We live in an era of “now,” where everything we want needs to be given immediately. From purchase to customer service, your customer is looking for real-time communication.
According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, 80% of customers said that the company’s customer service is as important as the products/services they offer.
When Salesforce conducted a similar survey, they realized that 80% of the buyers expect immediate communication. This survey showed that people expected the companies to respond on messenger apps within the hour.
Even today, the statistics remain to be true. At least 79% of millennials want mobile responsive customer support, while 90% expect businesses to have some kind of online support.
People don’t prefer waiting in long queues or holding on to their phones till a customer service agent comes to offer them a response. They want something more real-time and practical.
Messengers are becoming the go-to for most business buyers who want to know more about the product or get some support regarding implementation.
Among the several Messenger applications currently being regarded by businesses, WhatsApp Business API is growing popular. It has opened up new business opportunities and increased the support landscape further.
It is not just another support channel but a multi-faceted and highly conversational channel that can be used for purposes including but not limited to lead generation and customer service.
In this article, we go over what is WhatsApp Business API, why should a business use it, and how is it helpful.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
It is a product offering of WhatsApp catering to businesses that need to make use of automation to interact with thousands of their customers, and they do this using this API.
Now, let’s break this down to understand it better. Say you have several agents employed with you, working round-the-clock to extend customer service and engagement. How will you manage their schedules and ensure they converse in real-time?
WhatsApp API ensures that large companies can easily cater to their pool of customers easily using the API. As a result of this API, the business can interact with all its customers with a common number whereas giving its agents the capability to view their conversations.
In return for using this service, WhatsApp would charge you for the usage. It calculates usage based on the number of sessions/interactions that occurred using the WhatsApp API.
You can plan to either send transactional messages, use it to perform live chat, or design drip campaigns to cater to several use cases. With the real-time communication this platform offers, you can enhance the capabilities of your business.
I know you must be confused about what this is and how it compares to the regular WhatsApp that we use and love.
Differences between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Business API
When do you need WhatsApp Business API?
Now that we have looked at the various offerings from WhatsApp, let’s take a look at when you should consider using this WhatsApp Business API.
1. Handling high volume of queries
As a mid-size or enterprise company, you might be juggling between queries about products and support. Your sales and support team are constantly trying to meet the needs.
If you want to make query handling mobile and immediate, you can use WhatsApp API. You can use chatbots to manage all the chats that occur within your WhatsApp account, thereby giving immediate assistance to all users.
Popular and widely used chatbot platforms like WotNot help you to easily build bots using its no-code bot builders so that you can build bots and optimize them based on the data of the interactions.
Additionally, you are not restricted by device, the number of users, or contacts with the WhatsApp Business API; you can send messages to as many users as you want and have as many agents operate the account simultaneously as it would be managed through a third-party platform like WotNot.
2. Your users are on WhatsApp
When you target countries where WhatsApp is the primary means of communication, you cannot shy away from using it. You have to be creative in your communication and engage customers through conversations.
The WhatsApp API offers a chance to be where you have a mine of opportunities and assists in converting them easily.
3. Catering to a global audience
When catering to audiences living in different times zones, it becomes essential that you employ agents working in shifts. It is also necessary to use a single number that acts as your service/sales contact.
WhatsApp Business API supports both purposes. When your customers need to connect with the sales team, they can click on the business number and start chatting. The agent available at that time will take over and start responding. Else, you can always build chatbots that collect the information from users enabling your sales reps.
This will make it easier for your business to keep operating and ensure you don’t lose a single lead.
4. Scaling customer service
Companies that excel at delivering positive customer experiences notice a 4–8% increase in their revenues. People look for positive experiences before supporting the business or repeating their purchases.
WhatsApp Business API will ensure you are at the helm of support and service. You can extend immediate support through automation. They can connect through the messenger, whether they want to learn about a new product launched or have troubles with the existing features.
Immediate conversations can help them take care of the issue and improve your reputation.
Benefits of WhatsApp Business API
The most important question that most businesses ask before purchasing software is why we need it. Through these benefits, we aim to help you understand the same.
1. Rich and immediate conversations
Let’s take a use case to understand this benefit. A customer is looking to purchase your newly launched product. They couldn’t find information on the integration offered by this product. They approached you with the query.
Your customer service team can immediately take on this query and start answering it. They can either share the same knowledge base article or offer the answer in the same chat.
This immediate response helped convert a lead into a customer. This is just one case. There are several use cases for immediate conversations. You can talk to the customer, tell them about your brand, help them understand the product better, and extend after-sales support through real-time messaging.
2. Extensive reach
When you check the data on how many people check emails immediately against real-time messaging, you have the answer to extensive reach.
Many people may not own an email address or frequent their emails; however, they would use messaging apps like WhatsApp, which goes to tell about the reach you are likely to get.
When you send a message on WhatsApp, there is a likelihood that they will read, show interest and even respond to the message.
3. Improves productivity
Imagine a case where you have to respond to every query coming your way. How time-consuming would that become for your business?
Despite having several agents and a plethora of resources at your disposal, you won’t see growth or profits in your business. Why?
Most of your resource time is spent solving queries that you could automate. With WhatsApp API, you can automate specific workflows and train the API to learn from past questions.
The app will respond immediately to specific queries, and the interaction would seem human-like. This way, you can free up resource time and focus on core business.
If you are in the food delivery business, you can use this tool to enhance the productivity of your service team. For example, automation can seek basic questions and know the problem. When the questions are answered, the app can decide whether to transfer to an agent or resolve it immediately.
4. Customize your campaigns
You may want to create specific campaigns for specific customer segments. The API allows you to create your templates and customize the campaigns for the customers. It helps you segment your customers and drive personalized conversations.
Say you don’t have a template that says you need to recharge your credits for the SaaS tool that the customer is using. You can create one with this API, get it approved and use it. you can add customers by including some restrictions to the template and ensure this message is sent only when they enter the particular algorithm.
5. Improve sales
When you invest in WhatsApp API, you also invest in sales growth. Business buyers look for immediate answers to some of the questions they have before purchasing. if you answer them correctly and immediately, you have managed to help them make the right decision.
For example, if there is a buyer who is confused about two different products that offer the same features. they would reach out to your sales team. if you take the opportunity to respond first, tell them why they should choose you, and help them make the decision, you have your conversion.
What can you do with WhatsApp Business API?
There is a saying that “If you’ve got APIs, you can absolutely anything you want”. And that holds true with the WhatsApp Business API.
You can perform functions like automated messaging, transactional messaging, payment collection, product showcasing, and a whole lot more. And with the updates and improvements that WhatsApp is adding to its APIs, you will more use cases.
Here are some of the most common things you can do with the WhatsApp Business API,
1. Transactional messaging
You may already be using other messaging channels like SMS and email to send acknowledgment messages, monthly statements, and a whole lot more.
The main challenges that you face with such channels i.e. open rates and engagement are what is solved greatly with the WhatsApp API. Being the world’s most popular app of choice for personal communication, you can rest assured that most of your users will be available on WhatsApp; and there will be higher chances of that user opening your message on WhatsApp than any other challenge.
Studies have shown that users generally open WhatsApp at least 10 times a day, and messages sent by businesses on WhatsApp have a ~80% open rate.
2. Running drip campaigns
Every business in the world wants to generate more business. And the only way a business can do that is by interacting with your existing pool of customers or talking to users who had once shown an interest in your business.
Products like WotNot, provide you with tools to design your drip campaign workflow wherein you reach out to a segment of contacts with a specific message.
Some popular use-cases of companies using this method are feedback collection, new offers, cart abandonment recovery, lead enrichment.
3. Automate replies with chatbots
If you have used WhatsApp, you know how easy it is to get swamped with tons of messages from your loved ones and groups that you are a part of.
Imagine the scale of this problem with large businesses. You have hundreds and thousands of queries coming in each day about product inquiries or support queries.
Chatbots coupled with the WhatsApp Business API enable you to automate lead enrichment, feedback collection, product showcasing, and answering of frequently asked queries. Furthermore, if a query absolutely requires the involvement of a human agent, products like WotNot provide features like Live Chat to transfer the conversation from the bot to an agent.
The Future of WhatsApp Business API
There are approximately 2 Billion WhatsApp users in the world, and as more people get access to the internet, this number is bound to increase. Especially in some countries like India, the UAE where a majority of the population uses this app for their day-to-day communication among family and for business purposes.
As a result, businesses will find it more lucrative to use WhatsApp as their primary channel to promote their business offerings and help users with any queries that they may have around the clock.
If you are not using the WhatsApp Business API for your business, get an overview of how it can help your business grow with a demo.
Originally published at https://wotnot.io.
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What is WhatsApp Business API? How can it Help your Business? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.