WhatsApp Chatbot: Complete Guide to Getting Started

A WhatsApp chatbot is an automated conversation tool between a computer and a person. Find out what it can do for your business

WhatsApp Chatbot: Complete Guide to Getting Started

“If you get a WhatsApp message, you’re probably going to open it. That’s the interesting thing.” — Harper Reed, Head of Commerce, Braintree(a subsidiary of PayPal)

Businesses are constantly on the lookout on how they can improve their customer’s experience.

And integrating a WhatsApp chatbot will ensure that your customers don’t have to wait to find what they are looking for or to get their answers. In fact, 68.63 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts before purchases are completed.

What is a WhatsApp Chatbot?

A WhatsApp chatbot is an automated conversation tool between a computer and a person. It acts as a virtual assistant to your shopper’s needs that can engage in human-like conversations. It will also allow you to understand what your customers want and assist them accordingly.

The massive increase in the usage of WhatsApp marketing campaigns for the past couple of years has opened a wide range of opportunities for businesses to reach customers and give them what they are looking for.

Why Should you Opt for a WhatsApp Chatbot?

Most consumers want instant gratification. In fact, a report found that 60% of people would pay more for convenience. Research also shows that once people try messaging a business, it often becomes their go-to medium. Hence, immediate responses is the key to creating positive and meaningful experiences for your consumers.

With the help of advanced conversational AI solutions, a chatbot can enable brands to be available 24/7, give product recommendations, send personalized messages and drive sales directly via WhatsApp. It has proven itself to be a highly effective channel to acquire, engage, and convert existing and potential customers.

How to Integrate WhatsApp Chatbot with your WhatsApp Business API?

WhatsApp business API allows medium and large businesses to communicate with their consumers at scale. And a WhatsApp chatbot integration can be done if you have a WhatsApp Business API. Here are the steps to follow to integrate a WhatsApp chatbot with your WhatsApp business API:

Step 1: Set up your WhatsApp Business API

There are two ways of signing up:

  • You can sign up directly with WhatsApp Business API on their official website.
  • You can also opt for a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider that will help you get faster approval.

Step 2: Building Conversation

It is essential to determine what kind of questions your chatbot will answer. The following questions may help you build conversations on WhatsApp:

✅What are your goals of marketing?
✅What tone should you use to approach your customers?
✅How will the chatbot respond if it doesn’t know the answer?
✅When would the chat be assigned to a live agent?
✅What are the kind of queries your customer may have?

Step 3: Selecting your Chatbot Application

Platforms like Vizury can help you build your chatbot application so that you don’t have to build it from scratch. You can use Vizury's newly launched tool Vizury Commercebot to set up a seamless chat flow for your customers

WhatsApp Business API has to be hosted using a database. This step is done to ensure that end-to-end encryption is maintained. During a conversation, the integrated NLP-powered chatbot can collect data and insights on the types of products your customer loves. Using this, you will be able to send personalized recommendations, offers, discount coupons and a lot more based on individual preferences.

Step 4: Test your Chatbot

Test your chatbot by asking it questions the customers may ask. Fix errors in case there are issues with its functionality. This will enhance your customer’s experience and ensure that there are no issues when its live.

Are WhatsApp Chatbots Free?

The first 1000 sessions, whether business-initiated or user-initiated are free. Post-1000 sessions, conversations that are initiated in response to the user become a paid session and its price depends on your recipient's country. Conversations that are initiated by a business require a message template. The price is higher than user-initiated conversations and also depends on the recipient's country.

Learn more about WhatsApp’s conversation based pricing

What are the Benefits of WhatsApp Chatbot?

WhatsApp allows brands to connect with a wide range of audiences. Your customers are already on WhatsApp and expect brands to cater to their needs on WhatsApp. For business owners, WhatsApp allows them to connect with customers, engage consistently and retain them with ongoing communication. They can respond to queries in real-time and be available for them 24/7. Businesses can also leverage WhatsApp to send delivery alerts, order notifications to keep customers informed.

For marketers, WhatsApp has proven to be an effective channel to acquire new customers, recover abandoned carts, build customer loyalty, and more. They can send WhatsApp promotional messages based on user's interests, purchase behavior, and more. They can also leverage WhatsApp’s multimedia capabilities to make the messages more engaging and appealing to the customer.

For customers, WhatsApp is the easiest way to connect with their favorite brands for queries, shopping, support, and more. Customers can initiate a conversation enquiring about products, add them to their carts, and process transactions on the go. Since customers are already familiar with the WhatsApp interface, it is even easier for brands to conduct business operations over WhatsApp.

How to Power WhatsApp Commerce with Chatbots?

WhatsApp commerce is no longer the buzzword. Brands are now taking necessary measures to power business operations on WhatsApp. Let's take an example of how conversational commerce works on WhatsApp. A customer lands on your Click to WhatsApp Ad on Facebook and enquires about a dress. The conversational bot confirms that the dress is available in size S. The customer adds it to the cart and in turn, the bot offers her matching jewelry recommendations that will go with the dress. The customer adds it to her cart but then drops off mid-conversation. The bot, in turn, sends cart recovery alerts to the customer to bring her back to the conversation and offers a 20% discount on her total bill if she purchases within 1 hour. The customer proceeds to checkout and completes the transaction.

Post-purchase, the bot automatically sends her order notifications informing the customer about the product details, expected delivery date, and more. The customer can even raise a concern on WhatsApp and get support instantly.

With WhatsApp, it is now possible to bring all your customer touchpoints into a single platform and ensure a seamless and comprehensive experience. Brands are now creating end-to-end journeys wherein consistent positive experiences can be ensured. With customer journeys becoming increasingly non-linear, it is crucial for brands to steer through the complexities and understand the patterns and behavior of a customer. With the help of advanced technologies, brands can design specific customer flows and target customers based on interests, purchasing patterns and more.

To sum up, with WhatsApp you can:

Pre-purchase - You can strategically create customer acquisition campaigns
During purchase - You can help customers browse, shop, and transact
Post purchase - You can respond to queries instantly and be available 24/7

How to use WhatsApp Chatbots Across Industries?

It is inevitable that if you get a WhatsApp text, you will probably open it. Brands have understood that customers are more likely to gravitate back to businesses that offer personalized shopping experiences. And WhatsApp chatbots have proven to be useful for several use cases across industries.

Ecommerce: Chatbots can support end-to-end journey’s for ecommerce companies. Consumers can browse products, get product recommendations, shop, and transact on the go. They can also answer queries, track order status or delivery updates and more.

Retail: With WhatsApp, retailers can connect their digital shoppers to physical stores. Shoppers can discover products, engage with store managers and opt for options like buy online pick up in-store, buy available products at the nearest store, or same-day delivery via WhatsApp

BFSI: These institutions can automate customer interactions such as bill payments, bank statements, loan payments, insurance queries, etc via WhatsApp. They can also collect document submissions, contract renewals, and automate claim processes. Customers can automatically raise concerns via WhatsApp and receive resolutions in real-time.

Travel & Hospitality: Travel and Hospitality sectors can make it easier for customers to browse and book vacations. They can also send out offers and discounts to targeted customers that are more likely to convert. They can also automate booking updates, reservation notifications, and more on WhatsApp. For instance, the popular travel booking app, Make my trip, uses WhatsApp to inform customers about their recent bookings and updates. They also collect feedback once the customer completes their vacation.

What are some WhatsApp Chatbot Examples?

Here are some brands using WhatsApp to drive business operations:

#1. Borosil

WhatsApp Chatbot

Borosil installed a chatbot on WhatsApp to help customers with queries and requests such as tracking order status, shipping status, payment updates. The bot can guide their customers through their buying journey and help complete their purchase.

All the customer needs to do is select the button such as “track order” or  “check service request” or “buy now” and the bot will automatically help the customer with their necessary requirement.

#2. Kids DXB: Information Hub

WhatsApp Chatbot

Kids DXB installed a chatbot to improve their customer acquisition on WhatsApp and experience. The WhatsApp assistant was responsible for generating leads and providing relevant information in case a customer has a query. Kids DXB was not only able to collect phone numbers but also data about their customers' tastes and preferences. This ultimately help them to acquire customers and ensure an excellent customer experience.

#3. NiceHop

WhatsApp Chatbot

NiceHop installed their chatbot to offer personalized travel bargains to their customers. The chatbot, Hoppi, was responsible for giving users the option to check the bargain of the day based on their preferences. After assessing, it would then send the best possible bargain.

#4. SnapTravel

WhatsApp Chatbot

SnapTravel used chatbots to offer exclusive personalized deals to their clients in real-time. The bot used artificial intelligence to analyze the users inputs and provide deals based on the client’s preferences.

The WhatsApp Chatbot Revolution

WhatsApp is all set to connect billions of people across the world. With its business features, the possibilities in the business world are endless. And with the chatbot revolution taking over, it is possible for your business to be available 24/7 and assist customers the way they want. Whether its shopping, completing a purchase, or tracking orders, a WhatsApp Chatbot is always there to make it possible!

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