We live in a conversational age. People all across the globe use chat-based platforms to instantly communicate with their friends, families, and co-workers, from the comfort of their smartphone screens. Increasingly, customers expect to be able to get in touch with businesses with the same speed and convenience – through swift and seamless messaging. And when it comes to messaging, there is no platform that is closer to ruling the roost than WhatsApp.
In 2018, WhatsApp introduced its Enterprise API, which enabled businesses to engage with customers on the platform at scale. The WhatsApp Business Solution facilitates swift and seamless interactions between brands and customers on the app. It offers brands a wide range of options to engage their customers with notifications and prompts, offer instant customer care, or increasingly, to promote and sell products/services over the app.
The Enterprise API allows a brand’s human customer care or sales agents to chat with customers over WhatsApp. But there is a far more advanced and effective alternative for businesses – implementing a WhatsApp chatbot solution.
Leveraging the power of advanced Conversational AI technologies such as Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Machine Learning (ML), a WhatsApp chatbot enables your brand to be available to customers 24/7 on the app, and offer support or drive sales end-to-end with no human intervention required.
A WhatsApp chatbot is an Intelligent Virtual Assistant that can engage in human-like conversation with your customers, understand precisely what they want, and carry out the tasks needed to fulfill those requirements.
WhatsApp is the world’s largest messaging platform, with over 2 billion users across 180 countries. This means that WhatsApp potentially allows you access to over a quarter of the total human population! There is no conversational platform that offers you a similar scope and scale.
What’s more, the number of people you can potentially reach out to over WhatsApp literally increases every day, with over a million people registering on the platform every day. It is the third most downloaded app in the world, which means that there’s an overwhelming probability that your current or prospective customers are on the app.
The average WhatsApp user checks the app 23 times a day, spending 195 minutes on the app daily. This high level of engagement makes it the ideal channel to reach out to customers.
Last but not least, in an era of heightened awareness about privacy, your customers will find WhatsApp to be a safe channel for interaction, and even transaction, with your brand, as it is a secure encrypted platform.
If you aren’t convinced, here are a few more reasons why your brand should be on WhatsApp:
WhatsApp enables you to engage customers at every step of their purchase journey, and beyond. It is a highly effective channel for acquiring customers. It offers a range of options to transact with customers on the app and drive sales. And it allows your brand to offer seamless post-sales support and help build foster long-term engagement and loyalty.
Given the large numbers of highly engaged WhatsApp users, it serves as a great platform for your brand’s lead generation efforts. You can talk to prospective customers over chat, answer their queries about your products/services, and collect their details – all this in a frictionless conversational manner.
WhatsApp also offers a range of options for getting customers on board your channel. You can include a WhatsApp Click to Chat link on your website or on banner ads across all your channels, and encourage customers to share it in their WhatsApp groups as part of referral marketing campaigns. Deflecting traffic from IVR calls to WhatsApp is another great way to introduce customers to your WhatsApp channel.
LEARN MORE: How to Acquire Customers on WhatsApp
As per WhatsApp policy, it is essential for businesses to collect an explicit opt-in from the customer before interacting with them on WhatsApp. This requires:
User Action: The interaction should be triggered by customer action for e.g. a customer sending the first message on WhatsApp or clicking a WhatsApp Click to Chat link.
Explicit Language: If the brand is collecting an opt-in, such as. through a check-box on a contact form, then this should be stated explicitly. For e.g. “I agree to receive [noun], [logo and noun] on [number]
Visual Indication: A visual element should be shown next to the WhatsApp name and logo, wherever opt-ins are being collected.
WhatsApp is a great medium for enabling conversational commerce. Equipped with an AI-powered recommendation engine, a WhatsApp chatbot serves as the perfect virtual sales agent – engaging a customer over chat, understanding their requirements, making relevant product and service recommendations, and ultimately nudging them towards a purchase.
In short, a WhatsApp chatbot replicates the experience of going to a store and talking to a helpful and knowledgeable sales clerk on your smartphone.
LEARN MORE: 3 Reasons Why WhatsApp is the Future of Commerce
The process of navigating through a menu, selecting an item, and placing the order, which would normally take multiple clicks as the user navigates through a website or app, is now seamlessly completed over the course of a conversation with the WhatsApp chatbot, which leads to a far better customer experience and maximizes the likelihood of a purchase.
The WhatsApp chatbot relies on contextual data gathered during the conversation (or retrieved from the business’ database or CRM system) to get a better understanding of the customer’s intent, and thus make relevant product recommendations. This contextual understanding also enables the WhatsApp chatbot to more effectively upsell or cross-sell related items/services.
With a WhatsApp chatbot you can facilitate end-to-end transactions over the app, either through a third-party payment gateway or through the upcoming peer-to-peer payments feature, WhatsApp Pay.
With a WhatsApp chatbot, you can offer 24/7 customer service seamlessly over chat. One of the major pain-points of conventional customer care channels, such as call, is the long wait time before being able to speak to a support agent. This problem is eliminated with WhatsApp chatbots, which can respond to customers’ instantly at any time and swiftly resolve their queries – 9X faster than they would be resolved on call.
LEARN MORE: How to Engage and Serve Customers over WhatsApp
A WhatsApp chatbot can resolve 80% of inbound customer queries and service requests end-to-end, which significantly boosts the overall operational efficiency of your contact center, and frees up your support staff to focus on solving complex customer issues that require their detailed attention. In fact, a WhatsApp chatbot enables you to save over 30,000 agent hours in a month!
Automating the vast majority of your customer care with Conversational AI also enables you to significantly reduce your customer care costs, by as much as 90%. Moreover, the cost of handling customer queries on WhatsApp is a fraction of the cost of handling queries through an IVR (Interactive Voice Response System) over the phone. Deflecting call center traffic from IVR to a WhatsApp chatbot is thus another significant technique for slashing your support costs.
To get started with WhatsApp, you need the following elements in place – a fully functional website, Facebook Business Manager through which you will manage your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA), a Business Phone Number for your brand’s official WhatsApp channel, and an official Business Solution Provider (BSP) who will help you set up your brand’s WABA.
With the help of your BSP, you can get started with the following 5 steps:
As an official Business Solutions Provider for the WhatsApp Enterprise API, Haptik has transformed customer experience for a number of brands with our AI-powered WhatsApp chatbot solutions. Here are some of our most significant WhatsApp Enterprise implementations.
Using our Conversational AI platform, OYO, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, enabled their Guest Experience Managers to seamlessly connect to customers over WhatsApp chat to resolve booking-related queries. Using this WhatsApp solution, they were able to achieve a 15% reduction in call center traffic.
To raise public awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic, we collaborated with the Govt. of India to launch the MyGov Corona Helpdesk, a WhatsApp chatbot that instantly resolved citizen’s queries about the coronavirus. The Helpdesk became the world’s largest-ever WhatsApp chatbot, with over 35 million conversations processed in the first month alone.