After six months of quarantine and working from home, I bet the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store is obvious. Here’s a clue: you were probably wearing a dress shirt tucked into sweatpants while using it for a work meeting this morning. That’s right, Zoom has been the most downloaded app since the pandemic started (no surprise there for any immigration law firm). And coming in at a close second is WhatsApp.
WhatsApp — a messaging app that lets users text, chat, and share media — has been around since 2009 and is currently used by two billion users worldwide. Compare that 2 billion to Facebook Messenger’s 1.3 billion users, and WeChat’s measly 1 billion users. There’s no competition. It’s such a powerful and popular app that Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, its largest acquisition to date. Facebook was willing to shell out that kind of dough because WhatsApp’s popularity is global, and growing.
WhatsApp is available in more than 180 countries and in 60 different languages. It was downloaded 96 million times in February 2020 and more than 65 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day. If your client base is global, or if your customer travels globally, know this: in 2018, WhatsApp was the number one messaging app in 104 countries.
As an immigration law firm helping people from all over the world immigrate to the US, WhatsApp puts a massive global market of potential clients at your fingertips. So here’s what you need to know about using WhatsApp, and how using a chatbot within WhatsApp can help you scale and manage this newfound marketing channel.
WhatsApp: More than just text messages
Text messaging is so easy. With a few taps of a finger, we can text whatever’s on our mind to our nearest and dearest. And while potential clients might not be sending you winky heart emojis (or at least they shouldn’t be), they too appreciate having quick and convenient access to you in the palm of their hand. Two billion already use WhatsApp to text with friends and family, communicating with businesses on the app will feel natural.
WhatsApp Business, the app’s business version, gives you the power to talk directly with your clients. No more stale emails. With the app, you can send appointment reminders, notifications, and verification codes that pop up like any other text message they may receive. Forget about hunting down a customer service number online, WhatsApp Business meets customers where they are — right on WhatsApp; something quite important for every Immigration Law Firm in America, and in the world.
Some call this growing trend of business messaging “conversational commerce.” Ultimately, it’s all about answering client questions with rich, in-depth messages and engaging them on a very personal level. Providing this kind of customer service isn’t easy, but WhatsApp enables businesses to create a personalized environment in which to communicate one-on-one with their customers.
Here’s how it works.
You start by creating a Business Profile that includes specifics like email and phone contacts, social media links, office addresses, websites, and other business details. WhatsApp verifies all business accounts, so your customers can trust you’re not an imposter. In addition to all the unique branding options, WhatsApp Business also provides messaging statistics that measure simple metrics behind the messages being sent. This includes statistics on how many messages are sent, delivered, and read.
One of the more interesting advantages of WhatsApp Business is that when someone reaches out to you, that communication is connected to a customer’s phone number. If that person suddenly stops chatting with you, you’re able to easily follow up later. Unfortunately, this connection to a phone number is also WhatsApp Business’s main disadvantage.
The biggest disadvantage to using WhatsApp for business is that the app doesn’t support multiple devices for the same account. WhatsApp accounts are connected to a single phone number, so one phone number equals one device. This makes managing a WhatsApp Business account tricky for teams. One way around this is investing in the WhatsApp Business API. This tool is designed for larger companies who have the ability to take the WhatsApp API endpoint and integrate it into their business software.
But I have a better solution: YoTengoBot, an AI-powered immigration chatbot that I created to help my own immigration law firm scale, and that now helps dozens of other immigration law firms too.
A chatbot to help you scale WhatsApp Business on unlimited devices
You know that feeling when your friend leaves you on read (when you can see they’ve read your text, but they haven’t responded yet)? Potential clients feel that too, so don’t leave them hanging! Studies have found that if you don’t respond to a prospective customer within five minutes you are running the risk of losing that prospect.
Chatbots speed up response times by answering up to 80% of routine questions and 78% of customers favor the company that responds to their inquiry first. Using chatbots to attract potential clients works – if you’re looking for proof that chatbots work, I’ve written all about how immigration lawyer Kathia Pereira uses YoTengoBot with Facebook Messenger to foster her massive social media audience and turn followers into real-life clients. Take it from Kathia:
“I would have to do ten consultations to find two or three cases. And then with YoTengoBot, it screens them for me… So now out of ten consults I probably get seven or eight cases.”
YoTengoBot — which speaks both English and Spanish — can respond instantly to clients on WhatsApp. Don’t expect this bot to speak or act like your average chatbot. YoTengoBot uses natural language processing, which means it understands text responses and isn’t limited to a set of pre-scripted answers.
This chatbot is AI-powered too, so the more you use it and the more people it chats with, the smarter it becomes. With a little training, YoTengoBot can qualify a lead, schedule a consultation, and answer general questions. Best of all, this one-on-one customer service happens without a massive team of humans – chatbots work 24/7 and can have an unlimited number of conversations at the same time.
But why is YoTengoBot so important for immigration law firms that use WhatsApp Business?
When your immigration law firm connects YoTengoBot to your WhatsApp Business account, anyone on your team can log into YoTengoBot and manage the bot’s conversations – meaning you’re not tied to one device. Plus, YoTengoBot can support both WhatsApp Business and Facebook Messenger – which means you have one chat that centralizes communication from multiple apps!
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect one-on-one with clients
WhatsApp has the potential to become the most powerful customer engagement channels, and with WhatsApp Business, it’s already on its way.
But in the immigration industry, the potential is even bigger. Its reach is global and its two billion users are highly engaged, so connecting your law firm to WhatsApp Business allows you to communicate with individuals looking to move to the US in a way that’s almost unprecedented – right on their phone.
Connecting YoTengoBot to your WhatsApp Business account and Facebook Messenger can be done quickly and has measurable results. Chatbots can’t replace humans, but they can offer potential clients that immediate customer service they crave.
Want to see YoTengoBot in action? We’re launching a free version of the bot for a limited number of initial users, so shoot me an email if you want in!