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Forms will be forgotten in the conversation age

17th Jan 2022
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We live in an increasingly digitised world with new developments around every corner. The pandemic has highlighted those reluctant to innovate. For years, web forms have been a common way to capture data and engage with inbound leads, however, as time spent online increases, web forms can’t keep up with the momentum.

Customer needs and expectations are becoming more complex. Solely offering an attractive product isn’t enough. Businesses must remain agile in their offerings to continue engaging their customers, and capturing the necessary data is key to businesses looking to optimise their offering.

Agility is fundamental to business survival. Permanence is a thing of the past, and change is inevitable. Outdated processes remain, and this begs the question - can we enhance the way we collect data even further?

Webform fatigue

Web forms allow customers to input information, from personal data, questions to experiences. Businesses can analyse this data to action to reach certain business goals. As far as data collection is concerned, they are an effective and ethical tool in gathering customer information.

Their design has seldom offered the most positive customer experience, with multiple landing pages, monotonous procedures of moving from box to box and field error messages - this can cause customer frustration and abandonment of the entire process.

Webforms are not built to be arduous but to engage customers in digital relationships with businesses. If attempts to create a rapport between customers and businesses result in leads being terminated instead, they must be considered a failed system. Methods of capturing leads must evolve with the changing landscape around them.

The tides are turning for businesses as well. Web forms are causing inboxes to overflow and messages to get lost in an abyss of similar queries. Problems have been left unanswered, furthering customer frustrations. To go formless appears to be a massive jump, but when customer satisfaction is at risk, the rewards make investing in new, modern alternatives worth it.

Maintaining the customer experience

The past 18 months have seen our dependence on the digital world increase dramatically, with digital innovation following suit. Institutions have to provide digital solutions to operate effectively. With technology more accessible than ever before, it’s now a choice for businesses to stick with conventional technology over more helpful methods of lead generation.

Real-time conversational tools are an example of the strides made in the customer service sector. They are multi-purpose tools with varied use cases that are designed to be a companion to customers in navigating their digital needs.

In the past, chatbot scepticism has derived from the desire for person-to-person conversation. Technological advances now allow seamless bi-directional communication without the need for a human presence.

Rule-based, no code chatbot builders are a tool that allows businesses to deploy their chatbots with little-to-no coding experience. Deployment is made simple and easy as IT departments do not require dedicated chatbot teams nor extensive training for them to succeed.

Chatbots are now easily configured and readily deployable to business requirements. The purpose of a conversational tool is not to replace humans and their jobs but to allow the reallocation of resources that can now attend to other more immediate needs. Chatbots help businesses work smarter, not harder.

Multi-purpose data harvesting

Chatbots enable the exchange between business and customer, turning raw data into conversation. This data can be stored within internal systems and then processed into analytics. Once gathered, the data is multi-functional, with a plethora of different opportunities for optimisation.

Marketers can be provided with the appropriate guidance to target a specific customer’s needs. Customer support professionals can make informed decisions to help their consumers. There is no guesswork with chatbots, nor any need for speculation. Tailored and evidence-based solutions can be provided effectively and effortlessly.

Furthermore, chatbots are available in real-time. They relay information when it happens, meaning that businesses are always informed on customer queries and submissions. According to a Hubspot Research survey in 2020, the level of service that might have been acceptable to a customer 10 years ago, could now result in complaints as customers demand responses in minutes, not days. Chatbots help to increase the speed of reply time and also reduce customer frustration in the process.

The digital evolution

We're still far from having meaningful conversations with robots, but we have reached the point where conversational flow with technology is effortless and can make a significant difference.

Traditional lead generation is old news, and enhanced technology is becoming more and more accessible. Businesses may be comfortable with their existing traditional technology but it is time to step up to the plate or face being left behind.

Conversational assistants are the next wave in the customer service space. Technology has a habit of leaving its predecessors redundant. We do not need to wait long before webforms become another technological history.

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