WhatsApp business: the benefits of the official WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Business API | OBI4wan

If you’re an active organisation in online customer service (webcare), then you probably already have a business WhatsApp, or it’s at least high on your wish list! WhatsApp offers enormous benefits for both organisations and customers. It’s fast, scalable and easy to integrate with existing CRM systems or webcare tools. How can you make use of this in the best possible way? And why is integration via an official WhatsApp Business API the best option for your organisation? Read on to find out!

WhatsApp most popular messaging channel worldwide

WhatsApp announced on its blog in February that it is now actively being used by more than two billion people worldwide. This puts it far ahead of all other messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, in terms of the number of users. Of all the messaging channels, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most frequently used. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat are the top three and together these apps have more than four billion active monthly users.

Most popular global mobile messaging apps 2019 Published by J. Clement, Nov 20, 2019 As of October 2019, 1.6 billion users were accessing the WhatsApp messenger on a monthly basis. The app’s reach is usage penetration is particularly strong in markets outside of the United States and it is one of the most popular mobile social apps worldwide. In February 2014, social network Facebook acquired the mobile app for 19 billion U.S. dollars. Instant messaging is a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission via internet. Since the appearance of smartphone and the subsequent explosion of mobile apps, low-cost or free chat and social messaging apps have proven themselves as a cheap alternative to operator-based text messaging via SMS. Many messenger apps offer features such as group chats, the exchange of graphics, video and even audio messages as well as stickers or emoticons. Most popular global mobile messenger apps

source: Statista

Get ready — WhatsApp volumes continue to grow!

WhatsApp volumes are currently increasing and will probably continue to grow. As a company, you can prepare yourself for this. By starting with WhatsApp, you can expect a considerable flow and increase in incoming customer questions. Since the official integration of the WhatsApp Business API, Product Owner Jordi Krom of OBI4wan saw considerable growth in business WhatsApp users, leading organisations to choose for integration with online customer service tools:

“WhatsApp volumes continue to grow. For many of our customers who already use the online customer service module from OBI4wan, adding this channel is a small extra step, but the effect is great because you can really scale up in terms of volumes. The big advantage of WhatsApp integrated in the webcare module of OBI4wan is that you can handle incoming messages with an infinite number of employees.”

A lot of customers who start using WhatsApp don’t immediately give their telephone number out to everyone online, so this way you can properly check the number of messages that come in, and control the volumes, Jordi explains.

A large part of the customer questions on WhatsApp is often in regard to similar topics, so for these standard topics and questions you can easily use a chatbot. Chatbots can be used to handle simple questions, or to request additional information in advance. This type of chatbot – the work planner – is therefore always available, even outside of opening hours.

WhatsApp is also more efficient as a communication channel for customers. Jordi explains: “The advantage of online customer service and WhatsApp contact over telephone contact is that customers can send a message at any time, whereas customer service by telephone has closing times. Another advantage is that you can just wait until you get a response and decide for yourself when it is appropriate to respond”.

Business WhatsApp: the difference between a business WhatsApp account and the WhatsApp Business API

You’ve probably already heard about the WhatsApp Business API. But what’s the difference with a ‘normal’ WhatsApp business account? We’ll explain.  

WhatsApp Business API

source: Messenger People

A business WhatsApp

WhatsApp launched a Business App at the start of 2018 to help smaller and medium-sized companies communicate with their (potential) customers. Since then, organisations have been able to implement business customer service through WhatsApp using official, verified company profiles. There are, however, a couple of disadvantages regarding the Business App, with the two biggest disadvantages for companies being that the app is not GDPR compliant. And, a business WhatsApp account always runs via telephone, making scalability difficult.

WhatsApp Business API

That same year a Business Solution for larger companies was launched: the official WhatsApp Business API. With the Business API, companies can send and receive WhatsApp messages. The biggest advantage of these official integrations is that they are GDPR proof and you can talk to customers on a larger scale by linking the app to your own CRM systems and online customer service tools. Organisations that use the Business API however are more dependent on the support of verified WhatsApp Business Solution providers.

“Through an official Business API from WhatsApp, your telephone number and organisation is officially approved by WhatsApp, so customers can be assured that they are really apping with the company. It’s also possible to link WhatsApp to a fixed number, so that customers can app directly with the general telephone number.”

Also, the WhatsApp Business API is scalable, because you can handle it in your own trusted online customer service environment (where you chat, use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, etc.). You can easily deploy the same service employees to WhatsApp, which means that the learning curve is low”, Jordi explains. It’s also possible to link WhatsApp to a fixed number, so that customers can immediately app with the general telephone number.

Curious as to what WhatsApp can mean for your organisation?

Ready to scale up your online customer service and want to know more about the possibilities of WhatsApp business? Feel free to contact us!

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