What Is a WhatsApp Chatbot?

A WhatsApp Chatbot is a computer programme that simulates text-based human conversation via the WhatsApp messaging platform. WhatsApp Chatbots can automatically respond to various customer communications, from customer service to sales, and can be integrated via the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Overall, a WhatsApp Chatbot aims to provide an interactive and conversational experience for users via a messaging channel they use daily to speak with family and friends. In both scripted and AI-driven structures, WhatsApp Chatbots allow customers to obtain information and perform tasks with a business.

Why Does Your Business Need a WhatsApp Chatbot?

WhatsApp Business has three main reasons that make it an ideal host for a chatbot and can be hugely valuable for customers and companies alike:

  • Popularity - There are two billion active users on WhatsApp in more than 180 countries; users use the messaging channel every day.

  • Rich Media - Companies can share photos, GIFs, links, videos, PDFs or contact information via WhatsApp; these features make conversations more engaging, seamless and interactive for users.

    WhatsApp - Abandoned Cart Reminders

  • Reliability - WhatsApp has a high delivery rate and even boasts a high response rate. It also offers end-to-end encryption features, making it secure and easy to use.

Benefits of a WhatsApp Chatbot

Based on the above and the nature of WhatsApp as a channel, integrating a chatbot with WhatsApp Business means companies can:

  • Be available to customers 24/7 - Consumers today expect answers at any time of the day, even out of customer service agents' office hours. With a WhatsApp Chatbot, customers can find information and self-serve no matter the time of day.

  • Provide instant answers to customer queries - With a WhatsApp Chatbot, consumers instantly receive a response, whether answering the question, redirecting the user to a relevant webpage, or notifying them an agent will be in touch during office hours if the request requires human intervention.

  • Reduce the need for live contacts - Contact centers are often bombarded with live contacts via phone or live chat. Yet, diverting customers to a WhatsApp Chatbot can ensure questions are automatically answered before reaching live agents.

  • Free up service staff for more valuable, time-consuming tasks - With a WhatsApp chatbot, responses to easy question can be automated and reduce the burden on agents.

  • Improve the overall customer experience - All of the above benefits mean customers receive answers faster, no matter the time, and a frictionless customer journey.

WhatsApp Business Use Cases

The combined forces of WhatsApp Business and chatbots support several business use cases that you can add value to your business:

  • Offer instant customer service: A WhatsApp chatbot can easily handle queries, complaints, orders, refunds, and more. By automating responses and redirecting complex queries, you can save time and allow employees to focus on other tasks.

  • Automate simple conversations: You can automate responses to frequently asked questions about refunds, replacements and forms with a WhatsApp chatbot ensuring a swift, efficient, and hassle-free experience for you and your valued customers.

  • Collect customer feedback and reviews: Businesses can effortlessly send concise questions to customers via WhatsApp, allowing them to respond promptly without needing emails or external website links.

WhatsApp - Customer Feedback

  • Send tracking and order updates: By using WhatsApp to provide tracking and order updates, your customer knows the exact status of the delivery from the moment an order is placed to the time that it arrives.

  • Generate leads: WhatsApp chatbots help simplify lead generation by enabling easy conversation initiation. You can share a phone number or click-to-chat feature in online ads, instantly opening a chat window.

  • Recover abandoned carts: Cart abandonment rates are sky-high. A WhatsApp chatbot can help you send out abandoned cart reminders to your customers to remember their finds, and convince them to buy it.

  • Run successful marketing campaigns: If you want to announce a sales campaign or have a new product you want to promote, you can automate a WhatsApp chatbot to send Promotional Messages for you.

  • Send timely alerts and notifications: WhatsApp Chatbots can deliver instant, concise notifications to customers, ensuring time-sensitive messages aren't missed.

Read how KFC South Africa raised the bar for customer communication by connecting with consumers via a ground-breaking WhatsApp chat ordering channel.

How to Build a WhatsApp Chatbot for Business

So how do you set up a WhatsApp Chatbot for your Business? It’s relatively easy, but you need to have a WhatsApp Business Platform account. It will allow you to communicate with customers over WhatsApp that have opted-in, including automating these conversations if needed with a chatbot.

1. Apply for the WhatsApp Business Platform

The first step is to either apply for the WhatsApp Business Platform yourself, where you will be required to input your company details, or WhatsApp recommends that you sign up and work with a Business Solution Provider such as CM.com. When doing so, you will find that your WhatsApp Platform request is more likely to be granted.

2. Define Your Goals

Before jumping on the WhatsApp Chatbot wagon, you will need to clarify your business goals and determine how WhatsApp will help you achieve them. You must also establish who you will be talking to, what you will talk about, and how you can help them. Do your customers need help navigating a site or a procedure? Or are you helping them book an appointment or reserving tickets?

WhatsApp - FAQ and Service Automation

Don’t just view your WhatsApp chatbot as a simple FAQ tool. It can (and should) be so much more than that. Once you’ve started the conversation with your customer, you should strive to help them achieve their goal within the same platform.

Define the following elements:

  • What business areas will the WhatsApp Chatbot operate in?

  • Who is your audience?

  • Which systems will the WhatsApp Chatbot integrate with?

  • What security features will you have in place?

  • What data is available for integration?

3. Set Up the Conversation

Your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider will guide you in setting up the conversational parameters between your business and your customers.

Planned paths (rule-based) are among the most basic yet effective chatbot options comprising a simple question and a predefined answer.

For instance, a conversation may look like this:

WhatsApp Chatbot: Are you an existing member?

Options: Yes | No

If Yes, WhatsApp chatbot: Please input your membership number.

If No, WhatsApp chatbot: Would you like to speak to a member of our team?

The answers to the questions will direct the user to the next stage in the flow. Interaction is quick and amazingly simple.

4. Integrate With Your CRM

Merging your WhatsApp Chatbot with your customer relationship management software is a match made in heaven and means your business can genuinely personalize customer communication.

Does your customer want to see their order status? Or data usage? Show them the answer directly in the WhatsApp chatbot conversation rather than redirecting them to your website and potentially losing them.

Integrating WhatsApp Chatbot with your CRM removes the guesswork of identifying a customer. With a CRM in the picture, you know exactly who you’re talking to, and you can use that to your advantage.

5. Enable Live Agent Handover

Chatbots are incredibly versatile, but they remain bound by the rules that they are built on. Therefore, your WhatsApp chatbot will encounter questions that it can’t answer, input that it won’t recognize, or get inquiries about topics that require live human contact. When this happens, ensure your WhatsApp Chatbot is programmed to connect the customer with a human who can take over the communication immediately or in the morning when working hours resume.

Agents can pick up conversations from the bot relevant to their department and assist immediately, having all the customer information at their fingertips. The chatbot can open support tickets for issues that require additional input and feed this information to all parties, logging all interactions along the way.

Customer routing is a big deal, and when done right, it removes the frustration of being shunted from one department to another. Customers answer a few qualifying questions via the bot and end up exactly where they’re meant to be.

Get Started with a WhatsApp Chatbot

The WhatsApp Business Platform and our chatbot solutions open the door for a chatbot for businesses to take customer communication to the next level. Working with our team allows you to set it up effortlessly as we handle all the technical aspects, setup, and data compliance.

Reach out to our team of experts today to get started with WhatsApp Chatbots.

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