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Why are Enterprises Moving to Instant Messaging? Top Conversational AI Platforms for 2021

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Not so surprisingly, people today are more active on messaging platforms than on conventional mediums like on Email or call. According to the Gartner report 2021 Planning Guide for Customer Engagement, Enterprises and SMBs need to focus on the adaptation of cloud-based AI-driven technology to drive the effectiveness of self-service.

Today, more than 2.1 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger every day. WhatsApp recently announced that it had in excess of 2 Billion users — the majority of user reside in India.

Messaging platforms are popularly used to interact with acquaintances, particularly friends, family, or co-workers for informal and formal interactions.

If you’re in Indonesia, you’ll notice meeting updates and other annoying details of it are shared on WhatsApp. It is also customary for your cab driver to connect with you on WhatsApp. Business and ease, all mixed up on a messaging platform.

While a large number of media companies and marketers are still investing in legacy platforms like e-mail and ticketing systems to engage with employees and customers, here are some noteworthy points that will potentially change the game:

  1. Monthly Active Users (MAU) on messaging apps like Whatsapp, WeChat, etc are massive and this number is growing rapidly due to the ease of availability of data and devices.
  2. 66% of consumers want to interact with brands on messaging apps (The app of choice depends on geography). People believe this is a faster medium to get immediate resolutions – Twilio
  3. Initially, the messaging apps were focused on increasing their user base. More recently, we’ve noticed that new features such as payments and even a built-in NLP capability have been added so the apps can standalone.

Regardless of the device used, Android or Apple, people prefer to keep limited applications on their smartphones since it is cumbersome to keep switching from one channel to another. Take, for example, the Facebook Canva which is a landing page facility used by marketers inside the Facebook app. It disallows drop-offs that may be caused during the transition from Facebook to an external website for the sake of lead capture, thus reducing a step in the user acquisition journey.

Messaging apps are becoming vital for businesses to better connect with prospects, offer seamless support, and provide quick service.

Companies also use enterprise messaging apps like slack, hangouts, etc to better manage their employees. Employees can schedule meetings, apply for a holiday, request reimbursements, and more with the help of a virtual assistant.

Organizations have to modernize not just their customer engagement technology but also the way the team interacts, to not only keep up with the customer expectations but also to adapt to the “new normal� of distributed customer service teams. Modernizing both customer and agent capabilities is key for those organizations to reinvent themselves or rescale to new heights.

The benefits of automation reflect almost immediately and dramatically. It is estimated that by 2025, 10-15% of jobs in three sectors (manufacturing, transportation and storage, and wholesales and retail trade) will have a high potential for automation. There is a good deal of automation firms today working on groundbreaking technologies to build chatbots beneficial for the growth of enterprises. Particularly, we’ll take the following 4 popular players in the field and put down some key features they possess and lack.

#1. IBM Watson

Named after IBM’s first CEO and founder, Thomas J Watson to answer queries on the quiz show Jeopardy, Watson was created as a question answering (QA) computing system. It uses advanced natural language processing and machine learning technologies for fetching information, knowledge representation, and automated reasoning, to the field of open domain question answering. Watson has been one of the earliest to automate various business functions however it is missing some of the most crucial integrations today, for example, Microsoft teams, slack, and even WhatsApp. The support for multilingual languages and the capability of sentiment analysis to route to an agent when necessary aren’t provided either.

Humanizing the bots today is one of the important features that people say conversational AI lacks. With missing capabilities, enterprises that need to jump off the books will have to consider their options.

#2. Yellow Messenger

Yellow Messenger is a cognitive engagement cloud, offering various cognitive business functions like customer engagement, customer support, enterprise automation, and HR management. They have a range of channel integrations from Whatsapp for business, Google Assistant, Alexa, to Slack, PowerBI, and more.

With multi-lingual support, pre-built contextual response, prediction modules, self-learning systems, and many other sophisticated, proprietary tech, Yellow Messenger has successfully catered to clients across the globe. Founded in 2016, in Bangalore, India, Yellow Messenger is a horizontal platform that takes on unique use cases for businesses. Recently funded by Lightspeed venture capital firm Yellow Messenger aims to utilise the funds for developing better products and sourcing new talent.

Also, named the leading Conversational AI Platform in Gartner’s 2021 Planning guide for Customer Engagement.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yellow Messenger has also launched a chatbot in association with the National Health Authority to distribute the right information about the virus.

#3. Intercom

Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, CA, Intercom has come a long way in building customized bots for various companies focused on targeted answers. They helped House Call Pro grow from the time of its launch to 10,000+ customers today. Expensify, another client of theirs, found improved support and sales. Similarly, Baremetrics increased their billing by 30% with intercoms innovative products.

Conversational AI is transforming the way brands interact with consumers. Which process according to you, can be automated in your organization to save your expenses and maximize growth? Comment below.

#4. Dialogflow

Dialogflow by Google, initially called Api.ai and Speaktoit, was best known for its virtual assistant created for smartphones. While their voice assistants are supported across a bunch of devices ranging from wearables to phones, their language support is limited. It lacks self-learning capabilities. It cannot search the database for answers to queries for resolution. With their new chatbot release, Meena, we hope to see a wider spectrum of competence since it is open-sourced. Meena boasts to be the very first humanized AI.

2020 was a crucial year for AI. Automation will truly take off and conquer cubicle jobs in 2021. It will save a tremendous amount of revenue and time for organizations. How will you use automation to solve pressing business problems? innovatively?

Image Credit: tim samuel; pexels

The post Why are Enterprises Moving to Instant Messaging? Top Conversational AI Platforms for 2021 appeared first on ReadWrite.

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5 WhatsApp Business features to Elevate Customer Experience

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WhatsApp rolled out an additional feature called interactive message template a month back for WhatsApp Business API. As the name suggests, this feature allows one to include interactive components to messaging like a button. WhatsApp Business Account users can now build two types of pre-defined buttons:

  1. Call-To-Action: The call-to-action button enables users to either call a phone number or visit a website.
  2. Quick-reply: The quick reply allows users to respond with a simple text message.

WhatsApp Business was rolled in 2018 for small to medium businesses, and WhatsApp Business API became accessible to WhatsApp trusted partners for building chatbots so enterprises could leverage automated conversation with their customers. A revolutionary step in the business engagement world. Let us look at some cool features of WhatsApp Business account, which makes it now the oxygen of business world:

Business Profile

The business profile gives the company a familiar “face� and identity that helps in gaining faithful customers. To have a “Verified� badge next to your company name, WhatsApp has to confirm first that this is a verified business account. You can create messaging templates that are much needed if you want to send messages to your customers. But most crucial, it aids your customers to get information like

  • Business name
  • Business hours
  • Store/business address
  • Corresponding location pin
  • Email ID
  • Website links
  • Contact details
  • Brief business description

To edit your business profile:

  • Open WhatsApp Business > Tap Settings > your business name.
  • Tap on any field to make an update > Save.

Quick Replies

WhatsApp is the new advanced SMS system. WhatsApp platform is preferred by over 2 billion people across the world. The Quick Reply feature by WhatsApp lets you save a lot of energy and time. You can set up often, send messages to answer frequently asked questions in a jiffy. You can add texts and emoji’s in your quick replies.

How to set up a Quick reply?

To set up a quick reply, follow these steps:

  • Go to settings>Business Settings> Quick Replies.
  • Click on the plus(+) icon, on the top right corner to create the reply.
  • Click under message to add your message.
  • Set your keywords to locate the messages easily.
  • Click- Save

Label

Whenever a customer sends you a message, and you wish to save the chat, utilize this cool feature “Label” by WhatsApp. You can set up Labels to your chats, to help you remember and organize your messages.

Labels can be set up according to your preferences, such as order, location, new customers. You can even add cool colors to differentiate your labels. WhatsApp allows you to create up to 20 Labels.

Applying a WhatsApp Label

Tap and hold a message or a chat > Tap Label > You can add an existing label or a new label.

Finding a WhatsApp Labeled Content

  • Go to your Chats screen > More Options > Labels > tap a label.
  • Alternatively, from your Chats screen, you can also tap on a contact’s profile photo or group icon to see all labels associated with that chat.

Managing WhatsApp Label

To manage your labels, go to your Chats screen > More options > Labels.

Here you can:

  • Take actions over labeled items. Tap a label > Tap and hold an item > Choose an action on the top bar,
  • Edit a label: Tap the label > More options > Edit label.
  • Add a color: Tap the label > More options > Choose color. If more than two color-coded labels are applied to a chat, they’ll be stacked one over the other. When stacked, the color of only the most recent label will be displayed.
  • Delete a label: Tap the label > More options > Delete label.
  • Create new broadcast: Tap the label > More options > Message customers.

Creating a broadcast list from labels.

You can create broadcast lists for select audiences from your labels. To create a broadcast list from labels:

  • Go to More options > Labels.
  • Select the Label you want to create a broadcast for.
  • Go to More options > Message customers.
  • Tap the green checkmark on the bottom right of the screen to draft your message.

The broadcast message will be individually sent to all the chats tagged with that label.

Greeting Messages

WhatsApp allows you to set up automated greeting messages for your customers when they message you the first time or after 14 days of inactivity.

Setting up WhatsApp greeting messages:

  • Tap More options > Settings > Business settings > Greeting message.
  • Turn on Send greeting message.
  • Edit the message by tapping on it.
  • Under Recipients, tap and choose between:
    • Everyone: to send the greeting message to anyone who messages you after business hours.
    • Everyone not in the address book: to send the greeting message to numbers that aren’t in your address book.
    • Everyone except: to send the greeting message to all numbers except a select few.
    • Only send to: to send the greeting message to select recipients.
  • Tap SAVE.

Automated Messages

Set up automated messages on the WhatsApp business account, such as greeting messages, FAQs, and much more. This helps your customer to connect with your business and get answers quickly leading to customer satisfaction.

WhatsApp is the clear winner in terms of cost, efficiency, interface, and customer preference. You can set up WhatsApp Chatbot with the help of WhatsApp partners such as Yellow Messenger. With the help of WhatsApp Chatbot, you can automate all your business engagement and reduce any redundancy.

The WhatsApp chatbot platform is designed to integrate with CRM, ERP, and various other business systems and enables seamless communication between businesses and customers and promising enhanced customer experience.

Image Credit: Alok Sharma; Pexels

The post 5 WhatsApp Business features to Elevate Customer Experience appeared first on ReadWrite.