With Adrien Barthel, Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Sleek
More sales inquiries
More qualified leads
Its founders launched the company in Singapore in 2017 as an antidote to the slow pace of paper-based processes. It enables businesses to digitally and remotely sign legal documents, incorporate companies and file requests to a company secretary 24/7, among others. Sleek has expanded to Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom.
To communicate with prospective clients, Sleek incorporated web chat on its website via a service provider. However, agents found the chat interface confusing, which slowed down their response times.
Web chat also produced too few high-quality leads. Prospects often faked their contact details and agents wasted too much time trying to follow up with them.
As most of its competitors were talking to prospects on WhatsApp, Sleek was keen to try moving sales conversations to WhatsApp instead of using web chat. It needed a messaging platform with a more user-friendly interface. It also wanted a better vetting process to verify contact information and generate more qualified leads.
While searching for a suitable business messaging platform, Sleek’s management came across respond.io’s case studies. They signed up for a respond.io free trial account, tested its use cases on the platform and subscribed to the service for all four markets.
To maintain operational autonomy and privacy, Sleek assigned each market an independent Workspace or sub-account within the respond.io platform. The sales and business development teams for each country could access their respective Workspace and its messaging inbox.
Management and agents alike find respond.io ’s user interface intuitive and easy to navigate. They rate the user experience as significantly better than that of their previous solutions provider. Additionally, respond.io has advanced functionality like chat automation and customizable inboxes.
Sleek engaged a WhatsApp partner to set up dedicated WhatsApp API accounts for each country and connected them to their respective Workspaces. It then added WhatsApp chat links and QR codes to its website to drive inquiries. Prospects who click or scan these enter a WhatsApp chat with Sleek’s agents.
This ensures automatic and high-quality lead capturing. Prospects tend to use fake email addresses when filling out contact forms on web chat. However, WhatsApp enables businesses to capture contacts’ WhatsApp profile names and authentic phone numbers.
Furthermore, web chat requires agents and prospects to be online simultaneously to communicate. Agents also lose chat records if they clear their cookies.
WhatsApp allows users to respond when convenient so consultations can take place over time, which is crucial for a complex business like Sleek. A persistent chat history on respond.io ensures agents can refer to previous interactions for context if necessary.
In Singapore, UK and Australia, Sleek’s default language is English. Sleek Hong Kong, however, communicates in two of the region’s most widely spoken business languages: English and traditional Chinese.
Respond.io’s Workflows chat automation makes managing this easier. For the Hong Kong market, a Workflow routes prospects who click on the WhatsApp chat link to the English or Chinese-speaking teams according to the language they selected for browsing the website. It then assigns chats round-robin to an agent for even lead distribution.
Across all markets, most sales inquiries comprise frequently asked questions. Sleek’s agents use canned responses to provide quick and standardized replies to these.
Another Workflow sends an out-of-office reply when prospects message after business hours so they are never left hanging. Instead, they receive a WhatsApp template message with a link to a meeting scheduler to book a consultation.
Respond.io maintains a permanent record of customer interactions across their lifecycle. This qualitative data helps Sleek track the success of its sales efforts and improve its customer service over time.
Additionally, performance metrics such as agent load, first response time and resolution times are monitored in real time. The Reports Module also measures long-term trends such as peak chat hours so managers can make informed decisions about resource allocations.
“Our playground is mainly in the APAC region and respond.io has been an invaluable partner in growing our customer base and relationships here. WhatsApp is an ideal channel for these tech-savvy markets and it has transformed the way we interact with customers. We look forward to strengthening our foothold in the industry with respond.io.” — Adrien Barthel, Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Sleek
Switching its sales conversations over to instant messaging proved to be a tremendous success in Singapore and Hong Kong, where WhatsApp is immensely popular. Sleek noticed that clients tend to maintain relationships over WhatsApp in the long term, even sharing receipts and files for bookkeeping purposes over the channel.
The company reports 3.5x more sales inquiries over WhatsApp than it used to have over web chat. Prospects are less likely to drop off as they can instantly chat with agents instead of filling out a contact form first, removing friction from starting a chat. Sleek records 3x more qualified leads now as it acquires authentic contact information.
With an intuitive UI and automated chat routing and assignment, agents are able to respond to contacts within 2 to 3 minutes of a message. Quick, high-quality responses from its sales teams have earned Sleek an impressive net promoter score (NPS) of 68%.
That said, clients’ enthusiasm for WhatsApp in Australia and the UK is not as high. Sleek is reexamining its strategy and is contemplating adding Facebook Messenger to respond.io as an alternative for both markets.