Hi, WhatsApp with the food?

Most Africans spend a fair amount of time on WhatsApp daily, catching up on friends, family and general acquaintances. They also sometimes reach out to businesses or prospective customers through the platform as it is easier to send non-text media with a relatively lower data cost than that of other platforms. It is also a pretty efficient app with significantly less app crash or bugs and its recent integration with Facebook and Instagram doesn’t hurt either.

One of the newest products, we at KudiGo are offering to the Consumer Retail industry is the WhatsApp Automation Service. We are currently offering it to restaurants and businesses in the food service industry. This WhatsApp automation allows for restaurant menus and or services to be displayed and readily available to a customer with a simple “Hi”.

The menu would be displayed with an image, the accurate name of the product and the correct price. Every command from there forward is indexed by figures (eg, 1, 2, 3, 4). This helps for the customer to have a wholesome experience making a selection while making sure that they do not have to put too much effort into typing out exactly what they want to order. This avoids possible confusion and unnecessary stress. With this same method, a customer can adjust the quantity of what they want to buy, they can choose to go back without ordering the item and they can also choose to contact our Customer Support Team who are ready to deal with any challenges and answer any questions.

For restaurants with a dedicated number, the customer only needs to send hi to the number of WhatsApp to access the menu and services on offer. For establishments on the shared number, the customer would then specify the Restaurant they wish to order from with a simple figure selection (eg, 1, 2, 3, 4) as the options will be vividly displayed with their accompanying figures.

When making an order, the customer has the option to add an item to the cart and go back to browsing. A Customer can also choose to make payment for what they have selected to buy. When they choose to make payment for their order, a link is sent to them in the same chatbox. When they click on the link, they will be taken to a payments page where they can select how they wish to pay for their order (either Card or any of the Mobile Money networks). At this section, the customer can view a detailed invoice for their order and proceed to complete payment.

On the Restaurant’s end, a quick look at your Reports module on either the StoreFront app or StoreFront 360 (and choosing Mall Orders) can show you all the incoming orders. All orders have all the necessary information to ensure that the accurate thing is done for that order like the Order Number, Order Name and Quantity. To confirm the processing of the order, you just need to change “Order Status” to Processing. When this is done, the Customer will receive an SMS confirming their order and notifying them that it is being worked on. In the same way, you can update the status of the order to “Ready for Pickup” to alert all stakeholders that the order is ready.

Leveraging on WhatsApp to bridge the gap between businesses and the Customers is an awesome way to introduce inclusion and ease to people who are generally more comfortable using one channel of communication over the order. It also helps restaurants to manage and keep track of every order they receive without the Customer having to get the “Call Waiting” or “Number Busy” feedback during rush hour or anytime of the day.

Do not cause your customers to get frustrated, use simple and accessible technology to reach them and offer smooth interaction all day long. Click here to sign up for a DEMO of the WhatsApp Restaurant Automation Service.

Hi, WhatsApp with the food? was originally published in KudiGo Inc on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.