How Chatbots Can Help Create Leads for Credit Union Marketing

As member expectations continue to grow, AI has some increasingly bigger shoes to fill. Members demand access to their finances, and customer service, at any time of day. Although your credit union may just be a dial away, members are looking to reach their financial institutions without the wait times of a phone call. That’s where chatbots come into play, and they’re making a big impact on both the user experience and cost management budgets—a win-win for both members and marketers. So, today we’re covering everything from how chatbots work to how they can offer a convenient, cost-friendly alternative for financial institutions. Keep reading to find out if chatbots are right for your business.

How Do Chatbots Work?

Facebook Messenger Chatbots allows financial institutions to personalize conversations and enhance the member’s journey through this popular social platform. Once a person interacts with your credit union’s Facebook page, they are considered a “subscriber,” which adds them to a list similar to an email list. This presents plenty of advantages as a top-of-funnel method for list building and first-party data gathering, and we’re breaking down the “why” and “how.”

Why Are Chatbots Beneficial?

For one, this interaction within the Messenger Chatbots is trackable, allowing credit union marketers to tag and personalize the user’s experience. Even more, you can also request additional information like email and phone numbers to increase customer relationship management (CRM), or any integration desired, and nurture audience segments for different campaigns. Plus, these chatbots are 100% automated, giving credit union marketers the flexibility to focus on other member-growing tactics at the same time.

With over 80% open rates and over 30% click-through rates (CTR), Messenger is an ideal entry point for growing members or simply informing prospects about your products and services. These messages can be triggered via ads, Facebook post comment plugins, QR Codes, URLs shared via email, SMS, and many more. You can also retarget audiences engaged with your page via Sponsored Messages, which are sent directly to the user’s Messenger inbox and combine multiple tactics between Facebook, Instagram, SMS, email, and other platforms.

Why Should Credit Unions Use Chatbots?

Aside from Facebook being a top social platform, Facebook Messenger is the second leading messaging platform in the world. This helps credit unions meet members where they’re already comfortable, offering the perfect setup for a unique brand experience.

However, with the recent iOS updates and the upcoming Google privacy changes, the online marketing industry has started shifting towards a privacy-first world. List building and first-party data have never been more important. That’s why chatbots are an excellent tool that allows you to start gathering data that seamlessly integrates with almost any platform, allowing businesses to future-proof their marketing campaigns.

Chatbots Offer Convenience

Utilizing Facebook’s audience breakdowns, it’s been confirmed that the vast majority of users that interact with paid ads are mainly using mobile.

Mobile has been slowly shifting towards the main placement for digital marketing, and prior breakdowns show how almost all of the audience consists of a type of mobile user. Therefore, optimizing the member journey and experience to be mobile-friendly is essential. Something else to consider is the demand for convenience. Many users opt to send a message via social media when they have a question or need immediate help. Having a system in place offers a good member experience as it minimizes the wait time for users while personalizing interactions.

Chatbots Offer a User-Friendly Interface

The first interaction users have with your Chatbot is crucial. The Main Menu should be clear and concise, and it should easily direct users to where they want to go.

Simply put, the Main Menu consists of a series of “cards” that you can swipe through and customize to your specific needs. The buttons on each card should help users navigate through different options within your website easier, almost like a directory.

It’s important to note that all web navigation within the Messenger App is native, so if the user decides to close the web page, they will still be on the Chatbot and can continue browsing through the menu options. A typical setup for the Main Menu includes the following:

  • Main Website: A simple card that drives people to the home page.
  • Free Downloads: An option to incentivize people towards nurture sequences by downloading free content and interacting with the brand.
  • Products & Services: Credit unions can drive traffic directly to their services or within the messenger app.
  • FAQ: Extremely useful for people that join the chatbot looking for something specific. This automation also offers the option to speak with a real person if they can’t find their answer.
  • Speak with Team: This option allows people to pause the Chatbot’s automation to request assistance from a real person. Credit unions have the opportunity to appoint notifications to one or more staff members or a master based on availability so that they don’t miss the request. You can also assign available business hours so that users know by what day/time they can expect someone to reply to them.
  • Schedule a Meeting: This could be used as Lead Generation to schedule a virtual meeting or something similar. This option features automated calendar scheduling, allowing representatives and members to coordinate based on availability.

These are the typical main menu options. You will always have the opportunity to customize these, remove a card you don’t like, or add a new one you might need. In a credit union’s case, the primary approach would be to add an initial message asking if they are current or prospective members.

This will allow the Chatbot to tag each user as a “New Users” (a lead) or a Member. This tag will affect all of their future interactions. For example, a new user might see options in the Main Menu that focus on nurturing them to learn more about the brand, products, and services, while an existing member might unlock new menu cards that present promotions and exclusive member perks.

Chatbots also include an automated response for people that randomly start a conversation via Facebook Messenger. This message typically lets them know that it is an automated message and shows them an FAQ list with the hopes of answering their questions. From here, they get routed to the Main Menu automation. If users don’t get their questions answered, they can talk with a real person based on the availability settings discussed above.

Build Your Digital Marketing Strategy

These ideas are just scratching the surface regarding all of the possibilities Chatbots bring to credit unions. The main goal is to implement basic automation that helps businesses focus on other areas. These initial steps serve as a foundation for building more complex automation in the future that integrates with organic and paid strategies, and eventually builds the best performing campaigns, thanks to the fantastic KPIs the platform brings.