With more than two billion active users, WhatsApp can help your business start new conversations, drive new sales, and improve customer support. An AI bot or virtual agent to support your WhatsApp conversations can help you keep the conversation going without overwhelming your customer support team. Let's take a deeper look.
What Is an AI Bot or Chatbot?
A chatbot is software that conducts text-based conversations with users via online channels such as SMS, social media, and messaging apps. Traditional chatbots communicate using preprogrammed rules and scripts written by humans, so their responses are based on keywords that your customers write, and the use cases can be fairly limited.
Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, however, don't need a script. Instead, they leverage conversational AI to analyze human speech, interpret context and meaning, and respond in a way that simulates human conversation. They can also be integrated with other data sources, including customer history data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system or ecommerce platform and behavioral data from your website, apps, and marketing platform.
This means an AI chatbot can do more than answer questions and respond to requests. It can use data to personalize interactions with users, suggest actions the user might want to take or products they might want to buy, and even complete purchases. Equipped with this data, AI bots can do more than respond to simple customer service queries — they can drive conversational commerce.
Conversational AI and Bots: Industry Trends
Chatbots have been around for years and have mostly served as an extension of customer service teams. But as the technology has advanced, more industries have begun to leverage them for new and diverse use cases.
Industries That Use Chatbots
Retail: Conversational commerce bots let retailers add "sales assistants" to all their digital properties, from ecommerce sites and apps to third-party sites like social media. Chatbots can make personalized recommendations, upsell relevant products, and complete secure transactions.
Healthcare: AI chatbots help doctors' offices save time on administrative work by letting patients schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and receive automated notifications and reminders.
Banking: AI bots can help banking customers with a variety of transactions, from transferring funds to prequalifying for loans. Chatbots can also be used to boost security with two-factor authentication and 24/7 monitoring.
Human resources: Companies use chatbots to offload both internal and external HR tasks. Employees can use them to request time off, ask questions about corporate insurance plans, and complete paperwork. Meanwhile, hiring managers can rely on them to qualify job candidates and onboard new employees.
Travel: Travel agents, hotels, and airlines serve customers from around the world and across time zones. Chatbots let them provide around-the-clock service to customers so they can answer questions and generate leads 24/7.
Education: Digital learning has taken off in the past few years, and AI bots can play a big role — from personalizing content to streamlining registration to fielding common questions and sending announcements.
Logistics: Chatbots allow carriers to give customers real-time updates on delivery and let them know the exact location of their packages.
Prime Platforms for Chatbots
You can leverage chatbots in your organization in several ways. You can build your own, use a chatbot API to add bots to your websites and apps, or use third-party chatbots that have been designed specifically for certain applications, such as:
Social media: WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram
Messaging apps: WhatsApp, Slack, Twitter, WeChat, Snapchat
Video conferencing: Skype, Google Hangouts, Vonage Viber
Collaboration tools: Gmail, Microsoft Teams
Why the Vonage AI Studio Bot for WhatsApp Is the Tool of Choice for Conversations
There's a good reason 50 million businesses are active WhatsApp users. It's one of the most popular social media apps worldwide, and smart business leaders go where their customers are.
WhatsApp recognizes the value it has to offer businesses and created the WhatsApp Business API in 2019, making it easier than ever for companies to communicate with their customers via WhatsApp. But while WhatsApp is accessible around the clock, most businesses are not. That's where the Vonage AI Studio Bot for WhatsApp comes in handy.
To engage your customers, you don't have to build your own chatbot or drive customers to another site to communicate with them. You can leverage WhatApp’s chatbot API to interact with customers right where they are and whenever they want to connect. Your chatbot can answer their questions, make recommendations, and complete transactions all in one chat, regardless of whether your business is open or your team is busy.
Benefits of Using WhatsApp on the the Vonage Messaging Platform
WhatsApp makes it easy to interact with customers on their platform. But that gives your customer support team or contact center yet another channel to manage. After all, even when chatbots are fielding most of the conversations, there are times when customers want to escalate discussions to a human representative.
You can either have your representatives logged into WhatsApp and toggle back and forth between it and the various other communication channels that you use, or you can integrate them into one communications platform. The Vonage Messaging API enables channel integration for true omnichannel customer interaction and a more productive employee experience.
By leveraging the Vonage Messaging API for WhatsApp and AI Studio chatbot integration, your business can turn notifications into conversations with customers. Personalize your customer conversations with relevant information and use chatbots to respond faster to conversation and alleviate pressure on customer service personnel.
Simplify Your Integration and Management
Your WhatsApp and AI bots integrate with other communication APIs , including voice, video, and contact center set-ups so your team (both human and bot) can communicate with customers from one place. There's no need to manage multiple vendors; it's all streamlined through Vonage.
Deliver a PersonalizedCustomer Experience
The Vonage solution doesn't just enable you to integrate multiple communication channels and chatbots; it can access cross-channel customer data. When a customer starts a conversation with your WhatsApp AI bot, the chatbot knows the history with your company — including what customers discussed with you before and previous purchases— so the bot has deep insights and context to inform the conversation. Likewise, because the bot can also update the customer CRM, when a customer reaches out to your business directly, your human representatives can know what they previously discussed.
Optimize Your Delivery Rates
If you're communicating directly through WhatsApp, you only have one way to connect. With Vonage, you have many. By using the WhatsApp bot with the Vonage Messages API, you can take advantage of those other channels if this one fails. For example, you can optimize delivery rates with failover capabilities to SMS and gain real-time insights with callbacks.
Streamline Your Development and Testing
Vonage APIs reduce the complexity of getting started quickly with WhatsApp; you can develop and test any application you want to build for WhatsApp using the Vonage Messages API Sandbox.
WhatsApp is quickly becoming a must-have communication channel for businesses. But it doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. With the Vonage Messages API and Vonage AI Studio you can provide customer support, send alerts and notifications, have secure communications, and generate new leads on WhatsApp at scale across channels all from the Vonage platform.
Want to learn more about how the Vonage Messages API can work with WhatsApp? Explore our WhatsApp Feature page.
Eager to learn more about all the possibilities with Vonage AI Studio? Visit the AI Studio page.