As of May 2022, following WhatsApp Business API launched, businesses of any size can deploy chatbots on WhatsApp. This has resulted in each type and size of businesses using WhatsApp as part of their conversational commerce strategy to communicate with clients and introduce them to their products to increase sales.
On the other hand, a lot of organizations are unaware of WhatsApp chatbots or continue to develop the chatbots on other platforms like websites and custom mobile apps only.
In this article, we provide an in-depth guide to WhatsApp chatbots to help marketers reconsider their technology investment choices. Regarding this, we cover:
- WhatsApp chatbot-related FAQs.
- Step by step guide for building a WhatsApp chatbot.
- Best practices you should consider to maximize bots’ benefits.
Answers to top 4 FAQs regarding WhatsApp chatbots
1. What are WhatsApp chatbots?
WhatsApp chatbots automate interactions with humans that take place on Whatsapp. They are conversational AI powered bots that run on WhatsApp thanks to API. People communicate with WhatsApp chatbots via the classical WhatsApp chat interface that they are used to. Thus, they provide the capability to communicate with thousands of people simultaneously.
2. Why should you build your chatbot on WhatsApp?
1. WhatsApp has around 2 billion active users from 180 countries.
2. On average, WhatsApp gains 1 million new users each day.
3. An average WhatsApp user spends 3 hours on it per day.
4. In the major eCommerce countries such as the USA and India Whatsapp is used across all generations.
5. A 54%-male and 46%-female user composition almost provides a genderly unbiased platform for reaching people.
3. What are WhatsApp chatbot use cases?
1. Introducing products,
2. Responding to customer queries,
3. Sending notifications regarding delivery, purchase or account details,
4. Notifying customers regarding cart abandonment or when the price of the product reduced the customer’s intended purchasing price,
5. Rescheduling appointments and more.
4. What are the WhatsApp restrictions for letting your firm develop a WhatsApp chatbot?
If your entity is a governmental organization, software development organization, or it belongs to tobacco, alcohol, gambling and other such industries, WhatsApp might not allow you to use its API and build a bot.
4 Steps to build a WhatsApp chatbot
If you meet WhatsApp’s requirements after looking through their restrictions and eligibility requirements, you can start creating your own WhatsApp chatbot by following these steps:
- Download WhatsApp Business App from Google Play or Apple Store.
- Register with a unique phone number.
- To obtain an “Official Business Account” with a green check, you must gain access to the WhatsApp API. Businesses should now choose whether to collaborate with one of Meta’s/WhatsApp’s solution providers, or independently apply for access to the WhatsApp API. Since many of the solution providers WhatsApp collaborate with are chatbot companies and have expertise gaining access to the WhatsApp API, AIMultiple advises businesses to partner with them since they have know-how to create a WhatsApp chatbot for you. Nevertheless, if you prefer independent application then:
4. You can begin to create a chatbot on WhatsApp once you have an “Official Business Account”. If you lack the capabilities to deploy your own chatbot on WhatsApp (like most companies) you should collaborate with a chatbot company for this task. We recommend you to work with vendors that have experience on building WhatsApp chatbots to increase the chance of success of your digital transformation journey.
If you want to learn more about the conversational commerce case studies you can read our Top 5 Conversational Commerce Examples & Success Stories article.
If you are searching for the best conversational commerce platforms to start your conversational commerce journey, you can read our Conversational Commerce Platforms: Data-driven Benchmarking article.
Top 5 Whatsapp chatbot best practices
1. Let people your firm is available on the WhatsApp
Customers will not know that you created a WhatsApp chatbot if you do not notify them. They need to know that they can contact you over WhatsApp to get their questions answered and problems fixed.
You can share this development on your mobile app and website in this regard. It makes sense to direct customers to your WhatsApp bot using a button on your website and app. Your email and SMS signatures should include your WhatsApp number. To make it simpler for your costumes to find you, you could even go ahead and post QR codes on your physical and digital properties.
2. Have live agents
AI-enabled chatbots can automate a maximum of 70 to 80% of consumer inquiries. Therefore, to be able to handle almost all inquiries and maximize customer satisfaction, you need live representatives.
The bright side is that you can maintain your chatbot up to date and teach it to respond to unusual, unexpected queries thanks to its human in the loop AI capabilities.
With the aid of this potent mix of live chat and chatbots, you can augment your workforce, cut down on the time it takes to resolve issues, and enhance customer satisfaction by giving your clients immediate responses to all of their queries.
3. Integrate WhatsApp chatbot with your CRM system
Integrate your CRM with your WhatsApp chatbot and live chat platform to automate data flow between your customer support operations. Automated data flow makes WhatsApp chatbot retraining more efficient because data-driven insights can highlight your bot’s primary point of failure.
Additionally, system integration often creates a more productive working atmosphere.
4. Use buttons to navigate users
One of the objectives of WhatsApp chatbots is to reduce user effort. As a result, including interactive buttons in your chatbot messages would make interaction simpler and eliminate the need for the user to write text messages (see Figure 1).
Having buttons is also an effective best practice to eliminate chatbot failures. People sometimes use unclear language or typos, which the chatbot can not understand. Using buttons ensures that your customers speak the language that your chatbot understands.
Figure 1: WhatsApp chatbot navigates user with buttons:
5. Support your text with images, gifs and videos
While text messaging is popular, you could express yourself better via the usage of images, videos, GIFs, and voice notes. Thus, we recommend companies to enrich their content with images and videos to improve customer engagement.
You can reach us if you have further questions concerning WhatsApp chatbots:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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