One of WhatsApp Business API’s greatest strengths is in the decree of automation it offers. While outgoing messaging will be through automated template message, responses to incoming messages can be automated through chatbots.
Chatbots help you provide faster customer service, a key factor in customer satisfaction. If your call center is busy you can even offer customers the option of switching to your messaging chatbot through IVR deflection. Many customers greatly prefer this to being held in a queue for the next available human agent.
And chatbots are available 24/7, supporting your human agents during busy times and covering your customer engagement when your human agents are not available. You can design chatbots for multilingual support.
Before we examine chatbots in detail, let’s briefly look at how WhatsApp Business API integrates into your systems. The API will integrate into your backend systems to register orders, purchases, appointments and other events that might trigger an outgoing templated message. It also integrates into your customer relationship management (CRM) software, where incoming messages will be displayed and queued for attention by your human agents or your chatbot.
If a chatbot picks up the message its interaction with the customer will be displayed for your human agents who can take over the conversation at any point. It’s also important to give customers the option to interact with a human agent, as although most find interacting with chatbots convenient some dislike the process, and some may find a chatbot has difficulty interpreting complex queries. Human handover is an important part of chatbot design, whether it be through a menu option or intelligent fallback.
Chatbots themselves come in two primary forms. Rules-based chatbots follow predesigned conversation flows, allowing customers to navigate by clicking on buttons or answering questions. AI chatbots, sometimes called smartbots, use machine learning to develop naturalistic conversations. Both types of chatbot have strengths and weaknesses, which we will examine later. unifonic’s WhatsApp Business API integration comes with a built-in rules-based chatbot.
Both types of chatbot record transcripts of every conversation, enabling you to track the context to conversations easily and to make transcripts available to customers on request.
They also allow analysis of chat bot engagement and performance, as well as useful information such as user behavior's, top countries, funnel analysis and overall engagement rate. This enables you to perform A/B tests on conversation flows to determine what works best for your target audience, track how deep into the funnel customers go, and track how many conversations convert into qualified leads, signups, resolved customer tickets and so on. You can set the API to send notifications of every lead the bot generates through SMS and/or email, and link the bot to SMS campaigns to engage leads.
This type of chatbot follows a predesigned conversation flow built around decision trees. Users navigate through the conversation by clicking buttons or answering simple questions.
Rules-based chatbots may offer similar information to that available on your company website; many customers prefer the immediacy of asking questions and getting answers than searching through your website themselves.
Rules-based chatbots’ major advantage is that they are easy to build and understand, and quick to set up. They are easy for users to navigate, and enable you to limit the scope of conversation to predefined topics. They enable you to direct queries and provide preprepared information to customers such as catalogues or brochures. They do not allow customers to ask their own questions, and customers may lose interest if presented with too many menus or options before they can resolve their query.
- Easy to build
- Quick to set up
- Easy to navigate
- Eliminate risk of failing
- Users can’t ask their own questions
- Users lose interest if conversations are too long
AI chatbots use dynamic machine learning to simulate natural conversations. They are complex pieces of software, and require training and regular optimization. Their primary advantage is that they allow customers to ask their own questions and converse more naturally. This can lead to better interactions, and therefore better customer engagement.
However it takes time for an AI chatbot to learn to recognize a wide variety of questions, and some people do not like interacting with them. If a conversation goes on too long, or the chatbot does not recognize customer queries and ask them to repeat too often, the customer may become frustrated. For this reason AI chatbots should hand over to human agents if the conversation is not progressing. Intelligent fallback is built in to good AI chatbots, allowing them to recognize when they are not helping the customer, and handing over to a human agent to continue the conversation.
- Naturalistic conversations
- Allows customers to ask questions
- Take time to train
- Do not suit all customers
Are you ready to digitalize the retail sector and automate ecommerce? Do you want to provide simple and hassle-free purchases for customers? Request a WhatsApp Business API account from unifonic today and unleash opportunities for your business.