On August 1st, WhatsApp announced the launch of its much-awaited Business API, and Sparkcentral is proud to be an early access WhatsApp Business solution provider. Now with the help of Sparkcentral, you can offer WhatsApp customer support. The Business API is an extension to the previously launched WhatsApp Business App which was built for small business owners, allowing them to connect with their customers 1:1 through the app.
The Business API is ideal for medium to large sized enterprises who can now connect to their global customer base at scale. The WhatsApp Business API is opening with limited availability, as both WhatsApp and Sparkcentral are bringing businesses on to WhatsApp slowly and thoughtfully in order to provide the most benefit for businesses and end consumers.
WhatsApp Customer Support (your customers will thank you)
It is no secret that the reach of WhatsApp is unmatched and unprecedented, with 1.5 billion users in 180 countries. At Sparkcentral we think about uplifting the customer experience day in and day out, so we put together a list of reasons your customers would love the option to connect with you on WhatsApp in addition to more traditional channels like phone or email.
Low Hassle. Minimal Wait.
Recently when my internet service stopped abruptly, I called up my provider after unsuccessfully trying to fix the issue myself. What I was hoping would be a more efficient way to resolve the issue ended up being a nightmare of navigating the complicated IVR options, being handed over from one agent to another, infinitely long wait times and all while having to stop everything I was doing in hopes of speaking to a human who could put my misery to end. The issue could have been resolved quickly had I gotten hold of the right agent with the expertise suited to solve my problem. Unfortunately, that is a functionality that traditional IVRs are grossly inefficient at. After that customer experience, I ended up changing my internet service provider for someone who could offer me customer care through the channels that I prefer, providing me with a faster turnaround time for support.
With WhatsApp, enterprises can connect with their customers instantly while allowing the customer to control the pace of communication in an asynchronous mode. WhatsApp provides an easy to use and convenient way of communicating in a format your customers are already comfortable with. If your customer demographics show a significant millennial population then they are especially likely to prefer to connect with you on WhatsApp as opposed to calling you on the phone.
One-on-One Customer Interactions
In the era of hyper-awareness, a messaging platform like WhatsApp provides enterprises the option to resolve customer grievances privately as opposed to having the unhappy client vent on public channels like Twitter and Facebook which can lead to a public relations nightmare. A few years ago Starwoods Hotel W Doha piloted a program which allowed guests to connect with them using WhatsApp.
What they quickly found out was that their customers preferred to connect with them on messaging platforms like WhatsApp. Customers received responses from the hotel staff within 60 seconds, 24/7, resulting in higher satisfaction rates and higher customer retention. All while allowing Starwoods to sort the issues out with the customer 1:1 in a safe and private space. The program has now been scaled to more than 150 Starwood hotels around the world and is officially known as Let’s Chat. This use case demonstrates the power and success of leveraging messaging platforms like WhatsApp for customer support.
Secured Communication Channel
Phone phreaking is what some could argue was the beginning of hacker culture. IVR systems have traditionally been vulnerable to security flaws and need a great deal of monitoring to make sure miscreants don’t tap into the call or leak conversations. Whatsapp provides a phenomenal amount of privacy to the customer, which other forms of communication have not been able to offer.
Messaging Platforms are Here to Stay
Messaging platforms are here to stay and will fast become the de facto mode of communication for customer support. If you are an enterprise that is obsessed with providing excellent customer service on the channels that your customers prefer, then WhatsApp will be a great addition to your portfolio. WhatsApp customer support also offers a phenomenal entry point for jumping on to the messaging bandwagon for customer service.
Sparkcentral can help you get early access to WhatsApp Business and work with you to assess how to best align WhatsApp with your overall customer service strategy.