Most recently, for a Fortune 500 client, we were able to increase their lead capture by 142%. Initially, our client was reticent about using chatbots, but the results speak for themselves. The next question you might think is “Why? Why would a chatbot make such a difference?”
Here are five important reasons why chatbots improve lead capture when either replacing lead forms, or when added to a website in combination with lead forms.
Static v. Dynamic
The first and most simple is that chatbots can reduce friction by only asking for information necessary on the site. This happens in two ways. First, the chatbot is dynamic and will not ask for unnecessary information, whereas a form will ask a set of questions regardless of how people answer. Let’s take an example form, such as an online medical history form.
In the form above, you need to ask 3x to 5x more questions—which is more time and friction in your processes. For example, the form asks if a person is taking any medications or drugs, and then it asks the person to explain. After which it asks about specific medications, such as “Redux” and then specific drugs, such as tobacco. Even if the person has not taken any medications/drugs, they still have to answer 6 questions to respond to this form—mostly about non-applicable content.
In a chatbot, once a person says, they do not take any medications or drugs, all follow-up questions about medications or drugs are removed for that user—ensuring that the person is providing only the information that is absolutely necessary and removing any friction from the process.
Secondly, chatbots remember preferences. If the chatbot asks a question on the first website visit, it will remember this information the next time the user comes to the site. For example, if your user said that they prefer to book an appointment at the Greenwich Village location, even if they haven’t provided any other contact information, the chatbot will remember this preference. The next time the prospect visits the site and starts interacting, the chatbot merely asks to confirm these preferences (and change if necessary)—it doesn’t need to ask for the same information again. (If someone requested the Greenwich Village location, it will already know this.)
Adapting to questions dynamically (to ask the least amount of questions), and remembering what people entered in the past reduces friction.
Answers Questions Along the Way (That are Necessary to Take the Next Step)
Oftentimes, people start a form and abandon midway through. A common reason is not being completely sure that they are ready to take the next step. Usually when people come to your website for the first time, they are in research mode and only really need to get their main questions answered.
For example, if you’re about to provide your information for a leadform, you might say to yourself, “I’d really like to know pricing, before I waste my time with an email or a meeting.” This makes sense—everyone is trying to do less with more. If they can’t find the information they need, they’re gone and getting them back to your website is harder and more expensive. If it’s a chatbot, it can offer to set-up a meeting, but at any time the chatbot can pivot to offer pricing, or answer any other common questions—information prospects need to know before taking the next step.
Allowing people to complete their research while collecting their contact information, provides more comfort throughout the process, and pushes prospect through the conversion process faster.
Tell People Why Their Providing Information Helps Them
A tactic that is extremely successful in the lead capture process is explaining why you need specific contact information. The more you explain why you need information and how it will be ultimately beneficial for the prospect, the likelier you are to capture that data point.
For example, if your sales team is divided by sector, a lead form will have a field labeled, “Sector”. While a chatbot will say, “Can you tell me the sector you work in so I can connect you with the right team member?” This infers that the team is divided by sector, and the prospect will be connected with a person who will know more about their business and help them faster. Every prospect wants their time to be valuable and avoiding an extra conversation with an inside sales rep just to get routed to the right salesperson is helpful to everyone. Using chatbots to be more transparent in the sales process benefits everyone.
Explaining how a prospect’s information will be used increases faith in the process instead of expecting them to provide their valuable information without reason.
It does not make sense for a form to have conversational content, but a chatbot can organically ask for information, tell people why they are asking for information and provide appropriate feedback after the response has been provided.
Instantly Books Meetings With the Right Team (No Human Intervention Needed)
Chatbots can have conversations and set-up meetings directly on a prospect’s calendar. A common process for businesses is for a prospect to request a meeting through a form, and then talk to an inside sales person or admin. After a quick email exchange or conversation, then the prospect will be qualified out, or a meeting will be set-up. This can create a 1-3 day delay in the process of setting up a meeting.
A chatbot can ask a series of qualifying questions and decide which member (or group) of the sales team the meeting should be created for or whether it should be created at all. The prospect can go through this process instantly without waiting.
This saves time for both the prospect and the sales team. The instancy of the transaction means the prospect is less likely to abandon the sales process.
Auto-Attributes Marketing Campaigns + Targets Messaging
Lead forms are great quick ways for capturing contacts, but they do not adapt based on where a user came from or how the user was referred to the site. For example, if you created a marketing campaign specific to people in the aeronautical industry, and drove people to your website, a chatbot can attribute this prospect to the campaign and automatically adapt to ask questions specific to that industry (e.g Are you in Space or Defense?) This helps the marketing team gather more niche information than they would typically be asked in general lead form, but also the prospect is seeing language specific to their own use cases, providings a personalized experience. The more personalization, the more the prospect will feel this product or service is a fit for them.
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