Now that WhatsApp has launched WhatsApp Business, companies cannot use the standard WhatsApp version anymore to communicate with their customers.
To integrate WhatsApp into your customer service technology suite, you first need to get an account at a verified supplier. Then, you need to make sure your customer service technology provider properly supports WhatsApp Business.
This is what you need to know.
Benefits of WhatsApp as service channel
2020 is a demographic tipping point with great impacts on customer service. Together, millennials and Generation Z now dominate the marketplace and the workplace. Real-time hyper-personalised conversational commerce is what they expect. And they’ll walk away if they don’t get it.
Conversational commerce also means that you need to go where your customer is. With a total of more than 1.6 billion users worldwide and over 11,9 million users in The Netherlands, WhatsApp is easily the market-leading messaging app. Therefore, WhatsApp is a golden opportunity for businesses to open up a new and direct communication channel with their customers.
In contrast to sending your customer an e-mail, a WhatsApp message doesn’t land into a flooded e-mail inbox. Instead, your business message lands right next to messages from friends and family. This much more personal experience can set the stage for having a better, more valuable conversation with your customer.
WhatsApp Business and the 24-hour opt-in rule
However, every rose has its thorn: there are rules! Privacy is a core value for WhatsApp. That is why WhatsApp will take legal action to businesses who make use of a standard WhatsApp account instead of a WhatsApp Business account. Much like getting a normal phone number, WhatsApp Business accounts are available for purchase at several verified WhatsApp Business providers. More on those at the end of this article.
A WhatsApp Business account comes with a verified business profile as well as a number of templates. One of them is the mandatory 24-hour template. If there is one thing WhatsApp users do not want, it’s unsolicited messages. With a WhatsApp Business account you can always reply to a message sent to you by a customer. However, you need to respond within 24 hours. After that, you are obliged to ask your customer for permission first. You can do this by using the 24-hour template. After your customer has replied with ‘Yes’, you can continue the conversation.
Benefits on integrating WhatsApp in your customer service technology suite
With customer expectations continuously on the rise, the need to have all conversations, from all customer service channels, in one place is more pressing than ever. It allows service teams to manage SLAs, collaborate on cases, and offer the customer a streamlined experience across channels.
Thankfully, your WhatsApp Business account, comes with API access. Simply put, this gives you the ability to take messages out of the WhatsApp account, and bring them back into a different system. You can now work with the software best equipped for managing your entire customer service operation, instead of the standard WhatsApp web application.
Your customer service software now also needs to enable WhatsApp Business templates. Aside from the 24-hour template, you can also create templates, for instance, to notify a customer of delivery time. Please find below some screenshots of how WhatsApp Business works inside the ROBIN Conversation Console.
ROBIN & WhatsApp Business
Integrating WhatsApp Business with ROBIN means WhatsApp messages now land into the same inbox as all other essential customer contact channels like e-mail, contact forms, phone, live chat, Messenger, Twitter DMs, public social channels, and more.
Bringing WhatsApp into your ROBIN Conversation Console, as well as your ROBIN Data Warehouse, opens up a variety of functionalities that are not available in the standard WhatsApp Business app. You can now bring this popular channel to scale.
- A 360 customer profile alongside the conversation - showing you contextual transactional data as well as conversation history of all channels, including WhatsApp
- SLA management - allowing you to manage different response time promises for different channels split by queued channels (e-mail), semi-instant channels (e.g. WhatsApp & Messenger) and real-time channels (e.g. Live Chat)
- Sales conversion tracking for WhatsApp conversations
- Working with multiple agents simultaneously on handling WhatsApp conversations
- Advanced content-based routing of WhatsApp conversations
- Tagging WhatsApp conversations
- Using suggested answers (canned responses)
- Collaborating with your customer, co-workers, suppliers and couriers within the same view.
- Snoozing WhatsApp conversations to keep your inbox clean
- Inclusion of WhatsApp customer service data into your ROBIN Data Warehouse
WhatsApp Business providers
Facebook has appointed verified suppliers for WhatsApp Business accounts. Typically, these are software vendors already active in channel brokerage, like for example Twilio, Messagebird or CM.com
ROBIN is happy to announce CM.com as the first WhatsApp Business supplier to integrate with ROBIN. Operating all across the world, this stock listed company specialising in transactional messaging, is only a stone’s throw away from our own offices. We know the people from CM by name and made a great start with our partnership.
Ready to professionalise your service operation by including this channel into your offering? We’ve onboarded multiple clients in collaboration with CM.com already, and would be happy to welcome you as well. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on ROBIN, and WhatApp Business specifically.