Botanalytics Blog | Conversational Analytics for Bots
Botanalytics is a conversational analytics tool for bots. It helps bot makers to improve human-to-bot communication by identifying bottlenecks, segmenting conversations & users, and measuring engagement.
So you’ve established a social strategy, developed an amazing app and may have even designed a bubbly, charismatic chatbot that customers can’t resist. But don’t rest on your laurels just yet; technology moves fast, and there’s a new interface that’s about to take over: voice interface technology.
Think about it. What’s the best, most direct way to get something done? By picking up the phone or talking face-to-face. When it comes to computing, voice is intuitive because it reflects the way humans speak to each other. Unlike chatbots, voice as an interface is hands-free. So it is ideal for multitasking or times when your hands are full including the car or kitchen.
So how exactly with the future of voice assistants play out? Let’s take a look at some prevailing voice technology trends to examine how the tech is primed and ready to win the future—and how your business can take advantage of those rewards.
Voice Assistant Technology is an Ecosystem
One reason the future of voice assistants looks bright is because it’s a single interface for several devices. Smart speakers essentially function as a central interface hub for Internet of Things devices like wifi-connected lightbulbs, smart thermostats, TVs and more. Users can interact with all of these devices in their home via voice assistant technology. With accessories like AirPods and Pixel Buds, they can accomplish several tasks across different apps via speech as well.
Voice interface technology therefore provides a more integrated experience to customers. The future of voice assistants will gobble up every facet of our digital lives as users spend more of their leisure time chatting to assistants away from screens.
The writing’s on the wall: in the first quarter of 2018 alone, Google Home and Amazon Echo together shipped over 5.6 million devices. Amazon’s budget Echo device, the Echo Dot, was even the star of last holiday season. With voice becoming the new ecosystem, businesses will have to keep up with voice technology trends to remain competitive.
The Future of Voice Assistants will Allow for Deeper Connections
While digital connection is certainly a valid way to make friends, there’s nothing like talking face-to-face with a friend. Voice technology trends allow brands to connect with their fans in a more intimate way that hasn’t been seen before. This is especially true because voice interface technology gives brands a constant presence in the home.
Consider Mickey Mouse Adventure. This Google Home action allows users to go on an adventure with one of the biggest mascots in the entertainment industry. Played out via speech, the entire experience is a lot like talking to Mickey over the phone, blurring the line between fiction and reality in a compelling way. This makes it feel as though children are really talking to the character, forming a deeper bond with the mascot (and the Disney brand). Because voice interface technology allows for instantaneous two-way conversation, users truly feel they’re being heard, which gives your brand a competitive edge.
Voice interface technology also simplifies the experience of accomplishing tasks online thanks to personalization. Imagine the last time you browsed for a gift online. This can be an exhausting experience: the sheer abundance of items available gives way to decision fatigue. Voice assistant technology takes away all the guesswork when browsing or selecting options by instead surfacing up limited options.
On paper, this might seem unnecessarily limiting. But it works because this technology works with personalization, providing the most relevant results and cutting out the noise. Assistants can also exert their authority by making a couple key suggestions on what a user should order rather than provide the dozens of options available that they would see on a screen. What does this mean for brands? Voice technology trends will give way to better targeting customers through their purchase and browsing data. This makes it easier to direct or upsell purchases that you know they’ll like, boosting sales and satisfaction alike.
Voice Interface Technology Will Become Routine
And when we say “will become routine,” we mean users will literally be building voice apps into their daily routines. Google Assistant’s routine feature allows users to stack up commands and tasks, kind of like playing The Sims. For example, the “Good morning” routine gives a weather report, calendar events for the day, reminders, then provides the morning news. Users can add even more functionality to the routine or design their own.
Wondering what this means for you? The future of voice assistants will prompt businesses to really think about how their brand fits within the wider context of users’ everyday lives. They will then deliver upon it for better customer loyalty. When, where and why are users engaging with you?
One example of a brand using voice interface technology cleverly is Jameson, the popular whiskey brand. They considered the context customers use their products by building a voice app that emulates a bartender, providing simple drink recipes. Highly engaged users might integrate this app into their Friday night routine. That leads to higher retention, a deeper business-customer relationship and a constant in-home reminder of the Jameson brand.
Voice Interface Technology Will Result in Lots of Customer Data
It’ll take some time for brands and consumers to really get used to the platform and designing natural and intuitive conversation requires regular iteration. Users are bound to run into errors and dead-ends starting out. So voice app makers will need to remain vigilant to their usage with analytics for voice bots.
Voice analytics are useful for more than just error reporting, though. This is where businesses have the most to gain from voice assistant technology. The platform allows for immediate feedback in the conversation because users and the bots communicating to one another back-and-forth in real time. Analytics provide live, searchable and scannable conversation transcripts to better understand the consumer journey or what topics and phrases concern users the most at any given time. With intent analytics, businesses can even understand the tone and emotion behind what consumers are saying.
Together, these features makes it easier than ever for businesses to understand their customers. Voice assistants then allow businesses to leverage that data into irresistible, hyper-personalized experiences built to drive engagement and sales.
Designing voice user interfaces can be tough. You must ensure conversation flows are intuitive, dialogue is natural and that the user understands how to effectively communicate with your skill or action. Thankfully, designing for a great voice interaction UX isn’t too big a challenge when you stick to a handful of tried-and-true design principles. If you’re building a voice app, this Alexa voice design guide will get you up to speed on the top voice design tips.
Start with a Purpose
In the earliest stage of designing voice user interfaces, make sure you envision a purpose for the app. When and where are people using your app, and what will it do to help them meet a need? Some devices have screen interfaces, which means you should also consider how visuals can augment the voice interaction UX. By envisioning a purpose and how your app will support it, you can better stay focused on making your app an expert in performing one task really well.
Build User Stories
Coming up with conversation flows can be tricky, especially when you’re early in the voice user interface design phase. To aid in designing conversations, come up with a small handful of key user personas, then create stories about you envision them using your skill or action. Consider things like:
How the user will invoke the app
What specific app features they’ll use
Whether they’ll need to engage with outside resources, like logging into a branded account.
These points will help you add detail to your scripts, since you’re using entire scenarios from start to finish.
Speak Your Scripts Aloud
Just because it looks fine on paper doesn’t mean it sounds good to the ear—or is easy for the user to say. When writing out your scripts, it’s important to speak them aloud. Have a conversation with a colleague in which one plays the role of the app and the other is the user. This keeps your scripts sounding natural, and can help keep interactions brief and simple, which is important for voice interaction UX.
Outline, Outline, Outline!
Another point on our Alexa voice design guide is to outline your decision trees and all their alternative paths. Once you’ve mapped out your voice interface design, identify the shortest route to a successful response as well as the longest. Are there routes where you can add shortcuts and simplify the exchange?
Offer a Help Response
Even after mapping out your conversation paths, you should expect a user to get lost every now and then—especially if they use a device lacking a display with a conversation history. That’s why it’s important when designing voice user interfaces to include a short help response. This can be a short description of what the skill does, along with some sample commands (including milestone commands to return to previous steps). More complex skills might require a different help response for different situations.
Make Sure Intents and Invocations Are Easy to Say
When defining intents and invocations, avoid monosyllabic words or words that can be pronounced multiple ways. Failure to do so might cause the app to misunderstand the user, which can be detrimental to the voice interaction UX.
Employ Multi-Turn Dialogue to Tease Out Info
If your voice app requires a lot of information, use multi-turn dialogue to lead the conversation. Consider, for example, booking a hotel: the app needs to know where the user is going, what date they’re booking, how many people will be staying and more. Multi-turn dialogue allows the user to provide all this information without being overwhelmed, as the conversation will follow a Q-and-A style.
Very Your Responses
You don’t want the user experience to become, well, robotic. Designing voice user interfaces like a pro requires varying responses to surprise and delight users. By switching up your app’s vocabulary in different ways for every response, you keep the conversation fresh.
Keep Tabs on the Most Popular and Least Popular Features
After deploying your voice app, you’ll still need to tweak your voice user interface design. Keep an eye on usage with voice chatbot analytics. This makes it easy to see what phrases, intents and features are most popular. What paths are your most engaged users taking, and how can you encourage other users to follow suit?
Optimize Conversation Flows
Another thing to look for in your voice app analytics is how you can shorten and optimize conversation flows. From shortening lengthy conversations by eliminating unnecessary steps or debugging common errors and issues, you’ll want to keep a vigilant eye on areas of improvement after your app launches.
Voice assistants might be simple enough for anyone to make thanks to the wide amount of development tools available. But even scrappy apps must comply with the law and voice assistant privacy. Today, tech industry faces greater criticisms from regulators and an increasingly privacy oriented public.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Consider regulations as an opportunity to build trust between your assistant and the user. Here are four legal areas in particular that you might want to consider before releasing your voice assistant or bot into the wild.
While it’s a California law, anyone whose users reside in California should take notice. But the law is limited only to voting related or commercial bots.
Ensure a GDPR Compliant Chatbot
While GDPR arrived early in the year, many businesses are still having problems to ensure they’re compliant. Even novice voice assistant developers will need to obey the law. Those investing in voice assistant privacy will have to take special steps to ensure they’re hosting a GDPR compliant chatbot.
Voice Assistant Technology Doesn’t Replace Professional Advice
It’s worth that reminding your users that it doesn’t fully replace getting advice from a professional. Your assistant should frame its service as helping inform users of possible issues that they might explain to their doctor. It’s helpful to connect your voice assistant users to professional resources that are relevant to their case.
Follow Regulations for Child-Focused Apps
Make sure your bot is compliant Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In fact, Amazon requires that child-focused Alexa skills comply with the regulation. So don’t forget to ensure you’re covered before submitting to the skill store. Among the main concern for law compliance is collection of personal data for children under 13 years old. This is forbidden without verifiable parental consent. Which requires reaching out to the parent directly. Learn more about verifiable parental consent here.
Every brand should make use of an app or a chatbot, as both are perfect for mobile use. Businesses are increasingly adopting a mobile-first mindset in response to users spending more time online via smartphones. For example, while only 7% of Yelp’s audience uses a mobile device, they make up for 35% of the service’s searches. Investing in mobile experiences and services is critical for the future.
Chatbots and apps both serve as direct marketing channels to users as well. Whether through a bot or an app, you can push notifications to users to remind them of updates, new services and features. And this goes both ways; bots and apps both make it easy for users to reach out and get in touch with your business whenever necessary. So, will chatbots replace apps? Let’s dive into some benefits that apps have above their chatbot counterparts.
Will Chatbots Replace Apps? Not for Every Use.
One big benefit that apps have above bots is that they’re always available to customers. It’s easy for a chatbot’s conversation thread to get lost in a sea of messages, but installed apps always have an indiscrete place within a user app drawer. Some apps even get a place on the coveted home screen, which ensures the user will be reminded of the brand every time they check their phone. Think of this like a free advertising space; the app icon is a much more noticeable visual cue than a chatbot.
Next, apps are easy to do well. It’s correct that chatbots are fast to implement, and often cheaper to produce than an app. But it’s also easier to fall into issues and pitfalls when developing a chatbot. Apps, meanwhile, are more familiar and much like building a website. While designing an app involves organizing information and features, designing a chatbot involves all this plus worrying about the AI responding appropriately to user queries. Users may easily be confused by chatbots thanks to a tyranny of choices—and they’ll be quick to churn as soon as they run into a moment of confusion.
Speaking of app familiarity, an app helps you reach a larger audience than you might get with a chatbot. Facebook Messenger, the chatbot platform serving the largest Western user base, has 1.3 billion monthly active users. Android, the mobile OS with the most users, has 2 billion monthly active devices. Add in Apple’s 1 billion active iOS devices and you can see that mobile app platforms have a much larger user base to convert. The chatbot space is also heavily fragmented with users spread across different messaging apps—far more than the two primary mobile platforms you would take into account for building an app.
Are Bots the New Apps? Where Chatbots Excel
Chatbots are hot, and it’s not just because they’re relatively novel. Unlike app stores, the chatbot space isn’t yet saturated, which prompts businesses to scramble and mark their territory in this new technical frontier. Those developing great bots right now are the ones likely to stay on top. A chatbot app is therefore an excellent investment of adding brand equity post-app boom.
Second, they’re fast and easy to build, often requiring no coding. This makes chatbots more accessible to smaller businesses or personal brands who might not have the resources—technical or monetary—to build an app. In this case, the choice of chatbots vs. apps is obvious for startups who need to implement a mobile experience fast.
Will chatbots replace apps? They probably will for social-focused brands. Unlike mobile apps, a chatbot app gives you a presence within the same place users connect with their closest friends. Users are spending more time in messaging apps than on social media, and businesses are keen to follow the money to drive customer engagement and perform user outreach.
Now for the bitter truths: advantages that chatbots have, but which come with caveats. The first is that a chatbot app is intuitive and can be easier to use for some audiences. For example, elderly users might have a better time carrying a conversation with a bot than navigating app menus. That said, chatbots must be carefully designed or users are likely to run into an issue. Bots are also easily integrated into Internet of Things applications or voice assistants, though this use case won’t be necessary for all brands. Understand what voice apps have to offer before deciding whether they matter to you or not.
So, Are Bots the New Apps?
When deciding whether to design chatbots vs. apps, consider the audience you want to reach, or the context you envision them using your services. Some use cases are best suited to apps, and some to bots. Also be aware of your budget, as chatbots excel in being cheaper and faster to produce. While chatbots have more benefits than apps, they can be more difficult to pull off successfully; you’ll need to carefully plan out the process or you face a disastrous ROI.
Developing Alexa skills and voice apps is rather easy: many tools allow developers to quickly design and publish bots in just minutes. But while it’s easy to publish voice technology bots, it can be challenging to truly perfect them. Many voice app developers are prone to common Alexa skill mistakes, but thankfully these are easy to resolve. While developing Alexa skills, Google Home actions or other voice-based assistants, make sure you take the proper steps to avoid these common pitfalls.
Talking Too Much
Talking to a person who’s too chatty can be an exhausting experience, and the problem is no different with voice technology. One of the biggest voice app development mistakes is designing a bot who talks too much. When developing Alexa skills or other voice assistants, you’ll need to pay attention to two big things:
The length of your responses
The number of steps, on average, in a conversation
When responses or conversations become too lengthy, users will often become bored and frustrated. So, how can you avoid this most pernicious of app development mistakes? After tracking the number of conversation steps, look for areas of the conversation that can be streamlined and simplified. Next, revise your responses to be just a couple sentences maximum.
Designing for a Use Case that Doesn’t Work for Voice
Not every task is helped by voice technology. Before developing Alexa skills, make sure your use case makes sense for voice. Many tasks are complicated or require visuals to accomplish smoothly; for example, booking a hotel room often requires comparing amenities, room features, proximity to attractions and photos before deciding.
To avoid app development mistakes like this, consider whether your use case can be solved through just a few conversational exchanges. Alternatively, you might consider making a hybrid app that uses voice technology paired with another advice. To continue our hotel booking example, you can let users immediately find options via voice, then push detailed results to their email inbox or a mobile app.
Not Informing Your Users on What They Can Do
Another of the most common voice app development mistakes is failing to inform users what they can actually do with the app. New users won’t be immediately aware of what commands voice technology will recognize. It’s important, then, that your onboarding or user experience makes it clear what commands users should give throughout the conversation.
So, how to avoid this toughest of Alexa skill mistakes? If users seem to be avoiding certain features and phrases, revise your onboarding to include a tutorial that mentions them as example features. You should also include a variety of sample commands in your voice app description. Finally, consider leading the conversation by suggesting intents. For example, if a user asks for local restaurants in the area, your app might ask if they would like to book a table or place an order.
Not Testing Your App
Perhaps one of the most disastrous Alexa skill mistakes is not testing your voice app before publishing. While developing Alexa skills, be sure to take some time to beta test them. You should always test the conversation flow while designing new features, intents, and responses. Even if your conversation flow is smooth, you may encounter issues that the voice model has in recognizing intents. Use any beta testing tools available for your platform—for example, Amazon offers a beta testing feature for Alexa skills before you publish them.
Not Following Up with App Usage
As soon as you publish your voice app, you should follow up with conversational data. This helps you ensure your user experience is as smooth as possible right from the get-go. In addition to monitoring for outages or scaling issues, keeping a close eye on voice technology usage helps you immediately fix any bugs that might arise. You can also monitor to see which features users love and which they choose to avoid. With a good voice app analytics tool, you can track usage in real time to help you avoid app development mistakes.
With Amazon reporting that the Echo Dot was their best-selling item last holiday season and Apple’s HomePod on the way, there’s no question that voice technology is the next big platform. So many people are talking to their devices just as they speak to each other, what does this development in voice enabled technology mean for chatbots and human-machine communication? With the technology rapidly developing, let’s take a look at what voice platforms are, how they’re used and where they’re headed.
Understanding Voice Enabled Technology
Voice platforms enable users to accomplish tasks with machines using a voice interface. They can answer simple questions, control smart devices or help users make a purchase. Many users got their first taste of voice interfaces through Siri on iOS; meanwhile, Amazon brought always-listening voice enabled technology into the home through its line of Amazon Echo devices.
Given its growing popularity and ease of use, voice is the next big platform. As of last year, 35.6 million people use a smart speaker per month. Amazon’s Alexa assistant has more than 20,000 skills, and while that doesn’t necessarily indicate quality, it shows how eager developers are to dive into the tech. But the future of voice technology isn’t just in smart speakers; 20% of all search queries are made via voice interface according to Google.
How Voice Enabled Technology is Being Used Right Now
Users love voice interfaces because they’re hands-free and easy to use. They also match the way humans communicate with one another, providing a more natural experience. Let’s say you want to check the weather. If you’re not near a computer, you’d have to pull out your phone then open your weather app. With voice interfaces, you might press a single button on your phone and verbally ask for the weather. This provides a faster result, but still requires reaching for a phone. But those near a smart speaker don’t need to do anything besides invoke a wake word (the phrase that summons a device to listen, like “Ok Google”) followed by a query. This provides an immediate, hands-free result.
Use cases for voice interface depends on the voice enabled technology. For example, smart speakers often serve as central hubs for other smart home/Internet of Things devices. They do this by applying a shared AI and voice platform to the connected devices. For example, a user might use Google Home to both control their lights and manage their home’s thermostat through a single interface. With third-party applications like IFTTT, users can explore even more functionality between devices connected to the voice platform.
Different voice platform may also serve certain use cases better than others. Amazon Alexa, for example, can pull from users’ past purchases and buying habits to help them easily make purchases—a use case that other voice assistants aren’t quite ready for yet. Mobile assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Home are ideal for productivity by pulling from users search interests, calendar data and more data connected to their mobile accounts. Finally, Google Home’s connection to the Chromecast family of devices helps it excel at media consumption for users already invested in the Google ecosystem.
In short, voice enabled technology is set to dramatically change the way people interact with mobile devices and home appliances. In the future, we might see microphones on more devices than just phones, speakers and computers.
The Future of Voice Technology
If voice is the next big platform, it will need to undergo some improvements. Using voice to perform a task is easy in theory, but without some form of direction or prompting (buttons, screens, etc.) users may have difficulty knowing how to invoke a skill or query. This leads to confusion for both the user and the voice assistant. While developers work to make voice platforms smarter, they’ll need to educate users on the proper vocabulary they’ll need to use when talking to a voice interface. Amazon and Google both actively provide users direction on their apps with suggested queries.
As far as use cases go, the future of voice assistants will most notably revolutionize search. In the coming years, we’ll see search move from keyword-based queries to contextual content. This calls for deeper, more rich content designed to answer specific questions. It may also lead to a more conversational tone to match the interface.
Voice interface will also dethrone screened devices and keyboards that we depend on today. Apple is already driving the future of voice assistants on mobile through its peripheral devices, the Apple Watch and AirPods. The AirPods initially allowed users to accomplish tasks via Siri without having to pull their phones out of their pockets. The latest Apple Watch, meanwhile, empowers users to accomplish tasks via voice without having their phone on them at all. The popularity of these devices suggests users might turn away from phones and screens altogether in the future.
An Introduction to Voice Platforms and the Future of Voice Enabled Technology
With Amazon reporting that the Echo Dot was their best-selling item last holiday season and Apple’s
HomePod on the way, there’s no question that voice is the next big platform. With so many many
people talking to their devices just as they speak to each other, what does this development in voice
enabled technology mean for chatbots and human-machine communication? With the technology
rapidly developing, let’s take a look at what voice platforms are, how they’re used and where they’re
Understanding Voice Enabled Technology
Voice platforms enable users to accomplish tasks with machines using a voice interface. They can
answer simple questions, control smart devices or help users make a purchase. Voice enabled
technology is usually invoked on a mobile device or smart speaker in the form of voice assistants. Many
users got their first taste of voice interfaces through Siri on iOS; meanwhile, Amazon brought always-
listening voice enabled technology into the home through its line of Amazon Echo devices.
Given its growing popularity and ease of use, voice is the next big platform. As of last year, 35.6 million people use a smart speaker per month. Amazon’s Alexa assistant has more than 20,000 skills, and while that doesn’t necessarily indicate quality, it shows how eager developers are to dive into the tech. But
the future of voice technology isn’t just in smart speakers; according to Google, 20% of all search queries are made via voice interface.
How Voice Enabled Technology is Being Used Right Now
Users love voice interfaces because they’re hands-free and easy to use. They also match the way
humans communicate with one another, providing a more natural experience. Let’s say you want to
check the weather. If you’re not near a computer, you’d have to pull out your phone then open your
weather app. With voice interfaces, you might press a single button on your phone and verbally ask for
the weather. This provides a faster result but still requires reaching for a phone. But those near a smart
speaker don’t need to do anything besides invoke a wake word (the phrase that summons a device to
listen, like “Ok Google”) followed by a query. This provides an immediate, hands-free result.
Use cases for voice interface depends on the voice enabled technology. For example, smart speakers
often serve as central hubs for other smart home/Internet of Things devices. They do this by applying a
shared AI and voice platform to the connected devices. For example, a user might use Google Home to
both control their lights and manage their home’s thermostat through a single interface. With third-
party applications like IFTTT, users can explore even more functionality between devices connected to
the voice platform.
Different voice platform may also serve certain use cases better than others. Amazon Alexa, for
example, can pull from users’ past purchases and buying habits to help them easily make purchases—a
use case that other voice assistants aren’t quite ready for yet. Mobile assistants like Siri, Cortana and
Google Home are ideal for productivity by pulling from users search interests, calendar data and more
data connected to their mobile accounts. Finally, Google Home’s connection to the Chromecast family of
devices helps it excel at media consumption for users already invested in the Google ecosystem.
In short, voice enabled technology is set to dramatically change the way people interact with mobile devices and home appliances. In the future, we might see microphones on more devices than just
phones, speakers and computers.
The Future of Voice Technology
If voice is the next big platform, it will need to undergo some improvements. Using voice to perform a
task is easy in theory, but without some form of direction or prompting (buttons, screens, etc.) users
may have difficulty knowing how to invoke a skill or query. This leads to confusion for both the user and
the voice assistant. While developers work to make voice platforms smarter, they’ll need to educate
users on the proper vocabulary they’ll need to use when talking to a voice interface. Amazon and Google
both actively provide users direction on their apps with suggested queries.
As far as use cases go, the future of voice assistants will most notably revolutionize search. In the
coming years, we’ll see search move from keyword-based queries to contextual content. This calls for
deeper, more rich content designed to answer specific questions. It may also lead to a more
conversational tone to match the interface.
Voice interface will also dethrone screened devices and keyboards that we depend on today. Apple is
already driving the future of voice assistants on mobile through its peripheral devices, the Apple Watch
and AirPods. The AirPods initially allowed users to accomplish tasks via Siri without having to pull their
phones out of their pockets. The latest Apple Watch, meanwhile, empowers users to accomplish tasks
via voice without having their phone on them at all. The popularity of these devices suggests users might
turn away from phones and screens altogether in the future.
How the WhatsApp Business API is Making Brands Speak Up
WhatsApp has recently announced expanding its popular WhatsApp Business API to more vendors. Designed for medium and large businesses, the API allows businesses to easily reach users on the messaging app. But what does the API offer, and who benefits best from its features? If you’re scratching your head about why the WhatsApp Business API matters so much, read on to see how the API is set to change everything.
WhatsApp Business Features
The WhatsApp business integration API offers several useful features that make it easier than ever for businesses to get in touch with their customers. Built for medium and large businesses in mind, the updated API allows for direct one-to-one communication with customers.
It’s important to note that WhatsApp for business is designed primarily to benefit customers. For example, responses made within 24 hours of a customer’s query are free for businesses to send. But any message falling outside that window will have a cost. This essentially discourages businesses from speaking unless spoken to, which means platforms like Facebook Messenger remain ideal when it comes to marketing. Still, the expanded WhatsApp Business features are ideal for customer support or businesses who hope to experiment with conversational interfaces.
If you’re a large business that struggles to provide a response within 24 hours, don’t despair. WhatsApp Business app makes it easy to queue up automated messages. Thus, deploying a chatbot via the WhatsApp chatbot integration ensures they can respond to any message within the 24-hour window.
Finally, the expanded WhatsApp business integration API will make it easier for global brands to reach users via conversation. WhatsApp is the largest messaging platform in the world with over 1.5 billion monthly active users—which makes it even bigger than Facebook Messenger. And while Messenger is the dominant platform in some markets such as the United States and Australia, WhatsApp is biggest in many nations such as Brazil.
Making the Most of Conversational UI with WhatsApp Business API
The primary benefit of the WhatsApp business integration API is enhanced customer service. But what if your business isn’t available? Don’t worry, you can easily set an away message to point users toward other communication channels or to say when you can respond.
Of course, WhatsApp chatbot integration lets brands respond to users instantly. Because most simple issues could be solved by a bot, your team of human agents are reserved for higher priority or complex tasks. With less problems to solve, more will be available to respond faster to user queries, which means answering within the free 24-hour window will be a cinch even for difficult problems.
Small businesses that don’t have the resources to create chatbots or who don’t have access to the business API can still benefit from WhatsApp business features. With the WhatsApp Business app, businesses both large and small can set up “quick replies”. These are pre-set responses to frequently-asked questions, allowing businesses to answer common issues or questions with ease. In the light of this information, WhatsApp Business app and API serve as a good alternative to automation for businesses that need some time to develop WhatsApp chatbot integration.
Putting a Stake in the Ground
Here’s one of the lesser talked-about WhatsApp Business features: the business profile. Through the WhatsApp Business API, brands can create a profile that lists essential information like the business address, URL, email address, description and more.
This might sound mundane, but it’s actually quite significant. By allowing businesses to assert a space within the conversational platform, it makes WhatsApp more than just another chat or messaging channel. This gives brands a real presence on a messaging platform. Making WhatsApp, the first place customers will turn when seeking information about a business.
Fast, Easy Insights with WhatsApp Business API
Finally, the WhatsApp Business app and API provide key insights to better understand the effectiveness of your messaging. These include basic metrics such as open rates, how many messages you’ve sent and more. This can be great for businesses who are just dipping their toes into conversational UI. Businesses with WhatsApp chatbot integration might benefit from a more fully featured chatbot analytics tool.
So, How Are Businesses Using WhatsApp Business Features?
Looking for inspiration? There are many ways businesses are using the WhatsApp Business API to transform user experience. Examples include:
Booking.com, which uses WhatsApp to send confirmations and itinerary updates
BookMyShow, which lets you receive a ticket via the messaging app when booking a film
Bank BRI, which offers conversational banking features via WhatsApp
Wish, which lets customers track their orders via messaging.
The expanded WhatsApp Business API makes it easier than ever to reach your customers and provide stellar customer support. With features like the business profile, you make your business available to the world’s biggest messaging platform. As WhatsApp further expands its rollout of businesses with access to the API, it’ll be interesting to see what other use cases they come up with.
Nothing beats the service at a small business. Venture off to a café, bar or neighborhood pharmacy you frequent often. Chances are the people there greet you by name and remember your usual order. This intimate level in customer-business relationship is what the big guys have sought for ages. Right now, they’re hoping chatbots will help achieve that.
Chatbots are almost always talked about in terms of what they can deliver big brands. But why shouldn’t small businesses have a piece of the chatbot pie? Unlike big business, smaller companies already have the stellar customer relationship down pat. Chatbots translate this strength from in-person interactions to the digital realm.
Thanks to Facebook Marketplace and buy-sell groups, customers are well accustomed to making casual purchases via messaging apps and conversation. Bots are also incredibly easy to make, which makes them a relatively simple stopgap for small businesses who want to offer better customer service or purchasing online. Finally, they don’t need to be fancy; Facebook messenger bots receive the highest volume of messages when compared to other platforms, there’s ample space for growth with SMS bots, too—a universal platform that anyone with a cell phone could use.
So, how do bots help small businesses each day? Let’s take a look.
Say Hey Through Chatbots — at Any Time of Day
While small businesses typically offer great service in-person, trying to talk online or via phone can be a bit of a nightmare. We’ve all sent an email into the void, never to be returned by a business—and places with phones that ring endlessly without pickup are common as well. Why are small businesses flakier harder to reach than a Tinder date that’s ghosted on you? Because they’re often short of staff.
A chatbot, then, might just be a small biz’s favorite new employee, responding to customers’ queries immediately at any time of day. More sophisticated bots can even take service claims or try to solve an issue. Even if that just means scheduling for human employees to reach out and handle the claim themselves.
In addition to trouble answering prospective customers, many small businesses don’t offer adequate online booking or order features, which is a huge technological disadvantage. Businesses that do offer these might lose a cut of profits by relying on third-party systems. Implementing a chatbot is an easy way to make an appointment or put in an order.
chatbots for small businesses
Offer Enticing Deals Your Customers Can’t Pass Up
Obviously, small businesses can get a slice of the e-commerce pie with bots, too. But I already have a website for that, you might say. And that’s true—but with a chatbot, you can entice customers into making a purchase in a targeted way.
Take The Edit, for example. This record shop netted over $1 million in sales over a period of 8 months thanks to its chatbot, which alerted customers to album recommendations that were in stock. That’s no small sum for a small business chatbots. Why does it work? Because people turn to shops like The Edit for their employees’ know-how and authority on music. You’re probably more likely to trust your regular barista’s recommendations tailored to your taste.
Chatbots are an excellent way, then, to leverage brand authority outside of in-person interactions. They can get a sense of customers’ taste and lead them to a sale through recommended purchases and curated offerings.
Find Out What Makes Your Customers Tick
Just like web analytics, chatbot analytics can help you find patterns in what/where/when people are looking for from your business. It’s tough to tell what your customers really want, but conversational data can immediately show the most-used words or phrases over time. Which makkes it easy to discover new opportunities for promotion on other channels like social media and email blasts.
And speaking of email newsletters, you can use push notifications via your bot as an alternative for keeping customers up-to-date. Again, analytics help you A/B test messages for optimal open and CTR rates, which you can use for your email blasts, too.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for small businesses and chatbots. Chatbots are relatively easy to implement thanks to low-cost (and sometimes free) builders and visualized editors that don’t require coding knowledge. It’s definitely worth a try, so see how a chatbot can impact your business for the better.
But thanks to Botanalytics, you can join now to take AI powered actionable insights as millions of conversations analyzed and make your business more competitive in today’s world.