Ride hailing company Uber is innovating with a new AI-powered chatbot which enables customers in India to order rides via WhatsApp, creating what it calls a seamless booking experience.
Developed by cloud communication platform Infobip, the chatbot has been built and deployed on the WhatsApp for Business platform using Infobip’s chatbot building platform Answers. The WhatsApp to Ride (WA2R) experience is now available for Uber riders across Delhi and its surrounding area, one of Uber’s top cities globally by volume. The launch comes after a pilot in Lucknow in December last year where Uber received a significant proportion of ride requests from new users in what it said is a demonstration of potential product market fit.
By 2025, 80% of customer service organisations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favour of omnichannel messaging to deliver a better customer experience, according to Gartner. Now more than ever, rather than trying to tempt users away from their favoured apps, business and brands must meet them where they are.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for our new sets of consumers to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,” said Abhilekh Kumar, Director, Business Development, Uber India South Asia. “Our partnership with WhatsApp enables that, giving riders a new way to book a ride through a simple, familiar, and trusted channel. We are pleased to co-create the chatbot feature with Infobip for an altogether new customer experience while booking an Uber ride.”
“Customers are increasingly moving away from an app-only approach,” said Silvio Kutić, CEO of Infobip. “Instead, customers want to communicate with brands using their preferred method. So, businesses need to be where their customers are and provide an end-to-end customer journey within the channels their customers use. We’re delighted to have played a role in building this new WhatsApp chatbot solution for Uber and look forward to seeing its impact now and in the future as its rollout continues. We are even more thrilled as we are the global cloud communication platform provider to both the companies involved – Uber and WhatsApp.”
“After a successful implementation of the ‘WhatsApp to ride’ experience in Lucknow, we are excited to expand WhatsApp’s partnership with Uber and launch this service for users in Delhi,” added Ravi Garg, Director, WhatsApp Partnerships, India. “The simplicity of ride-booking experience within the WhatsApp interface has helped Uber acquire new riders and we look forward to supporting them in their growth trajectory. Uber and businesses across sectors are leveraging the WhatsApp Business Platform to build a variety of scaled custom solutions that help advance customer convenience and enable richer customer engagement.”