Messaging is used anywhere in the world including for social and business purposes. WhatsApp, as the biggest player in the global messaging apps market, launched WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API in 2018. Although both are intended to satisfy business purposes, they have significant differences. WhatsApp Business API requires a business to work with a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider before it can take advantage of the system. But is it the better option of the two? Read more to find out.
The growing sector: Messaging applications for business
Over the past couple of years, messaging apps have transformed from simple instant messaging (IM) platforms into those that serve multiple functions and purposes such as status updates, payments, and so much more. These features have also developed following the exponential growth of the number of users. In 2015, Business Insider reported that the top four messaging apps have a 20% larger user base than that of social networks.
The growing pool of messaging app users has brought a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into. In fact, there are several interesting statistics about messaging apps, people, and businesses. Based on a Facebook survey, over 68% of respondents agreed that messaging contributes to better customer experience while over 66% of respondents feel more confident about a brand that incorporates messaging in transactions. These are mainly driven by two reasons: messaging apps strengthen customer interactions through engagement and allow a more personalized relationship between businesses and customers.
WhatsApp as the most popular messaging application
WhatsApp was first released for public use in 2009. Since then, the application has been crowned as the most popular global mobile messaging app, surpassing Facebook Messenger and WeChat, its closest competitors. As of 2020, WhatsApp has amassed two billion Monthly Active Users (MAU) with one billion daily active users. What’s more staggering is that more than 65 billion messages are currently being sent daily via WhatsApp. As a comparison, in 2011, only about a billion messages were sent through the app. This just proves WhatsApp’s massive growth throughout the years.
WhatsApp for Businesses
In 2018, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API which were intended to support businesses in communicating with its customers. Within one year, there were already more than 5 million businesses registered to WhatsApp Business. However, what makes both different?
Although both are made to fulfil business purposes, several features make WhatsApp Business API seemingly more superior than WhatsApp Business. One of the most notable difference is the maximum number of devices that can be connected with a single account. WhatsApp Business supports just one device (with additional extensions of access through WhatsApp web) in connection to an account. On the contrary, WhatsApp Business API allows an account to be accessed by an unlimited number of devices.
WhatsApp Business API over WhatsApp Business?
Now, you might still be wondering what other advantages can be reaped from using WhatsApp Business API. To understand this, we will look at several usage scenarios of WhatsApp Business API.
Firstly, efficient customer support. Often, businesses are not quick enough in responding to customers because customer service deployment may be inefficient. WhatsApp Business API helps companies to solve this problem by routing customers automatically to an available customer support agent. This will ensure a faster response to customers’ needs.
Secondly, reliable notifications. Using WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to relay important notifications such as live delivery updates and payment confirmations directly to the customer’s WhatsApp account. These messages can even appear as a pop-up notification on the customer’s screen.
Thirdly, trackable notifications. WhatsApp Business API provides businesses with a measurable payment rate where only delivered messages are charged with a fee. What’s even better is that the rate is cheaper than using SMS and you can even track which messages have been delivered or not.
Fourthly, fast user verification. Security is of a concern for WhatsApp. Therefore, WhatsApp always require verification for both businesses and their customers. However, it is processed very quickly and reliably through its OTP authentication.
How to obtain a WhatsApp Business API for your business
The only way a company can utilize all the goodness of WhatsApp Business API is by getting access through WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs).
WhatsApp BSP is a global community of partners that are trusted by WhatsApp and Facebook to be official providers in enabling conversations through WhatsApp Business API for the approved use cases of customer support and time-sensitive, personalized notifications, and many more.
However, there are usually two methods offered by a WhatsApp BSP. One is where businesses are provided solely with the WhatsApp Business API interface. This means companies will still need to do the extra work of having a dedicated development team. Another method is by having the “full version” ready-to-use package with a single integrated dashboard.
Taking the next step with Qiscus
Over the past seven years, Qiscus has partnered with several enterprises and renowned brands which at one time were granted direct access to WhatsApp business API as pilot clients. These companies are typically big niched players. Furthermore, Qiscus has also partnered with a number of BSPs in providing our enterprise solutions.
Qiscus provides businesses with a WhatsApp Business API in the form of the Qiscus Multichannel Chat, a multichannel customer engagement machine that integrates and centralizes messaging channels onto a single dashboard. By using Qiscus Multichannel Chat, businesses will be able to streamline messages coming from customers’ preferred channels into one entry system, optimize a human-chatbot collaboration, as well as manage and monitor agent operations systematically – all the while providing a seamless and enjoyable conversational experience for customers. This tool can elevate your brand’s customer experience to another level. Qiscus believes that customers are invited guests to a party and it is the duty of businesses to enhance every important aspect of the customer’s experience and we are here to help.