Automation & Relationships. Personalization & Conversations. That’s how it is. Are you onboard yet? Let’s break it down and explore what’s possible. We know you're busy, so we'll keep it simple and useful.
Now, why should you, as an eCommerce or retail business owner, care about this? Well, it's all about making your life easier while boosting your sales. In today's world, everyone uses WhatsApp, right? By automating chats, you can handle orders, answer queries, and even send out cool marketing stuff without lifting a finger. This means more time for you and happier customers. Let's dive into how this magic happens!
What is WhatsApp Automation?
So, what's WhatsApp Automation? It's like having a super helper for your WhatsApp chats. Imagine sending messages, reminders, and answering customer questions automatically. It's not just cool; it's super helpful for your business. It saves you time, keeps your customers happy, and makes sure no message gets missed. We'll show you how it works and why it's a game-changer.
Simply put, WhatsApp Automation means using technology to send and receive WhatsApp messages without you typing them out each time. It's like setting up a smart system that knows what to say to your customers and when. This isn't just about sending a bunch of automated replies. It's about having real, helpful conversations with your customers, but without you having to be glued to your phone 24/7.
How WhatsApp Automation Works
How WhatsApp automation works, is that you set up certain rules and messages in the system. For example, if a customer asks about their order status, the system automatically sends them the latest update. Or, if someone new messages your business, they get a friendly welcome note. It's all about making sure your customers get quick and helpful responses, even when you're busy with other things.
Now, here's where it gets really cool. AI, or artificial intelligence, is a big part of WhatsApp Automation. AI helps the system understand what your customers are saying. So, it's not just sending random replies. It's smart enough to figure out what your customer needs and then respond in the best way. This means your customers feel like they're chatting with someone who really gets them, not just a robot. And that's a big win for keeping your customers happy and coming back.
Benefits of WhatsApp automation
Well, like above, automation the future, and WhatsApp is the future. You may have heard of chatbots, and while they are not bad, they often don’t get the job done.
To achieve success in eCommerce, your communication needs to be personalized. Marketing automation is one way to digitalize your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). And WhatsApp is a means to lower the threshold for customers.
WhatsApp has over 2 billion monthly active users globally, making it impossible for businesses to ignore. Especially for eCommerce and retail brands.
The customer has more complex needs every day, and chatbots or automated flows help streamline your processes and improve both engagement and relationship building.
Bots are invaluable, but not enough.
People do not like bots, people like to chat with friends over WhatsApp. That is what we dive into today…
WhatsApp automation, the benefits and use cases!
By automating marketing, sales and support on WhatsApp, online businesses can:
- Improve customer engagement: You know how good it feels when a friend remembers your birthday? That's the kind of feeling WhatsApp Automation creates for your customers. It keeps them engaged by sending them just the right message at the right time. Whether it's a birthday discount, a friendly reminder, or a quick answer to their question, your customers feel heard and valued. This builds a strong relationship between you and your customers, making them more likely to stick around.
- Save time & resources: Let's face it, running an eCommerce business is like juggling a dozen balls at once. WhatsApp Automation is like having an extra pair of hands. Think of a WhatsApp AI chatbot that takes care of a lot of the routine stuff – answering FAQs, sending out updates, managing orders – all by itself. This frees up your time, so you can focus on the big stuff, like growing your business and coming up with new ideas.
- Intertwine support & marketing: WhatsApp Automation is like having a super-organized assistant. It keeps your communication and marketing neat and tidy. No more missed messages or forgotten follow-ups. Your marketing campaigns run on autopilot, reaching out to customers with the right offers at the right time. And the best part? It all happens in one place – from Hoola right into your customers' favorite messaging app.
- Personalize the customer experience: Ever walked into a store where they know your name and what you like? That's the kind of personal touch WhatsApp Automation adds to your business. It's not about sending the same message to everyone. It's about sending the right message to the right person. This could be a product recommendation based on their past purchases or a special offer tailored to their interests. It's this level of personalization that turns a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
The potential of your automation is only restricted by your imagination.
Automated workflows can handle customer inquiries, order management, and promotional campaigns 24/7, reducing the need to scale with people and saving time and resources.
Personalized, relevant, and timely automated messaging provides customers with a seamless experience that enhances their loyalty and engagement with the brand.
Top 4 Use Cases & examples for WhatsApp Automation
WhatsApp automation can be applied to various business processes, including customer support, order management, and marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at some use cases and example flows:
1. Automated WhatsApp customer support
This is probably the case that comes to mind when we say “chatbot”.
Automated WhatsApp customer service helps your store handle customer inquiries, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and escalate complex issues to your support team only when needed.
It is a great use case, but the focus is on lowering costs rather than improving customer experience or driving revenue.
Now you can use WhatsApp to turn it into the first point of contact for users. Connect it to your other systems, so everything works on its own.
Example of a Business (B) & User (U) conversation
B: Greeting message: “Hi there! Thank you for reaching out. How can we assist you today?”
U: Order status inquiry: “Hi, I’m checking on my order. Can you tell me where it is?”
B: Order lookup. When previously connected to delivery tracking, it knows, if not: : “Can you please provide your order number so we can look up your order?”
U: Provides confirmation or order number.
B: Order status update: “Your package is currently in transit and is expected to arrive by March 15th.”
U: “Ah, okay, thanks!”
B: Additional support: “Do you have any additional questions or concerns? Let us know how we can assist you.”
B: Closing message: “Thank you for contacting us. Don’t hesitate to reach out again if you need any further assistance.”
2. Scheduling WhatsApp reminders for appointments and sales
Ever had customers miss an in-store appointment? We've all been there. That's where WhatsApp Automation steps in for your business. You can automatically remind customers of their appointments or even about big sales coming up.
It's simple: say you've got a special offer next week. Set up a WhatsApp reminder, and your customers get a heads-up straight in their chat. It's personal too. You can say, "Hey [Customer's Name], don't miss our upcoming sale!"
The best part? It's automatic. Set it once, and your customers get these reminders at just the right time. This frees you up to focus on other things, knowing your customers are in the loop and feeling special. Plus, they'll love not missing out on what you've got to offer.
3. Integrate WhatsApp automation with Shopify
If you're running a Shopify store, WhatsApp Automation is your next massive growth strategy. Use Shopify triggers to automatically send messages to your customers on WhatsApp. Think of it as having a helpful assistant who keeps your customers updated without you having to do a thing.
Examples of automated WhatsApp messages right from Shopify:
- Automated thank you message after a purchase
- Reminder for abandoned cart recovery
- Order confirmation and shipping updates
- Alert for new product launches or restocks
- Special discount offers for returning customers
- Birthday greetings with exclusive promo codes
- Feedback requests post-purchase
- Notification for order delivery status
- Alert for items back in stock for interested customers
- Personalized recommendations based on past purchases
It's super easy to set up and once you do, these triggers handle the rest. It's a smart way to streamline communication and enhance the shopping experience for your customers.
Diving even deeper into this, it’s Shopify order updates and customer support combined.
In the example before about automated customer support, people had to ask for their order update. Now, we are thinking for them. Provide personal updates directly in WhatsApp.
WhatsApp auto-updates can provide customers with order confirmation, delivery status updates, and personalized recommendations based on their purchase history.
This means users can follow their order in WhatsApp and stay in the loop, receive back-in-stock notifications, pre-order notifications, and sales notifications.
These provide immense value to the customer, lowering the level of uncertainty and making it easy to get any information they need, when they need it. On top of this, when you ask for feedback, it will be aggregated into their customer profile, to enrich their experience with your store even more.
In the future, use that information to follow up and give recommendations that actually matter.
It’s a whole new way of communicating with customers.
4. Automated personalized WhatsApp campaigns at scale
With all the information you have collected during your automated customer support and order management inquiries, the best is still to come…
Smart segmented, fully automated WhatsApp marketing campaigns based on support context. Think about conversational, transactional and behavioural data, like past interactions, previous purchases and website pages or ads viewed.
A good WhatsApp marketing strategy leverages all data from your systems, plus the first and zero-party data collected directly in chat, to make extremely personalized campaigns exactly at the right time. Send WhatsApp promotional messages that provide personalized recommendations and collect customer feedback to enrich their profiles even further.
We are talking here about automated campaigns being sent out to a client when a new product is released that matches their interest. Or about a churn prevention campaign being triggered when we detect user behavior indicative of churning.
The beauty of WhatsApp is that all of these interactions are happening in the same chat. It’s not like you only contact your user to sell them stuff.
You chat with them to help them in different ways at different times. The right message, to exactly the right person.
Based on what they bought in the past, on their user behavior, on collected data from other platforms… the limit is that there is no limit!
How can WhatsApp marketing automation help your business?
- Better processes and improved customer experience.
- Efficient interactions that save resources and increase NPS.
- Stronger brand engagement and ultimately higher LTV.
2 ways to implement WhatsApp Automation
Getting started with WhatsApp Automation can really change the game for your business. Let's dive into two smart ways to do this: The WhatsApp Business API or using the WhatsApp Business App. First up, we'll explore using Hoola’s WhatsApp Business API.
1. Setting Up Hoola’s WhatsApp Business API
Ready to get started? Setting up the WhatsApp Business Platform API with Hoolais pretty straightforward. Here’s how you can do it:
- Sign up: First, you'll need to sign up for Hoola’s service. It's quick and easy.
- Connect your business number: Next, you'll integrate the WhatsApp Business API with an unused phone number right in the Facebook business manager to Hoola. Don't worry, it sounds techy, but it's not too complicated.
- Easy set up your first WhatsApp automated messages: Then, you can start customizing. Set up out-of-office messages, your WhatsApp opt-ins and integrate with Shopify. You can even set up WhatsApp support workflows to assign agents
- Test and go live: Finally, give it a test run to make sure everything works smoothly. Once you're happy with it, you're all set to go live.
Key Features of Hoola’s WhatsApp Automation
Alright, let’s dive into some of the cool features that make Hoola’s WhatsApp Automation a game-changer for your business. These tools are like having a super-smart team working for you around the clock.
- Multi-channel inbox: Imagine all your customer messages from different channels landing in one place. That's what Hoola's single inbox does. Whether it's WhatsApp, email, or another platform, you see everything in one spot. This means no more switching between apps or missing messages. It's like having a super organized assistant who keeps all your conversations in order.
- 360° customer profile: Knowing your customers well is key, and Hoola’s 360 customer profile gives you just that. It's like a cheat sheet for each customer. You get to see their past interactions, preferences, and even purchase history. This helps you chat with them in a way that’s personal and informed, and the same for doing automated support. Next to this, you can use this information to send automated WhatsApp campaigns!
- Team collaboration tools: Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Hoola’s tools make sure your team stays on the same page. You can assign chats to different team members, leave notes, and even help each other out in real-time. It’s like having a group huddle for every customer issue, making sure everyone is in the loop.
- WhatsApp AI support automation: AI is the secret sauce here. It handles basic customer requests all by itself. Think of it as a friendly bot that answers FAQs, tracks orders, and even helps customers make purchases. This means your team can focus on the bigger stuff while AI takes care of the routine queries.
- Personalized marketing campaigns: Last but not least, personalized marketing campaigns. This is where you get to shine. You can create campaigns that speak directly to your customer's interests based on their customer profile that we mentioned before. It's not just blasting out the same message to everyone. It's more like sending a personal invite to each customer, showing them stuff they'll actually like.
These features make Hoola’s WhatsApp Automation not just a tool, but a powerhouse for your business. It’s about making your life easier, your team more efficient, and your customers happier. And that’s a win-win-win in our book!
2. WhatsApp business app
Now, let's talk about the WhatsApp Business App. This is a fantastic option, especially if you're running a smaller business. It's like having a compact version of a customer service center right in your phone.
The WhatsApp Business App is like the regular WhatsApp, but with some extra features tailored for businesses. It's a free app designed to help small business owners manage their customer interactions easily. You can chat with customers, set up a business profile, and even keep track of orders – all from your phone.
- Built-in features for automation: For instance, you can set automated greetings for new customers, quick replies for common questions, and away messages when you're not available. It’s like having an assistant who’s always on, even when you’re off.
- Google Sheets and WhatsApp integration: Interestingly, you can also integrate tools like Google Sheets with your WhatsApp Business App. It’s a bit more manual, but can help you keep track of customer orders or queries. You could, for example, use a Google Sheet to note down order details and then update your customers through WhatsApp.
- WhatsApp Business App benefits: While the WhatsApp Business App is great for starters, it has its limits compared to something like Hoola’s API. It’s perfect for managing individual conversations and doing some basic automation.
- Limitations of the WhatsApp Business App: Using WhatsApp in its basic form for business communication has several limitations. You can only broadcast messages to 256 users who have added you to their contacts, and there’s no auto-replies outside greeting and away messages. There's no campaign analytics, agent performance stats, or even WhatsApp chatbots for automated customer support. A big disadvantage, is that you can't integrate with third-party software and CRMs to send automated notifications, or messages with clickable buttons. Also, the WhatsApp Green Tick, is limited to the WhatsApp API.
In summary, the WhatsApp Business App is a solid choice for small local businesses looking to step up their customer interaction game. It’s user-friendly, cost-effective, and offers okay features to get you started on your journey to better customer engagement. Scaling, however, is a different question. If you’re looking to automate complex workflows, track detailed customer interactions, or handle a large volume of messages, Hoola’s API might be the way to go.
WhatsApp Automation for the future of eCommerce
Alright, let’s wrap this up and put a bow on it. We've covered a lot about WhatsApp Automation, and it's pretty clear how much of a game-changer it can be for your business. Whether you're big or small, these tools can make a huge difference.
Here’s the thing…
- Growth without relationships is not possible anymore.
Customers know better.
- Growth without scalability and automation is not possible anymore.
Business owners know better.
The solution is simple… WhatsApp Automations. It keeps your customers engaged with personalized messages, saves you loads of time with automated replies, and even helps you run marketing campaigns like a pro. And with options like Hoola’s WhatsApp Business API or the WhatsApp Business App, you’ve got the flexibility to choose what fits your business best.
Implementing may seem too hard at first, but will lead to significant growth for your business. And the secret is having the right support.
Start with your most common processes, and keep it simple.
Evolve them there, and you won’t believe the impact.
Hope it helps, and let us know how it goes!
Get started with WhatsApp automation at Hoola
So, feeling ready to dive in? Getting started with Hoola’s tools is a breeze. Just sign up, set things up to match your business style, and you’re good to go. Whether it’s managing customer chats, automating responses, or sending out marketing blasts, Hoola’s got your back.
Remember, the world of eCommerce is buzzing, and your customers are waiting for that perfect, personalized shopping experience. With Hoola’s WhatsApp Automation, you’re not just keeping up; you’re setting the pace. So, why wait? Jump on the WhatsApp Automation bandwagon and watch your business thrive!