Welcome to my conversational marketing recipe for Community Bank of Fitzgerald.
Hi, I’m Jason Hobbs.
The main bank location for CBC Fitzgerald lies a mere hop, skip, and jump from my home office for the past twelve years and counting, here at 416 W Cypress Street in lovely Fitzgerald, Georgia.
A few weeks ago, as I stood in the President/CEO’s office, I was jarred twice prior to wrapping up my futile attempt to simultaneously deposit a check into my account AND access the funds ASAP.
Why the rush and my face full of stress?
Call it crushing debt multiplied by my arrogant desire to, both, eat AND continue bootstrapping my business. I’m not sure what it is inside me that keeps driving me forward. But something allows me to continue believing in myself despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
And yes, both of my bank accounts were empty during my futile attempt, which served to ratchet up my deepening desperation as my attempt moved from link to link up the CBC command chain.
And the check being physically passed hand to hand up that same chain of command was for a sum, that each link in the chain found irreconcilable with me.
My duo of jarring experiences, that sparked my creative inspiration:
- Unrequested, the CEO apprised me of my total number of overdrawn fees over the life of my two accounts. (And the local free clinic nurses thought I had high blood pressure beforehand…)
- And asked, with a tone of incredulity, what business the huge company on the check had to pay me fifteen thousand dollars.
And he released ten percent then and the rest once the funds were fulfilled.
Around five weeks later, the same CEO released the entire second check after a little less than a forty-eight hour hold.
From that first conversation in the bank CEO’s office forward, I couldn’t stop iterating my answer to that question, over and over and over and over in my head.
You’ve never heard of me either, so why do smart people listen to me?
- If you prefer paper, I have my Marketing degree, with Honors, from Valdosta State University.
- If you measure by hands on experience? Since 2010 alone, and keep in mind that I’m single and my work weeks consist of my waking hours, I’ve surpassed 30,000 hours professional experience specifically focused on successful digital marketing for non-digital natives running 1-to-10 person organizations.
- I’m loyal, passionate and forthright with people. And my mom’s nickname is ReGenius.
More than that?
Conversational marketing strategy is all I think about. Trying different approaches, testing hypotheses, listening to people on both side of conversations and their feelings about conversational marketing for their organization. All of it’s my natural obsession.
I can’t do it for you, but my conversational marketing recipes and I are here to help you.
This marks the origin of my opportunity to share freely of my litany of lessons learned in the past thirteen years of my life’s work. So you can learn from my copious real world mistakes to make it easier for you to get your goals.
I will update each recipe over time, in order to reflect new lessons I learn, as well as any lessons you might be kind enough to share.
Why is CBC of Fitzgerald my first
- CBC of Fitzgerald is my bank, my business has always banked there, my Mom banks there, my Grandma and Gramps banked there for decades, on decades, on more decades, etc.
- I’m doing these recipes from my home office of the past twelve plus years, which is less than a nine-minute walk from the main CBC campus..
- The bank’s President/CEO asked me the question that later sparked these conversational marketing recipes.
- When I realized their marketing website wasn’t conversational and lacked a reason (media) for people to visit of their own volition.
My Bot Explanation
Understand that this is a bot, which does not bring people to your website. For successful digital marketing, people have to come to your website propelled by a purpose that aligns with your value.
In that context a bot becomes everyone’s best friend. Always ready to help people visiting your brand as well as your brand’s team.
The bot connects people interested in your brand, with your brand.
It’s not a magical elixir. Or the infinity stones or whatever.
With that understood, we’re ready to walk through version one of my conversational marketing recipe for CBC of Fitzgerald.
Choose a bot template to serve as your bot’s foundation
Visual bot builder, first level editing this bot’s first question
- Click the pencil icon to edit question 1
- Build the text for this question using this text editor area
- There are multiple responses to this question, both button and keyword based.
- Button example response to question 1
- Keywords example response to question 1
- Always remember to click save each step along the way, because friends don’t let friends lose their awesome new update to their bot. It’s just bad form.
And before we move forward, here are the other options when scrolling down the right column from the previous image
The settings for the “just looking” button response to question 1
- This is a button response. Not a keywords response.
- Button text, the idea is to choose and develop a distinct voice for your bot. While making it clear from jump, that it is in fact a bot that serves humans.
- When this button is clicked, a goal is reached. Which means that the text in #5 below will show to the visitor AND BE followed by the text that is part of the goal. Which in this case the goal is Window Shopper and includes a bot response of, “Enjoy your browser based browse :-)”
- The goal name.
- Two of my north stars that guide my approach to how I plan each bot, are personality and clarity that it’s a bot that serves humans.
- Always apply changes and save at each step back from your edit. Don’t lose your bot text and settings. It sucks. Or so my friends told me…
Personal banking keyword response to question 1
- This is a keyword response for question 1 of this bot
- Why did I number everything?? This is contains “personal banking” which matters. I’m still unclear it’s impact compared to the next two.
- Speak of the next one, this is similar to “personal banking”
- This one is equals “for my family” and I’m admittedly dubious it would ever be triggered.
- What happens when someone triggers one of these keyword responses as a reply to the bot? They’re moved along to the next question, which is specific to personal banking.
- The reply to the triggered keyword. Get it?
- I only set this as the default response because I had to address the ability at some point. This was the point I chose. When you have a default response to a question, just toggle this box and then do what? (Say it with me)
- In sing song voice: Don’t forget to apply changes at every step back from the edit. Because friends don’t let friends lose bot witticisms to the ether. It’s not civilized.
Personal banking button response to question 1
- This is a button response
- Questions about personal banking, my goal for the bot is to talk with each person and help them on their schedule.
- When a person clicks this button, it takes them to the next question because that question is specific to the personal banking question.
- I’m a big fan of Brooklyn Nine Nine and the bot needs a reply
- Apply changes. Always. Apply. Changes.
The business banking keyword response to question 1
- In case you haven’t heard, this is a Keywords response
- This response is triggered when someone types a response to question 1 that contains the term “business”
- This response is triggered when someone types a response to question 1 similar to the term “business banking”
- This response is triggered when someone types a response to question 1 that equals the term “ACH”
- Once triggered, the visitor is moved to another question, for follow up on their business question
- This bot’s three questions are organized: Q1 presents three chat routes – (1) Opt out of conversation, (2) personal banking, (3) business banking – Q2 is the follow up for personal banking and Q3 is the follow up for business banking.
- The bot’s response when a visitor triggers one of the keywords
- If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, apply changes at every step of the way.
The business banking button response to question 1
- Business banking button response to question 1
- The business banking button text
- Clicking the button takes them to another question. (FYI: Could have been set to the next question, but wasn’t.)
- In this case, another question equals question 3
- Not pretending the bank would use this response, it just makes me smile when I see it.
- When you leave a room? You turn off the light. When we finish editing each part of a bot? We apply our changes. Every.Step.Of.The.Way. I’m not gone say it again.
The personal checking response to question 2
Let’s Complete The Goal Result: Booking A Call
In the prior image, we clicked Monday, June 18, 2018 for the day to book the call.
The personal savings response to question 2
- This is, in fact, a button.
- Button text
- This doesn’t take them to question 3, because that is the follow up question for business responses to question 1.
- The goal and lead phase for this example is set as “A – Prospect”
- This is the text editor for crafting your bot’s response when a visitor clicks this button in question 2.
- Apply yo changes yo. Always apply changes or no changes happened, feel me?
The CDs/IRAs response to question 2
- Button again.
- Button text
- Click this button and go to this goal
- Goal A was set for all responses of personal banking to question 1
- The bot’s response to visitors that click this button for question 2
- Apply changes. Always apply changes.
The easier online bill pay response to question 2
The business checking response to question 3
- Another button example
- Button text, a longer one this timeM/li>
- Click button, go to goal
- The A – Prospect goal was for visitors selecting personal banking in question 1
- This is the text edit area to craft the bot’s response when visitors click this button as their response to question 2.
- This is an example of making a button response the default response to a question.
- So you made changes? Did you apply your changes? Don’t forget, every time.
The accept credit cards online response to question 3
- This is a button response
- The text that shows on the button
- When this button is clicked, the visitor proceeds to a Drift goal, in this case, B – Prospect. (A = personal banking, B = business banking in this example)
- The text area to craft the bot’s reply to the visitor after visitor clicks this button response to question 3.
The ACH services response to question 3
- This is a button response
- The text on the button that visitors see and decide to click
- Clicking this button triggers a Drift goal
- This button triggers the goal titled: B – Prospect. Because any visitor that responds to question 1 with business banking is on the pathway to B – Prospect. A – Prospects are those providing personal banking responses to question 1.
- This is the text area for crafting your bot’s response to the visitor choosing this button. I’m increasingly convinced that giving your bot personality helps bot engagement.
- Apply your changes at every step along the way. Never assume your changes have been saved.
Conclusion: What this recipe delivers
My conversational marketing recipe for Community Bank of Fitzgerald begins the process of making their marketing website more conversational.
This first example bot focused on replicating the experience of walking into the CBC of Fitzgerald main location and engaging their ever-present receptionist as soon as you push through the inner set of doors and into the bank lobby.
This example bot connects customers with the proper staff member to address their needs. And while the example bot’s question 1 organizes by business banking and personal banking, the same format can be applied for as many, or as few, options as required for your context.
A note on CBC of Fitzgerald’s current marketing website
There is not currently a reason for visitors to visit the marketing website.
I’d recommend the bank add media to the website answering questions potential customers have regularly asked over the years. (Read Marcus Sheridans book on the subject if you haven’t)
I’d focus the media strategy on a mix of videos and articles on the website that answer the questions potential banking customers want to know, and try to answer the questions in the order that offers the best possible experience for people.
In a future update, we’ll walk step-by-step through my recipe for making the support more conversational, and that applies when customers use the CBC mobile app AND the online banking in their choice of browser window.
You’ll need a few things to use this recipe yourself
- You will need a paid account with Drift to have access to the bots. Retail = $500/mo when billed monthly, I believe for 5 seats.
- If you qualify and can get into the Drift Startups Plan, you absolutely should right now before it goes away. Do not delay. Do not tarry. Go. NOW!
- You will also need to install Drift on your website. Then login to your Drift Account. In order to implement this recipe yourself.
June 18, 2018
- For future example bots, I need to modify the bot name and photo in the bot playbook demo, rather than just using my HobbsBot icon. (Which is an amalgamation of my childhood boxer dog, Sampson along with Lizzie and Baxter, the parents of my current boxer, Max.)
- For the keyword responses to question one that mirror a response to either the follow up question 2 or 3, don’t send them to the next question and instead move them on to the correct goal instead.
- When numbering steps on button or keyword responses which lead to a Drift goal, where appropriate, only number the two together as one number rather than both the goal selection and the goal name right below.