Recent advances in modern technology have opened up a host of automation solutions designed to increase productivity and streamline business operations. Today, you can automate a whole sales funnel from the initial inquiry to the contract. While automation certainly has its benefits, there are still some skeptics who stick with traditional methods out of a fear of losing the personal touch. While this may have been the case in years past, the new wave of automation solutions is primed for personalization to save time without sacrificing authenticity.
Chat marketing is the newest arrival on the scene and, with the pandemic pushing everyone online, it’s a space that has seen significant growth in the past year. In 2020, there were more global users on messaging apps (2.7 billion) than on social media apps (2.66 billion) for the first time. This trend is a result of increasingly shorter attention spans, a need for instant gratification, and a preference for quick, bite-sized communication.
So, it’s clear why chat marketing is what the market wants. But, how can it benefit you as an event professional? What will you get out of introducing this new element to your marketing mix? Here are three key benefits every business owner will gain from automated chat marketing.
You will build trust within the market.
Today’s client is overworked and perpetually on-the-go; they need to know things will be easy before they book. Scheduling a consultation call or even sending an email isn’t as convenient as tapping a button and starting a chat conversation.
The market has grown accustomed to instant messaging about countless issues, whether they need tech support for their internet package or they want to know more about a grocery subscription service. It’s time the events industry adapts and serves the experience clients have come to expect: a quick, convenient conversation that answers their questions.
You will engage leads on a personal level.
Now, don’t worry about the time it takes to implement chat marketing. You don’t need a call center full of customer service specialists and you don’t need to be “on call” 24/7. Chatbots are designed to take the work off of your hands by using AI to answer set questions accurately and efficiently. The chatbots being built today are not the impersonal bots of the past; instead, these are designed to be customized to a person’s needs and make inferences based on information provided by the user.
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For example, say an engaged couple visits a caterer’s website. They may be met with a simple question: What is your budget? They can then choose from a pre-defined selection of options. Then, they may be asked: Have you booked a venue yet? If they say yes, the next question may ask for them to enter the venue name. If they say no, the next message may suggest a few venues to consider. Throughout the conversation, the chatbot can store details in a CRM platform for later review. If the same user visits the site again, the chatbot can reference them by name and welcome them back since it can identify who it is by IP address.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do with chatbots while still providing prospective clients with the very best brand experience. Gone are the days of choosing automation over personalization; today, you can—and should—have both.
You will free up your schedule.
Think about all the time you will save by allowing technology to manage the first few stages of your sales and marketing funnel. You can attract clients, gather contact info and event details, nurture your leads, and answer frequently asked questions—all without lifting a finger. By the time you pick up the conversation in-person, you’ll have all of the information you need to close the sale.
Of course, there will be a time commitment upfront as you create and organize your automated responses. You’ll need to allot several hours for writing questions, crafting replies, and structuring the flow of conversation. Once it’s ready to launch, you can sit back and let the chatbot funnel qualified leads into your CRM so you can pick them up where it left off.
Event pros that prioritize efficiency are the ones that are best positioned for growth opportunities as they aren’t bogged down by the minutiae of running a business. Automation is a game-changer and, once you implement it in your company, you’ll see exactly why.