This is the updated version of the post: WhatsApp Bot: A Guide to India in 2020.
India is a huge market for WhatsApp. For India, WhatsApp is a huge platform. A WhatsApp Bot brings these two parties together in perfect harmony.
India is the main market for WhatsApp. WhatsApp has an estimated 487 million monthly active users in India. In Q3 2021, India represented 32.6% of total WhatsApp downloads.
Nearly 1 in 5 WhatsApp users is from India. No other country even comes close.
Moreover, WhatsApp market penetration for India has improved significantly in recent years. India is now growing from 28% to 64% and is ranked 21st in the list, showing just how limitless WhatsApp’s potential for continued success in India is.
According to 2020 WhatsApp stats published by GlobalWebIndex, we can see Kenya and South Africa leading the way with huge market penetration of 97% and 96% respectively. At the bottom we find Japan, where the infiltration is only 2%
Suggested Reading: Everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business pricing in 2022
Indians love WhatsApp. Almost 95% of all Android devices in India have WhatsApp installed. Socioeconomic trends suggest similar numbers for iOS and Apple devices.
Suggested reading: SMS vs WhatsApp: the last frontier
Indians, young and old, rich and poor, town and country; all use WhatsApp.
Businesses track customers across platforms
80% of small businesses in India are already using the platform to connect with their customers and grow their business. Fintech startup Kaarva has built a WhatsApp Chatbot to generate, qualify and support more than 100,000 customers. Kaarva runs its business almost entirely with WhatsApp’s Business APIs; from onboarding to cash transfer confirmations – everything is done on WhatsApp.
For WhatsApp, India is the petri dish for the developed world.
WhatsApp uses India to beta test key launches and experiments. Since India is a big believer in UPI transactions and has 400 billion WhatsApp users, WhatsApp has decided to finally launch WhatsApp Pay in India. This launch is already starting to make a huge dent in the digital payment space and has intrigued dozens of customers and businesses.
Suggested reading: Amplify your conversations with WhatsApp Pay
Once you’ve allowed customers to transact, the next logical step is to give them someone to transact with.
Enter – A WhatsApp bot.
We 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 an informal shorthand used to describe Chatbots.
Chatbots are pieces of software used to mimic human conversations. Chatbots can range from Google Homes to automated text bots that you can (usually) find at the bottom of websites (check ours at the bottom right of the page 🙂 ). We now focus on the latter.
Thus, these chatbots can be replicated not only to websites, but also to apps, Facebook pages and WhatsApp chats. But no matter where you interact with a chatbot, the backend functionality of a chatbot remains largely the same.
Suggested reading: Chatbot 18 – How do chatbots work?
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 to the customer experience are far more impactful.
WhatsApp chatbots also help businesses build trust and loyalty thanks to their many features, including verified accounts and end-to-end encryption.
Suggested reading: Complete Guide to WhatsApp API
Chatbots work great on websites and apps.
Medical TPA provider MediBuddy has moved from a 250+ customer support team to just 20 service reps — and their customers rated their satisfaction (over 85%) after chats on par with human agent responses in just two months of use.
However, WhatsApp is a much more effective medium.
For anecdotal evidence, think about how many unread emails you have in your inbox. Now compare that to the number of unread chats you have in WhatsApp.
Suggested reading: We need to talk about what is destroying your business; emails
It is this difference in customer behavior that drives the 95% open rates and 100% deliverability on WhatsApp. Marketing communications sent via WhatsApp see 3x the conversions than on other channels.
Chatbots are the most effective tools in time-sensitive customer interactions, such as conflict resolution and lead qualification. When customers visit a website in search of a purchase, time is of the essence. Questions during this purchase consideration period should be resolved in a manner that is both convenient and timely.
Indian health insurer Apollo Munich saw a 900% increase in the number of policies sold after implementing a chatbot on their website. They achieved this by training the bot to respond to last-minute sales inquiries from their customers; information that enabled customers to make better purchasing decisions.
How can I build a WhatsApp bot?
In eCommerce fashion store Nykaa, chatbots were able to automate more than 1.6 million conversations, enabling 99.7% of all conversations to be handled in 30 seconds. Much like emails built for faster response rates and better search close rates than postcards, a well-designed chatbot can increase customer satisfaction beyond existing systems.
Note that WhatsApp’s Business APIs are not accessible to the public. And unless you’re a large multinational or a large-scale enterprise, they probably won’t give you access.
WhatsApp is rolling out its plan to monetize the platform, proceeding cautiously so as not to annoy its existing customer base. WhatsApp does this by avoiding any potential for abuse by allowing only a handful of verified companies and suppliers on their platform.
To build a WhatsApp bot, you can use a verified WhatsApp API provider. Or, according to the recent WhatsApp policy update, WhatsApp mentioned that prospective 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 directly on Facebook without sacrificing user data. This eliminates the reliance on third-party integration.
Customers are also proactively informed about data usage at the start of the chat. WhatsApp clearly labels conversations with companies that choose to use Facebook hosting services.
Suggested reading: WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API
With Verloop.io you can seamlessly create and automate an AI chatbot for WhatsApp from one platform. This means you can develop, build and deploy your own WhatsApp Chatbot in a fraction of the time you could with other third-party services.
And Verloop.io is also one of the few providers that offers deep integration. Verloop.io can power chatbots on websites, apps and Facebook pages – giving you access to all your chats from a single interface.
The first step is to contact a company or third-party provider that can build a chatbot for you. To contact Verloop.io, click the ‘Request a demo’ button here.👇🏼
Now the next step is to make sure you have the right fit. To this end, companies are asked various questions to measure API qualification.
Here are two important factors to consider before processing the request:
A. Industry type:
WhatsApp pays a lot of attention to the industry that your company falls under. WhatsApp restricts API access to the following industries:
1. Government and political organizations
2. Gambling Industry
3. Adult Content
5. Tobacco items, drugs, alcohol
Here’s more information about the WhatsApp industry’s limitations: WhatsApp Trade Policy
B. Chatbot Usage Scenario:
WhatsApp does not allow the 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.
You should also ensure that your WhatsApp chatbot complies with this stated policy here.
2. Processing of applications
Verloop.io walks you through potential use cases, assists with compliance, and delivers, proofreads, and develops acceptable templates for your business.
This way we ensure that you not only have WhatsApp APIs, but that you also keep them.
3. Your WhatsApp bot is yours.
Once you have a framework, all you need to do is plug it into your system.
The convenience of this depends on the provider you choose. Verloop.io is an all-in-one solution stack. We can integrate your CRM for WhatsApp queries, encrypt and decrypt messages and give you a single dashboard.
And so, with our comprehensive dashboard, you can track stats such as resolution time, average CSAT rate, bot deflection rate, common phrases used by your customers, and many more actionable insights!