Accessing the WhatsApp Business API with Freshdesk Messaging

The WhatsApp Business API program is an early access program for medium and large enterprises with sales and support teams of greater than 1, who would like to engage their prospects and customers via WhatsApp chat!

Why WhatsApp as a customer engagement tool, you might say?

68% of WhatsApp users say it’s the easiest way to reach a business. It’s the same for businesses too, WhatsApp has outstanding open rates of 70% compared to 40% for emails. E-commerce companies have made sales worth $100,000 just on WhatsApp!

With a base of around 2 billion users, if WhatsApp was a country, it would be the most populous one in the world right now!

Countries where WhatsApp is the No.1 Messenger

Just like all the countries that opened up their markets globally for businesses to come and interact with their local market, WhatsApp confirmed that it was working on the WhatsApp Business API program in late 2017, which would allow businesses of scale to message their customers.

With the advent of the API program, your business can now literally reach its customers wherever they are, via WhatsApp. Your business can now notify customers directly on their WhatsApp and they can reach out to you in case of customer queries.

Applying to the WhatsApp Business API program

Now’s the perfect time for your business to enter the country of WhatsApp!
And what best way to enter a foreign market than through a joint venture?

This is where Facebook Business Service Providers (read BSP) like Freshworks come into the picture. At Freshworks, we will help your business enter and get a proper foothold in this enormous land of opportunity.

Freshdesk Messaging, a modern messaging tool by Freshworks connects seamlessly with WhatsApp to provide wow experiences to both your customers and your agents. Your customers can now reach you via their WhatsApp, while your agents can reply in real-time through Freshdesk Messaging’s “disturbingly simple” interface. During business hours, handle the volume and basic questions with the help of our bots and if required, route the complex conversations to the right agent in seconds. And at the end of the day, when you want to analyze your operations, do so in an instant with the help of our Reports.

Step 1:
You can apply for the WhatsApp Business integration by signing up here. After signing up, you will receive an e-mail detailing the next steps involved to get your application approved.

Freshworks-WhatsApp Onboarding flow

Step 2: 
Facebook, the overlord of WhatsApp has mandated that brands should submit their Business Manager ID for the creation of an official WhatsApp Business account. If you don’t have a Business Manager, you can easily create one by going to Facebook Business.

Once you login, here’s how to find it 👇

Business Manager → Business Settings → Business Info → Business Manager ID

Business Settings-Step 2

Furthermore, additional details like the phone number and the Display name for your account would be needed to proceed with the creation of a WhatsApp Business account.

Step 3:
Now to get the joint venture up and running we need you to get your Business Manager account verified. Followed by which, you need to approve Freshworks as your BSP.

For Business Manager account verification:

Business Manager → Security Center → Start Verification → Enter Details → OTP based verification → await approval

For approving Freshworks as your BSP

Business Manager → Business Settings → Requests → Approve Freshdesk

Business Settings-Step 3
You already have one foot in the country of WhatsApp.

Steps 4 and 5:
A few additional information like your preferred Display picture and Business Info are required, after which there’s just one final peg to be put into place – an OTP based authentication of your WhatsApp Business number.

After your WhatsApp number is authenticated, you can set up camp and start reaching out to your customers, wherever they are, with the Freshdesk Messaging – WhatsApp integration.

P.S: Huge shout out to the Video and Design teams, for the help with the illustrations!