Chatbot is an artificial intelligence systems that enable customer engagement through text messaging, voice, or chat applications such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are increasingly becoming a popular way to interact with consumers.
Businesses in Africa are not currently using chatbots in their customer-facing business processes, with a few exceptions. One of such exception is Ghana-based startup ChatBots Africa, which helps small businesses automate their customer interactions and sales channels using the technology.
In January, CEO Ronald Tagoe launched ChatBots, a company that provides chatbots to organisations via WhatsApp. With WhatsApp having more than 200 million users in Africa, and with many people using the messaging app on a daily basis, ChatBots Africa’s solution allows companies to connect with people at scale via an accessible platform where they’re spending a lot of time.
But Tagoe notes that ChatBots Africa is designed to be accessible to all skill levels, from complete beginners to experienced users.
“Chatbots is easy to adopt and take advantage of,” he said. “Users don’t need any coding knowledge to get results, and it comes with step-by-step video training.”
Still, the startup is encountering challenges when it comes to user adoption, says Tagoe. “Most small- and mid-sized businesses haven’t fully grasped how chatbots could help them improve their workflow processes.” In the long term, Tagoe envisions Chatbot Africa becoming a hub for African enterprises looking to use artificial intelligence.
For instance, the platform does more than just connect to clients through WhatsApp but can also be customised to sync with other tools used for day-to-day business tasks, including sales and marketing. Bots can update company spreadsheets and data with new information and even send customers reminders and alerts if they abandon their shopping carts.
“We provide a more personalised approach to customer engagement,” said Tagoe. “Our platform works to keep things running smoothly by using integrations with many business apps.”
“To him, it’s in the best interest of businesses in Africa to automate customer engagement and repetitive tasks.”
“Also, consumers should trust that the bots will be helpful and responsive to their inquiries,” he added.