WhatsApp is ranked today as the world’s most popular instant messaging app, with over two billion active users worldwide.
What was once known as a pure communication tool amongst friends and family has become a major business feature, offering an improved customer journey and experience.
With more than 100 billion messages sent through WhatsApp every day, it has quickly become the preferred platform of communication for both personal and business use.
How WhatsApp for Business Works
In 2017, one year after WhatsApp became fully encrypted, it launched a new feature – the WhatsApp for Business Application.
This feature allows businesses to create their own business profile on WhatsApp for free and then add WhatsApp ‘contact us’ buttons or links to their online pages and social media profiles (e.g. example a website or Facebook page).
Businesses can then also set up autoresponders for new customer messages as well as linking their landline numbers with WhatsApp for any calls through the platform. This feature quickly became a great benefit to small and medium enterprises, enhancing their customer relationship management by opening up a more convenient channel for customer interactions.
How WhatsApp is Changing Global Customer Communication
Customer Engagement platforms that utilise Omnichannel functionality such as Connex One, have successfully integrated WhatsApp into their product offering, allowing businesses to create seamless customer journeys that make full use of the app’s engagement features – whether that’s live chat, messaging or calls.
A variety of customer engagement tasks can be done securely using end to end encryption features such as showcasing products, sending notifications, or giving updates, ultimately enhancing the customer experience associated with their brand.
The Benefits of Integrating WhatsApp in Customer Engagement
Customer Experience (CX) teams across multiple industries have experienced vast improvements in performance by integrating the use of WhatsApp Business features in their existing CX processes, including faster resolution times for customer queries and reduction of wait times.
“Connex One has successfully integrated the use of Chatbots with WhatsApp to allow for automated responses. By integrating the use of bots, you can reach customers at a much faster pace, and manage requests more efficiently”, says Brian Bvundura, Business Development Specialist at Connex One.
CX platforms like Connex One utilise the API availability of WhatsApp for Business to integrate with your existing CRM solutions such as Salesforce – bringing all customer interactions and data into one system and improving customer service with increased functionality.
In addition, rich media content such as videos, images or documents can be easily sent across to customers instantly, allowing customers to receive a wider variety of information on demand.
As customers become increasingly exposed to different channels for communication, businesses need to be present on almost every relevant channel to meet rising customer expectations. Along with being present on communication platforms, businesses must expertly utilise the features available within these platforms to successfully satisfy and retain their customers.
7 Ways to Utilise WhatsApp for Business
1. Handling common customer queries
For many businesses, the majority of customer queries will be common questions or simple requests that can be handled with ease.
By utilising the WhatsApp API in a customer engagement platform, customers can send messages directly to your customer service agents through WhatsApp. Agents can quickly read these messages and respond instantly with the appropriate information or helpful web links (e.g. FAQ pages or knowledge bases) for the customer to use.
2. CollectING Customer Feedback
There are numerous ways you can collect customer feedback, but not all of them still work effectively today. At Connex One, we have found that relying on sentiment analysis and speech analytics for customer feedback now more than ever, works best.
If your contact centre has not yet implemented AI solutions, asking for feedback via WhatsApp proves to be quite successful, as it is simple and quick to do. Customers no longer have time for lengthy surveys, and if they are going to take the time to give feedback, it needs to be as painless as possible. Send a quick scale of 1-5 with basic details on the rating, and receive feedback in seconds.
WhatsApp Business API also incorporates the usage of advanced analytics. With all chats being automatically archived, at any point, your agent can download the chat and monitor performance. Having access to all your agent’s conversations allows for improved conversation flows and auditing for future reference.
3. INSTANT Status Updates and Notifications
Availability of the latest order information is never a bad thing, especially when it involves time-crucial orders or services which are sensitive to ongoing changes. Customers like to have full visibility of their orders, and updating them throughout the process can greatly improve levels of customer satisfaction.
Adding WhatsApp for Business to your communication tools makes it easy to update customers on the current status of their orders, the scheduled arrival times and other key information regarding their journey. You can use this tool to inform customers of the latest orders, changes of operating hours, or any business updates that deem to be necessary. Informing customers ahead of time avoids customer frustration and enables them to make the necessary arrangements.
We have noticed the importance of this function now more than ever with the uncertainty of flight schedules, delivery times or change of rules and regulations due to Covid. In addition, you can set billing notification requests, appointment reminders, and delivery status of orders.
4. Seamless Booking Processes
Having all booking-related information available in one central place enhances the customer experience instantly. The hassle of checking through SMS, or searching through email chains could soon be long gone. Customers prefer receiving boarding passes on their mobile phones and no longer need to print out booking information, however, the real difference lies in having all your booking information centrally located. Booking information can now be delivered all at once seamlessly via WhatsApp.
Airlines are often faced with high volumes of calls, emails or SMS all at once, whilst trying to uphold strong customer relations and the brand name. The costs of attaining such high volumes through call centres were becoming overwhelming, so many airlines turned to WhatsApp as an alternative solution.
Whether you are an airline operator, hotel booking provider or hair salon, crafting a script-based conversation that eases the customer’s booking process by integrating your servers with WhatsApp servers for AI-like capability has never been this easy.
5. Providing 24/7 support – 356 days a year
For customer messages or requests outside of business hours, businesses can set up auto-responders or chatbots for WhatsApp interactions, which can detect the key contents of customers’ messages and provide the most appropriate response for their queries.
Regardless of time zones across the globe, integrating Chatbots with WhatsApp through a CX platform will enable your business to be available 24/7 with the ability to reply with automated responses. If chats require more complex answers, utilising a CX platform with omnichannel functionality can increase your level of service by smoothly redirecting your chat to a live agent.
6. Data Security with Encryption as Standard
When integrating additional communication channels to your business’ customer engagement processes, ensuring the highest level of data security across all customer interactions is paramount for keeping your business secure and their details safe.
All messages sent through WhatsApp are encrypted and can only be viewed by the end-users on either side of the interaction. Therefore, customer engagement platforms such as Connex One, will remain data secure and do not require additional security tools when integrating WhatsApp as a communication channel.
The WhatsApp Business API solution for Enterprise is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant and ISO approved – meeting the requirements for data security measures across customer engagement processes. This gives businesses peace of mind when incorporating WhatsApp into their existing CX platforms or processes, as all communication is safe from hacking or cybersecurity attacks.
7. Stop, Pause, Engage – Working on Customer’s Time
Waiting for LiveChat responses and being held in customer queues are often cited as the biggest inconveniences when calling or messaging customer service teams.
Providing customers with the ability to stop or pause conversations as they board transportation, enter into important meetings, or simply step away from their devices, can be a huge win in improving satisfaction rates for your business’ customer service delivery.
One of the biggest frustrations faced in customer engagement services is dropped communication. When LiveChat agents don’t wait long enough for a customer’s response, Chatbots time out, or phone queues take too long – this can result in high numbers of dissatisfied customers and increased abandonment rates. Which can be detrimental to your brand or business sales.
With WhatsApp integration in CX platforms, conversations can easily be revisited and picked back up as they are linked to customer profiles and not logged as general support tickets. WhatsApp chats are flexible, meaning they can be started and paused with no loss of communication thread. It combines the digital aspect of email with the immediacy of a phone call, offering the best aspects of both worlds.
With the number of WhatsApp users still increasing worldwide, there is huge potential for companies aiming to reach wider audiences whilst improving customer engagement with this service.
For more information on how WhatsApp can be easily integrated into your Customer Engagement processes, Connex One’s seamless CX platform can do all the work for you. To unlock the power of WhatsApp for Business in your customer communication, get in touch with our team at email@example.com or request a free demo of our CX platform here.