A chatbot refers to a software application that simulates human-like interaction via text or text-to-speech. A WhatsApp chatbot is thus an application program that helps businesses to respond to clients’ queries through WhatsApp. You can create whatsapp bots using tools such as Botup to easily connect with your customers in real-time and increase their business accessibility. Let’s dive into the many benefits of this feature.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform, currently with over 1.5 billion users, and is used in over 180 countries. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion and currently has a market share of over 40%. Its popularity makes it the best platform to market products, services, and gain brand popularity. WhatsApp announced its business version in 2018.
WhatsApp Business application is a platform that helps businesses gain an online presence and seamlessly connects with their customers through the WhatsApp bot. What’s more, it can be integrated into CRM and ERP platforms to ease the management of customer relationship operations.
Why WhatsApp bots, you ask? In 2018, Forbes reported that people spent 85 billion hours on WhatsApp within three months.
This figure is humongous especially if you consider that within the same period, people spent 31 billion hours on Facebook. Any marketer or salesperson will tell you that you will get more out of your engagement with a potential client if you meet and assist them where they are. You can easily achieve this with the WhatsApp bot.
And now with AI, there is so much more marketers can do with a WhatsApp bot.
Forbes Council contributor and customer experience expert Astrid Pocklington opines, “A smarter #chatbot can function and act more like a person, potentially even developing a personality. Companies using them create a more authentic presence, creating a better #CX.”
If you want to get started, then you will need a chatbot builder. Here are more reasons why you need to join this bandwagon.
Advantages of Using Whatsapp Chatbot
1. They Are Highly Accessible
As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging application so it is most likely that your customers already have the platform on their smartphones. It, therefore, enables customers to receive assistance on their preferred platform that they use daily. Being a popular messaging medium means a lot of customers already know how to use it and are familiar with its layout and functioning.
It, therefore, makes communication easy and without the need for training and complicated setups. The availability of WhatsApp on most people’s phones means customers do not need to download a different application to be able to use WhatsApp bots, which are also available and highly accessible for use by both small, home-run businesses and large enterprises.
2. It’s Available 24/7
You need not worry about connecting with your customers past your business hours as these chatbots are capable of providing round-the-clock automated customer service.
Kannan and Bernoff, in a Harvard Business Review article, agree, “Bots are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and often answer customers’ questions more quickly than human agents can.”
They are capable of handling frequently asked queries intelligently. Businesses do not have to ensure the availability of customer service all the time. This saves on cash that is otherwise used to hire and train staff on customer service. The availability of round-the-clock customer service translates to higher client satisfaction rates.
3. Enhanced Customer Service
WhatsApp bots can be integrated into CRM and ERP to help businesses with a variety of customer relationship operations such as sending reminders and notifications to customers, presenting and helping customers to explore the business product catalog, giving real-time responses to customer’s queries and complaints, sending updates on the status of tickets and their resolution as well as gathering of feedback and commentaries from customers.
This resolves the time customers have to wait in a queue to talk to customer care representatives and make countless button selections to reach the correct department to respond to their queries. Complex queries that cannot be handled by the chatbot are automatically handed over to the customer care representative using chatbot-to-human handover, which is now a requirement - WhatsApp recently announced that companies must ensure that a WhatsApp bot can hand off customers to a human colleague.
4. High Engagement
WhatsApp bots have a high response rate as it encourages engagement with customers on various levels, with messages being sent back and forth. It is thus an interactive and visual medium, which facilitates engagement through active interaction. Being able to receive instant responses means that the customers can have a two-way conversation with the business. These back and forth responses also mean customers can get instant resolution to their queries.
5. Improves Marketing Campaigns and Advertising Opportunities
Since WhatsApp is an already established marketing platform that is widely available to most people, most businesses are using WhatsApp bots to promote new arrivals of products, new services, upcoming events, and discounted offers to their customers globally. The bot has an option of various formatting styles and allows for the inclusion of multimedia enabling the marketing team to be more creative in their campaigns. By integrating it into CRM, businesses can analyze customers’ data and offer personalized recommendations on products and services.
WhatsApp integration helps a business automate the bulk of repetitive marketing tasks like emailing and social media posting, therefore freeing the marketing and sales team for more strategic work. The ability of WhatsApp bots to use broadcast lists to send broadcast and outbound notifications helps in the marketing campaign. WhatsApp bots also create the opportunity for clients to be able to sign up for company newsletters and promotions.
6. Building a Strong Brand Identity by Helping Build Brand Awareness and Loyalty
This is achieved when a business gives its bot a brand personality. This means giving the bot a human persona, relatable with customers, and one that will leave an impression and build loyalty. A strong established brand identity works towards improving customer engagement thereby driving up sales
7. Whatsapp Bots Create a Personalized Experience
AI-powered WhatsApp bots are capable of personalizing interactions with customers which adds quality and value to the interactions.
Creating a richer customer experience eventually increases customer engagement and retention. While setting up this platform, it is important to ensure bots shoot out messages that will resonate with customers and you can do this by customizing the script.
8. Generates Leads
Lead generation is a very vital factor for marketers. Quality leads are every salesperson and marketers' dream as it saves them time and money, allowing them to focus their resources and energies on worthwhile ventures. With this type of bot, you get credible data, which comes in handy when contacting leads.
This is achieved by an unlimited number of responses to customers. Once the audience has been engaged, the bot starts to shoot out relevant questions. The kind of response and level of engagement from the customers will determine the potential leads. The precise data on potential leads will enable the sales team to target their sales and therefore navigate the leads down the marketing funnel.
9. They Are Secure
WhatsApp bots are end-to-end encrypted and have a two-factor authentication plus business verification. This ensures that the customers' data and identity are protected, making most customers comfortable with the platform. The two-factor authentication feature enables a user to create a custom pin that they will use for authentication every time they log into their WhatsApp account.
End-to-end encryption in the WhatsApp bot secures communication by ensuring third parties do not get access to information transferred from one device to another. Data from the sender’s device is encrypted and only the recipient device can decrypt it. This gives the customers confidence to share sensitive personal information.
10. Help Customers Make Decisions Related to Sales
Real-time responses, the ability to locate products, and directing customers to payment gateways make WhatsApp bots the best platform to navigate customers down the sales funnel and onto making purchases.
If a customer is unable to find what they were looking for, the bot can make suggestions of nearby stores or service centers and even give a pin location for ease. Sharing a ticket status helps a customer make informed decisions. For example, a traveling agency WhatsApp business bot can share the check-in details and travel itinerary with their clients, helping them plan their time.
11. Expands a Company’s Availability
WhatsApp bots are available to a wide range of businesses, from small home-run businesses to large enterprises. WhatsApp is being used in over 180 countries by more than 1.5 billion people which means your business can go global on your customers’ most popular messaging platform, making your brand popular with little investment.
A company can increase availability by creating a business profile on the bot, which includes the company's address, the URL of the company's website, and a detailed description of the company. It is also possible to link the company address with Google maps to help customers with directions to make physical visits. A business profile gives a familiar face and identity to the company and increases user loyalty.
12. Allows Businesses to Collect Information and Feedback
These types of bots are a great way for organizations to collect surveys and feedback from customers. The data collected from CRMs integrated with WhatsApp bots are mostly accurate, actionable, and can be used in lead generation. This is because WhatsApp bots exhaustively interact with customers through qualifying questions, and eventually develop a list of only potential leads.
13. Saves Cost
The 24/7 availability of WhatsApp chatbots eliminates the necessity for a full-time customer care representative.
According to a study carried out by Juniper Research, “the operational cost savings from using chatbots in banking will reach $7.3 billion globally by 2023, up from an estimated $209 million in 2019. This represents time saved for banks in 2023 of 862 million hours, equivalent to nearly half a million working years.”
The bots can be developed to handle more and more complex queries to reduce the rate of chatbot-to-human handovers. A lot of customers do not like the delay in waiting for calls to be answered and the clicking of buttons to make selections so WhatsApp chatbots are a welcome solution. Creating and maintaining a WhatsApp bot costs way less than it would be maintaining a team of customer care representatives. This is bearing in mind the extra cost of medical covers and other allowances depending on company policy.
14. Whatsapp Integrates Easily With Many Technological Tools
This ease of integration ensures that developers can keep enhancing their development of bots, that keep up with new emerging technology needs. With this kind of integration, developers can use any of these technological tools to create advanced WhatsApp bots that can handle complex customer queries. Creating advanced bots pushes away the need for customer care representatives who need to handle chatbot-to-human handovers.
15. Easy to Use
It offers optimum ease of use by customers by eliminating the need to download and install a separate application to access and use the bot as it is developed over an already existing platform. Customers with WhatsApp just need to chat with the business bot just as they would with any other contact. The users are already accustomed to the WhatsApp messaging platform so there is no training needed to interact with the bot. WhatsApp's global availability enables businesses to develop a customer-centric bot that caters to the international audience.
To succeed in business means you have to have a strategy to seamlessly connect with your customers and navigate potential leads down the marketing funnel in the shortest time possible to score sales. WhatsApp bots provide an easy and effective means for businesses to build long-term relationships with their customers and forge loyalty to their brands. Want to get started? Then tools like Botup will help you to build robust WhatsApp bots for your business.