The COVID 19 pandemic’s onslaught and the virus’s negative impact on interpersonal communication prompted a slew of innovations. Gone were the days of getting into your car to get to work to sit at a desk and manage calls and emails to and from clients for hours on end. Working from home and automation became the order of the day and the importance of having sound customer retention was further amplified by the call to get as many sales to avoid financial turmoil for big and small businesses alike. As a result, people began to place a greater emphasis on lead generation and sales.

To improve sales for small businesses it is imperative to understand the link between good customer relationships and acquiring leads. The relationship between a customer and a brand is known as customer engagement. This can be done in person or by other means such as email, phone, and social media. Post-pandemic customer engagement initiatives can be implemented in a variety of ways. Conversational marketing is the most common and it employs automated customer engagement methods like live chats and chatbots.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Have you ever had a chance to interact with a corporation or organization? You’ve probably come across conversational marketing. It’s a technique of having a tailored, two-way discussion with clients in order to better understand and service their needs. Businesses utilize conversational marketing as a method to engage in real-time dialogues with their prospects and customers.

Businesses may say “hello” to prospects and have a dialogue with them right in the live chat by deploying automated chat software, commonly known as chatbots. Conversational marketing via social media and on websites provides numerous advantages, including improved lead generation and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Social media conversational marketing is also popular, with apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp leading the way.

Conversational marketing is carried out in two ways:

Businesses may use these customer engagement solutions to achieve speedier, automated customer service with minimum cost. Companies who wish to deliver scalable customer support solutions without breaking the bank will find automated chat appealing. Live chats can be more expensive, but the main benefit is that clients can speak with a real person rather than a machine.

Conversational marketing is vital since today’s customers expect immediate responses to their questions. They don’t have the time or patience to wait on the phone or for an email response any more. Companies may deliver real-time service to their clients via a marketing automation chatbot.

Conversational marketing also aims to meet clients where they spend the majority of their time. That’s why, using messaging software like Facebook Messenger or Slack, many firms have integrated conversational marketing into their social network platforms. Conversational marketing allows you to provide fast personalized customer service, which improves the customer experience while also supporting your lead generation and conversion rate optimization initiatives.

Conversational marketing’s goals are to:

Given the numerous advantages of conversational marketing, it’s only natural for a small firm to include it in its digital marketing efforts. Customers feel more happy and cared for when they may contact you at any time and at their own pace. It allows you to produce more sales from a business standpoint. Customers are hesitant to press the “Buy” button because they have reservations and implementation of conversational tools as discussed will allow them to ease their fears after getting instant responses to any queries they have about the product or service..

How small businesses can take advantage of

Conversational Marketing in Zimbabwe

With their Whatsapp-integrated bots, prominent banks and financial organizations like BancABC and Steward Bank have been using chatbots and AI to manage consumer concerns. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, should not feel left out, as a small investment can go a long way towards providing your company with the lead-generating, sales-boosting and customer-retaining chatbot it requires to improve productivity.

A recommendation for a startup or small business can be provided based on research of over 30 chatbot builders. The premise behind this list is that unless you’re a large corporation with a lot of cash on hand, it’s difficult to justify investing hundreds of thousands each month on a chatbot solution.

There are many chatbot builders on the market that cost less than $100 per month and come with a slew of useful features right out of the box, such as personalized styling and analytics. According to Moser, these are the top eight choices.

  1. ManyChat
  2. Chatfuel
  3. WotNot
  4. MobileMonkey
  5. Tidio
  6. SnatchBot
  7. SendPulse
  8. Pandorabots

The primary distinctions in which one is best for you will be determined by your budget, level of technical expertise, what you want to achieve with the bot (functionality) and the number of channels you want to integrate. Always check in with your strategic plan to see how far you can utilize conversational marketing to uplift your customer relationship management.

Brian Chikonzo is a a passionate brand analyst and holds qualifications in International Business and Management Studies specializing in Entrepreneurship and Retail Management . He is an SME Brand Design and Developer , Feb94 Enterprise Solutions