WhatsApp Business API: First Results and Updates
Munich, February 22, 2019
With the WhatsApp Business API rollout, WhatsApp rings in a new era in customer communication. Top companies like BMW and Uber are among the first in Germany to answer customer inquiries and offer support on WhatsApp, which has over 1.5 billion users. “WhatsApp is a simple, reliable and private way to talk to anyone in the world. Companies who offer customer service via WhatsApp have a clear advantage over the competition – and are rewarded with higher customer loyalty,” says Matthias Mehner, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at MessengerPeople.
Customers specifically appreciate the option to communicate with companies in real-time, the reduced waiting times, and the fact that they are no longer bound to certain opening times.
“Great Potential for Companies”
Mehner: „The WhatsApp Business solution offers great potential for companies to attract new customers and improve their relationship with current customers. Thanks to easy automation opportunities for messaging apps’ customer communication, companies save time and valuable resources.”
BMW AG Munich Branch: “Customer service on a new level”
Companies such as BMW are already using the WhatsApp Business solution. “Messaging apps are today’s leading form of communication. Our WhatsApp Automotive Workshop Service, used to inform customers about their vehicle’s repair status, is already extremely successful. The automation possibilities have made our customer service much more efficient,” says Albert Rösch, responsible for service and consultation at the BMW AG Munich branch. “With the WhatsApp Business solution features we are raising our customer support to a new level. Thanks to MessengerPeople, the integration was quick and simple.”
What does the WhatsApp Business Solution offer?
Companies can receive and respond to customer messages over the technical interface (API), with the option of connecting WhatsApp to their CRM system as a customer communication channel.
The WhatsApp Business solution features were specifically designed to support scalable customer service via WhatsApp. The focus is on providing concrete value for the customer by ensuring data privacy and protecting against spam:
- Click-to-Chat: With Click-to-Chat-Buttons for websites and Facebook, customers can use WhatsApp as a low-threshold, direct channel for contacting companies. According to a representative study by German research institution YouGov and MessengerPeople, consumers prefer contacting a company over WhatsApp rather than using a website or social media.
- 24-h-Window: When a customer writes to a company over WhatsApp, a 24-hour window is opened in which the company can chat with the customer individually and with no costs. The immediacy of the support serves to raise customer satisfaction.
- „Notifications“: Notifications are (fee-based for the company, free for the customer) WhatsApp messages which companies can use to send information to customers with their consent. „Here we’re talking about updates, such as flight time changes, appointment reminders, booking or payment confirmations, or information about product delivery,“ explains MessengerPeople CMO Mehner. For these notifications, companies are required to use template messages, which WhatsApp checks to make sure that they adhere to certain regulations (for example, no spam.)
- Scalability: The template messages make customer communication through WhatsApp scalable. The WhatsApp Business API easily allows companies to send standardized messages such as welcome messages, two-factor authentication messages such as in online banking, booking and payment confirmations, delivery information, appointment reminders, and more.
- Issue Resolution: As part of the template messages, WhatsApp also offers a template specifically designed to check whether the customer’s issue has been resolved or whether the customer requires further assistance from the company. This helps companies to identify open customer service issues and resolve them, thus ensuring the quality of their customer service.
- Service only! At the moment, the WhatsApp Business solution doesn’t support news or deal notifications.
How much does using the WhatsApp Business API cost?
For customers, communicating with a business via WhatsApp is free. For businesses, sending customer service messages is free within 24-hours. Businesses are charged to send notifications. The costs per notifications are country-specific. The map below shows the different country costs in US dollars.
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