WhatsApp announced in 2018 that it is expanding its popular WhatsApp Business API to more vendors. So, 2019 is likely to be year for excessive growth on WhatsApp Business. Let’s learn a bit more about what kind of a revolution is waiting for us in terms of how businesses interact with customers.
Designed for medium and large businesses, the API allows businesses to easily reach users on the messaging app. But what does the API offer, and who benefits best from its features? If you’re scratching your head about why the WhatsApp Business API matters so much—after all, it’s not yet available to everyone—read on to see how the API is set to change everything.
WhatsApp Business Features
The WhatsApp business integration API offers several useful features that make it easier than ever for businesses to get in touch with their customers. Built for medium and large businesses in mind, the updated API allows for direct one-to-one communication with customers.
It’s important to note that WhatsApp for business is designed primarily to benefit customers. For example, responses made within 24 hours of a customer’s query are free for businesses to send, but any message falling outside that window will have a cost. This essentially discourages businesses from speaking unless spoken to, which means platforms like Facebook Messenger remain ideal when it comes to marketing, news blasts and other use cases. Still, the expanded WhatsApp Business features are ideal for customer support or businesses who hope to experiment with conversational interfaces.
If you’re a large business that struggles to provide a response within 24 hours, don’t despair: the WhatsApp Business app makes it easy to queue up automated messages. And because WhatsApp business features make it easier for businesses to dip their toes into conversational platforms, deploying a chatbot via the WhatsApp chatbot integration ensures they can respond to any message instantly, well within the 24-hour window.
Finally, the expanded WhatsApp business integration API will make it easier for global brands to reach users via conversation. WhatsApp is the largest messaging platform in the world with over 1.5 billion monthly active users—which makes it even bigger than Facebook Messenger. And while Messenger is the dominant platform in some markets such as the United States and Australia, WhatsApp is biggest in many nations such as Brazil.
Making the Most of Conversational UI with WhatsApp Business API
The primary benefit of the WhatsApp business integration API is enhanced customer service. That businesses can connect to customers one-on-one is already discussed above; but if your business isn’t available, you can easily set an away message to point users toward other communication channels or to say when you can respond.
Of course, WhatsApp chatbot integration lets brands respond to users instantly. Because most simple issues could be solved by a bot, your team of human agents are reserved for higher priority or complex tasks. With less problems to solve, more will be available to respond faster to user queries, which means answering within the free 24-hour window will be a cinch even for difficult problems.
Small businesses that don’t have the resources to create chatbots or who don’t have access to the business API can still benefit from WhatsApp business features. With the WhatsApp Business app, businesses both large and small can set up “quick replies.” These are pre-set responses to frequently-asked questions, allowing businesses to answer common issues or questions with ease. While quick replies still require a human to manually send responses, the WhatsApp Business app and API serve as a good alternative to automation for businesses that need some time to develop WhatsApp chatbot integration.
Putting a Stake in the Ground
Here’s one of the lesser talked-about WhatsApp Business features: the business profile. Through the WhatsApp Business API, brands can create a profile that lists essential information like the business address, URL, email address, description and more.
This might sound mundane, but it’s actually quite significant. By allowing businesses to assert a space within the conversational platform, it makes WhatsApp more than just another chat or messaging channel—it gives the brand real presence on a messaging platform, making WhatsApp the first place customers will turn when seeking information about a business (for example, checking a store’s hours of operation).
Fast, Easy Insights with WhatsApp Business API
Finally, the WhatsApp Business app and API provide key insights to better understand the effectiveness of your messaging. These include basic metrics such as open rates, how many messages you’ve sent and more. This can be great for businesses who are just dipping their toes into conversational UI, though businesses with WhatsApp chatbot integration might benefit from a more fully featured chatbot analytics tool.
So, How Are Businesses Using WhatsApp Business Features?
Looking for inspiration? There are many ways businesses are using the WhatsApp Business API to transform user experience. Examples include:
- Booking.com, which uses WhatsApp to send confirmations and itinerary updates
- BookMyShow, which lets you receive a ticket via the messaging app when booking a film
- Bank BRI, which offers conversational banking features via WhatsApp
- Wish, which lets customers track their orders via messaging.
The expanded WhatsApp Business API makes it easier than ever to reach your customers and provide stellar customer support. With features like the business profile, you make your business available to the world’s biggest messaging platform. As WhatsApp further expands its rollout of businesses with access to the API, it’ll be interesting to see what other use cases they come up with.