“A beautiful conversation gives a lot but takes a little.”
When was the last time you had a beautiful conversation with a company? And what does that even mean?
For marketing agency Hint and their clients, the answer is surprisingly simple: chatbots.
While the idea of automated chats might not scream “beauty," Hint’s sales team and their customers have discovered that chatbot experiences done right can be both beautiful and powerful—especially when delivered at scale.
Automated conversations, like chatbots, have a place across every aspect of Hint’s operations—from lead qualification and onboarding, to event registration and customer support. For Conversations Strategist, Adriana Vargas Pacheco, they’re essential for efficiently maximizing opportunities, thanks to their immediacy and automation. In her words:
“You want to give every customer a personal experience, but it’s difficult when you’re a small team. Having chatbots to pre-qualify our leads, means I can go to sleep knowing that when I wake up my inbox won’t be overflowing with unqualified contacts.”
It’s a simple formula, and one that Hint also applies when designing user experiences, campaigns, and communication flows for their clients.
So when Anahuac University, one of Mexico’s top institutions, needed a solution to give students a great experience while collecting their registration info, a beautiful chat is what they found.
Best-in-class: university chatbots
Mexico’s higher education landscape is vast and competitive. Add in the crazy amount of info students need to make their big decision—course details, application processes, campus facilities, and so much more—and it’s not hard to see why universities struggle to strike the right balance between being engaging and informational.
For institutions looking to attract the best and brightest young minds, finding a fun, memorable way to engage prospective students can’t be an afterthought. So Anahuac University came to Hint with a website vision centered on two goals:
Give website visitors the info they need as easily as possible
Collect contact details and specific needs of prospective students
The typical experience sends students through dozens of web pages, searching and scanning for the info they actually care about.
What if instead the website asked students what they were looking for, and then sent them to the most useful information? More like a human at an information booth, less like a printed campus directory.
And what if along the way, you could easily collect student info and inquires, and automatically store it in the university database for later follow up?
Enter the chatbot.
Can chat do that? Lead capture + website sherpa
Determined to help Anahuac University drive inquiries and applications with minimal budget and maximum standout factor, Hint’s marketing strategist Paloma Palomo decided to experiment with Typeform Chats.
“The Typeform chatbot was a more attractive and interactive option for sharing info that people needed, and a friendlier way to collect their details. So it worked as both a lead capture tool and a website assistant.”
By incorporating a chat into the university's blog, prospective students could get answers to their questions in an easily digestible way. This even included adding videos right in the chat.
Having an engaging interface is the first step of a successful relationship. But for the conversation to continue, the information collected has to be stored and easily usable.
So what happens once you collect people’s details?
Depending on the answers they give in their chat, students are entered into a particular communication workflow.
For example, some people will receive an email with more information on degrees taught on the campus. Or if they’re already interested in a particular course, an assessor gets in touch with the next steps on how to apply. And if someone isn't ready to commit, they’ll receive info on open-day events at the campus of their preference.
This automated botflow makes it easy for university administrators by making sure prospective students get what they need to get started.
Why chatbots really work
Before starting a chat, Hint tried using a more classic typeform, and it was getting good engagement. But they wanted to see if they could boost the results even more with a friendlier, more conversational chatbot.
According to Paloma, the Typeform chat quickly started getting better results—and more registrations. Why?
“A chat experience feels more personalized, as if there’s a real person there listening to you, attending to your needs.”
When was the last time you felt that a digital experience actually cared about your needs? And Paloma told us the appeal runs deeper than that.
“Simply filling in a form feels like a generic experience, like you’re answering questions for someone else’s benefit. Chatting with a bot gives the sensation that you’re the one who’s started the interaction. It feels like you’re more in control somehow.”
Sounds like a website visitor's dream.
Designing your conversational journey
When designed in the right way, chatbots can be the perfect starting point for attracting leads and prospects, nurturing customer relationships, and projecting an appealing image of your brand—all while saving precious time.
But crafting a conversational journey takes care and consideration if you want your audience to feel welcome, supported, and at ease.
If you think about it, every conversation takes a certain course. Some are linear and straight to the point, others go on multiple tangents, and take unexpected turns. Think how many times you’ve said things like, “How did we get on this topic again?”
“A beautiful conversation doesn’t pressure you to give your details straight away. It accompanies you, providing the support and information you need before deciding if you’re interested. That’s a good experience.”
As Adriana tells us, if the journey isn’t well planned, a chatbot could lead to a poor experience. So you need to think carefully about what people are looking for, and make sure you’re delivering value to them, especially if you’re planning to ask for their contact info.
“If you’re going to ask for people’s details, it should be a pleasant experience. A bad conversation can end the sales process in a second, and your lead can disappear in a puff of smoke!”
Don't be that used car salesman. No one likes pushiness, or being asked to hand over details without receiving something in return. If you want to turn good rapport into a lasting relationship, you need to create an experience that feels helpful, respectful, and ideally, enjoyable. The same applies to chats.
Want to start a meaningful chat with your customers?
And if you want to learn more, have a chat with this smiley conversationalist: