#10things on how conversational marketing builds loyalty

Customers want brands to engage with them on their terms, in a seamless and authentic manner, where the interaction is personal and human.

A Microsoft study shows that 54% of global consumers have higher customer service expectations than in 2020.  And, advanced technology has made engaging with target audiences easier and instant. Today’s customers want it all—excellent service, quality products and solutions, and brands that engage with them in a relatable manner, says Desirée Gullan, co-founder and executive creative director of G&G Digital, a full-service communications agency.

That said, customers want brands to engage with them on their terms in a seamless and authentic manner, where the interaction is personal and human, and the conversation feels more like talking to a friend than a bot. This is the heart of conversational marketing and this is what you need to know:

1. Conversational marketing is one of 2022’s biggest­ digital marketing’s trends: This strategy sees businesses and brands engage with their customers in real-time, automated, yet in a friendly conversational tone on social media, SMS, WhatsApp, or brand platforms such as website chat boxes or apps. Most importantly, the interactions must add value to customers.

2. It is a powerful tool to better engage with customers and move them through the marketing and sales funnel, or to providing phenomenal customer service to existing customers.

3. Conversional marketing can benefit all industries, even highly regulated industries, and can help companies start a conversation with their audiences that’s natural and helpful.

4. A core benefit is improving customer satisfaction: When you’re consistent and purposeful in your customer interactions, you will increase engagement and empower your customers to interact with you directly.

5. Forge better relationships: Building trust with customers is important and it takes time. When you address your customer’s problems in real-time, instead of leaving them on read, you earn trust, and your customers will be open to building stronger relationships with you.

6. Conversational marketing can help customers where they’re ‘at’: When customers reach out for assistance, respond in their preferred channels. Don’t ask them to provide additional contact details so that you can assist them later. Show them that you value their time.

7. Earn their trust: Technology allows regulated industries to help online and securely authenticate confidential information in seconds. It’s important to let customers know their information is protected and secure.

8. Personalisation is key: Give social media teams and customer service teams flexibility when responding to queries. A copy and paste answer will not cut it. Being personal doesn’t mean you should throw out the rule book: social media teams should still act on behalf of the brand. Tone is important, and language choices should demonstrate that your customers have been heard.

9. Keep it simple: Solve customer queries as quickly as possible. Customers appreciate easy and speedy responses, especially when there’s a dispute involved. Even complaints can be turned into an advantage with the right responses and turnaround times and can lead to additional purchases and favourable reviews that will attract new customers.

10. Regulations shouldn’t have to restrict this engagement: Conversational marketing can help businesses across sectors engage with customers on their terms. Conversational marketing can enhance customers’ experience of your brands, increase sales, and be win/win for both businesses and customers.


Main image credit: G&G Digital.


– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter every Wednesday • Subscribe here.