The Most Important Aspects of Sales Conversations

11 December, 2020

Every conversation matters when we are talking about the B2C process. Customers don’t know and don’t care how busy you are. They need your proper attention, relevant answers, and the right attitude towards them to take action afterward.   

In the case of sales, the first interaction with customers definitely matters – as they wait for the answer from you, They find hundreds of other competitors of yours, and at the same time, give you the worst review because you were not fast enough and exhaustive when they needed answers. So, as a business, you have more interest in charming your customer than the customer might have to provide you with another chance except for the first  “crush on you.”

The first touchpoint with the customer is mostly via online communication channels. That means companies need more resources to keep the quality of the customer services.

Recently, Covid-19 has naturally ‘helped’ us to see how far sales can go through online communication.

I would like to  share several insights based on our knowledge and experience at Pulsar, highlighting the elements that make online communication between business-to-consumer more persuasive. 

Also, in that context, I would like to discuss the following:

· The place of the Conversational AI Assistants – their advantages and challenges. 

· How technology can help businesses spend fewer resources while improving the quality of online communication, that has become an inevitable necessity in the modern world. 

Your first reply must meet several criteria. The list of the requirements might be different and long, but I would highlight four of them based on the data we’ve seen at Pulsar. 

Response TIME

The first and essential standard is the response time, which  must be – IMMEDIATE because:

·   The topic is ‘hot’ for customers while they are inquiring; The late reply decreases the chance of customer engagement. 

·  Customers are doing their research and you are not the only one with the product/service. Your competitor with better customer service can take advantage of gaining customer trust and satisfaction while you still are not reaching out to the customer. 

Also, customers don’t stop researching after the company’s working hours. Even more, many people start to think about their personal needs after they finish their jobs, and making a personal purchase is that type of behavior, so they start their buying journeys after hours. Pulsar statistics show that on average 40% of the leads (New + reply to an ongoing conversation) are made after working hours when dealerships are closed.

In this case, Conversational AI is very convenient to support the human team as it works 24/7. Our experience at Pulsar shows that a fast reply is one of the most important steps in the sales process. However, the immediate response is not worth sending if it does not answer the customer’s questions, so we need to carefully choose the content itself.

Exhaustive content, but not too much

Nobody wants a fast reply without the requested information. That is the central part of the conversation. As the initiator is a customer who needs something from you, so the continuation of the relationship depends on this first touch, on your first answer. 

There are several rules that must be followed: 

·         Be as specific and informative as possible, but always keep it short! If a customer asks about the product’s price, first, answer the question and in case you need to add something to it, for example, a call-to-action, or anything mandatory, do it only after answering the customer question(s). 

·         Always reply to customers  – even if you need time to get the answer for the customer, first notify the customer and explain how you or someone else will get the information or help for him/her. This helps you keep the conversation warm while you or your teammates are searching for the answer/help for the customer

Undoubtedly the conversational AI that timely answers specific questions with exhaustive answers and communicates with the company team whenever it needs human expertise to answer customer questions is the solution to this issue. Pulsar’s diverse experience shows that the relevant answer can increase the engagement rate and customer loyalty. Also, timely answering specific questions (such as availability, car features, price, etc) directly affects customer experience positively. As mentioned above, 40% of leads are made after companies working hours. Here is another data point by Pulsar, 30-40% of AI scheduled appointments are scheduled after working hours by Pulsar AI Assistant as it can directly schedule customer appointments into CRM whenever requested.

Call to Action

The two criteria described above  are essential to gain customer satisfaction. The next step is to make their journey smoother by instructing them how to move forward easily and take action – give them a clear and correct call-to-action at the right time – e.g. schedule a call/an appointment, buy the product, or do whatever is the company’s goal. Since customers do not have such conversations on a daily basis, they need to be guided in the process and this process should be as easy as possible to make customers satisfied with their journey. 

The better you handle your customer communication, the fewer communication drop-offs you have from your customers, and although it is impossible to have every single inquirer complete their journey with you, it is important that you never give up trying to bring them back. If the customer abandons the conversation without the desired results, follow up until they re-engage and continue where they dropped off. However, be careful at how you conduct this.

Topic-based FOLLOW-UP

Following up on the customer is the mandatory part of the sales conversations. Pulsar statistics show that >60% of the engagement happens on follow up messages. 

Follow up content also should not look like an automatic email that is sent to hundreds of people. It must be tailored to each customer conversation history, it should show that it intends to continue the conversation where they left, and point to a clear call-to-action to continue the conversation.

Most of the conversational AI tools have basic features in this direction, such as: 

  • Ability  to send follow up automatically;
  • Ability to define  follow up sequences in advance;
  • Ability to schedule follow up sending time; 

But, mostly, there is a lack of human-like follow-up sent by Conversational AI. The advancement here is that it can generate and send a follow-up message based on topics discussed before the customer abandoned the conversation. Following up automatically with the content tailored to each case makes a huge difference in how customers perceive your willingness to continue the relationship with them. So, I would add the last and the essential feature of an automatic follow-up system in the above-described list: Ability to Send Specific Topic-Based Follow-Ups

It was our goal from the very beginning to have a follow-up system that would have specific, tailored content for each conversation and for each customer. 

Every conversation matters! No one can perfectly pre-judge which lead ends up becoming a customer and therefore each customer lead should be treated equally well. Obviously, conversational AI tools are becoming perfect instruments to solve this, improve communication, and customers’ overall satisfaction with the company.

See Pulsar In Action!

When a lead comes in from any source, Pulsar reads the question, generates a response using inventory data and sends it back to the customer.