Conversational Marketing: Generating Interest Through Interaction

Business owners and consumers alike expect to have multiple ways to connect and interact with their financial institutions – including digital messaging channels. They have questions that require detailed, personalized answers, not responses from chatbots that are unable to address complex inquiries.

Conversational marketing, a dialogue-driven marketing approach that integrates technology like artificial intelligence – otherwise known as AI – into customer interactions, can help you significantly boost customer satisfaction and encourage lasting and expanded relationships. Your conversational marketing strategy may employ messaging apps, live chat features, and/or virtual assistants to provide the fast, personalized answers your clients seek.

What Are the Benefits of Conversational Marketing for Financial Institutions?

To ensure that you are effectively personalizing communication with your customers and satisfactorily answering their questions, you need to understand their needs and concerns. Conversational marketing can help you address customers’ immediate needs. It can also illuminate challenges that similar customers may be facing or questions you should answer more clearly through your other marketing channels. Each conversation is an opportunity to collect essential data about the individual customer – and others with similar profiles. This data can help you craft a more effective overall marketing strategy.

For your customers, the benefits of conversational marketing include 24/7 availability for responses to common financial inquiries, fewer errors, a greater chance of first-contact resolution, and proactive engagement. For example, banking chatbots can provide 24/7 support for common queries like checking account balances, providing information about branch hours and drive-through locations, or walking someone through the process when a debit card is lost. Messaging apps and voice chat can provide guidance when it comes to:

  • Spending monitoring and related financial advice
  • Unexpected charges
  • Upcoming bill notifications
  • Real-time updates for fraudulent or suspicious activity
  • Investment updates

For your financial institution, the benefits include service cost savings, because not every question will require a phone call or branch visit; upselling opportunities that naturally arise through conversational customer interactions; and fraud prevention, as virtual assistants can quickly alert a bank or credit union about suspicious account activity.

A conversational marketing approach supports your overall marketing strategy by enhancing trust among your customers. Taking this approach allows you to meet and even anticipate their needs, which improves their experience. The messages and resources they receive from you will be relevant and meaningful instead of generic and obviously produced for a wider audience. And conversational marketing encourages more frequent interactions and promotes the idea that you are there when they need you. This is a significant differentiator when someone is determining whether to build a long-term relationship or expand their current one with your financial institution.

How to Implement Conversational Marketing at Your Financial Institution

You are ready to better engage your customers and prospective customers through conversational marketing, but how do you get started?

First, consider how conversational marketing could positively impact your customer interactions. These will vary based on the services you offer, but may include:

  • Account management
  • Compliance
  • Customer authentication and authorization
  • Customer profiles and analytics
  • Cybersecurity and early warning systems
  • Financial and product advising
  • Fraud monitoring and protection
  • Lending
  • Payments
  • Process automation
  • Trading

Examine your website and call center data to determine common questions people ask and how long they engage with your call center or stay on specific web pages. This can help you determine what your customers or prospective customers are looking for, how often they find what they need (and how quickly), and where they’re hitting dead ends. Once you’ve identified these high-interest or potentially frustrating areas, consider embedding a chatbot that can offer site visitors immediate answers to common financial inquiries or link them with real people at your financial institution who can continue the conversation.

Adding an automated virtual assistant to your website or a voice bot to your call center can help interpret your customers’ text or speech queries and use AI to guide them toward the resources they need. While these “assistant” technologies are helping facilitate direct interaction with your customer or prospect, they are also gathering data for you about consumer behaviors, goals, and preferences. This data provides you with guidance in how to more effectively offer financial advice, cross-sell products, or upsell services. For example, the data you collect during conversational marketing sessions can result in:

  • Better Personas: You’ll better understand preferences and needs of specific demographics, which will support more effective lead generation and customer brand engagement.
  • Personalized Product Offers: You’ll better understand which complementary or supplementary products or services will resonate with which customers.
  • Easier Targeting and Retargeting: You’ll better understand who is most likely to respond to which campaigns.

Real-time customer engagement is especially important for more complex or personalized inquiries. Financial institutions can use live engagement tools like co-browsing and screen sharing to collaborate with customers and guide them through complex processes and procedures. Video e-banking has also become an effective tool for managing relationships with customers, allowing financial experts to better communicate information about a new product or service one-on-one and provide real-time assistance that responds to the customer’s needs.

However you decide to get started, you can continue to evolve your conversational marketing strategy over time based on the direct feedback and results you receive.

Get the conversation started with the right tools and strategy. LIGHTSTREAM can help you connect with your customers in a whole new way. Contact us today.