How to Use WhatsApp Automation for your Business?
Have you ever lost a customer because you couldn’t respond to them in time? This kind of loss is an expensive one because attracting a new customer today costs 6-7 times more than it does to retain an existing one.¹
“Lack of speed” in customer service is the number one reason for customer’s frustration, this frustration quickly translates into unhappy customers and bad customer experience after which 51% of the customers will never do business with that company again.²
So here, the BIG question is, can this massive loss be avoided? Absolutely.
A simple solution is using messaging apps for customer service. Messaging apps like WhatsApp are not only the preferred channels of communication among customers³, but given their smart and business friendly automation capabilities, are helping companies extend customer service beyond conventional channels for driving faster resolution.
From the 100s of options available, WhatsApp is easily the most popular messaging solution with 2 billion users across the globe. It not only provides incredible reach, but with the help of WhatsApp API, bots, WhatsApp Business app, and bots, businesses can automate entire conversations and message flows.
You can apply for WhatsApp API through a business solution provider and use the bot builder addon to build a WhatsApp bot without coding. While the WhatsApp Business app is a free-to-use option available on the Play Store and App Store, it has only the basic automation features of WhatsApp API. Of the two, the latter promises more advanced features and automation capabilities.
If you are new to WhatsApp and not sure which among the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp API is right for you, then we encourage you to read how to use WhatsApp for business for a quick side-by-side comparison.
In this article, we will take you through message automation you can deploy on the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp API for reducing customer wait time, improving query resolution rate, and helping agents focus on more important tasks and complex queries.
How to automate WhatsApp messaging?
Automation features vary in the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp API. While WhatsApp Business App has basic automation features, WhatsApp API is packed with several advanced message automation capabilities.
Automation in WhatsApp Business App
1. Automated greeting message: Using the automated greeting message feature, you can trigger a response to your customer’s message as soon as their query comes in. This not only makes the first interaction quick but also let the customers know they are heard. You can set this message from the business tool section in the WhatsApp Business App.
2. Automated away message: Automated away messages can be set to trigger when someone reaches out after office hours. This feature lets your customers know their query has been received and by when they can expect a response. This way, they do not walk away feeling unattended and unhappy.
3. Quick replies to answer FAQs quickly: The quick replies feature lets you save and reuse messages you use frequently. You can assign a unique ‘tag’ to the messages and access them by typing “/” followed by a keyword. By sending saved messages, you walk away not only having responded to a query fast but also having saved your support agent’s time and energy.
Automation with WhatsApp API
With WhatsApp API, businesses not only get access to the automation stack of the WhatsApp Business app but also enjoy advanced capabilities like automating an entire message flow using bots.
1. Automate an entire message flow: With WhatsApp API, you can set up a custom message flow that spans the length of a typical conversation and covers different conversation stages. Suitable for repetitive tasks and commonly asked questions, with custom message flow you can reduce the response time, and can answer the most commonly asked questions in a human way.
2. Automate sales process with WhatsApp bots: With WhatsApp bots, the complete selling flow can be automated and made human intervention-free. The bot can be set up to ask about the customer’s intent, display product catalog, offer assistance in selecting the right product, and even enable instant check-out. With a WhatsApp bot in place, you will have a salesperson available 24×7 to assist your customers. Here’s an example of how that flow will look like.
3. Automate proactive notification: Using WhatsApp API, you can even proactively message your customers by setting up proactive message templates. This feature works after your customers opt-in to receiving such communication from you. Once received, use this feature to automatically share updates related to an order, service request, appointment, and/or payments. This reduces the the need for a customer to ask follow-up questions like “where is my order” or “what’s my order status” and reduces the load of these repeated queries on the agent. You should note that every message template must be first approved by WhatsApp. Also, a message template supports only text, image, and PDFs.
4. Automate IVR call deflection: This is an automation that is unique to WhatsApp API. Use this feature to direct phone calls to WhatsApp and lessen the load on agents. You can assign a number in your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that can be set to ask the user if they prefer to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. If the user opts-in, they are automatically taken to WhatsApp to continue the conversation, either with an agent or a bot. This feature is proven to reduce the wait time for customers seeking fast resolution. Also, over time the business reaps the benefit of reduced operational cost.
Taking automation beyond WhatsApp
A messaging app is one of the many touchpoints of customer interaction. But your customers will likely rely on it in addition to using your website, mobile app, and other channels of business and support. This means it is essential to make sure your customers are attended to across channels seamlessly and without missing a beat.
Without a unified platform for collecting, addressing, and managing customer queries, your agents are likely to find themselves working in silos and endlessly toggling between channel-specific tools. This juggling between different apps will not only increase customer wait time but also reduce an agent’s efficiency.
A solution like Freshchat can help integrate all your business communication channels into a single, unified interface and support automation across the board (messaging, website, and apps). This way you can respond and engage with your customers from a single point of resolution, no matter the channel they choose for reaching out to you. This will ultimately lead to a great customer service moment.
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