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Below is a transcript of the Chatbot Marketing Training Course by Customers.ai and Isaac Rudansky, of Adventure Media. Get the full course here and become a messenger marketing master. What you learn here you can build in Customers.ai with the free chatbot builder.
Howdy chatbot fans, and welcome back. In this lecture we’re going to continue talking about psychological principles of persuasion in effective chatbot design.
We spoke about commitment and consistency, and right now we’re going to talk about reciprocity.
Basically, the reciprocity rule states that we should try to repay, in kind, what someone else did for us. Another favor that was provided to us, and this is, again, a very powerful drive in the human being, and it’s something which has been pervasive in all cultures.
Sociologists Alvin Gouldner reports that no human society in the world does not subscribe to the rule of reciprocity, and that’s something which is worth noting, because if we could get our customers, and our prospects, and our leads, to feel a sense of reciprocity, that we’ve done something for them, they are much more likely to do something for us.
The desire to reciprocate is triggered even when the original favor was uninvited. And that’s huge, because you might think, or one might have assumed that if I asked you for a favor, and if I said, “can you lend me your hammer?” and you let me your hammer, then I will want to reciprocate that when you need something from me.
We don’t need to go through all the research and studies in detail, but all the research and studies have shown that even if I offer you something that you did not ask for, you will feel a sense of indebtedness, and want to repay that favor.
Another interesting rule to note is that we will often give back more than we received initially in the name of reciprocity.
It’s not even about “oh, you gave me this favor, and this was worth 7 points, so I want to return a 7-point favor”, you see this all the time and it works really, that even a small favor could invite much larger repayments, and much larger reciprocal actions.
Another important concept to realize as part of reciprocity is what we call reciprocal concessions, this is incredibly powerful, and this is the rejection then retreat concept.
And we all are familiar with this when kids will ask their mom “can you buy me a car for my 18th birthday?”, “No”, “well, could you buy me a new drum set?” “No”, “Well, could you take me and my friends to Six Flags for the day?”, “Okay, sure” right?
And kids are innately good at this, they understand this. But, the reason why this works so well is because of the reciprocity principle, it’s not just getting agitated by so many requests.
This has been repeated in hundreds of studies, and it is undoubtedly one of the strongest and most reliable principles of persuasion that there is.
When you ask me, let’s say you asked me for a favor that’s too large and I reject that favor, in a subtle psychological way, that’s perceived as you doing me a favor, okay? think about that.
You’ve asked me for something and I’ve said no, and you’ve said “okay, I’m not going to bother you about it”, of course it’s within your right, and it’s in within my right, but still the fact that you’ve conceded, in a way it makes me feel indebted to agree, and to also concede, so we’re equal.
I’ve rejected something, which is in a way a concession that you’ve made, I am now much more likely, I am more primed to make a concession for you.
So, now when you ask me a smaller offer, which is the offer you intended to ask me and intended for me to accept all along, I am much more likely to accept that offer now after I’ve rejected a previous offer of yours, and this works, it’s not just conjecture, this is very powerful stuff.
Reciprocal concessions work so well because it also piggy backs and taps into another psychological principle called “perceptual contrast”.
Now that you’ve anchored a higher, more expensive offer, or more difficult favor, or a more complicated task in the conversation, not only did I reject that and you’ve made a concession to me, and I’m now more likely to make a concession to you, but you’ve anchored something much more over-the-top, expensive, high level, than which now makes the second offer look much smaller in contrast.
If you’re familiar with the anchoring principle, perceptual contrast, is all the same thing.
It’s something which is very powerful, and it works really well, and you could use that, and I’m going to show you, and you could use that to your advantage in bot design.
Another great advantage to reciprocal concessions is that when you use them in your chatbots, you’re going to make your customers feel more satisfied with their purchase, or with engaging with their brand in general, a little slight typo there, but it’s okay.
That’s another enormously powerful asset you have working in your favor, so not only do you tap into perceptual contrast by “Oh, I declined a bigger offer and now this offer looks much more reasonable”
But also, if I feel like I’ve gotten a good deal, if I’m declined your expensive offer and then I get a better deal, you offer me something which is more in line, I feel more satisfied, I have a more pleasant experience, and all these things work in your favorite.
But at the core of it is a person’s innate need to repay, and this could even be the case with a bot, we have seen this work, it doesn’t have to be a real person you’re talking to face to face.
If I feel like I’ve gotten something of value, or if I feel that you’ve made a concession for me I’ve rejected, I’m much more likely to accept moving forward.
So, let’s talk about reciprocity in action in your chat BOTS. You you’re looking at a screenshot here, but I’m going to actually show you in this video this chat bot in action. So, just a first a few bullet points for you to start remembering and start thinking about when it comes to understanding and building reciprocity into your bots.
Offer something more expensive, get rejected, then offer something more affordable. That’s the typical reciprocal concession in action, it works wonders, I’ve been doing this with bits for a while now, and it really works.
Another idea, offer a coupon for 5% and then tell the user that you’ll go ask your supervisor for an additional coupon, even though you’re not supposed to do that.
Now, I’m not the moral expert here, the ethical expert here, I like pushing the boundaries of bots, and making them sound like people, and sound like humans, so don’t call the ethics police on me, ok? I’m not telling you to do this, I’m just telling you that it works.
So, you could create the perception of you doing a favor for a customer or a user, and that creates a desire, and obviously these are not like overt psychological things playing out, these are subtle things that have marginal impacts on conversion rate, but they do make an impact. So, if you do something nice—
And we’re going to talk about likability in a cup lectures from now, and you sort of create the context of a favor, even if the person knows that it’s a bot, these are things that will work to increase conversion rates and increase engagement rates.
Through your chat bot you could give users valuable insider secrets, or valuable pieces of content, or tips. Let’s say things that might have typically been gated content on your website, where a person has to give their email, phone number, company name, other types of information.
And tell the customer through the chat bot that “Listen, I’m going to give you this information even though most other people have to sign up and give away a lot of personal information to get access to these tips”.
Again, your currying favor, you’re doing something nice, you’re showing them that you’re going the extra step, and that’s not just about being nice, what is happening is reciprocity.
The user on the other end of the chat feels now more inclined to comply with whatever is coming next when you actually try selling them something.
These are core principles of salesmanship and make an enormous impact.
On the same token you could offer links to free gated content on your website before promoting any specific products or services, this is the same concept why eBooks in case studies worked so well.
Because when a person receives something of value, and I want to make a side point, a lot of companies throw up pathetic eBooks, and pathetic case studies that are not any better than a blog post, or they’re outsourced by somebody who doesn’t understand your business.
No, that stuff doesn’t work, in order for reciprocity to be triggered you actually have to give something of value, the favor has to be real, and felt, and authentic.
So, this could work when your company produces, or you take the time to produce good content. When you produce content that’s long, and it’s thorough, and it’s valuable, it’s not something you could find in 3 seconds through a Google search elsewhere, right? its original.
When you offer them that sort of content for free, it creates a sense of “wow, I’ve gotten value from this brand. I’d like to reciprocate that and buy from them”
And they’re much more likely to buy from you after they received something for free, because they want to repay that debt.
People want to repay any sort of debt that they’re under, it’s a very strong psychological principle.
If you’re trying to promote a webinar, right?
This is an interesting idea, and I’ve actually never tried this, when I was preparing this slide I just sort of thought of it, and I would like to try it, and if I do try it I’ll share the results with you.
You could ask users if they’re interested in joining the two-hour version, and when you’re denied, which you almost certainly will be because most seminars are not that long, you then ask the user “well, would you be willing to join our shorter version which is just 30 minutes that has all the essential information and less fluff” or whatever you say.
And I would test those two, I would test those two different funnels, one just promoting the 30-minute seminar, and one doing the rejection then retreat concept of reciprocity.
And I’d be willing to bet, I would literally put my own money that this will work better, you will get more registrants for the 30 minute seminar than you would otherwise, because it’s reciprocity in action.
Now, let’s go see this bot in action. This is going to be your first time getting a glimpse of the inside of Mobile Monkey unless you’ve signed up for it already.
Don’t get overwhelmed, I’m not teaching anybody how to use mobile monkey right now, we’re not going through anything step by step, we’re just going to see the bot in action, and we’re just going to test the bot, that’s all it Is, okay? so let’s take a look here.
Here we are in the backend of Mobile Monkey, don’t be concerned if this looks overwhelming or confusing, we’re going to go over everything in detail later on. But, let me just quickly test this reciprocity bot, this test bot, and we’re going to test this page, open in messenger, and let’s see what happens here.
Now, we could do this on a mobile phone, but this is just the desktop version of messenger, most of this is going to be happening on a mobile device, and I’m going to show you recordings and obviously screenshots of mobile devices later on.
So, the bot asks me “Hi there Isaac, may I ask what you are in the market for?” and it gives me three options down here, “sectional”, “sofas” and “recliners”. So, I’m going to tell the bot that I am in the market for a sectional, and let’s see what happens.
“Great, take a look at this product, it’s our top-of-the-line sectional and it’s selling for $3,499 on our website today” and it shows me a nice image of the sectional. What do you think about that sectional for $3,499? it’s an expensive sectional, and I know it’s expensive, and I know it’s out of the budget for my leads, because I’ve targeted my leads with in very specific ways, and I know that most people, or the vast majority of people are not going to buy the sectional for $3,499.
So, I have two options here, and I could natural type, and there’s different ways to buildings bots, but for the simplicity of it these are going to be done through options being sent to the person, to the user.
So, I have “the tear emoji, out budget” and “send me a link”. And what’s cool is we could customize, and we would customize this chat bot based on what the person selected originally, whether it be sectional, sofas, recliners. So, I’m going to write “it’s out of my budget”.
Let’s see what happens, it’s typing, and again, that’s programmed through Mobile Monkey to look like it’s typing, so it’s pretty cool. “I understand Isaac, that sectional is way out of my budget too. I’m going to get a much lower sales commission, but what do you think about this sectional for just $639? it’s really good quality, and it’s one of our best sellers, and it’s on sale from $999 clap emoji” and I send a picture, “what do you think?”
I mean, this is this is crazy stuff, it’s all happening, and this could happen thousands and thousands of simultaneous chat messages with customer’s going at once, and each person based on what they select—
Remember the analogy of the phone tree? that you choose your own adventure? Everyone can go down different funnels, we could build this out as complex as possible.
So “what do you think?” so I have “Heart emoji, I like it” and “Don’t love it”, so I’m going to click “I like it”, and the chat bot responds “woohoo, I’m happy you like this one, and it’s on a great sale today.
Below is a button that will bring you to that sectional online, and I’ve also included an extra 10% off for you”.
And if I click that button it brings you right to that product page, and the person’s much more likely to check out, why? is because we’ve used reciprocal concessions, right? We got rejected, we offered them an expensive—
Man, it’s important to break down what happened here, right? We offered them an expensive sectional, and it was clear that I wanted them to buy the expensive one because important, I talked about my sales commission, remember that in the next follow up message I talked about sales commission?
But the customer rejected, and now they’re primed to be much more likely to buy something for $600 for a few reasons, one is there’s the conceptual contrast, right?
Now $600 looks cheaper than it would have looked to them that if we had just started off with the $600 sectional, right?
That’s very important to realize, the conceptual contrast, they think they’re getting a good deal, I’m offering them a discount. It looks now so much cheaper than their higher-end sectional, and it looks like I’m getting a great deal because it looks almost as nice.
So you have the concept of perceptual contrast, you that concept of satisfaction because I’m getting a good deal, and I’m willing to do you a favor because you’ve made a concession when I rejected your offer for the expensive sofa, for the expensive sectional, I’m now more psychologically likely to accept an offer and make a concession to you to accept the offer for a cheaper sofa.
Now, of course this stuff doesn’t work like science, these are all things that work combined to slightly increase conversion rate, but over time, and when you employ much of these tactics, and when you implement your bots in these ways, you’re going to start seeing incredible results, and you’re going to see much better results than your competitors are seeing, because you’re understanding these psychological principles.