This is the updated version of the post: WhatsApp Bot: A Guide for India in 2020.
To WhatsApp, India is a huge market. To India, WhatsApp is a huge platform. A WhatsApp Bot brings these two parties together in perfect harmony.
India is WhatsApp’s most important market. WhatsApp has an estimated 487 million monthly active users in India. In the 3rd quarter of 2021, India constituted 32.6% of total WhatsApp downloads.
Nearly 1 in every 5 WhatsApp users is from India. No other country even comes close.
Plus, WhatsApp’s market penetration for India has improved majorly in the past few years. Growing from 28% to 64% now, India ranks 21st in the list, which shows how WhatsApp’s potential for continued success in India is limitless.
According to 2020 WhatsApp stats published by GlobalWebIndex, we can see that Kenya and South Africa lead the way with a massive market penetration of 97% and 96% respectively. Towards the bottom, we find Japan, where the infiltration is just at 2%
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Indians love WhatsApp. Nearly 95% of all Android devices in India have WhatsApp installed. Socioeconomic trends would suggest similar numbers for iOS and Apple devices.
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Indians, young and old, poor and rich, urban and rural; all use WhatsApp.
Companies follow customers onto platforms
80% of small businesses in India are already using the platform to connect with their customers and expand their business. Fintech startup Kaarva built a WhatsApp Chatbot to generate, qualify and support over 100,000 customers. Kaarva runs its operations almost entirely using WhatsApp’s Business APIs; from onboarding to cash transfer confirmations – everything’s done on WhatsApp.
For WhatsApp, India is the petri dish to the developed world.
WhatsApp uses India to beta test its most important launches and experiments. With India being a huge supporter of UPI transactions and being home to 400 billion WhatsApp users, WhatsApp decided to finally launch WhatsApp Pay in India. This launch has already started to make a huge dent in the digital payment space and has intrigued dozens of customers and companies.
Suggested Reading: Empower Your Conversations With WhatsApp Pay
Once you’ve allowed customers to start transacting, the next logical step is to give them someone to transact with.
Enter – A WhatsApp Bot.
We’ll ask and answer three questions in this post.
- What is a WhatsApp bot?
- Why do I need a WhatsApp bot?
- How can I build a WhatsApp bot?
Let’s start with the first question.
What is a WhatsApp bot?
Bots are a colloquial shorthand used to describe Chatbots.
Chatbots are pieces of software used to replicate human conversation. Chatbots can range from Google Homes’ to automated text bots that you (usually) find at the bottom of websites (check ours out at the bottom right of the page 🙂 ). We’ll focus on the latter for now.
Thus, these chatbots can be replicated beyond just websites, to Apps, Facebook pages and WhatsApp chats. But regardless of where you interact with one, the backend functionality of a chatbot remains largely the same.
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Why does my business need a bot?
Chatbots are great at two primary customer interaction roles – lead generation and customer support automation.
Like all successful automation efforts, customer service chatbots can reduce costs, but the improvements they make in customer experience are far more impactful.
WhatsApp chatbots also help businesses build trust and loyalty due to their many features, including verified accounts and end-to-end encryption.
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Chatbots work great on websites and in apps.
Medical TPA provider MediBuddy moved from a 250+ customer support team to just 20 service representatives – and their customers rated their satisfaction (over 85%) after chats on par with responses from human agents in just two months of use.
WhatsApp, however, is a much more effective medium.
For anecdotal evidence, think about how many unread emails you have in your inbox. Now compare that with the number of unread chats you have in WhatsApp.
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It’s this disparity in customer behaviour that drives 95% open rates and 100% deliverability on WhatsApp. Marketing communication sent through WhatsApp sees 3x the conversions than on other channels.
Chatbots are the most effective tools in time-sensitive customer interactions, like conflict-resolution and lead qualification. When customers visit a website looking to make a purchase, time is of the essence. Queries during this period of purchase consideration must be resolved in a manner that is both easy and timely.
Indian Health Insurance provider Apollo Munich saw a 900% increase in the number of policies sold post implementing a chatbot on their website. They achieved this by training the bot to respond to last-minute sales queries their customers had; information that allowed customers to make better purchase decisions.
How can I build a WhatsApp bot?
At the eCommerce fashion store Nykaa, chatbots were able to automate over 1.6 million conversations, allowing 99.7% of all conversations to be tended to in 30 seconds. Just as emails made for faster response rates and better query closure rates than postcards, a well-designed chatbot can boost customer satisfaction beyond existing systems.
To note that, WhatsApp’s Business APIs are not open to the public. And unless you’re a large multinational firm or an enterprise-scale company, they’re not likely to give you access.
WhatsApp rolls out its plan to monetize the platform, it’s treading carefully so as to not irk its existing customer base. WhatsApp is doing this by preventing any potential for abuse by allowing only a handful of verified companies and vendors onto their platform.
To build a WhatsApp bot you can use a verified WhatsApp API provider. Or, as per the recent WhatsApp policy update, WhatsApp mentioned that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from their parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp!
Businesses can host their Whatsapp APIs on Facebook directly without compromising on user data. This eliminates the dependency on third-party integration.
Also, customers are proactively informed at the beginning of the chat about data usage. WhatsApp clearly labels conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.
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Verloop.io allows you to seamlessly create and automate an AI chatbot for WhatsApp from a single platform. This means that you can develop, build and deploy your own WhatsApp Chatbot in a fraction of the time that you could with other third-party services.
And, Verloop.io is also one of the only providers that offer deep integration. Verloop.io can power chatbots on websites, apps and Facebook pages – and give you access to all your chats from a single interface.
The first step is to reach out to a company or a third-party provider that can build a chatbot for you. To reach out to Verloop.io, click on the ‘Get a Demo’ button here.??
Now, the next step is to ensure you’re the right fit. To that end, businesses are asked several questions to gauge API qualification.
Here are two important factors that are taken into account before processing the request:
A. Type of industry:
WhatsApp pays close attention to the industry your business falls under. WhatsApp restricts API access to the following industries:
1. Government and political organisations
2. Gambling industry
3. Adult content
5. Tobacco items, drugs, alcohol
Here’s more on the WhatsApp industry limitations: WhatsApp Commerce Policy
B. Chatbots use case:
WhatsApp doesn’t allow to use of the bot for any promotional or marketing-related activities. It is best to use WhatsApp chatbots for customer support, lead acquisition and non-promotional alerts and notifications.
Also, you must ensure that your WhatsApp chatbot complies with these policies listed here.
2. Application processing
Verloop.io guides you through possible use-cases, assists you with compliance, and provides, proofreads and develops acceptable WhatsApp message templates for your business.
This way, we ensure that you not only have WhatsApp APIs but also that you continue to keep them.
3. Your WhatsApp bot is yours.
Once you have a framework, it’s just a matter of plugging it into your system.
The ease of this depends on the provider you choose. Verloop.io is an all-in-one solutions stack. We can integrate your CRM for WhatsApp queries, encrypt and decrypt messages and give you a single dashboard.
And so, with our all-encompassing dashboard, you can monitor metrics such as the resolution time, average CSAT rate, bot deflection percentage, common phrases used by your customers, and a lot more actionable insights!
Everything on WhatsApp chatbots