WhatsApp is used by two billion people worldwide on a monthly basis. That’s almost twice the monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. With the greatest global reach, it’s no surprise that WhatsApp chatbots are also on the rise. 

WhatsApp Chatbots Poised to Partner with NGOs

In addition to overall users, WhatsApp dominates the marketplace in certain locales around the globe. For instance, the countries with the most WhatsApp users are:

  1. India 
  2. Brazil
  3. USA
  4. Indonesia
  5. Mexico

NGOs (or non-governmental organizations, which are non-profit organizations) could strategically leverage the power of WhatsApp chatbots to communicate with people all over the world, but especially in the countries above that are heavy users of the app. Users are already familiar with the interface, and when an organization offers communication on the platform, barriers to communication and understanding are broken. 

Riaz Jogiyat, who is a business development expert, with extensive experience in data mining, conversational AI and NGOs, provided insight on how chatbots could serve NGOs: 

“If a chatbot is the tool that gets people to engage and communicate more, while balancing privacy, then I believe the potential is there for NGOs to make faster and more impactful decisions.”

WhatsApp Chatbots

The Power of WhatsApp Chatbots in Aiding NGOs

Depending on the countries that NGOs operate in, WhatsApp may be an untapped source of communication and data. In developing countries, communicating with key actors can be difficult. Technological and language barriers exist, and gathering information can be arduous. But in addition to that, the data that is collected often sits unused, when it could be put to task for the betterment of the countries it was collected in. Here’s how chatbots could be used to tackle both these issues.

  1. Contextual Information Gathering using WhatsApp Chatbots

Gathering information on the ground can take tremendous resources. Deploying a chatbot is a cost-effective way for NGOs to collect information, by way of surveys, answering questions, and conversing with the local population. A chatbot can even be developed such that it recognizes the language of the person and automatically responds in kind. Imagine the savings on interpreters and personnel gathering information live.

An example that Mr. Jogiyat considers to be prime for chatbot deployment is in the flow of communication between different actions of trade agreements. When evaluating the entire ecosystem of, say, a farming industry, its export and trade agreements, the chatbot could facilitate communication between:

  • Government agencies
  • Farmers
  • Businesses
  • Customers

Knowing that WhatsApp is easily picked up by populations around the world, it’s the natural choice for an NGO chatbot platform. Any actor with a mobile phone and access to the internet can connect easily and interact with the bot to get questions answered, to provide information, and to learn about any developments.

  1. Power of WhatsApp Chatbots Is also in the Insights

Once data has been collected by a chatbot, it’s ripe for mining. In fact, a recent study delved into data collected by NGOs within health policy and systems to find that it could be used as a primary data source to enable research in under-researched and marginalized groups. In conflict-affected areas and developing nations, it’s difficult for academics to perform research, but by developing partnerships with NGOs to improve data collection, research efforts could start to have a real impact on marginalized populations.

If a chatbot was used in the studies and data collection, the analysis of the data from people in the developing nation would be much easier. Chatbots can be designed to incorporate data analysis and information dashboards customized to the research desired. Build the chatbot on WhatsApp, which is used heavily in some developing nations, and the reach would be even greater, allowing for research efforts and improvements in health policy to be directed where truly needed. 

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Harness WhatsApp Chatbots the Right Way

As Riaz Jogiyat points out, security is still one of the concerns when it comes to deploying technology in an NGO. But experts in the chatbot realm know exactly how to build a chatbot that is secure and compliant. A Chatbot Consultant can also help ensure a chatbot is built by a team that has experience with large-scale WhatsApp rollouts. 

If you’re wondering how to get started with a chatbot for an NGO, reach out to one of our experts today.

A WhatsApp chatbot is a software program which runs on an encrypted WhatsApp platform. Users can communicate with a chatbot through the interface as if they were talking to a real person. 

Why is the WhatsApp platform so lucrative? Well, with 1.5 billion users in 180 countries, it’s the largest messaging app in the entire world. There’s actually 200 million more people using WhatsApp than Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger may have the market covered in the United States, but WhatsApp leads the charge in countries like India, Spain, Brazil and Italy. 

In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a mind-blowing $19 billion. Although the rest of the tech world found it shocking, clearly Facebook had the foresight to understand where WhatsApp was headed and just how valuable it was.

Let’s be honest, most of the interactions we are having daily are through some sort of social network. And, as with most other social networking, what starts out as fun for individuals, typically transitions into the business world. With 1.5 billion users sending an average of 55 billion messages a day, there is a huge potential audience for small businesses to tap into.

What is WhatsApp Business and How Can You Get On Board?

Before we dive into the chatbot angle, WhatsApp Business is the first step that you can take to connect with your clients through the instant messaging app they are already comfortable with. Businesses can use WhatsApp to provide customers with updates about timing, confirmations, and other information they need to know. 

WhatsApp Business lets you set up a profile with an image, description, location, URL, and contact details. It also enables companies to answer questions and keep in touch in real-time. You can have shortcut answers to respond to frequently asked questions and you can even automate an out-of-office-type reply to signal you aren’t around to chat just now.

WhatsApp Chatbots

The Benefits of Using WhatsApp for Your Business

There are a variety of benefits to using WhatsApp chatbots for your business, which include:

  • Assisting customers on their preferred platform
  • Answering customers questions instantly
  • Enhancing the customer experience on an advanced app
  • Leading customers down the sales funnel by enabling them to take fast action
  • Build loyalty and trust with customers through conversations
  • Personalize the customer experience by infusing the script WhatsApp uses with your brand voice and values
  • Data security with end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp

How to Use WhatsApp Chatbots for E-commerce

E-commerce continues to be on the rise: Amazon just reached a $1 trillion evaluation, and global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021. Although in North America, e-commerce is a big market, it pales in comparison to Asia. In fact, Asia’s e-commerce market is worth $831.7 billion, compared to North America’s $552.6 billion. 

Why such a difference between the two? In order to be as successful as Asia, North American businesses can improve by adjusting their websites so they properly optimize for several customer-oriented metrics, including CAC, CLV, AOV, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) revenue by traffic source and shopping cart abandonment rates.

Now, that might sound like a lot of tech mumbo jumbo, but it all boils down to employing the following solutions to ensure that customers aren’t choosing your competitor over you:

  • Automate support and customer service queries to decrease ticket volumes
  • Generate, qualify and convert leads automatically
  • Ensure you are visible on a variety of channels (messenger apps, website, social media, etc.)
  • Boost agent efficiency and productivity (through training and virtual assistants)

READ MORE: How Your COVID-19 Response Can Be Supported By Chatbots

The above requirements are difficult to implement if you are relying on employees to keep up with them; however, using WhatsApp chatbot technology can ensure improvement. There are many development firms and platforms that make use of WhatsApp’s powerful platform, and a trust chatbot consultant can help you to navigate this growing vendor landscape. But, to give you a look at some of the options, here are a few developers elevating the customer experience. 

WhatsApp Chatbots

Check Out These WhatsApp Chatbot Tools For Your Business

If you are looking for chatbot technology that takes your customers’ experience to the next level, there are many available bot platforms that take advantage of the massive WhatsApp market.

  1. BotsCrew: A stellar team of developers and project managers at BotsCrew have experience across platforms, including WhatsApp. With an agnostic approach to the platform, they can provide customized conversational AI bots for any industry worldwide. 
  2. Agentbot: With the help of AI, Agentbot offers brands the chance to build conversation flows. Its clean and easy-to-use interface allows you to build an effective flow of conversation. 
  3. MessengerPeople: With the help of MessengerPeople, you’re able to easily build conversation flows to make customer communication more professional and natural. It also allows you to gather user characteristics. BMW has started to use MessengerPeople to automate customer service in their workshops.
  4. Botsociety: Botsociety gives you the opportunity to try out your WhatsApp chatbot prototype before you commit to it. The ability to test your bot with real users speeds up enhancements, helping you design more effective conversation flows. 
  5. Raphiwa: To use a chatbot designed for mass communication, Raphiwha pairs you with your WhatsApp business account, and sends and receives chats.  
  6. Yalo: Yalo uses an AI-powered CRM to develop customer relationships and help businesses engage. Results of their enhanced experiences are very successful, with over 700,000 users weekly. 

How WhatsApp Chatbots Can Improve Customer Experience

There are many WhatsApp chatbots vendors, and like smartphone apps, there are some that are better suited to your business’s needs than others. Look for chatbot developers and platforms that offer detailed business intelligence features. You want to be able to tap into the data collected, understand your customers, and use the insights to drive your business forward.

Determine exactly what your business needs before approaching a chatbot vendor. Ask yourself and your team the following questions to start: 

  • Are you looking for a simple question-and-answer based chatbot?
  • Do you want to build complex conversation flows?
  • What business goals do you want the chatbot to accomplish?
  • What platforms do you wish the chatbot to be on (i.e. Facebook Messenger, website, text, or WhatsApp)?

Do you want to incorporate a WhatsApp Chatbot into your digital business plan? Get in touch with one of our consultants today, who can help you navigate the sea of vendor options.