The messaging app is postulated as the perfect channel to manage appointments automatically and conversationally.
How to carry out the management booking with WhatsApp is one of the most common doubts among companies and businesses that want to manage these processes through the most widely used messaging app. To do this we have several options: do it manually or leverage ourselves in a chatbot on WhatsApp .
To correctly address this use case, we will analyze the three tools with which a business can be found when starting to manage appointments through WhatsApp.
Surely you have already come across some other hairdresser, restaurant or beauty salon that manages appointments with WhatsApp . In a completely manual way, without having automatic messages when they are out of hours and without connections to services such as Google Calendar, the managers of the establishment process and process the appointments they give to customers.
As a channel for WhatsApp communication offers many advantages in this sense, since it allows us to manage conversations asynchronously instead of having to answer instantly the calls that may be received from clients who want an appointment. The problem or rather, the problems that occur when using this environment? Here we list some:
- That we forget a client.
- That we take longer to respond than expected.
- That we overlap appointments for not managing them correctly .
What conclusion can we draw? Manual management with WhatsApp is correct when we don’t expect many messages. At the time that the volume of messages increases and we do not even have an automatic message, the customer experience can be damaged since it is not difficult to make any of the errors that we indicated a few lines above.
2. WhatsApp Business
To solve some of the problems of the previous case, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business (also known as WhatsApp Messenger) a version of WhatsApp focused on businesses of all kinds.
With this tool, companies will continue to serve their customers manually but they will also have the option of managing a series of automatic messages that will jump twice:
- Initial message The first time they write to you.
- Shortcuts or shortcuts with which you can define automatic messages of “thank you” or “after hours.”
With them, we can manage appointments for a more efficient way and, above all, give the user the feeling that we have received his message. A key point within the attention through this channel.
However, this option is again insufficient when it comes to establishments or businesses of medium volume, which receive messages constantly. Remember that with the use of this tool, manual attention is still the only option.
3. WhatsApp Business API
Finally, we highlight the option of WhatsApp Business API with which companies CAN automate conversations through conversational technology.
As we already explained in the article on how to order at home through WhatsAApp, automating processes such as the purchase of a product or the reservation of a weight or a paddle tennis court, can be very simple through the WhatsApp Business API. Why? Very simple, the whole process would be automated end to end without the need for human intervention.
In this way, we could propose an automated conversation of the following type:
Client: Hello, I would like to book an appointment to cut my hair
Chatbot: Hello Lucia, I am Hairbot, the chatbot of your favorite hairdresser. In order to manage your appointment and that my human companions do not scold me, I would need to ask you some questions. Let’s go with the first one, what do you want to do?
Client: It would be cutting and styling.
Chatbot: Okay, so what Would you like to come?
Client: next Friday.
Chatbot: Perfect, just to be confirmed, does that mean on 27 May?
Customer: of course
Chatbot: Great, that day I have two free slots at 1pm or 6pm, will you come Either one of those hours or do you prefer another day?
Client: I keep the 6 o’clock gap
Chatbot: Okay, so we confirm that your session would be on May 27 at 6pm. Do you want me to send you a reminder to this number the day before?
Customer: Yes, please.
Chatbot: Ok , I write it down so that I don’t forget it either. Thank you very much 😜
As you can see in the conversation the whole process is processed from start to finish. It is interesting to see how the first thing that asks us is what treatment we want to do, since depending on the gap we have we will have one availability or another.
And it is that, unlike the rest of the platforms that we have highlighted previously, WhatsApp Business API would allow us to make connections with our virtual agenda, for example, Google Calendar.
Making use of this type of resources we would avoid almost 100% the overlapping of appointments, forgetting to attend to a client or manage time more efficiently.
Needless to say, in this type of care automated it is necessary to have a good conversational design. It is essential to correctly define each and every copy, as well as the steps / information that we need from each client to manage the appointment.
For example, in some establishments they ask for the email to send the confirmation of a previous appointment through that channel (more after the covid-19 crisis), others, however, are satisfied.