How websites really generate sales

How websites really generate sales

Unless you have a business where someone buys your product on impulse (or in an emergency), most of your customers will go through a decision-making process that may take anywhere from a couple of weeks through to several months or even a year to complete.

Below we’ve outlined some of the processes you’ll need to think about.

How does it work?

The mistake people make is thinking that someone just decides they have a need for a product or service, Googles your website and just fills in a form or picks up the phone for a chat. For the vast majority of sales that come through ‘digital’, it just doesn’t happen like that.

Decision-making processes are complicated – especially business to business where historically there are so many options and solutions it’s difficult to assess which ones you actually need – and the higher the value of the sale, the more complicated and drawn-out they get.

When your website identifies someone as having an interest (because they have left their email address in return for a PDF brochure for example) they will likely be right at the start of their decision-making process – they are ‘just browsing’.  Your marketing system has to nurture them through this period, where they are aware they have a need but haven’t come to a trigger point that’s forced them into taking action.

Sometimes it takes a couple of months of seeing your emails drop into their inbox, taking notice of your keeping in touch advertisements and noticing your articles on LinkedIn before someone (even those with a genuine need) starts interacting with what you send them. And even when that happens, you should make the first move to engage with them.

When your marketing system identifies that someone is now connecting with what you send them, it’s time to move from passive to active selling – quick, before they have the chance to start contacting your competition!  Send them a LinkedIn request, send them a direct email asking if they want to chat, pop a brochure in the post and don’t forget you can still pick up the phone.

We’ve put this infographic together to demonstrate, typically, how the process of generating sales through your website actually works.  Digital marketing is a great tool and your website should be the cornerstone of your marketing – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg of your overall sales strategy.

More info – we use SproutSocial for all our Social Media endeavours as we’ve found it to be an invaluable tool to track interactions and ROI, not to mention the amount of time it saves creating and scheduling posts. Keep in mind though that a lot of the material you read online that’s produced by companies in the USA is (believe it or not) USA centred and doesn’t necessarily work here in the UK or other countries. So while the article above is based on an original USA version we’ve tested out the ideas in the UK and updated it so it’s relevant for you with ideas that work.

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Your Guide to Chatbots in 2018

chatbots

Your Guide to Chatbots in 2018

The very idea of a chatbot can be quite intimidating for some people. A computer giving responses, how will it be received by your customers? Well the truth is the very reason for robots and automation is to make life easier and, if you do things the right way, you can create a great and highly responsive first line of customer support.

Below we’ll discuss ideas on how to use this incredible tool, how to take back your time by automating some low level tasks and make life easier for your customers in ways that matter the most to them.

chatbots
chatbots
chatbots
chatbots

So what are Chatbots?

A chatbot or ‘bot’ is a program that’s built to automatically engage and respond to  received messages. Your chatbot can be set to respond the same way each time, to respond with a specific reply to enquiries containing a set of keywords and the smarter ones can even use machine learning and AI to automatically adapt a response depending on the situation.

Chatbots can be plugged into things like SMS and text messages, the chat window on your website and social media messaging such as Facebook/Messenger and Twitter to respond to messages on your behalf.

If you think about the following two statements (data from Facebook) – “56% of people would rather message than call customer services” – and “53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message directly” – all of a sudden you can see why a chatbot can be so important allowing your business to grow and to save you extra costs on your customer service team.

Data from Drift – a US company that specialises in Chatbots – suggests that the key things your customers would interact with your chatbot for are: (1) To get a quick answer to questions, (2) To resolve a complaint or problem, (3) To get a more detailed answer to a query, (4) Finding a human customer service agent.

The data suggests that businesses need to start using chatbots to streamline customer communications, whether that be marketing, sales or keeping in touch. They can save you lots of time and energy and make you look great with fast and efficient response times.

The Value of a Chatbot

Automation within your business is often the key to staying competitive so being able to intelligently automate as many processes as possible will make you stand out.

If you think about the steady move of global companies towards automation, for example Amazon’s cashier-less stores in the USA a concept already being picked up by supermarket chains in the Netherlands, they’re all moving towards limiting human interactions to those that are only absolutely necessary allowing customers to quickly find what they need with 24/7 streamlined automation.

1. Save Time & Money

If you can automate conversations that would usually require an employee or outsourced service to answer you’re reducing your costs and freeing up that resource to deal with potentially revenue building tasks instead.

2. Generate Leads & Revenue

Chatbots can use direct messaging to gather information necessary to provide effective support. For example, asking users why they’re visiting your page is one question that should really asked in every engagement. Not only can you be sure critical questions are asked every time but your team can become better prepared as a chatbot can get hold of critical information to allow a call back to look detailed and well researched, saving time and allowing a tailored sales approach.

3. Better Customer Outcomes

Your customers don’t always know where to find the information they need. Your customers may not even know what it is they’re looking for. Your chatbot can be busy making the introductions and asking qualifying questions so it can direct your customers to the right place quickly and efficiently – all automatically and 24/7.

4. Provide ‘Out of Hours’ Support

Most of the data suggests that your customers are looking for a quick response so what better way than to automate this process. A chatbot can function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year, unlike the rest of your team. This could be the difference between winning that piece of business and losing it to a competitor.

Getting Started

So who isn’t eager to get started with this exciting new idea? Once you’ve managed to convince your team to let a chatbot assist you there a number of things to plan out.

Here are a few ideas to get your started on the road to success.

1. Define your ideal outcome

There are lots of situations where a chatbot can be useful so it’s best to start with where you’re going to deploy them and what they’re going to do for you so you can make your bots as effective as possible.

If your social media team can’t keep up with the number of enquiries then maybe that’s the place to start by creating a chatbot to respond straight away. Providing an answer to any quick and easy questions would save you time and resource and by acting as an answering service for the tougher questions your customers would feel valued. 

If your website isn’t converting enough traffic into leads or sales then an interactive chatbot can act as a first level assistant to help them. Get this right and you’ll see an immediate impact to your sales.

Which ever way you use them, and there are many, keep in mind what you want to accomplish and how this impacts your customer relationship.

2. Choose the right platform

We’ve already covered the different chatbots you can use on Facebook/Messenger, Twitter and your website, but you should also consider the different customers that they’ll interact with.

Does your Facebook page attract a different age range than your Twitter account? Your website may also attract people looking for your product or service rather than for customer support so your bots need to be tailored to provide the right responses and tone of voice depending on the user.

3. A great opening message

Be open and honest! Always the best strategy when dealing with your customers. Let them know what to expect from your chatbot, that it’s a chatbot and what it can actually do is a good start.

This means your welcome message is incredibly important and getting your customers to respond and use your bot properly. The best opening messages we’ve seen are ones that are compelling, set expectations and ask questions right from the start.

More info – we use SproutSocial for all our Social Media endeavours as we’ve found it to be an invaluable tool to track interactions and ROI, not to mention the amount of time it saves creating and scheduling posts. Keep in mind though that a lot of the material you read online that’s produced by companies in the USA is (believe it or not) USA centred and doesn’t necessarily work here in the UK or other countries. So while the article above is based on an original USA version we’ve tested out the ideas in the UK and updated it so it’s relevant for you with ideas that work.

Like what you see,
Looking for some help?

We’re on hand and happy to help,
please click enquire and fill out the form