Chatbots can play many roles in the customer experience from start to finish.
They can serve as automated parts of your sales team, support staff, and even marketing campaigns, and help you keep potential clients engaged at every step of the way — even when none of your human employees are available to assist them.
But one of the most valuable uses of chatbots is lead generation.
With the right approach, you can use chatbots to prime your site visitors for conversion, then walk them through the process of becoming a lead.
So if you’re not yet using chatbots as part of your lead generation strategy, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn six of the most compelling reasons chatbots should play a role in generating leads and sales for your business.
The conversion process on many B2B websites is the same. There’s typically a generic-looking form, asking for the visitor’s name, email address, phone number, and maybe a handful of other details.
These forms aren’t exactly exciting — and neither is the process of filling them out.
And generic conversion experiences aren’t just boring — they’re also ineffective. In fact, brands that don’t provide a personalized and memorable experience can actually drive people away from their websites.
Chatbots can prevent this.
For example, when a visitor on our website indicates that they’re interested in trying our product, our chatbot greets them and asks for their name.
Then, after they provide it, our bot can address them by name throughout the process.
Plus, each piece of information they provide can be saved as a variable. For example, when a user enters their name, phone number, email address, postal code, address, country, or birthday, each of these details are saved in our system.
If a visitor leaves our site and later returns, our chatbot can leverage the information it gained in past conversations to tailor the experience right from the start.
This way, we can be confident that each prospective user is getting a site experience that’s personalized to them — with no risk of a generic, boring form driving them away.
2. Create conversational experiences
One of the most challenging parts of turning a site visitor into a lead is keeping them engaged with your brand long enough to show them why you’re the right choice for their needs.
And long walls of text are not the best way to accomplish this.
They can be informative, sure. But most of us have had the experience of landing on an information-based page on a brand’s website and finding it a little overwhelming — and maybe a bit off-putting.
So no matter how well-written and helpful these pages might be, it’s tough to make them engaging for visitors.
Chatbots can transform this experience for visitors.
Instead of expecting them to read paragraph upon paragraph of text, skimming to find the details that are relevant to them, chatbots shift the process of providing information into a two-way conversation.
For example, just take a look at this exchange with Disverse’s chatbot:
First, the chatbot introduces itself and clarifies to the user that it is, in fact, a bot, and not a human. Then, after telling the user that Disverse is creating a distributed video network, they ask for clarification.
Instead of linking to a separate page or complex resource and expecting this user to continue the customer journey on their own, the bot offers a straightforward explanation (along with a GIF, just to keep things interesting).
This lets the user learn about the company and their platform in a conversational way that’s far more engaging than a wall of text.
And any brand can replicate this experience.
Equip your chatbot to explain your product or service to visitors, and what sets it apart from other options those visitors might be considering.
Provide compelling reasons for them to convert, but in a way that feels more like a conversation than a sales pitch or a brochure.
With this approach, you can transform researching your brand from a tedious task to an enjoyable experience — and one that prospective clients are likely to remember.
The most important types of conversion for most B2B websites are lead form submissions. The information you collect in these forms is what turns casual visitors into prospects for your team, and can ultimately translate into valuable partnerships and sales.
Unfortunately, generating any kind of conversion can be challenging. In fact, the average website conversion rate is just 2.35%.
That’s not great news for businesses looking to use their websites as a key part of their marketing and sales strategies.
But just because the average is low doesn’t mean that your site’s conversion rates have to be. It just means you have to be willing to spend a little extra time optimizing your site to encourage your visitors to take action.
And replacing standard forms with chatbots can be the perfect solution.
Distractions on your site serve as the biggest obstacles to more conversions. But when you center your landing page or lead page on a chatbot, you can eliminate those distractions and get users to focus solely on engaging with that bot.
In fact, we saw one of our most significant jumps in conversion rate (from 3% to 9.6%) by accidentally launching a chatbot that took up our entire homepage, and prevented visitors from accessing other content.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should replace your entire website with a single chatbot.
But it does go to show that minimizing other elements and making the conversion process the most compelling part of your site can have a massive impact on your ability to earn new leads.
And as your chatbot collects data from your customers in the form of simple, straightforward questions, all of that information can be sent directly to your CRM or sales platform, so that you can take the next step in turning them from a lead to a customer.
There are many factors at play in any B2B purchasing decision. Your potential clients want to know what you have to offer, how much it’s going to cost them, what they can expect in return, and how you stack up to your competitors.
And in most cases, your website will only be one stop along the way as they research and evaluate all of their options.
So if you want them to ultimately determine that your company is the right choice, you need to make sure they stick around long enough to get the information they need to come to that conclusion.
And that’s often easier said than done. In fact, the average user only visits 1.7 pages on a website as they browse.
This means that if your site is like most, most visitors aren’t even making it through two entire pages before leaving.
Chatbots can change this by initiating conversation and giving users a reason to stay.
Fancy Rhino, for example, displays their chatbot in a pop-up window in the lower right corner of a visitor’s browser.
Instead of expecting their visitors to browse through page upon page of information, their chatbot gives them four basic options to choose from.
This can not only keep the visitor on the site longer, but can also direct them to a resource that moves them even closer to converting.
Most B2B buyers evaluate countless companies before deciding which is best-suited to their needs. And when you consider the impact these decisions can make, this makes perfect sense.
After all, a B2B purchaser isn’t just choosing a product for their own personal use, and paying for it with their own resources.
They’re determining which company is best-suited to help their company or team complete a task, work towards a goal, or improve workflows. Other people will have to use the option they choose, and it may even have an impact on the day-to-day work experience of other employees.
Plus, whatever they choose will be paid for by their employer — so it needs to be worth the investment.
Of course, if you’re confident in the quality of your products or services, this might seem like a non-issue. And to be clear, a strong brand reputation can certainly help your case during the decision-making process.
But the challenge is that it can be difficult to stand out when your competitors are offering similar services and plans, and also claiming to be the best possible choice for your prospective customers.
In order to become the option your visitors choose, you need to make a great first impression and create a memorable site experience.
And chatbots are very well-suited to this challenge.
Healthcare platform FemFuturist, for example, uses a chatbot to guide visitors through a simple health evaluation right off the bat.
The conversational tone and ease of use makes this an easy, engaging process — and one that most healthcare brands are far from replicating.
Most brands aren’t yet using chatbots at all, let alone as part of the lead generation process. So when you use a chatbot to engage your visitors right off the bat, deliver personalized content, and help them find the information they need, you’re setting your brand apart from the rest.
And when you’re up against tough competitors, this can be the differentiating factor it takes to make your brand the final choice.
Contrary to popular belief, chatbots are not intended to replace human employees completely.
In fact, chatbots are often most effective when they’re used as a touchpoint in the process that ultimately helps sales and support teams get in touch with customers who need their help.
For example, chatbots that are designed to replace lead forms are excellent at asking basic questions, then saving user data for a sales team to later reference.
But they aren’t always equipped to answer users’ more complex questions, or to complete the final steps in the sales process.
Fortunately, chatbots can be programmed to determine when a human member of your team needs to be involved.
For example, when a bot receives a question it doesn’t know the answer to, it can automatically pass that question (and the user’s contact information) along to a human employee.
Then, when someone is available to assist that user, they can immediately reach out with a solution.
On the backend, you can set up an internal Slack notification to fire each time someone needs help. That way, you’ll minimize the downtime and get the right people to respond as quickly as possible.
This way, you don’t have to worry about your chatbots frustrating visitors simply because they don’t have all of the answers.
Instead, you can use them as a tool that connects users with the person that’s best-suited to help them — whether they’re looking for a support-related resolution, or looking to speak with someone from your sales team to take the final steps in becoming a customer.
Chatbots can serve many purposes within a company’s interactions with its current and potential customers, and lead generation is one of the most underutilized.
A chatbot can essentially serve as a member of your sales team, and help site visitors get the information they need to feel comfortable converting — then walk them through the process in an interesting, engaging way.
With personalization features, chatbots can tailor the conversion process to individual customers. It can also simplify that process by eliminating unnecessary distractions.
Beyond that, they can create conversational experiences and deliver information in a far more engaging way than standard website content.
Plus, considering that they’re a relatively new addition to the marketing and sales world, adding a conversational chatbot to your website can help you make a great first impression on potential clients and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Finally, if your visitors do need assistance from a real person, a chatbot can serve as the connector that gets them to the right person for their needs.
So if you’re not yet using chatbots as part of your lead generation strategy, there’s no reason not to get started.
If you have not created your own chatbot, now is the time. Get started by creating your free Landbot account today!