Conversations are always happening, but the way we communicate has changed over the years. Your grandparents used to send handwritten letters, today we have email and instant messages. Society has continually strived to decrease response time. Now, it’s easier to stay in touch with high school friends, make plans with your family, and get an answer from a Fortune 500 company. Customers are able to have conversations with businesses when and where they want. In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we share how to strengthen your insurance marketing with conversations to increase engagement and build long-term relationships.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
The technology we use to communicate might have changed, but the core of a great conversation hasn’t. Conversations are helpful, personal, and empathetic, but now we hold the power of having those conversations at scale.
Conversational marketing is a marketing strategy based on holding 1:1 conversations with your customers across multiple channels. Although sometimes mistaken, conversational marketing is not a tool and is not equal to live chat. While it’s true we use technology such as Chatbots, Facebook Messenger, or SMS to simulate the 1:1 conversations, conversational marketing is the trend of people changing their communication preferences, not the tools themselves.
Conversational marketing is part of inbound marketing, like blogging or email. Inbound marketing strategies let the customer come to you instead of forcing communications and interrupting their activities. Since it takes two to have a conversation, conversational marketing allows the customer to contact you when and where it is convenient for them. Through technology, you are now able to address their concerns one by one, giving you the opportunity to strengthen your insurance marketing with conversations.
Conversational Marketing in the Funnel
Delivering a better customer experience throughout the entire customer journey is more important now than ever before. Conversations with prospective clients are taking place at multiple stages in the journey and, ideally, on any channel they pick. Conversations will impact every part of your business, from the moment an HR professional contacts you to talk about your services to the renewal meeting next year, and everything in between.
As you can see in the image below, the traditional funnel is not effective in giving your prospects control. You are the one deciding when to call or send emails. When you implement conversational marketing, you allow your prospects to start the interaction whenever and wherever they want. Conversational marketing is the fastest way to get your prospect through the marketing funnel.
How Can You Strengthen Your Insurance Marketing with Conversations?
Implementing conversational marketing in your marketing strategy and using it at its maximum potential can take time. In addition, you can’t set up the tools and forget about them. Conversational marketing is an on-going project. Below, we share the three key components to putting conversational marketing in place and optimizing it to get the best results.
1. Let Your Clients Decide When, Where, and How to Have Conversations with You
If a prospective employer is interested in your services, they should be able to start the conversation whenever they prefer. To strengthen your insurance marketing with conversations, create your marketing activities around the need of the customer, not the need of your agency. It’s important to engage leads through conversational marketing tools rather than forms. Through a form, prospects lose control once they submit it. While they wait for you to contact them, they could lose interest or be approached by competition.
However, through conversational marketing tools, the prospect decides when to interact with you, they are able to get answers from you the moment they show interest, and there is no waiting period. As a consequence, it’s important to research and know your customers well since you have to find the channel that best suits them. For example, if you know most HR professionals are on LinkedIn, interact with them through direct messages on LinkedIn.
2. Personalize the Conversations
When you are speaking with a prospect, it’s important to show the relevant shared knowledge. That is, if prospects tell you their job title or the name of their company, you should be able to mention it in your next conversation. Think about it: how do you feel when you call the customer support of a company on different days and you have to give the same information every time?
When you add personalized details to the conversation, it feels more natural. You wouldn’t ask your friends what their name is or where they live every time you see them. If you want to start a strong relationship, personalize your conversations and carry the information throughout the different channels.
You should have access to all the interactions with that specific prospect and know what they are looking for so you can pick up the conversation right where it ended. Using a CRM system is crucial to store your prospects’ information. In your CRM, you can store data, such as communication history and customer information, and access it fast to have seamless interactions with your prospects.
3. Learn from the Insights
When starting to strengthen your insurance marketing with conversations, you can gain new and valuable insights about your prospective clients at scale. The different tools will give you information to optimize future customer interactions or make informed decisions about product improvements or content development.
For example, imagine you have the description of services you provide on your website but prospects keep going on the bot to ask about them. You will not only be resolving their immediate concern by answering their questions, but you will also get insights about your content gaps. In this example, you can determine if you need to re-write your services in a more clear way or maybe restructure your website. Conversational marketing can help you uncover common customer pain points you can then tackle. Once you have collected insights, it’s important to take action and optimize.
When you are available to your prospects on any channel and at convenient times for them, you will be on your way to strengthening your insurance marketing with conversations. Conversational marketing techniques make it easier for your prospective customers to engage with your agency and, in the long run, convert more of them faster. Conversational marketing builds relationships and gives customers a real experience with your business. When you build a relationship, the level of trust prospects have in your agency increases, as well as the chances of signing the BOR and growing your book of business.