Robots on WhatsApp: The coming of WhatsApp Chatbots

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A Robot on WhatsApp sounds like a dystopic fantasy for many, but experts suggest it’s already here.

WhatsApp has been pushing a new slew of features over the past few quarters.

These changes have been in line with a larger goal that WhatsApp has pushed since its founder Jan Koum unceremoniously left the company.

Updates like WhatsApp Pay, Monetization and Business Licenses – all so we can finally have Robots on WhatsApp.


Robot on WhatsApp?

What you and I call robots are more commonly known as Chatbots. You’ve probably seen them around and even interacted with them.

But what exactly are chatbots?

Simply put, chatbots are pieces of software built to replicate human conversation. The idea is instead of talking to a human, you talk to a computer that sounds like a human.

This happens through different channels. If you’ve interacted with a textual chatbot, you may have found them on many websites. If you’re using speech, Voice Assistants like Alexa and Siri also fall under the broad umbrella-definition of Chatbots.

Regardless of how you choose to communicate with them, Chatbots are now everywhere.

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No country even comes close.

Research by Oracle states that over 80% of all businesses look to use a Chatbot by 2020. A year later, 50% of enterprise companies will spend more on bots and chatbot creation than on mobile app development.

Every day, more businesses have chatbots on their website than the day before.

Companies that create Chatbots certainly have investor and market trust. Intercom is valued at nearly $1.3 billion, Haptik was sold for $30 million to Reliance and Asian leader Verloop raised funds of its own.

The coming of WhatsApp Chatbots

You can find Chatbots on websites, in apps, and on Facebook pages.

So why you may ask, do we need yet another channel?

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For starters, WhatsApp without a doubt is the worlds largest messaging platform. WhatsApp currently boasts over 1.6 billion customers and more than 450 million daily users. Its sleek layout makes it a universal demographic hit, and that is precisely why it’s a huge deal.

Companies follow customers on to new platforms, from Facebook to Instagram to Tumblr. WhatsApp is the newest, and biggest entrant into that field. This makes WhatsApp an advertiser’s wet dream.

Chatbots for WhatsApp means that businesses, big and small, can now deploy virtual agents to the worlds most prolific interpersonal communication platform.

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Customers can use a single interface to interact with each other and businesses.

Now that we’ve addressed the “what” and “why” of Robot WhatsApp, let’s talk about the “where” and the “how”.

Specifically, the two following questions.

  • Where can I build Chatbots for WhatsApp?
  • How do I build a Chatbot for Whatsapp?

Let’s start off with the first question.

Where can I build a Chatbot for WhatsApp?

That’s a dumb question, you build it on WhatsApp, right?

Wrong.

WhatsApp’s Business API’s are not open to the public. Access is only given to large multinationals or enterprise-scale companies.

If you’re not of a prerequisite size, they’re not giving you access.

You can apply for the beta program. But in WhatsApp’s own words, “ideal companies are large to enterprise businesses, selected on a one-by-one basis.”

It’s understandable why WhatsApp is being so deliberate with its monetization. A lions’ share of Facebook’s privacy failures stemmed from its inability to rope in advertisers.

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To prevent the same fate from befalling its subsidiary, Facebook has ensured it doesn’t irk WhatsApp’s existing customer base. And it’s doing this by allowing only a handful of verified companies and vendors onto their platform.

So what do you do?

To build a WhatsApp Chatbot legally, you’ll have to use a third-party provider.

WhatsApp has given access to several trusted chatbot providers. These are companies who will help their customers navigate the legal and compliance requirements.

Verloop allows you to seamlessly create and automate chatbots for WhatsApp from a single platform. This means that you can develop, build and deploy your own WhatsApp Chatbot in a fraction of the time that you could with other third-party services.

Verloop is also one of the only providers that offers deep integration. Verloop can power chatbots on websites, apps, and Facebook pages – and give you access to all your chats from a single interface.


How do I build a robot WhatsApp chatbot?

The process for building a WhatsApp Chatbot is as follows.

Introduction

The first step is to reach out to a company that can build a chatbot for you. To reach out to Verloop, simply hit the chat icon at the bottom right of the screen.

Other companies have long forms you have to fill, you can find a template here.

Key Information

The next step is to ensure you’re the right fit. To that end, businesses are asked several questions to gauge API qualification.

Questions include – Name, Company Name, Company URL, Location, Email ID and Use Case. Use cases can be segmented into Customer Service, Marketing and Sales.

Application Processing

Verloop guides you through possible use-cases, assists you with compliance, and provides, proofreads and develops acceptable templates for your business. This way, we ensure that you not only have WhatsApp API’s but also that you continue to keep them.

Robot WhatsApp is Yours.

Once you have a framework, it’s just a matter of plugging it into your system.

The ease of this depends on the provider you choose. Verloop is an all-in-one solutions stack. We can integrate your CRM for WhatsApp queries, encrypt and decrypt messages and give you a single dashboard.

HERE’S OUR VIDEO ON OUR LATEST IMPLEMENTATION- WHATSAPP CHATBOTS

About the author

Anush Fernandes

Loves Canines, Conversational automation, and Curry. Stephen and otherwise.