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 support 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 in 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.
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.
WhatsApp Customer Service Can Be A Game Changer
WhatsApp customer service is leading from the front as a go-to customer support channel since it is low-cost, has significant mindshare among global customers, and integrates well with the existing stack of business software.
Using WhatsApp for customer service can help you generate leads, engage with customers more meaningfully, and be readily available when your customers need you the most.
Why you need to provide customer support through WhatsApp
Apart from the obvious advantage of leveraging the sheer global customer presence on WhatsApp, there are multiple reasons why WhatsApp customer service needs to be prioritized as a support channel.
Advantages of WhatsApp Support for Businesses:
- Businesses can resolve customer issues privately by projecting WhatsApp as their main channel of support. They can avoid potential breakouts of customers venting out their frustration on social media, which affects brand perception.
- WhatsApp for Business APIs can help you automate tasks, consolidate support queries, and generate leads–almost like a mini helpdesk–but in a simple and familiar interface like the WhatsApp Messenger.
- The business profile on WhatsApp can be customized to reflect the brand tone and also set expectations. For instance, the “about” section of the account can say something like, “Redefining the movie fan experience with exciting merchandise… We’ll reply within an hour (10:00 – 20:00 PST)”.
- Sending outbound messages can be a breeze with WhatsApp Business, as personalization becomes easier by connecting the API to a support platform. Prior purchase history, location of the customer, and the nature of support conversations – all these customer characteristics can be leveraged to send lead generation notifications that are tailored to the customer.
Advantages of WhatsApp Support for Customers:
- WhatsApp enables customers to reach out to a business instantly, instead of searching for available support options.
- Customers can engage with companies on the medium they are most comfortable with and use in their day-to-day life.
- WhatsApp support allows for asynchronous conversations, so customers can engage whenever they need to, without having to stay vigil for a support agent’s response.
- The end-to-end encryption offered by WhatsApp ensures that no one apart from the customer and support agent can read their messages. This enhanced sense of privacy is something that makes customers feel secure, as they do not get the same level of encryption on channels like email, social media, phone, or IVR.
BookMyShow, a Freshdesk Messaging 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.
The company also uses WhatsApp customer service to help 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 of support teams in businesses like BookMyShow by automatically routing support queries through WhatsApp chat support.
How to get started with WhatsApp Business for your company
Getting started with WhatsApp Business is unbelievably easy. Here are the steps to set up WhatsApp for your business:
- Download the WhatsApp Business app on your Android or iPhone device.
- Sign up with a mobile phone number that you will be able to authenticate.
- Go to Settings > Business Settings > Profile.
- 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.)
- Set Greeting Messages, Quick Replies, and Away Messages by going to Settings > Business Settings.
And that’s it! Your business is all set to start offering WhatsApp support for customers.
You can also use WhatsApp Web to access the interface from desktop devices:
- Open https://web.whatsapp.com/ on your desktop device.
- Open the WhatsApp Business app on your mobile.
- Tap on Menu or Settings.
- 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 Freshdesk Messaging
Freshdesk Messaging offers integration with WhatsApp Business as part of our Proximity program. Proximity by Freshdesk Messaging allows your business to break the geographical and technological barriers that stand between you and your customers.
Freshdesk Messaging’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 Freshdesk Messaging. You don’t have to juggle between multiple screens or tabs to handle customer queries. Freshdesk Messaging can serve as a single unified platform for your team to manage all your WhatsApp support interactions along with other channels. You can submit an early access request to WhatsApp through Freshdesk Messaging.
Perks of connecting WhatsApp Business with your Freshdesk Messaging account:
- You can link two or more WhatsApp for Business accounts to a single Freshdesk Messaging 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 Freshdesk Messaging’s ability to pair the right agent to a customer’s problem using their location, language, and the 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 in 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 an integral part of customers’ lives globally.
Get an edge on your competition by adopting the emerging technology that will pave your path to success. Request a demo to understand how to leverage WhatsApp support for your business.