is your phone number? What is the phone number of your best friend, your boss, your parents and/or your child’s teacher? How many phone numbers could you instantly remember? Two, three, maybe four? Your customers and prospects are shopping with you and possibly with others too. Do not overwhelm them with texts from different phone numbers when you have an in house vendor app and an external lead nurturing service.
Provide your customers with a list of possible phone number(s) that your business may call or text them with. Make it easy for them to recognize or research (via Google Search) which numbers belong to your business. Attaching your brand to your calling and texting numbers will represent a reputed business communication standing. Train your agents to know what the outbound call and text numbers are for your business so when they talk with customers, they are cognizant of such information.
Make a commitment to avoid providing a broken experience! Looking for a partner to discuss, review, and customize your existing messaging and chat experiences? Reach out to us today! Feel free to schedule a no-obligation demo to determine if your business needs are cared for with customer engagement platform - Botsplash!
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