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Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, featuring Ish Jindal

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Billy: Alrighty, hi everybody and welcome to the show I am your host Billy Bateman and today I am joined by the CEO and Founder of TARS, Ish Jindal. Ish thanks for joining me. How are you today?

Ish: Thanks billy for having me. I’m doing good. I’m doing pretty good and that was the right pronunciation for my name 

Billy: Thank you I tried. So Ish tell us a little bit about yourself and TARS.

Ish: Sure so I’m one of the founders of TARS and I primarily look at the marketing side of things. The marketing and the sales side of things. We have been working on TARS for almost three years now. It’s been a little more than two years and what we are essentially trying to do is, we are trying to help marketers who are running big campaigns, think of Google ads, Facebook ads any kind of ads on the web, we are trying to help them increase the conversion rate on these campaigns by at least 50% that’s what the aim is. And how we are trying to do that is using chatbot landing pages or conversation landing pages so what that means is say you search for car insurance and google right now you see an ad for geico. You click on this ad and you land in a static landing page which would have a form on it. What we are essentially saying to a marketer at Geico is replace this static landing page with a chatbot landing page which essentially means they do nothing else on the page but just an automated conversation and you’re going to see much better conversion rates because your users are going to love this experience. So this is what we’re doing and that’s what’s keeping us busy. 

Billy: Awesome, so one of the things when I was talking to you before the show that you mentions was with these paid ads connected to a conversational landing page you are able to measure the ROI as a marketer of your ad spend. Can you go a little bit into that?

Ish: Sure, so let’s use an example let’s say you spend 100 thousand dollars on google ads every month and you are able to generate 1,000 leads from those 100,000 dollars. Which essentially means your cost per lead is 100 dollars. Now we’d come in and say use these chatbot landing pages or conversational landing pages and you would be able to make your conversion rate 50% better. Now you start using these conversational landing pages and you are able to generate instead of 1000 leads now you are able to generate 1,500 leads. Which means you are able to generate 500 extra leads and these 500 leads could potentially, think of the pipeline you are able to build from these 500 extra leads. See the ticket price for your lead, you could potentially make 1000 dollars if you have 500 dollars from each lead you are essentially able to create some 500,000 in potential new revenue. So you can easily see that you spend this many dollars on ads and this is the extra revenue you would be able to generate. So it’s very numbers driven and marketers are mostly numbers driven and we can clearly see that I’m using this new tool that is essentially helping me create these chatbot landing pages and this is the extra revenue that I’ll be able to make. So it becomes a very simple funnel or its a very simple math if you think about it.

BIlly: Yeah. One of the things I found very interesting is as marketers I think a lot of the time we struggle with okay we know the bot converts when it gets on the web page if you got one running on your homepage or other landing pages but with the strategy you’re recommending tying it to a paid ad you’re able to measure not only the conversion rate and the increase there but the exact traffic source and messaging so that once you find something that works it seems like you could just put more money into that bucket and increase your conversion rate and the number of leads you’re getting. Where to spend those marketing dollars.

Ish: Exactly because you’re measuring everything you’re measuring your cost per take you know which keyboard is giving you how many leads at what conversion rate like everything is being measured very accurately which doesn’t really happen if your doing the SEO based organic plate but when you’re spending the dollars you really want to see what is working and what is really not working. Which is the good thing about _- And you know that this as a _ is working and so you keep putting in more dollars and be generating more leads on the other end.

Billy: Exactly that something we do for our clients, we help them build conversation landing pages and honestly they have been great on the conversion rate. They are better than even just replacing a form on your website if you send someone directly to a page that all it is is the bot your conversion rate we’ve seen goes up even up as high as 50% more than just a bot on your site where people can get distracted. So one other thing I wanted to ask you about was, so chatbots are awesome, were using them, they’re better than the forms, they can engage people. But how do you build a good bot? Its something we were talking about and you had some interesting points I wanted you to share with everyone. 

Ish: That’s actually a good question and you know something _we think about it a lot as well. Now chatbot as an interface or chat as an interface especially in the business context is very new. Now websites have been around for 2 decades at this point of time, almost 2 decades right and there has been a lot of evolution in terms of to what websites or landing pages used to look like say back in 2000 to what they look like at this point of time. The thing about chatbots is they have been around for a few years like 3 years, 3 or 4 years max. I remember when we started TARS and I used to do these outbound sales calls nobody used to get what a chatbot was so I can definitely say that it’s been around for 3 years as a buzz word or as a hype word. Now sinces the space is so new there is going to be a lot of evolution in terms of how we will create chatbots that actually convert. They are not a lot of people in the world out there at this point in time who are thinking about how to make good conversation flows because at this point in time a marketers, someone is telling a marketer in a company to go ahead and start using a chatbot but nobody, people have not really started thinking about how to create good chatbots that will actually convert. And that’s totally fine but I think there will be a separate job profile per se in organizations which would essentially be about conversational designers or something on that front, whose job would be to create these good conversations. Just like you have these email marketers whose expertise lies in how they can write emails that actually get a good open rate and good click rate. Something similar would happen but for chatbot conversations. Just like yourself we have been helping our customers as well, and we have been trying to make them understand that chatbot is not really a magic wand. It won’t happen that you just start using a chatbot and your conversion rate will shoot up. You have to make good conversation flows people think i’m going to pay for a chatbot and my conversion rate is going to shoot up in a week or so. This is not going to happen. You have to really make an effort to make this thing work as well and we want to help you with this but yes, you have to make an effort. Going into more detail, we have these best practices around how to make good conversation flows. And we have been written and recording a lot of videos also around it but just to give you a sense of it, say you are in the travel space and you are building a chatbot and you are asking for someone’s name and if you say something like “please share you name” just like you would do in a phone this is not the best way to ask for someone’s name because this is just not how you talk over a chat. If you were just texting someone you wouldn’t be saying  “please share you name” but I still see a lot of organization and businesses doing this. So there are obviously a lot of best practices around creating these conversations. We have obviously been seeing across different customers as to what’s working well and recommending them best practice to our customers. So thats what weve been doing and now the idea is how we can make the whole idea more data driven. So that we can actually tell a customer or business if you do this then your chatbot flow will become better and your conversion rate would shoot up your _. And we would be able to do this across industries so what might work in travel might not work in real estate, what might work in insurance might not work in healthcare right because the kind of consumer base or the user base you might have for healthcare might be very different from travel. The mindset might be very different, the words could be very different, the flow could be very different. Thats what were been trying to build in the product as well as to how you could collect very data driven decisions as to how to make good conversation choices. Does that answer your question?

Billy: No that’s good. So this is something that we actually do for our customers is pretty much our specialty in testing how you should ask questions, what order you should ask the questions and a lot of what you said rang true with what we’ve found in that every one of our customers has a different profile for their buyers and who their interacting with. And although there are some common things that you can apply to every customer, each industry and each buyer is a little different in how you’re going to interact with them. Are you going to ask them for an email first or last in the flow, how are you going to ask them, are you going to give them structured answers or unstructured answers? And testing that its very nuanced in how we create these bots and when you go to your website, one of the things I love that you guys have done is you’ve created these templates for different industries and use cases to help marketers once they have your product actually implement building the bots for their customers. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you built these out and came to these templates.

Ish: Right so this is good that you saw those templates on our websites and I think that we have the biggest repository of chatbot templates at this point in time across all the companies. The space, we have 350 chatbot templates at this point in time this is across different industries like 18-19 different industries and around 20 different use cases as well. Why we are trying to do this is, I mean it goes back to the same question I was trying to answer earlier if you don’t know and don’t want to spend a lot of time in making these chatbots and learning how to make good chatbots so what we realized was why can’t we give them something is already 60 or 70% there and all they have to do is optimize the flow based on their user profile and their business. How we’ve been building these templates is it’s been one of the, from a marketing perspective as well it’s been a good exercise and we’ve been putting a lot of effort into building these templates and all of these templates are built by our inhouse team. Like these are inhouse conversation designers who actually make these chatbot templates on a daily basis because these team members actually work with the customer as well directly so they know across different segments and what not. What we possibly intend to do is actually get exports from different industries so if you spend a lot of time in the real estate space than you actually know how customers talk and stuff like that . So I think that could be a good way of making these templates as well because if you’d think about a conversation within a chatbot its essentially a sales funnel. Any conversation is a funnel especially if you’re using it for a customer acquisition or a first generation use case. It essentially becomes a sales funnel How do you build a funnel that converts and which has a certain goal in mind as well which is electing some sort of information from the user or actually making them pay for your product or what not. So yeah that’s the idea behind templates and we are focusing on how we can have chatbot templates for pretty much different kind of use cases for _ID customer profile. So that they can actually see, or get inspiration, use these templates correctly restore them through the account_use them at a _. So yeah that’s been the reasoning and the mindset,the talk process for building these chatbot templates.

Billy: yeah I love these. One of the things I really like about them is you pick an industry and a use case behind each one and it’s very focused on what this bot is going to. I think one of the mistakes I see people make is they put the bot on their site and they want to build like on the homepage a bot that will pop up on the page load and be the end all be all for anything the user can do on the site. But how are you going to measure success off of that if you’ve got so many different goals and so many different options when the bots are focused on ‘i’m going to do this” its usually a much better user experience and you can measure success a lot better as a marketer. 

Ish: I totally agree with that.

Billy: Okay, well Ish thank you for joining us today. If people want to get ahold of you and learn more about TARS how can they contact you?

Ish: The best way just go on our website which is hellotars.com and you can just schedule a demo because that schedules a demo on my calendar directly that is one or you can find me on Twitter at JindalIsh.

Billy: Awesome thank you Ish!

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