Interview with Paul Gandar from Stitch-AI on the future of communications technology. In particular developments with WhatsApp and how with the release of its business API it is creating changes and new opportunities for communicating with customers.
Find out more about Stitch-AI -> Here.Interview Transcript
So hi everyone. I’m here with Paul Gandar. Today who’s the founder of stitch AI, who we’re going to chat a little bit about some of the future of Communications and Technology, which I know you’ve been sort of instrumental in sort of heavily involved in. So so welcome. Welcome, Paul. It’s really good to have you here. So we spend a bit of time I suppose, just chatting before around WhatsApp in particular, and like the future technology, and through the pandemic, everything’s been moving online and becoming much more digital. So be good to see. Maybe just pick up on some of the themes that that you’ve seen recently, and particularly talking about some of the WhatsApp interfaces that have been coming out. I’ll be interested to hear.
Yeah, sure. So. So the WhatsApp as we know it, and the apps on our phone, it’s just revolutionise the way we communicate with our friends, families and groups. And so it’s it’s sort of moving on from text messaging, it’s, it’s kind of picking up the why is it it’s the it’s the the UI, the user interface of WhatsApp is just so much more fluid than than email. So a lot of people, when you don’t organise a night out with your friends, we’re not doing not at the moment because we’re in lockdown. But in a normal world, you don’t email your friends about organising something you create. You communicate. My mom who’s nearly 70. And this isn’t just a thing for millennials. So the the use of WhatsApp is just gone. I think it exploded across all demographics of society. It’s just the way we communicate. So what WhatsApp are doing with their API’s enabling brands to connect with consumers? What we’re seeing it because it is so new, the brands that are doing it right now tend to be the large corporates because of the complexities and the cost involved. We rolling this out to smaller firms, smaller teams, I should say. And the use of it is quite quite startling. So we play in in verticals but to give you this couple of interesting stats that sort of stick in my mind that you’ll be familiar with the property market in it you wouldn’t buy a house you go one of the portals Zoopla Rightmove on the market, and usually put a phone or an email. Half of people just submit those forms out to the people that submit the forms over half opting in to chat with the agent over over WhatsApp. That’d be powerful the sheer volume, and any estate agents listening here will know the volume of inquiries coming in. So when half of those inquiries, if you take a broad spectrum of the b2c market, a lot of people looking at houses, you’re given the choice. Would I like to WhatsApp over half of saying yes, that’s how I want to communicate that that that is telling Oh, and in terms of the adoption of how people are willing to use whatsapp to communicate with the business.
Why is it WhatsApp and not SMS? I mean, SMS has been around for a long time and now you get your doctor notifications you get your appointment reminders that your dentist there’s kind of through SMS and you’ve done that for longest otherwise it what do you think is different about WhatsApp that is a game changer from say what we’ve had with with SMS.
So SMS is restricted in its character set, it can be quite expensive if you were to have a tune in to and from conversation with someone over SMS, it is very, very expensive. You start racking up it’s not like SMS we have in our personal phones. They’re kind of the charging for that is different in a business environment,
because. Why you texting me and just WhatsApp because that’s where we live. And I think it’s the other perspective. Your SMS is great for notifications. If you think about it a doctor’s appointment alert, a reminder, it’s where it’s a message going out, and there’s no expectation of a reply coming back. It’s an instruction to remind you to tell it and that’s where I think SMS is going to start retaining its place. It’s not conversational. Yeah, brief business, you’ve got phone, email, SMS notifications, but WhatsApp becomes that kind of blend of all of them is SMS has a very good open rate that you don’t engage and respond and chat in SMS. Email is email. Email is the evolution of the letter. And you know, consider that you don’t use email to have conversations with people. Another analogy someone gave him a great one the other day is you know, if you’ve got a fire in your house, you don’t email the fire brigade. He called them and there’s a point in in a customer journey or engagement that what is the most relevant form of communication at that point. Own is relevant a lot of the time but not in others. And consumer behaviour now is much more, you know, I don’t want to be sold to. And it’s just that in the way that you use in your in your personal life, you know, you don’t, you might not call your other half, you might just message them. Like if you call them they don’t answer who uses voicemail? Right? You hang up, you send them a message. Yeah. So that whole concept and we all work that way. We’re so used to it in our personalised but then when we go to work, we’ve got an email, which we know has certainly if you’re dealing with people or as a business as engaging with customers with gmail and hotmail accounts, you know, what’s your open rate to 18 and 25%. And that’s when they want to hear from you. And then phone playing telephone tag. So many, so many verticals struggle with this basic, basic communication, we’re in our personal lives. It’s sold by whatsapp.
And I suppose just WhatsApp gives you extra ability, I suppose with the API that’s been released to be able to track some of those things in terms of document delivery and those kind of things.
What Yeah, yeah. It’s exactly the same. So from the business sending a message out, you can see when it’s been delivered, only read absolutely the same. So you know, when someone’s got a message, very powerful, if, you know, keeping track on chasing that as a payment divan has been, has been sent out, I think actually read it. Yes. They read it, there’s no question that because with email, you don’t know. And the other problem with email is junk and spam. Yeah, yes. Don’t know, with spam filters, whether the message got through. So now you absolutely know. And, again, it goes back to why don’t we use email, it is the evolution of the letter, we use email. So we can create accounts on applications and web services and apps. We don’t Converse out of it. Yet, when we deal with the business, that’s the only digital form of communication that we
have. So do you think we’re on a server for if the email was an evolution of letter? Right? And so we we all adopted it, and then we sort of then we started getting spammed with it to a certain extent that happened with SMS to a certain extent do you think that’s going to happen with with with WhatsApp? I mean, how they how’s the API guarding against that? Or? Yeah, I think that’s gonna happen.
I mean, I suspect WhatsApp have been I mean, Facebook bought them for $19 billion. This is my thoughts and how they’ve got to this point, not not official WhatsApp, or Facebook, but clearly they you know, that business was bought and we as consumers don’t pay for WhatsApp. And as we know, Facebook are a money making machine. And you know, they’ve gone down the advertising route with Facebook Messenger with Facebook. So with WhatsApp, it’s, I think it’s been, I think, was incredibly important for WhatsApp is protecting that inbox. Spam and junk, you as a whatsapp user, you’re in control of that. So WhatsApp has some very strict rules of engagement. Number one, subscriber only, you have to give explicit consent. So take the analogy of an aside. You know, I’m sure at the past, we’ve all potentially bought a house or rented a house. So you make an inquiry via a portal, you put your name your phone number, now, when that inquiry gets through to the business, but that is not consent to just send a WhatsApp message out, it’s not consent, not explicitly, you put their phone number you can text them, but you could you could sort of put rules of GDPR to one side, but also WhatsApp Terms of Service. So if if the portals Rightmove Zoopla or wherever if want to contact us form, they have a tick box underneath the phone number saying I consent to be contacted over WhatsApp nowadays consent is different. So in terms of protecting the Holy Grail, but 90% Plus open and read rate is what they want to maintain. They know they don’t necessarily want to go turning your whatsapp inbox into something that then turned into another spam fest value to anyone the value of us as consumers in engaging with each other is that we’re going to get a reasonably quick response out of someone because it’s relevant. A minute WhatsApp loses its relevancy in there is a danger of that happening. So So WhatsApp have a number of rules. Consensus is at the top of them. Another one is that you’re not allowed just to send any message you want to someone on WhatsApp, at some point in the future. They have a sort of thing in place. It’s called templated messages. So these templated messages are submitted to a human upper WhatsApp, they check the messages, they see what your business is, and as long as it is relevant, informative and something of use, then it gets validated. tempted. They’ll reject it if it’s too spammy or promotional, bad grammar. So within a messaging environment from a business perspective, you’ll have a list of templates that you can customise by like high insert name over to the insert, product description or problem or
standard messages that go out. It’s as
long as you You got to think about it, you know, this is not, this is not the top of the funnel stuff. This is not right, this is going out a load of Oh, seven numbers and stuff, you’ll get fired for that WhatsApp have a system of, you know, it’s like if someone ever if a business wants to WhatsApp people, the very first time you’ve got the ability to market is unknown called spam. Yeah, the troll is in the power of the user. So the businesses have to think very, very carefully. So you don’t you don’t just go adding anyone to it. Because if you do, you’ll get blacklisted and get your account odd. So so the ways it’s, I think it’s incredibly up on WhatsApp list to maintain that relevancy, because if they, if they don’t keep that going, then yeah, the rebate will be in decline.
And how do you think about I mean, WhatsApp is a closed system, as far as it is WhatsApp. It’s Facebook and WhatsApp. I mean, do you think that’s going to cut off some areas? I mean, it’s sort of building that brand. I mean, they’re going to be competing messaging services that are going to come in as well? Or do you think just got such a market lead? Or is it going to cut some people out to the market? I’m thinking about, almost like accessibility to the wider market. I mean, SMS is accessible everywhere, right. But WhatsApp is you got to be WhatsApp, us. I mean, most of us are you might argue,
yeah, I mean, so if you take America, Facebook Messenger is the king out there. China WeChat. And Australia is also Facebook Messenger, I believe, but the certainly Europe in the UK, the prevalence is just massive. The the messaging sort of software solutions that we’re providing will be so much channel irrelevant. So if a customer messages on Viber, or messenger or WhatsApp, you know, all of those messages can come from several channels and be presented into one place. We turned that on the channel. And I think, you know, you’ve got Apple business chat coming out Google RCS, what, from a UK perspective, WhatsApp is key. And I, I think it’s, it’s no, no, no, it’s got a crystal ball. But I think messaging here to stay, whether it’s WhatsApp, who knows, three years, five years from now. But messaging is the structure of a message, we’re used to that system. We use a certain feature to be messaging, which just isn’t an email. So I no question. Is it is WhatsApp going to be here? I think it messaging is here to stay. Whether whether that changes from one format to another is kind of a debate that messaging? Absolutely.
So we’re just chatting earlier. And I know when you sort of showed me a little bit behind the scenes, just in terms of, you know, do you think that do you think that the whole way we communicate with people is going to change? So, so what I thought was quite interesting was, for example, sending statements as an example over messaging, and having the security around that and almost like that stream of consciousness or stream of conversation. You can almost like see it happening in your whatsapp in WhatsApp group, right. are in your whatsapp messaging? Do you think that’s Do you think? Do you think we’re on a sea change is sort of changing the way we talk with companies?
Yeah, I mean, you take, say, KLM, the airline, okay, not a lot of client of ours, you go, you go to the website, go to contact us. They have no live chat, no email, if you want to get in contact with Kailyn. There’s phone, WhatsApp Messenger. That’s it. Because it makes, you know, they are the most globally as a global provider, that that covers all their bases. And yet, when you start it’s more than just the chat side of it. It’s the media side. So as you say, statements within your whatsapp, I don’t know if most people realise this. But when you go to your either your contacts or your group, it has media links, and Docs is also organising any attachments, links, videos, all that media is neatly arranged under the businesses API, you know, WhatsApp business account. If you were to email that statement to a consumer, when who you consume it. Oh, I say that in my Dropbox, 100 that file there. It just goes into your email, and then everything else will comes in behind that. And then suddenly, I can’t find that document. And but WhatsApp structures documents is everything that tweeted the interaction. So yes, you’ll see it neatly in your, your chat, your persistent chat window, or the docs that have been sent, but also media links and dots. So yeah, absolutely. Documentation and media exchange is so much easier in WhatsApp.
And can you can you make can you make live calls like this? You can do video calls on WhatsApp, you can do live person to person calls on what’s happening sort of on a personal we can definitely do that. Is that is that is that enable for businesses as well?
No, not at the moment. So within the API docs, there’s no support for that. And again, if this is my guess, I don’t know what’s coming around the corner. But I’d be amazed if they didn’t start opening that side of things up. We need to get a little My background is in telecoms, and to try and take a call on a phone in WhatsApp in all all businesses, phone systems. And so to try and route that call inside of systems quite complicated. So it’s going to be a real shift change, I believe in certainly for the b2c sector in that audience are and that’s the way communicate, software will have to be evolved to manage that interaction. But the moment that built we’ve, we’ve got the tools to do it and document exchange. And for me, I see it as a natural progression. Not at the moment, and I don’t even think it is in any of the documentation. But I’d be absolutely amazed if they wouldn’t go down that route in the future.
I mean, you could certainly see it, you could have basically all communication goes to one channel, and it becomes a channel and the channel becomes WhatsApp. And it’s it’s not the channel isn’t the media. It’s actually just I mean, it’s WhatsApp and it covers voice. It covers video covers documents that covers, you know, text communication, everything right. You could you could say that that’s what, that’s what made me think and we’ve chatted before, you know, and is that is that a new way of interacting with people
before it could well be I mean, the word omni channel is bandied around quite a lot, you know, make it as customer wants to email they want to phone they want to customers communicate in their own way that suits them best. There’s no doubt about it that for a lot of people at the moment, WhatsApp is easy, just an easy way of communicating. So So if WhatsApp then want to try and dominate their market, that’s if they if they build the tools and make it easy, then people will people will know that the path of least resistance. If consumers demand we can see the demand now for messaging. If you if you put a photo on a website, today, think about what you do. Think about Ivan, I want to buy some tires for your car. Alright, so this particular industry, I know struggles with not answering the phone very well. So in a your your, your website, you type in your postcode, and if you’ve got a choice of a phone number, an email or a click to WhatsApp, the branch under the half a you’re going to click on that WhatsApp. That’s just not that’s just what we’re gonna do. And that number will only ever increase because we’ll just get more used to it. But it is the path of least resistance for us. And believe it or not, it’s easy for the business because email, email one on one, you know, this is a Chris work on a project, my unique email address to yours is fine. But the moment you start trying to manage messages at scale into a shared inbox, email, art because if you say if you’ve got 10 People in department and you send it to sales at what happens is that email gets sent 10 times over to 10 different people, those who reply or unless they’ve got systems and software to manage those sort of large call centres has that expensive customers out there that manage existing systems, but they’re quite clunky and slow. The challenge to a business is how do they manage this inbound communication effectively. And with WhatsApp. Not only is it easy for the customer, when their Mac message comes in, it’s either an unassigned chat or it’s assigned to someone owner, it doesn’t get sent out 10 times over. And so it’s almost like a ticket this ticketing system. So when a customer has a query, it has an owner. And then of course, from a managing of the process or manager, the staff who are managing the process. Got a dashboard, right? How many chats are we resolving? There’s Caitlin there’s information there’s, you know, there’s response times there’s that chat there. There’s all these things that can then be managed better. Because fundament phone if we just go back to phones, a lot of organisations struggle with the peaks and troughs. So when they’re busy, the phone rings and as a consumer experience pretty poor, and certainly go back to the tire tire industry. You know, you call up one Bronto there’s no answer. I’ll just try the next one. You know that that could be 1000 pounds sale gone just because you weren’t answering the phone at time. Or even some of the tools that we’ve been building. We’re turning queuing phone calls or waiting or abandoned calls that were about to be abandoned into WhatsApp chats. Imagine called a branch and it you know, sorry to keep you waiting, please continue to hold on press one start to WhatsApp chat. It picks up your nose, your mobile number and it sends you a text and it sends you a WhatsApp message. And then we can start an automation journey there. You know what was your query prequalify it and it just buys a little bit of time so that when someone in the branch can deal with it because the phone is the straight? It’s not called straightaway. But WhatsApp is the asynchronous nature. So it is easier for companies to manage. Live we haven’t really talked about live chat, but live chat there. And then you’ve got a business bond customers on your website, you’ve got a server, but we’ve worked at it is the AC asynchronous chat. The chat has left the website, on phone on the on the app on their phone, and the immediacy is not the same for all involved.
mean I think that goes both ways. And that means one of the reasons why I think As consumers we like we like messaging is because it doesn’t demand an instant response. It’s like you’re you’re you’re on break at work. And you just you need to get something sorted. So you press a button, and you know that it’s going to go out there, you’re going to get something back maybe at lunchtime, or at the end of the day, when you’re doing your work, maybe if you if you’ve got kids when your kids are gone to bed, and so it allows you to have it probably staggered over a different time period, but it’s more efficient for you, right. And I suppose that’s, that can also be true from a, from a customer from, from a client point of view from a business point of view as well.
If you’ve got a call centre, then it’s kind of that, you know, there are people there 1015 20 3040 people, they’re there. They’re doing these things, a lot of businesses, they have got distributed sales and service teams. And it’s typically sales and service teams where the asynchronous nature of WhatsApp can just make make it a lot easier. The every business wants to respond to every inquiry within a certain timeframe. But it’s not always possible. WhatsApp as you say, it’s an example I have a I had a, I’ve got a 40 Tap, I’ve got one of the key brands and Cuca Cuca is boiling more taps. And I’ve got a problem with it. And of course, I have to do it via email. Now I know I can send a video from my email, but it’s just easier. It’s native in WhatsApp to send a video. So from from from a retail brand experience. There you go. There’s a problem a video has gone through it’s been then answered in WhatsApp at the other end and then responded to back. And of course that at the sanctuaries I don’t need it. I don’t it’s on a website or live chat I need to be stopping it could be waiting. It’s just different. The experience is completely different from a consumer. So So yeah, the asynchronous nature of it is it fits more into the need of the consumer. And that’s what for me is what it’s all about is serving the customer in what’s best for them.
And the buttons on the buttons on the website. So seeing some buttons on the website. I mean, do you get what’s what’s the increase in response rate as a result of doing that?
I think it’s been a bit, I’d like to say it’s great. I think it intangibly feels better speaking to some of the clients with we’re very new in what we’re doing. Because basically what they’re doing with debt, I mean, we just take we took on a car leasing company, at any went live about two weeks ago. And there’s no question about it, the quality, the volume is going up and the quality is going up. Because people if they’re going to get their mobile number, it’s very different to give him a Hotmail or Gmail email address out button. That often it’s full of spam anyway, but for someone to give their or to actually come forward with their mobile number on their WhatsApp. So I think you find it the quality, it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality of inquiry. So just just just to add there, he actually said to me that the Instagram inquiries, they get a very low quality, there’s high volume, they’ve got to be served, we’ve still got to go through them be to the quality of the WhatsApp inquiries, our heads and shoulders above. So I think Do you
think people don’t like to click on a whatsapp link than they are to more hesitant around that versus actually giving their phone number? Right? So it’s kind of like, No, I am I’m quite quite happy to be message because I can ignore it. I can delay it, those kind of things, but someone who phones me, maybe I was like, well, that’s going to be more of a bother because it will go after in a meeting or you know, when I’m doing some doing Do you know doing something else right. I’m busy driving for that. Whereas a whatsapp I can sort of it’s dialled down in terms of the immediacy of it, and almost like the call it that it’s not shouting out for attention in quite the same way, even though it buzzes
we alluded to earlier, when the verticals we work in is a state agency, and one agent told me that they had it they had 86 in and out of those 86 they only spoke on the phone to 17. And that’s seven and that includes people return calls out of those 8080 Plus calls. And it just it shows you that consumer behaviour is different that people don’t aren’t phone like they used to every business recruitment, estate agent automotive, they’re all saying customers don’t pick up the phone, like they just don’t answer the phone. And it goes back to that asynchronous nature. You know, people are driving their shift patterns that you know, it’s just it kind of is communication on the consumers terms. The business can see when they’ve read it and they’re being available to that to those inquiries, be they sales inquiries, service inquiries, account queries, whatever they may be. It’s it’s yeah, it’s it’s just changing but it’s changing consumer habits.
And then do you think that the pandemic of the lockdown is gonna affect the way we communicate with each other? Do you think that’s if you think that’s going to drive more change? Or is this is this is going to happen anyway? I don’t know.
Without a doubt, every every business we’re talking to is saying that because then there’s just been a real shift changing adoption. We own teams called Zoom call. The way we work is just every now and then, so in the businesses that are more b2c facing I think digital communication is as relevant now and more relevant than it’s ever. About what what what can we do to, to connect with our consumers in the most relevant way? And certainly and even from a distributor, you know, forget, yes, your customers being distributed. So after distributed, and you’re you’re engaging in certain communication channels now that if a member of staff is communicating on their personal illegally, we were great. Salespeople, so are they telling us, you know, they’re using their personal WhatsApp, so there’s no one else in the team? No one knows what’s going on. If you’re working remotely, suddenly, you have a team inbox, and everyone knows what’s going on. So yeah, I think I’ll give you another thought. When the first lockdown was hit, everyone went to garden centres, right. So at that point, the only way you get there, you weren’t allowed to turn up, you had to call up to Maker to tell them what you wanted? Or my garden centre, or the three of them they’re nearby, just permanently engaged when the phone did ring, no one answered it. Okay, back to you. You know, the phone and you know, it’s just, it would be so much easier. And you know, website, if you’ve got an inquiry, just WhatsApp it to make it easy for the customer. Right? You can
watch that and then just auto respond right, even with some of the answers as well.
Usually an auto so there’s only so much auto responses can do. I think it’s a good thing to sometimes acknowledge a customer or an inquiry. If you could, if you filled out Contact Us form, we can then start a bit of a whatsapp chat pre qualifying right? What are you detail? Use, use the autoresponder to capture and maybe just direct, you’re not going to go getting and what a mess if someone’s going to be spending a fortune on on a lot of software. But you can do some really basic, just common sense flows within within WhatsApp that take half an hour to set up, you know, once we know it’s the 8020 rule in life. I’m a big believer in and you know, by by guiding that, given a bit of a first response, and then waiting for someone in take the Golden Century as an example. You know, bring to the inquiry, please can you know, please tell us make your inquiry? Would you like to place an order for collection now? Or ask a question? So if someone wants to place an order, we can then put that straight through to a team who can fulfil it? Or is it some question, we can send it to a different team.
So bit like a whatsapp IVR type.
We’ve had it for years on phone systems press one for sales to this, we see exactly the same. We’re not looking anything overly complicated here. You know, we’re not going to try and understand pick up sentiments and intent, which that sort of software is out there. And it comes at the higher end of the scale, that you can do a hell of a lot with some fairly, fairly basic flows.
So the other the other thing we’ve got is we’ve got proliferation of channels, right? So I just like looking at my my computer here, I’ve got I’ve got I’ve got a Slack session. I’ve got teams session with teams, we’ve got zoom, I’ve got Skype, I got email, I’ve got messenger, I’ve got Twitter, I mean, I just keep you just keep what you just keep on going. Right seems like we have to keep on top of everything. I mean, do you think we’re getting too much is that is it too many channels? Or? Because every every software company wants to have their own data?
Yeah, they do. And I think there are too many. I think I like what KLM has done. Phone, WhatsApp, messenger, because there’s an element of making yourself accessible. But then if you’re too accessible, you then can’t control. And it’s when you’ve got messaging at scale coming in. So I think in the b2b world, email is still king for internal communications, Slack and teams have helped him I used to in my last company, we got about 3540 staff. And it drew it just drove me nuts, that constant reply all email threads, this is going back three years ago, when they’re talking to that point, everything and letting someone sit in three metres from me doing a reply all email asking me a question to talk to me and the whole thing. And I don’t think our culture was any different to anyone else’s. It’s just email was all you had. So slack and teams have come along. So yeah, instant messaging internally better than email. But you’ve now got these silos of information. You’ve got a customer contact here, internal chat about it, and there’s a disconnect. Yeah, and that is a problem. So you know, there are tools out there where it will blend all of these silos, WhatsApp, Slack, email, you name it, it will put it into a consolidated inbox, but that workflow solution, not a channel. You know, I think businesses need to think about what channels are right for us. So we LM, you know, sort of eat us an example but they don’t choose email as a customer communication channel. Totally with suppliers. Absolutely. But they are trying to focus client communication down done just a couple of channels that are relevant for them. I like a sound short I’ve got internal systems and chats and all sorts of to gain suppliers but they probably broken down areas of their business like how can we do this in the most efficient way? If you were to take a estate agent, do I think in three years time, email communication will be high? No, I don’t as a consumer, why would I want to email someone? When I can do securely over messaging? Yeah, it takes take the payment, you know, the legal side of solicitors wins. Now, when someone says, right, please, can you transport me 4000 pounds this escrow account? email phishing, it’s just, it’s such a problem. You know, I don’t know what the figures out there in terms of the fraud that goes on. It’s a hell of a lot of money, because the banks are, you know, trying to combat it. The problem is email, spoofing, you know, someone goes and hacks your email, currency domain. But WhatsApp, WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, what they’re trying to make sure is that with their encryption with their end to end encryption, when you are getting a message from a business, you know, it’s them. It’s very difficult for us to go and get a WhatsApp account for a business. It’s a lot of work, you know, you have to prove who you are. You need read company registration documents, you need utility bills address to match those two factor authentication. There’s even you know, once once all that you’ve once you’ve gotten past that point, and what’s happened, so yeah, okay, we’re happy that your Facebook business manager is all verified, then there’s a loop there’s a verification code is placed on your whatsapp API number. It is going to be very difficult for anyone to start spoofing these brands. Because that’s where email falls short. So just just on security and encryption alone, that would be a reason why in the b2c sector, do I see email being an email now is the dominant one, there’s no because it could have been a five year headstart on everything else. But you start giving someone a choice as a customer, again, that will that will push the thought process of the businesses to say what how many channels do we want?
There’s some interesting developments specifically on WhatsApp. There’s some interesting developments, I thought, even in the last the last the last month or so, because I know that messaging is a big, big topic, I think in Microsoft, like teams is like is like one of the top top products has all the investment and all the eyes looking at it. But WhatsApp was quite interesting in terms of like, I think the US there’s there’s new developments around being able to use Facebook and social messaging for contact I’m talking about for collections here. So the banks be able to reach out and contact people. And the other piece I thought was interesting was I think it’s a trial in India, where they’re actually doing payments with WhatsApp. And so that’s quite an interesting from a from a financial services point. That’s quite interesting in terms of like, so yes, you got one hand, you got people who can then be contacted proactively, which is a little bit what we’re chatting about here. But in another market, you’ve actually got payments being taken as well, and that that further closes the ecosystem to a certain extent. And yeah,
it makes a lot more efficient. And in a bit like we do in the voice payments, I suspect will be something that will be high on their agenda. And, you know, there’s I suppose we just have to wait until these things are officially launched. But yeah, absolutely. And you’re right, they are trialling it in other countries. And I read the other day WhatsApp at the API having a doing some A B testing on other aspects of it in different countries so they can compare, how does it go back to my earlier point, WhatsApp don’t want to decrease the consumer experience, the consumer experience is incredibly high on their list. I think they’ve got this fine balance between keeping the customer happy, and the businesses happy because kids will be paying for this. And but if they can roll out payments, I think that would be a huge, huge thing. Because of us. You know that the last 10 years banks have been creating apps so we can do mobile banking. But of course now it’s all about chatbots in WhatsApp to make payment. The payment to you know, set, there’s a contact in your phone who’s authorised? You just do it via chat. Because chat is that, you know, people don’t necessarily want to you know, I think chat is the new apps really, because rather than having to go into an app to do something, just give a command ended up and I think so payments and authorizations I could say I don’t know the detail of it i But but certainly with the solutions that we’re sort of working with Adam when that those software experiences are available. That’s the sort of thing we’re based in pushing out to our clients. And we started off with just the like the shared inbox the messaging side of things. And already we were to you know, we’re building on to you experiences such as turning abandoned call hearing calls into WhatsApp chats and payments will just be another plugin. There’s going to be QR codes from physical locations. Make it easy when you’re sending out payment in sending out a statement in the post. QR codes make it easy for someone to respond a there’s just there’s so many things that are going to change all built around around Mecca WhatsApp is that delivery mechanism.
They were one of the innovators If it was, it was an enterprise, it was an onboarding service. And the whole of the onboarding process was just through chat. There was no forms to fill out, it was everything was through chat, and they had some sort of bot in the back basically capturing the data. So I hadn’t seen that before. And you can sort of see that almost like evolving in terms of like, what we’re talking about, and like getting getting more like that. And do you have a, you know, do you think you could have almost like a complete service? That’s completely service just through one particular continuous you know, chatting, essentially? Yeah,
I mean, take the pre qualification and data capture as humans are more likely to, to supply in a once we started a chat and it asks us a question. It’s just more personable, it doesn’t. You do it in WhatsApp, it doesn’t feel like a bot doing it. And then he’ll if you want to sell unregistered, some details, like what is your full name capture? What is your address capture, and then enter into a CRM, so that work doesn’t have to be manually done. And whilst you I suppose you you can do that with forms, but the the uptake of forms, you know, again, you email someone a form, you got to wait for them to fill it in and they start it, then they, they forget it. Whereas what it’s just that if that flow, it’s just yeah, it.
But I think it’s also that the asynchronicity of the flow as well in the fact that actually in some ways, rather than having shorter handle times, what we’re actually going to have is total handle times will be much longer. And if from a customer point of view, I mean, they want to have longer handle times because they’re doing it in between whilst they’re making dinner. Those are things I think that’s, that’s, that’s almost like a new dynamic, that’s that’s coming out because it was always like, let’s get it done, just get it done quick, let’s get close down. But actually, the customer wants to stretch it out. And this gives us a way of doing it more efficiently.
You know, they might if you’re a form, we know it’s like you’ve got a form to fill in as a bit of information you get to it. It’s like, I don’t know the answer to that article, and then you stop and then it’s kind of it, can you go back to Oh, I just finished that one off there. You write the async a lot of it comes back down to that ace asynchronicity or that
port has been great to chat to you. I really appreciate you taking the time. So it’s we’ve had some interesting conversations. It’s very, very interesting ideas and you can sort of see it gradually developing. And with the digital lean towards digital, I think just through that through the pandemic. I think it’s it’s sort of accelerating some of these ideas. So it’s fascinating videos.
But Thanks for Thanks, Chris. We’ll speak soon.
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