Build & Optimize a WhatsApp Chatbot for Successful Customer Experiences

Today WhatsApp is a messaging platform that connects over a quarter of the global population & enables more than 100 billion interactions a day.*

There is no other communication channel that matches this messaging platform in rate of growth, scope, and scale.

For businesses, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Because, both the strength and the success of this channel depends upon a brand’s ability to converse with hundreds or thousands of customers simultaneously. And this is only possible by building efficient processes and a high degree of WhatsApp automation.

An AI-enabled WhatsApp chatbot can be a powerful tool for businesses to drive customer engagement, raise satisfaction, and increase sales – provided it is built correctly.

Just as you would train a contact center agent to handle business in the most lucrative way possible, you will need to optimize your WhatsApp bot with automation best practices and optimal conversation design.

What is a WhatsApp Chatbot?

Chatbots build on various forms of artificial intelligence to achieve different communication goals, like interpreting a user’s input and responding accordingly or learning from past conversations to provide more relevant answers. They can tirelessly repeat information and personalized responses based on the user’s preferences and interests.

WhatsApp chatbots are computer programs that can converse with humans in a seamless, organic way via the WhatsApp platform. These bots can focus on a key business goal such as automating customer service and support tasks.

WhatsApp’s success makes it possible to build an outreach strategy atop existing groundwork. You don’t have to build the venue; you just have to show up and be willing to engage.

Bots make it easier to do this consistently. They let you respond, initiate conversations, and track outreach performance data even if you are a startup – or running a contact center with a skeleton crew while you tackle more critical issues.

Why Do Businesses Need WhatsApp Chatbots?

WhatsApp chatbots are critical for enterprises that want to take advantage of WhatsApp’s high market penetration. As one of the leading messaging apps, the platform hosts billions of potential customers – not to mention business partners and potential employee talent.

A WhatsApp bot can help enable personalized one-on-one conversations with all these target groups at scale.

Not having a chatbot could make your business slow to respond. Your brand could seem disengaged – or worse, uncaring. Remember: Today’s shoppers demand lightning-fast responses and personalized customer experiences.

Deploying a WhatsApp chatbot solution for your business helps you satisfy this bare minimum.

WhatsApp Chatbot for Service

Your WhatsApp chatbot can answer frequently asked questions, provide customer service, and even take orders without you having to dedicate one of your valuable team members to the job. This frees up time for your team to focus on other tasks.

Businesses today are deflecting calls from their IVR to their WhatsApp channel where the WhatsApp Chatbot works alongside their customer service representatives to improve efficiency by nearly fivefold.

WhatsApp Chatbot for Sales

Chatbots let you generate leads in a few different ways, making it easier to assess your business prospects and learn where to invest:

Engage Potential Leads

Program your WhatsApp bot to ask people questions about their needs and pain points. By using intelligent programming to understand the meaning inherent in people’s responses, you can build bots that easily determine which of your products or services might fit the bill – and offer suggestions that are more likely to be positively received.

Nurture Leads

People don’t always want to be marketed to when they interact with brands. Satisfy their hunger for meaningful engagement by using WhatsApp chatbot to serve up blog posts, eBooks, infographics, and other shareable ideas that expand your brand footprint.

Convert Leads into Customers

WhatsApp lets you create subscription channels that people can use to follow your brand, but why not take it a step further? By providing perks that are only available through the chatbot, you’ll encourage sustained engagement and help your conversations make the transition from mere back-and-forth exchanges to effective funnels that bolster customer satisfaction.

High-impact WhatsApp Chatbot Use Cases

Brands that use chatbots gain several specific advantages in addition to the broader benefits mentioned above.

Many of the most impactful chatbot use cases are highly industry-specific.

  • A healthcare chatbot might answer common questions about symptoms, treatments, and doctors
  • A local government might build a chatbot to give constituents information about services, benefits, programs, or emergency alerts
  • A utility company’s chatbot could let customers pay bills, report outages, and schedule repairs
  • A delivery service might use its chatbot system to make it easier for recipients to track packages, estimate arrival times, and reroute deliveries
  • A school or other educational institution might build a multilingual chatbot to provide international students with information about courses and programs

Let’s explore some industry-specific use cases in detail.

WhatsApp Chatbots for Banking and Insurance

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, accelerated digital transformation for insurance and banking. As Anand Rathiram, VP, Howden Insurance Brokers,mentions, “physical presence is not required to buy and insurance.”

Consumers readily adopted channels such as WhatsApp for conversing with banks and financial service firms.

A WhatsApp chatbot is vital for enabling these converstions at scale.

  • In India, ICICI bank’s WhatsApp chatbot lets customers block and unblock their credit cards, explore pre-approved loans, and check their account balance and credit card limit
  • In Spain, a leading insurance providers, Mutua Madrileña, trained their WhatsApp chatbot to handle over 1,000 conversation topics. By late 2020, this chatbot helped them accelerate the claims process for their customers by 30%*

WhatsApp Chatbots for E-commerce and Retail

Chatbots can enable e-commerce firms to engage buyers at various steps of the customer journey via WhatsApp. A retail chatbot could help customers find products, track orders, and return items.

The use cases are many and varied for both e-commerce and brick & mortar companies:

  • Firms such as Muthoot Gold,* offer an intelligent WhatsApp product catalog to help customers carry out the entire shopping journey on WhatsApp. With this automated solution, they now target over 5 million customers across remote towns and cities in India
  • Chabot Mexican firm Betterware,* reponds to 93% of distributor inquiries through Betty, their own WhatsApp Chatbot. Distributors can request product catalogs, check their balances or information about their sales, at any time via Betty bot on WhatsApp
  • Multinational hypermarket chain, Carrefour* leverages WhatsApp channel to drive in-store traffic. Customers can input their zip code and find their nearest store using their customized WhatsApp chatbot
  • In 2020, Sears, Mexico* handled 75% of incoming customer inquiries with their chabtot, Sara
  • International electronics firm Samsung* uses a warranty bot on WhatsApp to simplify the warranty process for their customers

Create Chatbots With a Meaningful and Effective Conversation Flow

Chatbots are not magic – They can’t work their wonders without a lot of planning and architecting.

When it comes to an automated conversation with a bot, what defines a great customer experience? Mind these six fundamentals when designing your conversation flow

  1. Offer a clear path to human escalation. The bot must be able to answer common questions and handle simple tasks without making mistakes. However, if users feel their questions are not being answered properly or simply want to talk to a human agent, the transition needs to be seamless.
  2. Use images, videos, and audio to make the chatbot more engaging: Using image or rich-media in the place of text can make the conversation more engaging.
  3. Ditch the generic. Create user journeys and agent scripts specifically for messaging to achieve the highest quality possible and differentiate the experience from live chat, email, and phone.
  4. Prevent Bias. Check for bias in your scripts and AI-driven automation (racial, gender, and more)
  5. Use data to constantly improve the experience: leverage machine learning to ensure that your chatbot continually learns from past mistakes. Securely collect data that helps your bot to constantly improve conversations.

Staying on Track: Essential Guidelines to Create a WhatsApp Chatbot

There are three main steps to create a WhatsApp chatbot:

One: Access WhatsApp Business API

First, you need to get access to the official WhatsApp Business API or the WhatsApp Cloud API. These APIs let you build your own integrations that work with WhatsApp, serving as the critical link between your bots and your higher-level organizational strategy.

You can do this by registering for a free account on the WhatsApp Business app. Then, you will generate a unique API key that will allow you to access the WhatsApp APIs.

Two: Verify Your WhatsApp Business Account

Next, you need to verify your WhatsApp business account and register your contact information. Once you have confirmed your account, you can start using the official WhatsApp chatbot features by programming a bot that interacts with the platform via the API of your choosing.

Three: Test and Deploy

Finally, before you deploy your chatbot, it is vital to put it through its paces. One easy way to confirm the basic functionality is to send test messages to yourself or other users who have agreed to help stress-test your chatbot.

Testing helps ensure that your chatbot is working properly before all your customers interact with it – but what should you be looking for?

For starters, you will want to ensure all of your brand content and rich media displays properly and matches up with the flow of the conversation. If you’re using a bot to handle sensitive data or customer-specific information, ensure it’s providing the right details to the correct account holders and not potentially exposing secrets.

Remember that automating your testing strategy is probably a good idea if you plan on connecting with customers at scale. Even if the bot works flawlessly, it’s only as useful as the information you feed it, so now is the time to get your back-end integrations running as smoothly as possible – which may demand hundreds or thousands of tests. Choosing a platform that lets you achieve this automatically is the easiest option.

The Benefits of Working in the Cloud

WhatsApp gives businesses multiple options for how they deploy their chatbots. While there are good reasons to keep everything on-premises, like retaining control over your client data, there are advantages to using the cloud version of the WhatsApp toolkit:

Connect with Customers Easily

You can send automated WhatsApp messages to customers without having to worry about maintaining a separate database or server. Since Meta hosts everything on their servers, you don’t have to put in extra effort to scale up, such as when you’re experiencing a seasonal sales rush.

Streamline Operations

One of the problems with hosting everything on-premises is that it can lead to a sluggish user experience. Meta’s global networks make it infinitely simpler to deliver expedient, locale-aware content no matter where the users may be.

Save Costs

WhatsApp may be free, but servers aren’t – and neither is the maintenance work that goes into their upkeep. If you’d like to get started on a budget, then the cloud approach is a great option.

Conclusion: Redefine Customer Engagement with WhatsApp Chatbots

WhatsApp chatbots are a valuable way to establish a stronger rapport with consumers. The only problem is that there is no universal path to success.

There is no single way to create a chatbot, and every company has its own set of requirements. Therefore, it is crucial to look for platforms that can help you create a chatbot that fits your needs. You will need to constantly experiment with different outreach techniques and leverage other tools to get the most out of your WhatsApp bots.

A lot is riding on your ability to hold a healthy conversation – and the discussion should ideally start before you ever contact a real customer.

Ozonetel CCaaS Platform on WhatsApp

WhatsApp as a channel has been available to Ozonetel customers for the last few years but our recently-launched CCaaS Platform for WhatsApp enables you to offer the right blend of automation and human support.

Talk to the Ozonetel team about building your WhatsApp Customer Engagement on a unified platform that handles the fine-grained details, like training the AI, managing multiple marketing channels, integrating with your CRM and routing to agents.

Sources:

16 Examples of How to Use WhatsApp for Business | Sprout Social

WhatsApp Banking – Avail Secure WhatsApp Banking Online – ICICI Bank

Betterware: Betty Bot – YouTube

Carrefour Group Success Story | Facebook for Developers

Sears Mexico: WhatsApp Business API case study | Meta for Business (facebook.com)

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