Missed Call Feature: Solving the design flaw for easy onboarding and continuous re-engagement of your beneficiaries into your Glific chatbot 


MAY 04, 2023


What is the exact instruction you must provide to a user who you want to onboard in your glific chatbot service? 

Most NGO partner teams who are using the chatbot will share the 3 paths available  

Path 1 (save the number then send the message “Hello” on WhatsApp) 

  1. Step 1 – save the number 918095500118 as “Solve Ninja Mentor” in your contacts
  2. Step 2- go to your WhatsApp to “refresh” contacts 
  3. Step 3- find this contact “Solve Ninja Mentor” 
  4. Step 4- send it “hello” to connect with the best mentors who can guide you to make a difference. 

Path 2 (Go to link and click send) 

  1. Go to this https://api.whatsapp.com/send/?phone=918095500118&text=Hello
  2. This opens a WhatsApp chat with “Solve Ninja Mentor” bot
  3. Click send to access a repository of DIY solutions to solve everyday problem around you

If you clicked the above link, this will take you to your whatsapp and stop there with the message “Hello” typed, waiting for you to click send,

Path 3 (Scan the QR code and click send) 

  1. Scan the QR code (of the linked keyword) 
  2. This opens a WhatsApp chat with “Solve Ninja Mentor” bot 
  3. Click send to stay up-to-date with climate and governance policies impacting your area. 

The above sequence and the steps have to be clearly understood as well as shared widely within your team members as well as with the beneficiary audience that you’re hoping to help in order for your chatbot program to become successful. 

The not so good design

As you will notice, even in the shortest onboarding path – click on link and click send – there are 2 actions expected from a user. Many users do not find this intuitive. This is apparent to anyone who has used the chatbot and answered queries like – “I clicked the link, but nothing happened” , “link does not do anything” , “link takes me to WhatsApp but nothing happens” 

Many a times users do not see the keyword ready and typed in their WhatsApp text bar as a result of the link click, and the user is lost to you even after having an excellent product and outreach done, unless they can recall the step 3- to” hit send”

 As the steps increase so does the complexity of sharing a simple and sticky call to action and all this hinders a seamless user experience for a new or returning user. 

Missed Call Feature: The solution to reduce re-entry to a single action
Path 4 (give a missed call to a number) 

Step 1. Give a missed call to 918095500118 and get to know how you can start or participate in initiatives for improving your locality, all this at your convenience in your WhatsApp

Here is how a combination of Exotel (potentially other IVR providers) with Glific can enable this sticky and simple call to action for your chatbot

Step 1. Acquire a new virtual number in exotel 

Step 2. Create an app in the virtual number to “pass through” to the glific api

Step 3. Within your glific instance go to “Settings” -> “Exotel” 

Step 4. Enter the “flow id” of the flow you wish to activate for people giving the missed, and copy the details of the your exo-virtual phone number. 

Demo video to see the user experience 

Try this yourself: give a missed call to 8448441758 and join Delhi’s largest citizen volunteering platform. 

The impact. 

In less than 9 month, this type of onboarding experience helped to onboard 10,453 citizens of which 9,757 were citizens who gave a missed call from their WhatsApp number and whom we were successfully able to opt-in with just 1 step. 5,780 of these citizen volunteers also voluntarily shared their basic demographic information (registration) and 1,408 of them went on to contribute in volunteering effort in their neighbourhood. 

The Limitations

At present, NGOs who have just one instance of Glific (ngo.tides.colored…) but multiple exo-virtual numbers and want to enable this type of opt-in and re-engagement CTA for different types of audiences, ex- audience from rural Andhra Pradesh can give a missed call on virtual-number-A and will access your chatbot-program-A designed for them, at the same time students from Maharashtra can give a missed call to virtual-number-B and access chatbot-program-B which is designed specifically for them and so on.

But this limitation should concern you only if you have already incorporated the missed call feature, tested and launched it, are able to deliver to the needs to of this newly onboarded stream of beneficiaries, and as a result are now facing demands from your stakeholders ( partners or program team members to make this easy to follow and sticky call to action available for their respective initiatives within your bot as well) 

Updated on 10th May 2023, less than a week after sharing this blog, Glific team is already working on solution to this limitation, see a screenshot of what a solution could look like.

For further information, deep dive, connect to know more about Reap Benefit’s chatbot or if you would like help to up the nudge game of your glific chatbot info@reapbenefit.orgtejasm@reapbenefit.org, or gauthamraje@reapbenefit.org or kuldeep@reapbenefit.org 

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