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How your company can increase sales with a WhatsApp Chatbot

WhatsApp is a messaging platform used by more than 2 billion users every month. Businesses now start to use chatbots to create an easy communication channel to their customers and leverage the broad availability and ease of use of WhatsApp. This blog highlights the benefits of using a WhatsApp chatbot and how your company can integrate it for customer communication.


WhatsApp is everywhere

As already mentioned, WhatsApp has more than 2 billion active users every month. And this number is growing. With the internet being available almost everywhere on earth and the low data consumption of WhatsApp, it is used for communication globally. Countries like India (390.1 million active users), Brazil (108.4 million active users), and Indonesia (68.8 million active users) are just a few examples of developing countries with high amounts of monthly users (BACKLINKO). Granted, they most likely don’t count to your companies' target markets. You are probably more interested in using this communication channel to connect with your customer base in the United States or Europe.


Connect with your customers

Companies like Twilio offer an easy solution to automate the communication with your customers through a WhatsApp business account. All you need is the phone number and maybe the name of your customers. Create message templates to engage with your customers by sending your latest deals in a personalized message directly to their phones. Or use the natural language processing capabilities of Twilio to enable them to ask questions they might have over WhatsApp and let your chatbot automatically send an answer. Whether it is customer support, sales, or marketing, automating your customer communication is easier than ever.


An example

Here are two examples of chatbot implementations as a sales funnel:

Since your bot will answer messages entered by the user, your bot needs to be able to understand the input. The simplest method is to work with numbers. For example, your bot will send a question to the user: Which product do you want to order? Enter 1 for pizza, 2 for a burger, or 3 for spaghetti. The user will then enter their number of choices, and the bot can continue with the options.

The second method is to implement natural language processing. The idea is that the users describe is the product they want to order: “I want to order a pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese”. The bot will analyze this message and respond with a confirmation: “1 pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. Cost: 20.- Please type confirm to confirm this order”. Once the user confirms their order, the bot will send it to your business.


Getting to know your customers

Twilio provides you with the status of outgoing messages and timestamps of incoming ones. Combining this data with the broadcasting functionality and your company CRM (Customer Relationship Management) gives insights into the effectiveness of marketing messages. You can then further use this data in your marketing research, for example in A/B tests for finding the best time of the day to send your seasonal discounts. Send out broadcasting messages to predefined groups at various times of the day and different days of the week and find out when to send the next message to generate the most profit.

Another possibility is to use the chatbot to gather information about your customers. Create a chatbot that asks the customers questions about their preferences and what they’re interested in. Feed this data into your CRM and enrich your customers' profiles to better use targeted ads. Or use it to easily gather reviews of products the customer has bought and then display them on your website.


Some limitations

There are some limitations when working with WhatsApp. First, it is just a simple messenger; Therefore, besides sending text messages and files, there is not a lot more you can use it for. Second, most use WhatsApp on their phone, which limits the screen space you have, to interact with the customer. Long messages, for example, a list of all the products you sell, won’t be easy to read. Third, messages you want to send to your customers have to be approved by WhatsApp. You have the possibility to work with variables, but otherwise, the message has to match the approved templates. And last but not least, the chatbot can be blocked. When you send too many marketing messages, chances are high, that your customer blocks you. WhatsApp is an app most people use frequently, and the tolerance for spam is probably even lower than with mail.

These limitations should in no way discourage the use of the chatbot. Just take into consideration that a WhatsApp chatbot might not be the solution to every problem.


Next steps

There are a lot more use cases than talked about in this blog post, these are just some examples to get you started. If you are interested in creating your own WhatsApp chatbot, go over to Twilio and start right now.

Don’t miss our next blog post, where we talk more in-depth about A/B testing and how you and your company can get valuable data to support your business decision.

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References

Dean, B. (2021, March 2). WhatsApp 2021 User Statistics: How Many People Use WhatsApp? BACKLINKO. https://backlinko.com/whatsapp-users

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