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WhatsApp Messengers enhance customer experience

Published on 20.05.2020 by Claudia Maire, Digital Product Manager, Post CH Ltd

High service quality and personalized communication are key to success in today’s retail world. As such, messenger services such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Threema are becoming ever more relevant. We have summarized the advantages of this best-known business solution.

Why companies should turn to WhatsApp

There are several reasons for using the popular messenger from the people at Facebook:

  • High penetration rate: no other messenger app boasts more customers from all age ranges than WhatsApp. According to a survey by Statista, there were 6.5 million users in Switzerland in 2018.
  • A conversion booster: according to Innofact, the response rate is like no other medium: messages are read within three minutes. The opening rate is 97% and the click rate is 25%.
  • Demand for additional uses: the Innofact study shows that WhatsApp users want additional ways of using the app such as track and trace, customer service functions or ticket sales, in addition to the main chat function.

WhatsApp business app vs API

WhatsApp offers two apps to companies. The free business app for smartphones and a technical interface to the messenger known as an API.

However, the app only offers limited suitability for use within a company. It’s primarily aimed at SMEs that want simple communication with customers via a verified account. However, the app is not scalable and not particularly convincing when it comes to data protection. The API is a powerful tool aimed at major corporations. There is a charge for using the interface.

The advantages of the business API

The API covers the basic functions of the business app but also offers additional benefits:

  • Connection to CRM and customer service applications. This allows several employees to receive and process messages.
  • Chatbots can be hooked up to make customer service more efficient.
  • It’s entirely GDPR compliant.
  • Chargeable, pre-defined messages can be used as customer notifications. Potential usage scenarios include appointment confirmations or shipping and status updates. Its use is tied to two conditions: the recipient must have given consent and WhatsApp needs to have approved the corresponding template. Both of these protect the user from spam messages.
  • An existing landline number can be used in place of a mobile number.
  • Targeted evaluations can be created.

Collaboration with an official WhatsApp solution provider is indispensable for optimally deploying the API. A verified WhatsApp corporate profile is also required, which can be applied for via Facebook Business Manager.

Potential not yet fully tapped

New functions offering plenty of potential to the retail sector have continually been activated since the introduction of the API. These include rich media functions which can be directly integrated into messages. These allow buttons, shopping catalogues, QR codes or geolocations to also be used in messages. This was previously only possible if the customer initiated a conversation with the company themselves.

The potential of messenger and chat services is huge – all you need to do is look at China. WeChat, originally launched as a chat service for smartphones, has already become a central ecosystem in everyday life there. It enables users to pay invoices, arrange appointments with doctors, search for jobs and make purchases in addition to its core chat and telephone functions, which are milestones that WhatsApp is no doubt a long way off from achieving. But it certainly has the potential to become such a super app.

Claudia Maire, Digital Product Manager, Post CH Ltd

As Product Manager in the Digital Commerce Competence Center, Claudia Maire is responsible for, amongst other duties, the shipment notification service. She deals intensively with agile and customer-centered methods to further develop her products in line with customer needs, and enjoys trying her hand at new things. She has many years’ experience in marketing and product/project management to draw on for support.

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