A WhatsApp chatbot is an automated conversation partner on WhatsApp.
It facilitates a conversation between a person and a computer.
Usually, you will have a conversation with another person on WhatsApp (for example, one of your friends), but with chatbots, you are talking to a computer, not a human.
WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion users around the globe. It is available in more than 180 countries and 60 different languages.
Moreover, 1.6 billion WhatsApp users access the app on a monthly basis.
And this leads to 65 billion WhatsApp messages sent every day. Overwhelming, right?
So basically, you should use WhatsApp because your customers are already there, they are just waiting for you to send them a message. Besides that, you can reach any potential client on WhatsApp, because it is used by so many users all over the world.
Now I hear you thinking “Okay, I should use WhatsApp. But why use a chatbot?”
In fact, I made a complete post about why you should use chatbots, but here are the ten most important reasons:
1. Save time and money on customer service
2. Boost your sales
3. Get more leads
4. Reply in seconds, instead of days
5. 24/7 available, everywhere
6. Send real-time, tailored messages to customers
7. Messenger apps (like WhatsApp) become more popular
8. People are open to using chatbots
9. You can use chatbots internally in your company
10. Stand out from the crowd (aka, not many businesses use chatbots yet)
A WhatsApp chatbot works really simple.
Someone can just send a message to the WhatsApp number of a certain business and the chatbot will try to answer that message, just like any normal person would do.
I will illustrate this by giving an example:
1. A user starts a conversation with a WhatsApp chatbot of a wine company. The user asks “What red wine do you recommend?”
2. The chatbot understands this message and recognizes the words “red wine” and “recommend”
3. Based on those recognized words, the chatbot will look in the wine database for “recommended red wines”
Finally, the chatbot will send a message back with all the recommended red wines in the wine database.
Pretty simple, right?
“But what about KLM? Nobody sent them a message and they automatically send someone’s boarding pass?”
That’s right. It’s also possible that the chatbot starts the conversation with the user. But this is only allowed in certain situations. We will talk more about that in the next chapter 😉