While Email and phone communications dominate conversational martech, the 2019 State of Conversational Marketing report, shows an increasing acceptance of chatbots due to a shift in consumer expectations for fast communication

Conversational marketing technology that includes chatbots have been developed and used across the martech industry in the last two years. This has made a significant shift in consumer expectations; they now demand quick communication with brands.

According to a recent survey report, The 2019 State of Conversational Marketing by Drift and SurveyMonkey Audience, it has been observed that 44% of customers want a 5 seconds response in face-to-face interaction, while 42% customers indicate the same response time even from a chatbot.

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The report also suggests that despite increased consumer fast expectations, chatbot windows are not the top picks yet. With 65% of respondents approving communication through email and 55% through telephone, it is clear that the primary channels of communication with brands have dominance. With almost 35% of customers saying they had used online chat over the last 18 months, experts suggest that the number can be expected to multiply over the next year.

With the increased use of chatbots, online forms will see a complete decline in usage as only 11% of respondents expect immediate responses from these forms, compared to 39% for one-to-one video calls and 42% for chatbots. Overall, people’s expectations of chatbot response times are nearly identical to their hopes for response times during face-to-face conversations. People are becoming more comfortable using chatbots as an alternative to forms.

However, email communication is here to stay. Email usage has a growth rate that is higher than any other customer communication channel. One in three people used Email more frequently over the past year.

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While online chat is in the top convenient category, telephone communication still scores the highest in the most categories overall. From the ease of communication (45%), an excellent customer experience (43%), the ability to quickly register a complaint (39%), and even having a complaint resolved quickly (36%), the telephone is the most preferred category. In fact, apart from convenience, there are only two other benefit categories where telephone doesn’t take first place: quick answers to simple questions, where it’s tied with online chat at 35%, and getting 24-hour service, where chatbots reign supreme at 40%.

Since one of the top frustrations by customers included not being able to find answers quickly on websites, an integrated martech gives an opportunity to digital marketers to use all these channels and take a more customer-centric approach to conversational marketing.

Clearly, barriers preventing people from using chatbots are crumbling. Communication channels like online chat, chatbots, and video calls allow one-to-one conversations to happen in real-time and 24 hours a day. In addition, as the technologies powering these channels continue to improve, there is no doubt that customer experiences will continue to improve as well. The ultimate goal will always be to build relationships by having quality conversations.

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