Do you know how many people visit your website or try to learn more about your startup every day? Do you know how many of those visitors are actually retained as loyal customers? You see, there’s a huge difference between having fleeting visitors and creating an environment that encourages people to spend more time trying your products and services. Even if you have the most brilliant content on the planet, if your visitors don’t feel as though they can trust you or that they can get answers to their questions easily, they will not stick around. That’s where conversational marketing comes in.
Conversational marketing is defined as “a marketing strategy that uses chat apps and social media like Facebook Messenger to create a two-way conversation with customers about products, services, and company values” (source). Essentially, it consists of using online chatbots, text messaging platforms, or other forms of digital communication to interact with people in real-time.
This conversation with Srinivas B. Vijayaraghavan, VP of Marketing at Gupshup, organized as a part of Startup Essentials Week – a founder focussed learning series organized at NSRCEL, was steered towards helping startup founders understand how they can best leverage conversational messaging to accelerate their venture’s growth.
Gupshup, now a unicorn, has been through the highs and lows of the startup world. The venture’s aim of bringing the best of conversational messaging is firmly rooted in its belief of businesses are driven by the power and effectiveness of conversations with their customers.
Despite being inclined to digital conversations through websites over the years, customers have begun engaging in conversations via various applications.
Mobile apps have emerged as viable channels for ventures to nurture customers, close in on more transactions, and offer support across all customer journeys.
Coming in with varied experiences and expectations, customers have in some way or the other, dabbled with digital setups and expect their conversations with businesses to be a two-way street, delivered in a more customized and personalized way.
Digital Experiences are mostly delivered through small screens, and given the implication of factors including usability, ease of navigation, and much more, websites tend to lose their optimality. Given the competitiveness of businesses, every business needs a way to connect with consumers without using mobile apps or its website. That’s where messaging apps come in. It enables an interactive and intimate experience, which is two-way, and works on mobile devices and apps like Whatsapp quite well.
Research suggests that interacting with businesses via messaging apps can help startups establish better connections with customers.
Conversational messaging helps startups engage with consumers effectively, enables better lead generation, understand customer behavior, and craft user journeys accordingly.
With conversational messaging, you can tap into existing and potential customers, understand their needs, and chalk out a good product market fit.
This also opens up avenues for enhancing operational efficiency. With conversational messaging, automating customer journeys becomes much faster. Gupshup, for instance, helps startups to connect with customers via various messaging apps at a basic level and lets them create journeys themselves. According to Srinivas, to have a good conversation with a prospective customer, startups have now begun to rely on messaging platforms like Whatsapp to be in touch with consumers, as opposed to investing in developing mobile applications – which often ends up being quite expensive. Customer acquisition and conversational journeys go hand-in-hand. A hands-on communication strategy that has various touchpoints with customers also helps startups make worthwhile efforts toward customer retention.