Gong Homepage Chatbot

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December 26, 2020

Gong’s Homepage

 

What they did

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform for sales teams. They’re one of the hottest tools in SaaS right now — big personal fan of them. On their homepage, they have a chatbot to engage visitors. It pushes folks to sales, content, or support. In our inaugural edition of “Tear Down / Build Up”, let’s unpack this experience and see where it could improve.

 

What went well

The first thing Gong does well is set expectations about who - rather, what - you’re talking to and what it can do. They lean into their office mascot, Bruno, and make him the persona of their chatbot. It creates opportunities for fun copy, like “Who’s a good boy?” “I am!”. It’s a cute play for the brand. 

 

More important, though, is that visitors know that this isn’t a human. There are few things more frustrating than interacting with what you think is a human, only to find it's a bot. By saying “I’m just a dog but I’m sure I can help you fetch something quickly”, visitors know what chat does for them in a way that reinforces the brand.

 

Another thing I like about this experience is the qualification flow. Only some percentage of your site visitors are a good fit for your product - and that’s okay. It’s best not to waste anyone’s time and give them the right next step as soon as you can, even if that step is it’s not a fit.

Gong (well, BrunoBot) asks how many sales reps are on your team. Choosing the smallest range gives you a message that you’re not a good fit for the platform. It’s the way in which they push you out of the qualification flow that I like so much. If they had just said “sorry, you’re not a fit byeee” and then closed the chat, you’d feel dejected and that they didn’t value you. Instead, they explain why you’re not a fit and give you a next step of checking out content. It’s polite, transparent, and gives visitors a contextual next thing to do. You walk away from this feeling respected and heard, even if you don’t move further in the sales process.

 

The last aspect I like about Gong’s chatbot is the ability to reach customer support. Your homepage has the most broad reach of any page on your website. Visitors, leads, and customers alike will all come and need different things. Often, you'll see chatbots that offer a path to sales or support. With Gong, though, customers can create a ticket for Support and someone will follow up over email.

 

What didn’t go well

The "handoff" experience is clunky. After answering my email address and team size, the chatbot brought me to a calendar. Now, I have no reason to doubt that AJ's a good person and would be a blast at socially-distanced dinner parties. With that said, prospects have no way to know that — or anything about AJ, for that matter. BrunoBot shows us his name and calendar without any context. It's a jarring experience to drop someone on a calendar without a clear reason why.

Also, it feels like there's a miss on larger-level expectations, too. BrunoBot never states whether sales reps are available to chat. I wasn't able to reach a human after going through every branch. It's plausible that the team wasn't available in the moment, but that's not my understanding. When prospects engage over chat and go down a sales path, it's reasonable to infer they want to talk to a human there.

 

This conversational experience doesn’t appear to have strong and deliberate segmentation. Every time I went down the qualification flow, I had to input my email and team size. Asking these questions is fine - no issue with screening for fit. Rather, it was a small frustration that it didn’t seem to remember who I was for certain details. When I came back to the site on a cookied browser, it recognized me and offered a different welcome message. But going back through the bot brought me to the same qualification flow with the same questions.

The copy was the last place where I felt there was a slight miss. It's nothing jarring and it didn't break the experience, but there's room for polish. The first interaction with "Woof!" is cute and a good hook. At the same time, it takes 2 clicks and 3 messages before getting to the meat of the experience.

That has the potential to cause friction, as a visitor may be unsure what they're clicking on and what the value is. The main message, "...I'm sure I can help you fetch something quickly..." goes right into four quick reply options. The phrasing of this sentence isn't clear right away what you're supposed to do. The compose bar tells them to click a button, but they won't read that until after the buttons themselves. The quick replies are inconsistent, too. Three of them start with "I'm..." and then one starts with "Congrats...". Put together, these little friction points add up and push visitors away.

 

How to improve

One way for Gong to improve BrunoBot is to set better expectations about handoffs. If they have agents (SDRs or Support) that can take qualified chats in real-time, great. That would match expectations, as visitors who engage with chat want to reach a person there. If that's not realistic, though, there are still more graceful ways to fall back to automation.

After the qualification flow, BrunoBot could explain that demos are best when done live and tailored to the prospect's company. Then, when displaying the rep's calendar, it could give context about the rep and why they're the next step. In doing this, prospects will better appreciate "AJ" and the value a meeting with them creates. Setting clear expectations and offering context go a long way.

 

Also, Gong could improve the integration with their CRM and conversational marketing tool. Context shapes great conversations — everything we've said influences what we say next. The best conversations are the ones where we feel heard without saying much at all. Calling your pizza place and hearing "Hey Connor, want the usual?" feels better than reciting the same order every time you call. When a prospect says their email address is X and team size is Y, map that to their contact record as properties. This way, as prospects interact with Gong more, they can  contextualize their messaging. Using prospect data to tailor their experience is a win-win.

 

Gong could clean up their copy in two ways. At the start, they could streamline how many clicks and messages it takes to get to the "meat" of the experience. That would reduce the time-to-value and friction. The brand and persona of BrunoBot is great — it would shine even more if it was straightforward. The quick replies are where there's another big opportunity. Think of the dialogue in an RPG — there's a clear prompt when it's your turn to say/do something. Gong could use copy to signal it's time for the visitor to click a button. Even a line like "...I'm sure I can help you fetch something quickly. Click below to tell me what you need." makes it clear how a visitor should interact. In musical terms, that's the "call-" of a "call-and-response". The "response" here is the quick reply options the visitor will click. Three of these start with "I'm..." and one that starts with "Congrats...". Four's a fine number — I wouldn't go higher than that — it's the structure of the phrases that could improve. When done well, quick replies anticipate what your visitor might say.

They should be concise so visitors spend less time thinking and more time being present in the experience. Assuming we use the "Click below to tell me what you need." line we called out earlier, here's how it could map. "Click below to tell me what you need." [A live demo] [Info about your platform] [Details on your Series D funding] [Help as a customer]. Now, the phrases are shorter and more concise. This removes friction from the experience and gets more folks engaging further with BrunoBot.

 

Summary

Gong makes great software for sales teams that visitors want to learn more about on the homepage. Today, their chatbot pushes to book a meeting, read content, or file a support ticket. The outcomes they're looking for here make sense and are good uses of a chatbot. The persona and branding of BrunoBot was great, too. They could set more clear expectations about how visitors will reach sales. It'd also be beneficial to lean into their CRM more and tweak their conversational design. All things considered, this chatbot is a fine starting point for Gong. With tweaks, they can create a better CX and drive more meetings for sales.



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