WhatsApp has opened its doors for two-way communications at scale between enterprises and their consumers. The messaging app currently enjoys the leading position as the country’s preferred platform for text, voice, and video communications, and the WhatsApp Business API offers a whole realm of possibilities for brand to user communications and a richer customer experience.
You can integrate your existing business processes with the WhatsApp Business API and turbocharge your customer experience. But to do that, you need a technology specialist that can drive your customer communications and help you to unleash the cutting edge CX potential of the platform.
If your Aha! Moment has led you this far, it has also raised other important questions. While partnering with a technology specialist makes the most sense, how does one go about selecting a reliable and trusted technology partner? Here are a few pointers to consider while evaluating potential service providers.
Wide integration options:
When you select a partner you need someone who has a wide range of integration options from API, On-Premise Solutions or Web based GUI etc. Not only does handling multiple systems in siloes need more resources, it also makes communication dissemination harder, therefore integrating APIs with your existing live systems such as CRM or digital marketing tools becomes critical for your business. You should look at players who offer both API on the cloud but also applications that can help the WhatsApp Business API enable your legacy application with minimal code development.
Alternate channel fall-back mechanisms:
Not everyone is on WhatsApp and you always need a Plan B. Having a partner with multi-channel expertise is convenient for businesses as it becomes easier to trust one technology partner for all your communication needs. Also, it would be an added advantage if you have a multi-channel or fall-back mechanism using SMS or emails when WhatsApp messaging fails.
Experience in working with new age technologies:
By using advance technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) businesses can drive two-way conversations and provide instant customer support. Structured workflow packages can be configured and rolled out through conversational virtual assistants to share an appropriate response on WhatsApp in a jiffy. And in case, the query cannot be addressed by the virtual assistant, it should be directed to an agent to a live chat interface. Additionally with ML integrated, the more you interact with your customer, the smarter your response can get with time.
Business Process Automation for fulfillment:
WhatsApp opens up a new window of opportunities for businesses to address various kinds of requests and processes digitally. However, businesses might not have systems in place to address unique requests. With Business Process Automation it becomes easier to setup and automate business processes onto WhatsApp through workflow automation with no extra effort or coding from your team.
On a messaging platform like WhatsApp, customers expect instant responses. In the event of a downtime, an automated response can help save the day. You do not want to invest in resources to set up the WhatsApp Business solution for your business and then be unavailable after your customer has made the effort to opt-in to receive messages from your business. The service provider you opt for should have the capabilities to build predefined menu options that will also easily help automate business processes.
Businesses can sync their knowledge repository to their WhatsApp Business API thereby, making it easier for customers to retrieve important information such as account balance, warranty information or tracking status for products purchased on-the-go.
Live agent chat app:
Technology always has a limitation, so you will still need to bank on human intelligence to interpret certain requests. Integrating a Live Agent Chat Application can help you gracefully transfer a failed automation to an agent who can take up unstructured queries and support customers and even pacify them, if needed. This may be an initial strategy as you launch and eventually, you may move to a more automated self-care menu as Machine Learning helps you build a smarter virtual assistant with time.
Trained resources for consulting and guidance:
A service provider that has proven expertise and experience for implementing multi-channel messaging solutions across various industries can add more value to your business. Above all, your service provider must have skilled teams and WhatsApp Business domain experts on board.
24/7 Support and monitoring:
Whether you need help setting up your WhatsApp Business profile or getting the templated messages approved from WhatsApp, your service provider should be able to monitor, support and troubleshoot round the clock. An inexperienced or fly-by-night operator cannot be trusted to resolve issues that might crop up further down the road.
Hosted infrastructure and scalability:
Businesses need to spend on infrastructure capable of integrating with the WhatsApp Business API globally. Therefore the responsibility for hosting, managing, and scaling infrastructure in multiple regions as volumes increase can deter businesses from getting onboard. Whether on-premise or cloud deployed, your partner must be able to deliver a uniquely architectured solution that is designed around your organization’s needs and is elastic enough to handle spikes and scale as your business grows.
On-premise or cloud hosting:
If you operate in a highly regulated industry with stringent security requirements for your data and processes you would want a partner with the ability to set-up the systems within your premises. But if you are in a fast-growing market the easy scalability of elastic infrastructure hosted in the cloud would appeal more to you. Whether you opt for an on-premise or a cloud setup, your partner would need to have the necessary expertise to manage their unique complexities.
The benefits of signing up with a competitive technology partner are obvious. However, onboarding the WhatsApp Business API without the right technology partner can be a daunting task for enterprises.
--Mr Leon Serrao – Director Products & Solutions, Karix Mobile...