How to leverage the power of WhatsApp for your customer service

While you may be looking at new ways to bolster your customer service, there is a quiet storm brewing right under your nose — brought to you by WhatsApp.

Let’s look at some numbers to understand how and why WhatsApp is disrupting the service industry globally. WhatsApp is the world’s third most downloaded Android app and has over 1.5 billion active users across 180 countries. By 2021, the number of WhatsApp users in the US is projected to rise to 25.6 million. So the potential impact of the messaging app is immense.

WhatsApp is not alone is disrupting the way businesses offer support. Customers are increasingly leaning towards using messaging apps to reach out to brands. Businesses like yours are already seeing a phenomenal difference in their service offering on embracing chat apps such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Apple Business Chat.

Customes prefer messaging over other channels_Freshchat blog

Source: Customer Preference for Messaging, Market Strategies International

WhatsApp is leading from the front because it’s low-cost, has significant mindshare among global customers, and it integrates well the existing stack of business software.


Firepower your support with WhatsApp

WhatsApp can help you generate leads, engage with customers more meaningfully, and offer critical support to your customers when they need it. But for the scope of this post, we will stick to dissecting why WhatsApp is great at offering support on a personal level, yet at scale.

BookMyShow, a Freshchat customer company, was one of the early adopters of WhatsApp Business API. As part of the ticket booking process, BookMyShow requires customers to provide their phone numbers so that they can automatically send movie and show tickets once a booking is confirmed. This enhances the customer experience since they can just flash the QR code to the theatre usher instead of having to dig through their emails to find the ticket.

BookMyShow WhatsApp Message Freshchat Blog

The company also helps forgetful customers set new passwords when they forget their old passwords by sending them a temporary one-time password on their WhatsApp number for verification purposes.

Not only does WhatsApp offer great opt-in experiences by making support interactions easy and asynchronous, but it also reduces the overhead costs in support teams in businesses like BookMyShow by automatically routing support queries through WhatsApp chats.

Yet another Freshchat customer company that leverages WhatsApp chats to its business advantage is MakeMyTrip, or MMT for short. It is the leading online travel aggregator in India with 63% market share on domestic hotel bookings and air ticketing each. Up until 2018, the company had a whopping 7 million monthly active users across web, mobile, and app users. With such a high volume of customers, the company gets an astounding number of support queries every day related to everything ranging from booking honeymoon hotel suites to flight rescheduling and ticket refunds. MMT employs a plethora of channels to keep the wheels of support turning.

One of the many ways MMT supports its customers is by encouraging them to check the booking status of their train tickets on WhatsApp. Customers simply have to type a query and send it to the MMT’s WhatsApp number and — voila! — they get an automated response back in no time. This seemingly small gesture saves customers the hassle of waiting through the phone tree hold tone for 10 minutes or not getting an email response from MMT customer service due to a high stack of queries.


How to get started with WhatsApp Business for your company

When it first launched, Whatsapp Business was released to a few clients such as Makemytrip and BookMyShow, but it is now open for everyone. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can use WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Web for their varying support use cases. Presently, the messaging platform has already been adopted by customer-first companies, including such as Uber, Singapore Airlines, and Wish.

However, WhatsApp Business API is still in “a limited public preview” — not all businesses have the privilege to use the API. You will have to turn in your business details to WhatsApp if you want to use WhatsApp Business for your company.

Getting started with WhatsApp Business is unbelievably easy. Here are the steps to set up WhatsApp for your business:

  1. Download the WhatsApp Business app on your Android or iPhone device.
  2. Sign up with a mobile phone number that you will be able to authenticate.
  3. Go to Settings > Business Settings > Profile.
  4. Create a business profile with details such as your company name, address, logo, email address, and website. (NOTE: You can’t change your business name once you submit.)
  5. Set Greeting Messages, Quick Replies, and Away Messages by going to Settings > Business Settings.

And that’s it! You are all set to start using WhatsApp Business app for your company.

You can also use WhatsApp Web to access the interface from desktop devices:

  1. Open on your desktop device.
  2. Open the WhatsApp Business app on your mobile.
  3. Tap on Menu or Settings.
  4. Scan the QR code from the desktop screen.

You will be able to start responding to chat messages from desktop devices once you active WhatsApp Web.


Manage Whatsapp conversations at scale with Freshchat

Freshchat offers integration with WhatsApp Business as part of our Proximity program. Proximity by Freshchat allows your business to break the geographical and technological barriers that stand between you and your customers.

Freshchat’s integration with WhatsApp enables you to get a synergetic effect on your customer service. All you have to do is connect your WhatsApp Business account with Freshchat. You don’t have to juggle between multiple screens or tabs to handle customer queries. Freshchat can serve as a single unified platform for your team to manage all your support interactions. You can submit an early access request to Whatsapp through Freshchat.

When you connect your WhatsApp Business with your Freshchat account:

  • You can link two or more WhatsApp for Business accounts to a single Freshchat account.
  • Multiple agents can simultaneously handle your WhatsApp for Business accounts.
  • You will resolve conversations faster with the help of powerful features such as IntelliAssign, Priority Inbox, Assignment Rules, and Canned Responses.
  • You will keep track of your WhatsApp messages using Dashboard. It gives you real-time insights on metrics such as response time and the number of chats handled.
  • You will be able to deliver “wow” customer experiences by leveraging Freshchat’s ability to pair the right agent to a customer’s problem using their location, language, and keywords used in the WhatsApp chats.

Businesses succeed when they understand customer preferences and work towards fulfilling them. The best way to understand your customers is to actively engage with them at places where they spend most of their time. WhatsApp Business will improve your support quality because messaging is the most preferred support channel for customers and WhatsApp is ubiquitous in customers’ lives globally.

Get an edge on your competition by adopting the emerging technology that will pave your path to success. Talk to us to understand how WhatsApp Business can level up your customer support.

(Blog illustration designed by Sudheesh Chandran)