For many years we have been waiting for the WhatsApp API. We thought it had come but it’s still available to a handful of organisations or maybe less. We are still just left stuck with WhatsApp Business.
WhatsApp Business on steroids
One of the many complaints about WhatsApp Business has been that it really doesn’t offer as much as it should. What do I mean by that statement? If you use WB (WhatsApp Business) you’ll quickly realise that though it offers some cool functionality, there’s a lot you’ll be left craving for.
For instance, the quick replies feature is pretty cool but it’s quite limiting since you can’t add custom messages and tailor replies for those particular messages. This is something you can do using the locally developed SmartFlow application.
SmartFlow allows you to automatically respond to queries and messages which can be pretty vital if you’re using WhatsApp as the communication tool for your business.
The ability to create custom messages that you can then also create custom responses to is pretty nifty especially in countries like ours where you may have most questions coming in Shona/Ndebele this becomes a very useful application for most business.
WhatsApp doesn’t allow you to send bulk messages outside of broadcast lists. Even with the broadcast lists, there are limitations. Smartflow allows you to do this. The app mimics human behavior and so WhatsApp will be none the wiser.
API like functions: the big deal
Smartflow has a backend which you can connect to via an API to enable you to build interactive bots that interact with your WhatsApp users. This is a big deal. Essentially with Smartflow, you have a WhatsApp API without needing to wait for the slow moving WhatsApp to give it or sell it to you.
I got in touch with the founder of Mobisoft (the developers of the app), Gideon Moyo and he informed me that Backend Integration would enable businesses to use more advanced features which he explained with two simple use cases/examples:
Simple Use Case – consider someone who is doing a quiz or promotion on radio and wants to collect the responses on WhatsApp. Instead of reading and manually tallying all the responses from users,
smartflowcan forward all these responses to your backend where you can save these in a database and easily analyze and query the results.
Advanced use case – consider an AgriTech startup which wants to provide market data to farmers on demand. The startup can collect and tally live market data in their backend and send this back to users whenever they send a message to their WhatsApp asking for an update.Gedion Moyo – CEO & Founder at Mobisoft
You can see how this is something that can allow your business to differentiate itself quite quickly on WhatsApp if you put your minds to it.
How effective is the app?
Well I’ve got a pretty interesting story that might explain just how effective this app is. I set up some test questions last nightbut I wasn’t aware that the application was already running.
Being the joker that I am I had set the application to respond to every “Hi” with “Wadii” (a very informal and ghetto greeting) which isn’t the best idea when Hi is really a message you could receive from some people you respect and wouldn’t normally respond to in that tone.
Luckily the first person who said Hi was my girlfriend so she was the one who got the auto-response of “wadii” and for a second I thought my WhatsApp was playing tricks on me. Long story short, it works and it works instantly. In