More and more enterprises are adopting WhatsApp Business, and smart brands are now integrating chatbots to leverage the platform's full potential. Here's why and, crucially, how you can take advantage.
The benefits of WhatsApp Business are well known. It enables brands to guide buyers through the sales funnel, send out alerts and notifications, provide real-time support, and offer a host of other enterprise-focused benefits.
Now enter the chatbot, the text-based dialog system that answers customer queries using artificial intelligence (AI). The early days of exchanging messages with a chatbot — whether on a website or via direct messaging — were held back by a distinct lack of, well, intelligence.
However, as the AI powering them has grown more powerful, bots now offer the versatility and sophistication needed to respond to customer queries effectively in an instant. This is especially true of properly 'trained' AI that learns from its interactions with customers and continually improves due to natural language processing.
Such innovations have lead to both customers and businesses alike reassessing the potential of chatbots. For instance, 68% of consumers prefer to use self-service channels for simple questions or issues, making the chatbot an ideal solution for addressing such needs. Research also shows that customers enjoy chatting with bots; 70% of millennials say they have had positive chatbot messaging experiences.
From an enterprise perspective, 90% of businesses deploying bots report measurable improvements in the speed of complaint resolution. In other words, chatbots represent a win on both sides of the digital sales counter.
How chatbots support business messaging in WhatsApp
Thanks to the growing adoption of the WhatsApp Business API, it's becoming easier for brands to integrate their existing bots — or build new ones — right into their customer messaging in WhatsApp across multiple use cases:
Deliver answers to those most commonly asked customer questions via chatbot messaging without the need for costly intervention by a human agent.
Take customers through simple sales processes quickly and without friction via predefined chatbot conversation flows (see Step 3 below).
Alerts & notifications
Send out automated updates that are more conversational and engaging in tone to boost customer satisfaction levels while keeping them 'in the loop' about the product/service they have ordered, all without agent intervention.
Distribute relevant documentation (complete with photos and PDF attachments) directly to customers, so they have all the digital assets they need in one app, delivered in a conversational style that is more personalized.
Help customers troubleshoot issues through sophisticated AI-powered conversations, coupled with the ability to hand over to human agents seamlessly if required.
Offer support that talks to customers in their own language, without having to staff a native speaker, increasing both engagement and retention.
Five steps for effective chatbot deployment in WhatsApp
That might all sound great, but rolling out the WhatsApp Business API and integrating a chatbot can be a daunting prospect for a business with limited tech resources. To help take the strain, here's tyntec's guide to making the process as painless as possible:
1. Get access to WhatsApp Business API
In order to use chatbots to communicate with customers in WhatsApp, the business must first be connected via the WhatsApp Business API. Consider working with an official solution provider such as tyntec to request access to the service.
This simplifies the multi-step accreditation process with the provider guiding the business through each step, from setup preparation and message templating to phone number verification.
For a full breakdown of the process, read tyntec's definitive guide here.
2. Decide who the chatbot 'is'
Once access is granted, decide what the chatbot's scope and purpose is: Is it there to lead the customer through the entire sales process, or will it be deployed for simple updates only? Figure out the bot's 'persona,' i.e., how it will 'talk' to the customer too.
For instance, if being deployed within the financial services sector, an informal, emoji-littered style is likely to put off customers serious about managing their finances.
3. Design the bot's conversation flow
Create a 'path' for the expected conversation 'types' between the chatbot and the customer. This will ensure that whatever the customer asks, the bot has a relevant response in place (including handing over to a human agent for more complex, bespoke queries).
Map out this conversation in a diagram over several drafts before finalizing the flow. Remember to consider all aspects of the conversational flow — from greetings and suggestion actions through to the all-important handover dialog.
4. Leverage pre-existing chatbot development tools
Use chatbot development frameworks such as Google's Dialogflow, Microsoft Bot or Rasa to build and deploy the chatbot. These frameworks enable a business to leverage some of the most advanced machine learning technologies and natural language processing power available, in turn minimizing internal development work and speeding up deployment.
Work with a WhatsApp Business solution provider who can guide you through the integration process with relevant documentation and consultation. For instance, discover how tyntec can help enterprise with Google’s Dialogflow, Microsoft Bot Framework , Rasa and more.
5. Integrate with the WhatsApp Business API
Deploy and monitor the customer-to-chatbot conversations in WhatsApp using services like tyntec's Conversations Inbox. Such services enable enterprises to orchestrate key elements of customer messaging strategy — from chatbot messaging performance through to interactions with human agents — while offering support across all major customer-facing messaging channels, which can be monitored by human agents and directly managed by them when necessary.
Introduce chatbot WhatsApp integration in 2020
By integrating chatbot messaging with the WhatsApp Business API, enterprises can continue to improve customer experience, and scale up their CX features with minimum human intervention.
Critically, by leveraging some of the most advanced developments in cloud communications and natural language processing, brands can experiment with designing and deploying unique customer engagement interactions right on the world's most popular chat platform, WhatsApp.
The result? The creation of chatbot experiences that are more personalized and conversational, and that do not fall foul of the many issues that hampered early automation experimentation.
Perhaps most importantly, though, the question here isn't whether an enterprise should adopt a WhatsApp bot, but when it should do so. After all, 53% of service organizations expect to use chatbots by mid-2020, which represents a massive 136% projected growth rate. Brands that delay their transition will soon find themselves coming up short compared to faster-moving competitors.
To discover how chatbot-powered conversational commerce can supercharge CX in 2020, get in touch with tyntec today.