In this article we’ll show you how a chain of stores can centralize their client communications in a single WhatsApp number, and use an automatic routing system to manage and allocate conversations to different sales and/or support teams in the various locations
The widespread use of WhatsApp by users around the world (with currently over 2 billion active users) has led many companies to start communicating more and more through the famous messaging app.
The advantages of using WhatsApp for companies are manyfold: immediacy in communicating with potential customers, more informal conversations and more stable and lasting relationships with the target audience.
With the aim of facilitating conversations between brands and their users, in 2017, WhatsApp released the WhatsApp Business APIs, meaning access keys that allow external platforms to access data relating to WhatsApp messages.
This makes it possible for companies to manage their WhatsApp channel in a much more structured and professional way, instead of using the traditional WhatsApp Web platform.
One of the major limitations of the default WhatsApp platform lies in the impossibility of usage by multiple users at the same time, creating many problems for companies interested in channeling all chats into a single account and therefore manage them from a single number.
The WhatsApp Business API was also introduced to allow companies to adopt external platforms such as Callbell, which allow you to connect a WhatsApp number to the system and facilitate collaboration between multiple sales agents or support agents in managing communications with customers via WhatsApp.
Thanks to this type of solution, even chain stores can choose to use the same WhatsApp number and centralize conversations with customers for all the locations in which the company operates, giving out a single reference contact number to customers, for all the stores.
This can bring a series of advantages:
1) It makes the brand more available: having a single number will allow potential customers to contact the brands easily through a single number, that can thus be advertised;
2) Easier chat management: you can set up and manage a structured team that will deal with the interactions with the company’s target audience in an effective way;
3) Greater brand reliability: having a single number to contact the stores will increase the reputation and trust that potential customers will place in the brand;
4)Faster response times:your customers will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of WhatsApp to contact your company and the staff to interact quickly with them, reducing response times.
Users, however, may encounter some difficulties in contacting one of the brand’s locations, should they wish to receive information from a particular store.
This problem can be solved thanks to Callbell’s automatic routing system, let’s find out what it is.
Automatic routing is a Callbell module that consists in the automatic allocation of WhatsApp chats based on some parameters, which can be preset by the account administrator.
First of all, you have to invite the staff dedicated to customer care and create different teams that will represent the different locations of the store chain. Next, you will need to set up an automatic routing system so that users independently select the location of the store they want to communicate with.
Once the welcome message has been set, during the user’s first contact with the company, it will be sufficient for him/her to type in a few key-words (for example, where he/she lives) in order to be automatically put in contact with the desired store team.
It will then be possible to set a series of possible replies that will allow the system to detect, once the customer’s response to the welcome message is received, which will be the reference team to which the chat with the customer will be redirected.
To set up automatic routing for WhatsApp chats within Callbell simply follow the steps below:
1) Create the different teams: go to “Settings” and click on “Create Team”. From here you can divide the collaborators into teams that will represent the branches of the chain of stores
Note: to create a team you must first have invited your collaborators to join Callbell
2) Set up the welcome message: this message will appear when the user initiates a chat with the company for the first time. At this stage it is important to make it clear to users that they will have to interact with the company in order to reach out to one of the store branches.
Example: Which store location do you want to contact? – What city are you in?
3) Set up the possible replies: here it will be possible to set the key-words that the user will have to type in order to be redirected to the team associated with that particular keyword.
Example: Milan, Venice, Rome, Turin
When the customer types correctly one of these answers, the chat will be automatically assigned to the dedicated team and it will be possible, if necessary, to set an additional automatic message which, for example, can be used to inform the customer on opening hours and waiting times in the chat management.
4) Set up the error message: in the event that the system is unable to recognize the password entered by the user, an error response must be set up, that will prompt the user to make a valid choice;
Example: We don’t understand where you are! Please enter where you are contacting us from
5) Click on “Save and activate”
At this point, the automatic routing should be able to route the conversations between the different teams of the store chain. In this way it will be possible to efficiently manage all WhatsApp chats between the different locations.
For more information, visit the Callbell website or get in touch with our team who will provide you with all the necessary information on how to implement this type of system within your stores.
If you found the article to set up automatic routing useful, remember to share it and leave a comment, thanks for reading!
Why use the same WhatsApp number for a chain of stores?
The advantages of having a single WhatsApp number linked to a chain of stores are many, here are some of them:
- It makes the brands more localized: having a unique number allows potential customers to easily contact the brands through a single number that can be so published.
- It facilitates chat management: you can create and manage a structured team that can take care of the interaction with the public of the company effectively.
- Greater brand reliability Having a unique number with which to contact the chain of stores will improve the reputation of the brand and increase the trust that potential customers place in it.
- Shorter response times: your customers will be able to take advantage of all the advantages of WhatsApp to contact your company, and your staff will be able to interact quickly with them, reducing response times.
What is an automatic routing system for WhatsApp chats?
Automatic routing is a functionality of Callbell which allows automatic allocation of chats from WhatsApp according to certain parameters, programmable by the administrator account.
First of all, you need to invite your dedicated customer service staff and create the different teams that will represent each of the stores in the business chain. Next, you will need to program an automatic routing system so that users can select the location of the storesthey want to communicate with.
Once the welcome message has been programmed, upon the user’s first contact with the company, it will be sufficient to enter some keywords (for example, the city of residence) to be automatically put in contact with the team at the pre-established location.
About the author: Hello! I am Alan and I am the marketing manager at Callbell, the first communication platform designed to help sales and support teams to collaborate and communicate with customers through direct messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and Instagram Direct