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WhatsApp Business

What does the rise of WhatsApp mean for SMS?

By Customer Experience, WhatsApp Business No Comments

As far back as 2012 telecoms experts were predicting the demise of SMS and the advance of data driven messaging apps that were on the rise. It’s human nature to believe that the future is always going to be more sophisticated. Whilst this is true in some respects, many of the cornerstones of digital life remain deeply embedded in our technology. Almost 10 years later, SMS is the world’s largest form of B2C communication and continues to prove the 2012 naysayers wrong. 

However, they were not entirely wrong; our much loved WhatsApp chat engine opened up to businesses officially at the end of 2018 and whilst the uptake has been slow to start, businesses in Africa are laying down world beating statistics proving how powerful rich 2-way instant chatbot communication can be. Top 5 African fintech business, Mukuru, has in the region of 10,000,000 WhatsApp messaging chats a month. Retail giant Shoprite boasts a similar number of interactions for their loyalty and rewards campaign being delivered over WhatsApp. 

Use of this medium by leading African businesses have highlighted several key points:

1) Communities in Africa love WhatsApp.

2) They are very happy and often prefer to communicate with business through WhatsApp.

3) It suits the consumers’ pockets.

What the experts got wrong back in 2012, was not that SMS would die, but that it would be greatly complimented by data driven chat apps like WhatsApp. SMS serves as a super robust, ubiquitous communication channel, perfect for delivering time critical notifications in a secure manner. Conversely Whatsapp gives businesses a personality to deliver to its customers, satisfying Millennials’ and Generation Zs’ instant gratification crazes. The bottom line – Whatsapp is a super powerful communication tool that allows businesses to engage millennial customers fast and efficiently. Additionally, more information about customer behaviour can be analysed. 

A point to note is Generation Z and Millennials combined make up more than 75% of Africa’s population. 

WhatsApp Chatbots – An Opportunity Your Business Should Not Pass Up

By Customer Experience, Uncategorized, WhatsApp Business No Comments

An essential part of effective marketing is reaching out to customers wherever they are. As the most popular messaging app with a whopping 1.6 billion monthly users, WhatsApp is definitely where most of your customers already are. Where is the opportunity? Now your business can also be on WhatsApp!

WhatsApp originally functioned as a platform to connect friends and family, however it has gradually evolved into a medium for businesses to engage with their customers. 

Why should your business be on the most popular messaging app?

WhatsApp Business was designed with small business owners in mind enabling them to connect with their customers. WhatsApp Business API, on the other hand, is for medium and large businesses created to connect with customers from around the world and send automated quick replies at scale. This is what Gikko wants to help you achieve.

As a business, here are some of the benefits of using WhatsApp chatbot in Africa:

  • The platform is available to all, be it small, home-run businesses or large enterprises.
  • WhatsApp chatbots offer a richer customer experience that helps with customer retention and engagement.
  • Builds brand awareness and brand loyalty while enhancing customer relationships.
  • Makes your business available over multiple channels.
  • Ability to send broadcasts and outbound notifications to clients.
  • Facilitates businesses to connect with customers through an interactive and visual medium.
  • Global availability of WhatsApp, which allows you to develop a customer-centric chatbot catering to all audiences even if they are out of your reach.

We also want to examine the benefits for Customer Care and Support Executives.

Here are the main benefits from the customer support angle:

  • WhatsApp chatbots can be customized to deal with frequently asked questions.
  • Customers will receive instant responses from your business, and this two-way conversation adds to brand loyalty.
  • Complex queries can be automatically handed from the bot to the customer support executive using chatbot-to-human handover which is important especially in Africa due to preferred face-to-face service and language barriers .
  • If unable to provide a satisfactory resolution, chatbots can also suggest nearby stores or service centers and even share their location pins.
  • Chatbots can share ticket status and important details with clients. For example, a WhatsApp business chatbot representing a travel agency could share check-in details, live flight status, itinerary, etc.
  • Through WhatsApp chatbot, organizations can set up and collect surveys from clients. This can help with the enhancement of their products and services (and even chatbot workflows in some instances).
Source: Business2Community

Key Benefits of Adopting WhatsApp Business for Customer Service

By WhatsApp Business No Comments

In 2018, WhatsApp Business was introduced as the business version of the popular messaging app. It allows all businesses direct access to their customers, who are using the regular WhatsApp application. As WhatsApp Business accounts are listed as businesses, users will know that they are being contacted by a business account rather than a regular account. Furthermore, with WhatsApp Business API, a chatbot service is now available to accommodate instant customer service. It’s a broad consensus that all customers would rather engage with a business through the trusted chat app than sit on hold for an hour.

Whatsapp Business is packed with features to ensure businesses reach their customers and showcase their products. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Availability of Business Profile

Important information is easily available to the customers. This includes:

  • Business hours,
  • Store/business address,
  • Corresponding location pin,
  • Email ID,
  • Website links,
  • Contact details, and
  • Brief business description

This not only makes your business highly accessible but also adds transparency.

  1. Smart Replies, Messaging and BONUS Chatbot Feature

Save frequently sent messages as templates and save time with the Quick Replies feature. For example, “Thank you for your business! We look forward to working with you again.”These messages can be customized as per your preference.

With WhatsApp Business API you can set up a chatbot for frequently asked questions to attend to customers instantly. This saves both parties a lot of time. You could also set up a message that introduces the customer to your products or services when they initiate a chat with your business.

  1. Labels

WhatsApp Business allows businesses to create and allot labels to active chats. As a result, you can categorize different customers and sort through conversations using the labels as filters to respond to their requests.

  1. Vital Messaging Stats

Messaging Statistics is an incredibly handy feature of WhatsApp Business. It provides you with an insight into how many messages were sent, successfully delivered, and read by the clients. Studying these metrics can drastically improve how you conduct business.

  1. WhatsApp Web

You can make your WhatsApp Business account available on the browsers of other devices such as desktops and laptops. As a result, if you have multiple teams maintaining a single account, they can easily work in coordination without limited resources.

Deliver a Millennial Banking Experience with WhatsApp Business

By Banking Communications, Customer Experience, WhatsApp Business

Millennials, who are they?

According to Forbes.com millennials are the demographic born in the 80s and 90s, they make up the majority of the workforce and hold most of the financial power in the economy.

The millennial segment represents the greatest challenge for banks, but for those that meet the challenge, it could be a great opportunity for growth.

Can you name a millennial who doesn’t use WhatsApp?

Millennials are the “always on” generation. They are always online and always connected. These tech-savvy customers expect first-rate services and high levels of convenience from any place they do business with, especially their bank. When these expectations are met, they are more likely to become loyal customers and recommend their bank to others.

What opportunities does WhatsApp Business present for banks?

  • Personalised Service

Banks  can factor user preferences into the chat to create a personalised experience e.g. “Good morning Clement, your current account balance is ZWL350,78”.

  • Fast, accessible customer service

Imagine automating your FAQ’s, outlining loan procedures or serving up forms via a bot over WhatsApp so your customer doesn’t have to hold on a call for over an hour for the most menial task. 

  • On-the-go transactions

For banks to successfully cater to this market, they must offer a robust online experience with standard features such as mobile banking, remote deposit, and online bill payment options. Transactions must happen quickly, smoothly, and without onerous fees. In terms of lending, with the growing popularity of peer-to-peer lending, traditional banks should offer lending options that are easily accessible, digital, fast, and free of speed bumps.

  • Product knowledge which lead to action

Information about all products and services available over chat. Millennials are more likely to try alternatives to traditional banking to meet certain needs, especially when it comes to services such as payment solutions and obtaining loans. Banks can share all their loan information in a compact PDF document as well as downloadable forms that customers can read off their phone and proceed to apply.

  • Outline procedures

In an instance where all information has been shared, banks can collate all the necessary data for application procedures ie. in a form or through a USSD format over chat and customers can be approved for loans, mobile banking, etc. in just a few hours as opposed to several weeks or even months.

The time is ripe for banks to make some critical changes, adjust their strategy to meet the needs of this generation, and stand out in a highly competitive market.  Become an early adopter to millennial banking habits with WhatsApp Business. Contact us at sales@gikko.net