Today, Woztell is launching Partner Talks, an initiative aimed at showcasing how Whatsapp and the WhatsApp API is used around the world.

It consists of a series of interviews with Woztell partners from all over the world, each focusing on a specific region or topic.

In our first episode, we invited Kevin Merlos, CEO of Novazys, a Woztell partner from Costa Rica, to share his vision on how the education sector in Latin America is using WhatsApp, and the challenges to educate the next generation of business people.

Kevin Merlos - CEO de Novazys

Kevin Merlos – CEO at Novazys

Master in Business Management, Economist with specialisation in Process Management. CEO of Novazys in Costa Rica and KMG Consulting Group in Nicaragua.

He has led more than 100 Digital Transformation projects in the Latin American Region, with a main emphasis on CRM Strategies and Business Productivity.

He enjoys spending his time writing, spending time with his family and friends, and believes in shared leadership, which he has used in his companies over the last few years. Kevin Merlos is a visionary of Digital Transformation and Education especially in Latin America where he is confident that our region still has much more to grow in this area.

Incoming webinar with Novazys: WhatsApp integrated with CRM as one of the main routes to Digital Transformation

We will talk about the role that WhatsApp currently plays in the business world, its importance and the advantage that integration with a CRM brings; from our experience, we will share various benefits that have contributed to the digital transformation of the region with respect to this topic.

Key points of the talk

How WhatsApp is used in Costa Rica and Latin America 

This interview is dedicated to how WhatsApp is used in Costa Rica and Latin America, so, let’s start.

The usage keeps increasing and, as of now, there is no sign of a change in user preference.

WhatsApp is the most used messaging app and will remain so in the future. It is used both for personal and business purposes.

We are in a region that is in constant growth both economically and educationally.

Sometimes it can be difficult to draw a line between personal and business messaging, however, it is important to do so to avoid setting the wrong expectations and creating problems in the future.

When people share their WhatsApp number, there is an expectation that replies will be constant and immediate.

It is important to have a separate WhatsApp number for business, to create some separation between our personal and our professional worlds.

When employees hand out their personal WhatsApp instead of a business Whatsapp API number, several problems arise:

  • First, the employee will receive work messages at all times, including during their days off and at night.
  • Naturally, they won’t be constantly replying to the customer, creating a worse customer experience (even more so given the expectation of immediate replies that comes with WhatsApp messages).
  • Finally, the business has no control/visibility of those messages, as they depend on the employee’s mobile phone and not a company number.

If done well, however, WhatsApp can have great benefits for a business.

WhatsApp on education in Costa Rica and Latin America 

In Latin America, there is a lot of growth potential for WhatsApp both in the economy and in education. In more developed regions it feels like everything has already been done (to some extent).

In Latin America, there is still a lot to do and constant growth, creates great potential.

In the field where we work, education, digital transformation is in high demand.

Some key points are:

  • Today’s professionals need skills and knowledge that are not included in the traditional university curriculum.
  • Companies need workers that already have applicable knowledge and skills in these areas, not just theory and abstract ideas.

We know that communication is a key area of learning; it encompasses every business function from talking to clients, to ensuring departments are communicating well with each other and information is flowing smoothly.

  • For each situation, people need to understand what is the most appropriate solution, is it email?, an internal chat?, WhatsApp?.
  • The communication method that is chosen will have a significant impact on productivity.
  • If the information doesn’t flow well in a company, everything breaks down.

Today’s professionals are expected to know things that aren’t included in a traditional university curriculum.

When it comes to communication, there is a knowledge gap between what students straight out of university have and what is needed to make a difference in a company; so, understanding communication systems is a prerequisite to building them and using them well.

How Novazys is working to help the education business through WhatsApp 

Novazys initially started working with educational institutions (like universities or language schools) on their internal communication systems, and this later evolved into teaching their students how these systems work and how to use them.

  • Today they have alliances with universities in Costa Rica and Nicaragua where they help to create the curriculum for courses.
  • They learn about these trends, like conversational commerce, and the tools used.

If we stop to think about how University students are using WhatsApp, it is obvious that they use it a lot.

Very often students use WhatsApp groups or messages in parallel with e-learning, especially after Covid-19, when online learning has become more widespread.

And here we go back to the initial conversation, where we mentioned the importance of distinguishing between personal and business WhatsApp.

The personal option may be ok for students, but when dealing with sales and admin staff there is a risk of the university losing data or contacts when the person stops working there or loses their phone.

This can be an issue especially during the recruitment process.

Companies like Novazys can help universities structure their communication and WhatsApp usage.

  • Once universities start using these systems, it becomes easier to include them in their courses and teach their usage.
  • Having a single WhatsApp number also helps universities to centralize their communication.
  • Experience also shows that using WhatsApp in advertisements significantly increases their effectiveness.
  • For many people, a WhatsApp conversation is a lot simpler and easier to understand than navigating a website or using a mobile app.

Instant messaging adds high value to a business.

 Conclusion 

Kevin believes that the collaboration that Novazys has with universities is something that other companies in other industries should copy, because helping and collaborating with a university and teaching students how to use enterprise software and tools, creates better-prepared workers.

To conclude, Kevin says:

There is a lot of demand in the region for this type of professionals, and he also believes that his region has the potential to grow and become a provider of professional services to other countries.

There is a lot of thirst for knowledge in the region and people like our partners can help guide both businesses and universities in the right direction, showing them what tools are available, how to use them and when to use them.

At Woztell we are seeing that conversational commerce seems to be on the rise in Latin America, and businesses, including education, need help to adapt to this change and reap the benefits it can bring.

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