Did you know that research suggests that, by 2020, we will speak more to robots than we will to our spouse? Whether that happens or not, there is no doubt that online messaging and “chatbots” should be a key consideration for IFAs who want to engage more potential clients with their financial website.
There’s no need to fear a frightening “robot future,” because the reality is that it is already here. The vast majority of internet users – over two thirds, in fact – are familiar with using chatbots for customer support, for instance. The robots have arrived, and they aren’t going anywhere.
The Benefits of Chatbots for Financial Websites
The good news is, you don’t need to just put up with this new development. Chatbots have a lot of great features to offer IFAs on their financial websites. Here are just a handful:
#1 Greater reach
Think about the potential a chatbot feature gives your financial website. You might well be a one-man band IFA, but your size doesn’t matter. With a chatbot on your site, you could potentially speak to hundreds of online visitors all at once, without you doing a thing!
#2 Data insights
For a website visitor to use a chatbot, quite often they need to enter at least their name and email address. Then, there’s the information they provide in the chat history, once the conversation gets going. All in all, this is great lead data for your CRM, which you can action at any time.
#3 Natural conversation
Chatbots these days are quite clever, and they’re becoming more and more so. Assuming you find a good one to integrate with your financial website, your chatbots can talk with potential clients in a very natural, human-like way.
This is particularly important for financial advisers to hear, as your business model depends so much on strong, trusting long-term relationships.
#4 Reduced overheads
Bluntly put, a solid chatbot feature on your website is vastly cheaper than employing a call centre.
#5 Constant communication
Because your chatbot is just that (a robot), it does not need to sleep or take breaks. So it’s always on, ready to answer your potential clients’ questions – even if they are in another time zone!
How do I put a Chatbot on my Financial Website?
By the turn of the next decade, over 80% of companies will be using chatbots. So how do you get in on the action, as a financial adviser?
At CreativeAdviser, we build bespoke financial websites onto the WordPress platform. This CMS (content management system) has access to lot of great plugins and features which you can tailor to your website, including a chatbot.
If your financial website is old and out of date, then quite likely it will be worth rebuilding the who website with a chatbot feature included – rather than shoehorning the latter onto a old site.
The key consideration is coming up with a plan to ensure your chatbot actually converts website visitors into leads and potential clients. Here are some steps you will want to consider:
#1 Put yourself in the user’s shoes
You could put an absolutely amazing chatbot onto your financial website. Yet if it does not meet your visitors’ needs or address their pain points, then it will be largely useless.
Make sure you therefore pretend to be your potential client, as they visit your website and interact with your chatbot. What issues are they facing, and trying to resolve? How will interacting with your financial website and its features (e.g. the chatbox) help them address those?
#2 Use conversation throughout the customer journey
Chatbots can fulfill two important purposes when someone visits a financial adviser’s website.
Firstly, they can introduce your brand. For instance, it might be that once your visitor arrives at on your website, they are greeted by the chatbot once they click on a certain link on your page – or scroll down and hover over a particular section.
You might also use social media advertising (e.g. Facebook ads) to direct users to your bots, rather than your website. E.g. “Chat to get some free pension transfer advice.”
Secondly, chatbots can act as influencers. For instance, suppose someone visited your financial website, briefly chatted with your chatbot about a pension question, and then left shortly afterwards. Later, they see your remarketing ad on another website, click on it, and arrive back at your web page.
From there, your chatbox can see that it recognises the person and says something like: “Hi John, we’re currently holding a free, online pension transfer workshop. Are you interested in attending?”
It might seem a bit creepy, but this is actually the new normal online. The chatbot is not pushing a hard sell either – it is being helpful, by offering something of value based on what the customer said before.
#3 Use metrics to measure the online chats
Of course, as digital marketers working in the financial services sphere, woe to us if we failed to mention the importance of metrics! It’s crucially important that you measure your chatbots’ behaviour, interactions and performance, to ensure you can improve things as you go along. For instance:
- Repeat / retention rate: How often does the customer come back to chat to you?
- Sentiment: are users of your chatbots expressing positive or negative experiences of it?
- Open rates: How many people open your chatbot’s invitation to chat?
- Conversions: How many chatbot users turn into leads, and how many of those become clients?