Using WhatsApp as a business-to-consumer communication channel will allow brands and consumers to interact quickly and easily over the app, the same way consumers today are conversing with their friends and family. This will enable brands to provide their customers with a seamless customer care experience, all the while improving their contact center productivity and reducing costs. To that end, yesterday’s WhatsApp announcement was a step in this direction, but with a slight twist.
Recently, there has been an increase in the velocity with which major messaging apps are opening themselves up for business-to-consumer communications. With that said, each one of the messaging apps
So what is WhatsApp’s initial focus? They are working with a notification use case that is focused on enabling proactive messages such as shipment confirmations, flight delays, appointment reminders, etc. This use case is comparable to how many companies are using SMS today, with WhatsApp looking to monetize this channel by charging for outbound messages that aren’t sent in reply to a customer message (messages sent within 24 hours of a customer message are free). Many brands are already utilizing SMS as a paid channel, so the transition for them should be straightforward.
Beyond Whatsapp being a robust asynchronous messaging channel, brands who choose to utilize WhatsApp will also benefit from enhanced functionality like the ability to set up a business profile on the app, and the ability to manage their conversations through a Social Messaging management platform, like Conversocial, to enable the robust management of customer cases, which could be originating from numerous social messaging apps, in one platform.
One of the key differentiators of WhatsApp is the end-to-end encryption of the messages. This means however that the infrastructure required to set up an integration is more intensive than most social messaging platforms.
How can you get started? WhatsApp is selectively adding brands to the program based on specific parameters that they have defined. Here at Conversocial, we are working directly with the WhatsApp team to put suitable clients forward. If you are looking to learn more about the WhatsApp API for Business, reach out to us here.