Customers and prospects want fast, responsive conversations. They also want to feel like they’re having a personalized interaction with brands.
Conversational apps are one way to deliver what customers and future customers want. According to Hubtype, conversational apps cut down goal completion time for users by 40% and increase the completed number of goals by 25%. These apps have proven to be highly engaging and effective forms of customer communication.
Brands are starting to catch on to the shift toward conversational marketing. To help illustrate that shift, we’ve compiled a list of five companies that are changing what mobile apps are truly capable of by adding a distinct conversational element to enhance the overall customer experience.
What Are Conversational Apps?
Simply put, conversational apps are interfaces that engage with a customer or prospect through conversation. In many cases, the customer or prospect will interact directly with your company through a chatbot. In other cases, conversational apps can also connect customers and prospects to real people within your company. This feature depends on your staff size and the resources you have available.
Conversational apps are designed to guide users towards a specific action through interaction. They use text, voice, images, and other elements to answer users’ questions and help them complete actions — making purchases, scheduling meetings —within the app, so they don’t have to click away.
Why Conversational Apps Matter
There are a number of different industries that conversational apps can help serve. Among the most common are retail and eCommerce, banking, and SaaS. While you can implement a conversational app for most industries, the specific industries listed above often require an action to be carried out that can be guided better to completion through conversation.
If we look at SaaS, for example, conversational apps can guide a customer or prospect through potentially complex subject matter about a product or service. They can also help that customer or prospect schedule a meeting with a company representative for more information should they want to take the next step.
Now that you know what makes conversational apps important and who they can help, let’s take a look at some real-life companies that have great conversational apps.
Conversational App #1: Duolingo
What it is: Duolingo is a language-learning platform. Its conversational app is designed to help users learn languages with greater ease.
Why it’s special: Duolingo’s conversational app utilizes a blend of text and images to teach users language lessons. Instead of getting users to learn by simply consuming long blocks of text, this conversational app adds an interactive element and positive reinforcement to maintain user trust.
The takeaway: Incorporating multimedia and interactive elements into your conversational app is important, especially when you want a user to visualize something. Instead of simply telling a user a piece of information through text, show them how it fits into the overall context of what they’re trying to learn about. This is a huge benefit that conversational apps provide.
Conversational App #2: Cleo
What it is: Cleo is a money management platform. Its conversational app helps users navigate their day-to-day personal finance and budget needs.
Why it’s special: Unlike a lot of mobile apps centered around money management, Cleo uses a fun, cheeky tone to engage users. For example, the app’s bot will playfully roast you on spending habits, as well as play quizzes and games with you about your finances. This conversational app teaches people about finance by conversing with them like a close friend would.
The takeaway: You don’t have to stick to a dry script when it comes to building out a conversational app for your company. If your brand is playful and hip, make sure to infuse some of that spirit into your app’s customer conversations. In many instances, a conversational app is the first place someone will interact with your business, so it’s important to showcase your brand identity.
Conversational App #3: Marsbot
What it is: Marsbot is a chatbot and conversational app that makes restaurant and nightlife recommendations.
Why it’s special: Sometimes you just need a great night out on the town. What sets Marsbot apart from other restaurant and nightlife recommendation apps is that it makes those recommendations based on where you bring your smartphone. It’s different from an app like Grubhub, which makes recommendations based on places you’ve previously ordered delivery from. Using Marsbot is like talking to a friend who knows all the hottest spots to eat and drink in town.
The takeaway: While there’s plenty of mobile apps that offer recommendations, there’s always room to add even more personalization through a conversational app. That personal touch is a key difference between offering a generic recommendation and one that’s based on individual tastes that users will actually find helpful.
Conversational App #4: Quartz
Source: Nieman Lab
What it is: Quartz is a news organization that specializes in business. Its conversational app offers users international news and business insights.
Why it’s special: A lot of mobile apps deliver news in a straightforward manner through basic notifications. Quartz, on the other hand, takes a conversational approach to sharing news with its users. It uses a mix of GIFs and photos along with messages to share news instead of making people simply read headlines and receive notifications. The app will share news insights with users but also add its own little comments here and there to keep things conversational.
The takeaway: How many times have you swiped away news notifications on your phone without actually reading them? It happens all the time. Delivering information through conversations is a solution that’s natural for most users and keeps them more engaged. You also have more back-and-forth interaction with a user to provide more value to them.
Make Your Mobile App More Conversational
With so many mobile apps on the market today, it’s hard to stand out among a sea of industry competitors. One way to do that is to engage with your users and create a conversational experience that always puts them first. Like each of the examples above, you need to think outside of the box to create memorable interactions that will position your brand as an expert within its respective industry.