If you’re doing business in Brazil, you can’t do without WhatsApp. Over the past few years, it’s revolutionised communication in a market plagued by high SMS costs – to the extent that some 96% of Brazilians use WhatsApp as their primary method of communication.
Companies are capitalising on the trend as well, using it for queries and notifications related to delivery, password resets, payment requests and more. As a result, they’re able to reduce call volumes by up to 70% and offer a better customer experience.
Here are key considerations for companies looking to maximise the effectiveness of WhatsApp in Brazil.
WhatsApp has to be part of a cross-channel communication strategy
WhatsApp alone will only get you so far, because there’s a key trend you need to act on: cross-channel communication. Brazilian customers increasingly want the ability to start a conversation in one channel and migrate to another – without having to re-explain their situation, give personal data again or repeat requests.
You therefore need integration and a centralised customer view across WhatsApp SMS and voice, web, social media, Facebook Messenger, call centre, email and even your in-store databases. And without the right technology, this can be a challenge.
A common example is the use of voice messages, which is very popular in Brazil. Instead of typing out a text, people converse through recorded voice messages because it’s faster. If the scenario then escalates to a call centre, the agent needs a way to know quickly what was communicated in the voice messages.
According to research from Transformação Digital, while 80% of companies say digital is a strategic priority, just 10% offer 3 or more channels for customer service. This is a missed opportunity to boost your reputation, engagement, loyalty and revenue.
AI and chatbots have a place in your strategy – but test them on less popular channels first
Retail has broken ground when it comes to chatbots and artificial intelligence Brazil, using both proprietary and off-the-shelf options. Bots send order confirmations, delivery updates and customer service responses, for example, and these companies have reaped tremendous benefits when it comes to customer experience improvement.
The key to success, however, is to scope your chatbot with all channels in mind (including voice messages) and then pilot it on another channel like your website before rolling it out to WhatsApp.
This has 2 benefits. First of all, you ensure you maximise return on investment in the technology because you know it will work for the long term as you continuously improve the customer experience. Secondly, you can iron out issues before using it on your biggest audience base, which saves you from potential reputational risks and allows you to put your best foot forward on WhatsApp.
Cross-channel communication technology is your enabler
To provide superior customer service in Brazil, you must use WhatsApp in your digital strategy. But you must also have a technology stack that makes it easy to deliver a seamless experience across the entire journey.
That way you can communicate with customers in the best way at every stage, and your staff have the tools to do what they do best: help people and promote your brand.