Facebook-owned WhatsApp is finally opened up their platform for businesses with the launch of their limited public preview ‘WhatsApp Business API’. This API is set to have a significant impact on the way businesses communicate with customers.

WhatsApp Business API , on the other hand, is a full-fledged package by WhatsApp, targeted at large enterprises to help them reach out to their users at scale. WhatsApp Business API will enable enterprise businesses to communicate with their users through automated and personalized transactional messages that users have specifically opted in to receive. Likewise, customers can also initiate conversations with businesses using WhatsApp, for customer support, related queries.

Across a number of industries, you can use WhatsApp to notify, converse and engage with customers through their most preferred messaging app.

WhatsApp can act as a dynamic platform to drive two-way conversations and improve customer satisfaction

Through WhatsApp Business, retailers can enhance customer experience through each step of a customer’s shopping journey. Businesses can now quickly and easily resolve issues and keep shoppers updated in ways that were not previously possible. Merchandise returns, payment issues, size problems, and other such concerns can be handled instantly through the app. By responding to customer queries right then and there, you incur multiple benefits- the customer you helped is happy, your company representative can focus resources on customers whose problems are not solved via text and there is a shorter queue on your call center line thus, leaving those customers who call you with a better experience as well.

By keeping your customer informed at every step, through order and payment confirmations, upcoming in-store sales and so on, you eliminate possible concerns or need for them to call you to get information. A customer is looking for the same perfume they bought last month? No problem.You can notify your customers immediately once the product is back in stock. This creates a smooth experience for your customers and helps build the relationship you are looking for.

MakeMyTrip uses WhatsApp to inform customers about booking-related information. Thanks to WhatsApp’s high delivery and notification open rates, MakeMyTrip was able to effectively engage and communicate with its customers and ensure that important messages were received and read.

76% of consumers now prefer to find a fast and convenient self-service solution to resolve an issue they may have while shopping. You can tap into this preference by deploying a branded virtual assistant over WhatsApp to act as the first point of contact for both new and existing customers.
With WhatsApp Business, you can link the digital and in-store experience. Customers could use WhatsApp to book personal shopping time with this virtual sales assistant or organize collection times, too much simpler use cases such as letting customers enquire about opening times.

The assistant can greet customers, answer FAQs and drive awareness of the different self-service customer journeys that are available through the channel – from account recovery to store stock checks. When all self-service options have been exhausted, or the enquiry is identified as high priority, a contact center agent can be connected into the chat to take over the conversation.

BookMyShow, a Freshchat 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.

 By deploying an automated personal shopping assistant, you can drive the kind of powerful, one-to-one customer engagements we’ve come to love about the high-street experience. You can empower the assistant to respond to customer enquiries, showcasing and recommending the most relevant products using images and videos based on what the customer has asked for, previous searches and purchase history. Once the customer has found the product they want, the assistant can then help close the transaction by prompting a SmartLink the leads to a payment screen.

Netflix has been using Whatsapp Business API– for personalized recommendations and updates. With an announcement banner above their home page, Netflix asks its users if they wish to receive recommendations for new shows on WhatsApp. Those who opt-in will receive personalized updates and recommendations from Netflix’s Verified Business Profile on WhatsApp.

There’s limitless potential for this! With tailored recommendations, Netflix can continue to keep its users engaged and coming back for more. Users can engage in two-way conversations to ask for specific recommendations or customer support via WhatsApp.

On the other side of the screen, in-store staff could be equipped with WhatsApp channel to use as a knowledge base. They could look up customer accounts, purchase histories, recommended products, and much more. This will help to provide a more personalized one-to-one experience and increase the value of visiting a physical store.

With WhatsApp Business, you can orchestrate the delivery of real-time, personalized notifications that keep your customers updated from the the moment they confirm their order to the moment it arrives on their desk or doorstep.

The channel can also handle real-time responses to your updates, allowing customers to flag issues or change their delivery options with near immediate effect. They could also use the conversation to get the real-time courier tracking, organize a ‘safe place’ drop off point, or even delay their order until they know they’ll be present to receive it in person.

93% of customers that they want to receive proactive updates from retailers about their shipments. Keep your customers happy by keeping them in the loop when and how they want, and do this by using the chat app they want to use:

on the courier side, WhatsApp can be used to submit digital signatures and send photos of where a delivery has been stored for the customer peace of mind. It can also simplify the returns process by enabling the seamless exchange of return forms, photo evidence of the item’s condition, and the scheduling of a courier collection.No call center arguments or post office queues – just a streamlined delivery experience that maximizes operational efficiency, costs and customer satisfaction.

Enabling seamless, personalized one-to-one service is key, and if you can make it happen on the messaging channels favored by your customers, you’ll reap the rewards that come with stronger customer relationships and a better retail experience.