21 June 2021
WhatsApp for customer service: a brief introduction
Customer service has evolved over the years. From in-store visits of old to phone support, then a transition to email, and finally we have instant messaging platforms to streamline customer support even further. Using WhatsApp for customer service does just that. It’s a fast and convenient channel for your customers to reach out to you at any moment.
WhatsApp’s reach is enormous in the social communication space. It is by far the most popular messaging app with 2 billion monthly active users as of 2020. And its growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This alone makes it a great opportunity for brands to leverage this channel to keep in communication with their customers. In this blog, we’d like to give you a brief introduction to how your brand can get on WhatsApp Business and how to use WhatsApp for customer service.
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business lets you streamline the relationship with your customers, allowing you to communicate with them quickly and effectively. Since its launch in 2018, it allowed small and large businesses alike to offer a new channel for customer service to their userbases and its use has been growing since. Initially, it was designed for small businesses, but as its popularity grew, its usage leapfrogged into medium to large businesses.
The Benefits of WhatsApp Business
Using WhatsApp for customer service can be beneficial for your company in multiple ways:
- High coverage: WhatsApp has over 2 billion users around the world and it’s already a part of these users’ lives. It can bring your brand directly into the lives of your users so you can build stronger relationships.
- It’s faster: Your customers are already on the platform. Using WhatsApp doesn’t require any forms that need to be filled out or registrations or logging into anywhere. It’s just like chatting with your friends. You open the app and contact customer service. It takes minimal effort compared to other channels.
- Automation opportunities: Instant messaging platforms give companies a great opportunity for automating their messages. This allows companies to reduce support costs and save valuable agent time by utilizing Chatbots to answer the FAQs.
- Branding: You can customize your WhatsApp Business account profile to match your brand image. This ensures your customers will definitely see the look and feel you’re striving to convey with your brand image. And as you’re chatting away, it’ll strengthen the bond between the customer and the brand.
How to get started using WhatsApp Business and the differences between the app and the API
Using WhatsApp for customer service can be challenging. WhatsApp Business account isn’t quite the same as the one you’ve been using on your phone for personal communication. It comes in two account types: WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API. The differences between them lie in the size and the needs of your business.
The WhatsApp Business App account is designed for small businesses. It lets you use the platform with 1 user and 1 phone. It’s perfect for small shops and one-man-operations. All you need to get up and running is a phone and a sim card. It does not have any restrictions on the type of messages and the content you can send to your customers.
The WhatsApp Business API is geared towards medium to large businesses. Using this type of account will let your company use it with a CRM solution like Desk360, and let multiple customer representatives respond to customer messages across multiple devices. It’s a somewhat controlled environment, you can use session messages 24 hours after the last customer message or you can use your template messages, which have to be reviewed by WhatsApp. Setting up an API account is not as straightforward. You first need to apply via a WhatsApp partner as your account needs to be reviewed and approved by WhatsApp. The approval process can take a couple of days.
Ultimately, the difference between the two comes down to how many customers you have now and how many you think you will have in the near future. If you’re planning to use WhatsApp for customer service, this is definitely a choice you’ll have to think about.
A brief conclusion
If you’re a small business and looking for a way to engage more with your customers, WhatsApp Business is a clean solution for you as it is easy to set up and start chatting. However, if you are a medium to large-sized business and have a lot of customers, and you need to up your game with multiple agents, you’ll need a good WhatsApp API provider.
Desk360 makes it even easier to get started with WhatsApp. We do the heavy lifting in your WhatsApp application and from there on out, with our multitude of integrations including Chatbots, we take care of the ins and outs of your customer support efforts with our CRM solutions, allowing you to focus on your business. You can visit us here.