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How to Build a WhatsApp Chatbot for Effective Customer Support

 

No coding required… You just need a customer driven mindset

 

Written by Jensen Lo

· Chatbots

Before building a WhatsApp Chatbot…

There are some prerequisites to build and design a WhatsApp Chatbot for your customer support.

First, you would need a dedicated mobile number assigned to WhatsApp. Therefore, you shouldn’t build the chatbot with the WhatsApp account which is registered with your personal mobile number or any private contact number.

Next, you would require a platform to start building the chatbot and an API service to connect the chatbot to WhatsApp.

Apart from these technical requirements to build your WhatsApp Chatbot, it is essential to identify the problem your users encounter in which you would like to utilize the automated assistance of a chatbot to solve. For example, the most common applications of chatbots in different businesses include answering FAQs, providing useful information to the users and directing them to the page the users are searching for.

You’ve got all of these things covered? Incredible! Now, let’s get into the steps to build your Customer Support Bot on WhatsApp without any coding.

Identifying Your Chatbot’s Goals

In order to utilize a WhatsApp Chatbot for your business, it is essential to identify the goals you would like to achieve with an automated assistant in chatbot. In Chatbot Malaysia, we have designed and built Messenger and WhatsApp chatbots for businesses to provide customer support, onboarding clients and reducing the need for application forms, and assisting the users to complete the sales transactions. And, all of these tasks are performed with minimal human intervention.

Hence, think of which area of your business and your users would ultimately benefit from the WhatsApp Chatbot application. Would you like to automate your sales process for your users? Would you like to provide guided assistance for your users to navigate your website? Or would you like to improve your user’s booking experience?

Mapping the Interactions Between Users and Chatbots

Based on your goals or user problems you would like to solve, we recommend you to identify the specific topics you would deploy the bots to cover in their interactions with the users. This ultimately helps you to simplify the design process of your chatbot and focus on providing a personalized experience to your users in specific areas.

From our various projects in utilizing chatbots as part of digital marketing campaigns, the common goal of our clients in designing a chatbot is to bring the best user or customer experience. Therefore, to set you up to thrive in the customer experience department with the use of a chatbot, designing a visual map to illustrate the interactions your users could have with the chatbot, before building a chatbot, is extremely important.

Designing User Flows

In the process of mapping out the user interactions with the chatbot, we would need to define the flow of each possible scenario our users might encounter. The goal of designing our user flows is to ensure that we could provide the solutions and answers they search for in their visits while meeting the engagement level they would have when speaking to a human agent.\

Before writing the script, it is essential to understand and identify the pain points they might have at each touchpoint. From understanding the pain points your users have, it enables you to plan out the possible scenarios and hence design the conversation flow.

While listing out all the possible scenarios and answers for the users would be a challenging task, setting the bot up to be able to suggest answers or providing the users a few options would ultimately lead the users to the solutions or webpage they are searching for.

In using leading chatbot builder platforms such as Manychat and Chatfuel, you would be able to map out and design your user flows directly in the platform. However, you would only be able to build chatbots for Messenger, Email and SMS on these platforms.

An example of a flow we built for Messenger on Manychat to provide the users information about the delivery details. Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

How could you visualize a user flow to build a WhatsApp chatbot?

The tip we would offer at this stage in planning and mapping out humanized and personalized interactions between the bot and users is to deploy an easy-to-use flowchart builder application. This allows you to identify all of the possible interactions and utilize the bot as an agent to provide a positive customer experience for your users.

For our very own chatbot interaction and conversation designs, we create our user flows using the Draw.io app. With Draw.io, it allows you to create diagrams and flowcharts without any prior experience required. Moreover, you could integrate the application directly into Project Management softwares, such as Jira and Confluence. The application also allows you to collaborate with your team mates conveniently as you could save the flowcharts directly to Google Drive or Dropbox.

Writing a Humanized Script

To improve the engagement of your users during their interactions with your bot assistant, planning an engaging and effective script is one of the key aspects in designing your WhatsApp Chatbot.

 

In this stage, we are focused on providing an engaging user experience by replicating the usual conversation a human user support agent would have with the users. As the chatbot agent will likely be the first touchpoint for your customers, designing a chatbot with a warm personality and welcoming tone could lead to the first step in improving the experience your customers would have in interacting with the chatbots.

 

For a start, we would usually start off an interaction with a person by greeting them with a warm and friendly ‘Welcome’ or ‘Hello’ message. Then, what usually follows next is introducing ourselves to the customers. To keep your customers engaged throughout the interactions, we would only need to apply the same conversational principles when we design the flows of our chatbots.

 

Allowing your chatbot agents to greet and welcome the users helps your users to start off the customer support interaction on a positive note. Moreover, naming your chatbot agent and writing an introduction script for the chatbot’s first interaction with the users result in a more humanized customer experience.

 

As WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in Asia, the conversations would need to resemble the casual and general conversation the users would usually have while chatting with a friend and family member. In order to achieve that, the language and jargon used in the script should be casual and relatable based on your user demographics.

 

While keeping the conversation engaging for the users, the messages from the bot should be clear and concise to guide the users effectively and help them to resolve their problems as quickly as possible. Therefore, the messages should also be scripted in such that the easiest or most efficient solutions we could provide to help the users.

 

Furthermore, the use of abbreviations and emojis could also maximize the engagement of the interaction and hence improving the user experience. As texting has become a quintessential part of our lives, emojis and abbreviations have in turn become a main feature in our texting language. In casual conversations, we use emojis to react to our friends’ message without having to type a full message. As a result, emojis have affected how we communicate on messaging platforms.

 

Therefore, emojis and abbreviations should also be the main feature in the communication of chatbot to design a human-to-chatbot conversation that is as close as an engaging human-to-human conversation.

Our very own chatbot, Amy, always introduces herself to our customers with a casual “Hi there!” and followed by an emoji. Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

Building the Chatbot

So, after you’ve carefully and strategically crafted a design of your chatbot interactions and messages, it’s time to implement the design and start building a functional WhatsApp Chatbot.

The trickiest bit in building your very own Chatbot would be selecting the most suitable bot builder platform. As different platforms determine what the chatbot would be able to do and how the chatbot would communicate with your users, it is crucial to identify the goals and objectives of your Whatsapp Chatbot and choose an appropriate platform based on the goals and objectives.

We’ve built our Demo WhatsApp Chatbot using our very own platform, YesHello. The YesHello platform allows you to build your very own Chatbot and integrate multiple channels in a single platform. The channels which are available for direct integration include Messenger, Webchat, WeChat and more.

Connecting the Chatbot to WhatsApp

And, we’re in the final stage of designing and building a WhatsApp Chatbot.

All you would need at this stage is a software to integrate a third-party API into the number assigned to your WhatsApp account.

There are a few third-party API providers in the market. Twilio and ChatApi are two of the most well-received providers we would recommend if you’re ready to design and build your very own Chatbot.

Would like to watch a quick tutorial video of How to Build a Customer Support Chatbot on WhatsApp in an Hour to sum up your learnings from this article? Check out the video below.

Do not have a team of developers? But, you would still need to provide an engaging customer support experience to your users? 

Please visit our website and find out how we could build a WhatsApp Chatbot for you and improve your customer support immediately.

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