How turning off automated chatbots on our website tripled demo requests

The use of chatbots has increased in the last few years making it one of the most popular customer interaction channels. As a growing business, we were intrigued by the numbers so we decided to give it a try on our website.

In this post, I am going to share with you the impact that having/not having chatbots had on the volume of demo requests. I will also mention the reason for the increase in popularity of chatbots and metrics related to it.

Before I dive into the post, here are the topics that I am going to discuss for reference:

The growing trend of automated chatbots

Our empirical results of forms vs chatbots


The growing trend of automated bots

Social media, mobile apps, forms on a website and email have been the most common contact channels for prospects. Recently, chatbots/instant messaging has become the new preferred options for some businesses.

All the previously popular communication channels relied on humans to work. Chatbots, on the other hand, allow a computer to start and assess a conversation with prospects with no human interaction.

In a study done by Drift, they asked 1000+ survey participants to think about the online services they used. That included search engines, product/service websites, and mobile apps. Then Drift asked them what frustrations they had experienced with those services.

The results indicated that the most common frustrations by consumers included:

  • websites being hard to navigate (34%)
  • not being able to get answers to simple questions (31%)
  • basic details about a business (e.g.: address, hours of operations, and phone number) being hard to find (28%)

The takeaway was that businesses are not providing online experiences up to consumers’ standards.

Not all consumers are ready to trust chatbots, especially in B2B (which is always behind in Marketing compared to B2C). However, chatbots are growing in popularity due to several benefits, such as speed and efficient triage of leads. Companies believe that chatbots will be able to respond to questions more quickly and be able to rate leads by quality.

Decision makers are busy and have short attention spans. So, speedy response times are also an attractive advantage of chatbots. According to InsideSales, waiting even five minutes to respond after a lead reaches out, decreases your odds of getting in touch with the lead by 10x. And after 10 minutes, there is a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying that lead.


Our empirical results of forms vs chatbots

The results we got from using forms and chatbots may not be the same in other companies’ tests. Therefore, test both mediums on your own website to see what works best. With that being said, here are our results:

We had a triple amount of demo requests with forms but also more low-quality leads. Those leads, however, were more ready to attend a demo since their only way to contact us was by signing up for one. Because of that, we might have lost out on leads that were not ready for a demo yet but wanted to contact us.

Overall conclusion: forms outperformed chatbots.

Here are my suspicions for that result:

  • the chatbot gave prospects the chance to ask specific questions instead of committing to a full demo; that lowered the number of scheduled demos
  • in B2B there is still some aversion towards chatbots due to mistrust of automation; especially for higher ticket and more complex products that require more one-on-one communication

Conclusion

In this post, I looked at our results in demos scheduled when comparing forms with chatbots. Here are the main takeaways:

  • the growing trend of automated chatbots – chatbots are on the rise and they definitely work for some companies to increase conversions and offer 24 hours contact
  • our empirical results of forms vs chatbots – forms outperformed chatbots in the number of demos scheduled and the readiness to receive demos

Each company has its own combination of factors and limitations. So, you should analyse and decide which medium would be ideal for your prospects to contact you. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the new trend of chatbots and their effects on the number of demo bookings.



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