How to get a WhatsApp Business API to build seamless customer care and conversational commerce?
CBOT, WhatsApp’s leading Business Solution Provider (BSP), connects your brand to 2 billion WhatsApp users via seamless customer service and conversational commerce experience. In this blog, we will cover the questions many companies have in mind regarding WhatsApp Business API.
WhatsApp – the market leader
Before going into WhatsApp Business API, let’s have a look at the market position of WhatsApp. Messaging has become an indispensable part of modern communication and messaging platforms have been rising tremendously since the last 6-7 years. WhatsApp with the mission of connecting the world through real-time communication is the leader in this market. It is a simple, reliable, and secure way of communication and has been trusted by people both for peer-to-peer communication and their communication with businesses.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform with 2 billion users in 180 countries. India is the biggest market in the world for the app, with 390 million users. The combined user base located in the top 3 WhatsApp countries exceeds half a billion, with 573.6 million monthly active users based in India, Brazil, and the US. Considering monthly WhatsApp users in 2021 as a percentage of total internet users aged 16-64, Turkey is the 8th country in the ranking with a 88% penetration according to Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report. So, being “available” on WhatsApp is very important for businesses aiming to implement a multi-channel or omnichannel strategy for both customer service and conversational commerce. In order to be available for their customers on WhatsApp, businesses need a WhatsApp Business API. Here, we will summarize everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business API.
Why should I get WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp wants to enable any person to discover, communicate and transact with any business. People want to message with businesses across the customer journey, pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase phases.
- 89% of respondents expect a brand to respond to them within 24 hours. (SAP Hybris)
- 80% of respondents say that the experience a business provides is as crucial as its goods or services (Salesforce)
- 52% of respondents have switched brands/service provider because of poor customer service (Accenture)
People want to message with businesses across the customer journey
Source: “Motivations, Mindsets and Emotional Experiences in Messaging (vs. Feed)” by Sentient Decision Science (Facebook-commissioned survey of 8,156 people in BR, GB, IN and the US), Jun 2018.
WhatsApp Business API, launched in September 2018, enables the companies to build secure connections with their customers and empowers companies’ interactions with them.
What are the features that WhatsApp Business API offers?
- Your company becomes visible to your customers. You can have a business profile on your WhatsApp account that includes information such as the description of your business, your address, email, web URL. By this profile, you become visible and transparent to your customers which might be considered as a first step to start a relationship based on trust.
- You can exchange messages with your customers. You can either answer the questions or requests of your customers or can send them messages even when they do not initiate a conversation. All this communication is realized through the encrypted and secure environment that WhatsApp provides.
- You can add click-to-chat buttons on your websites or Facebook to make your customers reach your WhatsApp number, and integrate the application into the internal systems. These two launches were game-changing as they enabled businesses to connect with their customers through the most popular messaging tool, that is part of their everyday life.
How to get WhatsApp Business API?
Companies need to get a WhatsApp Business API through a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) which is licensed and authorized by Facebook to provide this service.
CBOT is a WhatsApp Business Provider (BSP), please click here to submit your request and get your WhatsApp Business API.
You can use WhatsApp Business API in two ways:
– As a customer service channel:
You can respond to customer questions and requests through your WhatsApp Business account.
Within this scope:
- Human agents or a chatbot can respond the customer questions by chatting through WhatsApp
- Instant customer feedback can be collected
- Customer complaints can be solved through one-to-one interaction
- If it is an agent to answer customer questions you need a live chat tool and integrate it into your WhatsApp Business API to this tool. Then the agents can see the messages and easily answer them.
- If it is a chatbot that will answer the customer questions, then you need a chatbot and integrate it into your WhatsApp Business API to this chatbot. Then the chatbot answers them instantly.
- It is possible to use both ways to answer questions through WhatsApp Business simultaneously. Building a system where a bot welcomes the customer through WhatsApp, answers the question and when the bot cannot provide an answer, it hands over the conversation to the live agent. This system based on human & machine interaction would create a great value for companies to manage the customer service in an efficient way.
– As a tool to send alerts and notifications to the customers:
After getting the opt-in, it is possible to send notifications and alerts to make customers’ lives easier. Companies can also use template messages enriched with pdf documents, images, video, and location information. For this type of message, Facebook has 10 predefined categories and the message needs to fit one of them. All templated messages need Facebook approval prior to being sent to customers.
With this feature, a company can send templated messages that fits one of the following categories:
- Issue Resolution
- Reservation Update
- Ticket Update
- Alert Update
- Appointment Update
- Personal Finance Update
- Shipping Update
- Account Update
- Payment Update
- Transportation Update
How much is charged for WhatsApp Business API?
Companies who want to use WhatsApp Business API will have 2 kinds of costs. The first cost is paid to the Business Solution Provider (BSP) company for the API and the second cost is paid to Facebook for the templated messages.
Business Solution Provider (BSP) can implement a pricing model that it prefers such as based on the number of messages, a number of active users, or a fixed monthly / yearly cost.
Facebook charges a cost to the company only for the templated messages, It is a per-message model by country. This cost charged by Facebook has nothing to do with the Business Solution Provider.
Please click here, to see Facebook pricing for templated messages.
To understand these 2 types of pricing better, we need to have a look at the 2 types of messages in WhatsApp Business:
1- Session Messages (Customer Care Window):
If the dialogue is initiated by the customer, and the company responds within the first 24 hours following the last message that the customer sends to the company. It is called a “session message” or “customer care window”. If the company’s response to the message sent by the customer exceeds 24 hours, it is not a customer care window and treated as a templated message.
Facebook does not charge a fee for the session messages, or customer care window. However, the solution provider can charge a fee.
2- Templated messages:
Companies may want to send messages to their customers that have opted in, to notify, inform and update them. If a message is initiated by the company or sent as a response to a customer message, exceeding the 24-hour time limit, it is called a “templated message”. Templated messages should fit into one of the categories specified by Facebook and need Facebook’s approval prior to being sent to the customer. The languages supported in this message category are listed in this link.
CBOT is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) that is authorized by Facebook to provide WhatsApp Business API to companies.
You can submit here, to learn the prices that CBOT charges for this service.
Build your new-gen, automated customer service with CBOT
You can build a new-gen, intelligent and automated customer service whether you are a small/medium business or a large enterprise through CBOT Platform, which allows you to get a virtual assistant/chatbot, a live chat module, and WhatsApp Business API.
Check out the following models to decide which fits your needs best:
1- You can get your WhatsApp Business API and connect it to your existing live chat system, CRM tool, customer message management tools, etc. CBOT provides you this WhatsApp Business API. You can use it by an unlimited number of human agents and answer an unlimited number of customers.
2- You can get your WhatsApp Business API through CBOT and connect to the CBOT Live Chat module. You can start answering your customers’ questions through WhatsApp with a user-friendly live chat interface empowered by our AI technology.
3- You can get your WhatsApp Business API, CBOT Live Chat module, and an AI-based virtual assistant/chatbot, all through CBOT. CBOT allows you to build a model that involves WhatsApp as a platform to engage your customers to your brand, human interaction, and automation by AI technology. In such a model, CBOT creates your virtual assistant and connects it to WhatsApp, your website, mobile app, or other channels that you prefer.
You can welcome your customer queries by a virtual assistant and answer them instantly, 24*7. If the question is something beyond the defined scope of the assistant or you prefer to deal with it with a human, the conversation is directly transferred to your live agent. He /she can see it on the CBOT Live Chat interface and answer directly. You can connect as many agents as you want to CBOT Live Chat and allow them to answer questions through the telephone number you have connected to your WhatsApp Business account. It is a model that increases your efficiency in customer service and augments your staff and enables them to focus on more value-added issues that require human judgment. A chatbot connected to your WhatsApp Business API can answer your FAQs, perform tasks, and even make suggestions to your customers.
Automation should be always involved to help you maximize efficiency, augment your staff and delight your customers
From a comprehensive customer service perspective, a successful virtual assistant should be part of your model. It can be already available on the company’s web page, Facebook Messenger or Google Assistant and WhatsApp can be an additional channel. Or it can be the first time you create a virtual assistant through WhatsApp. A well-designed virtual assistant enables the business to automate the FAQs, integrating the chatbot into the internal systems, and providing a seamless human handover. This is a very powerful value proposition for your company because your customers will not need to switch between platforms to perform a specific task or just to get information. They should start a conversation and complete it on WhatsApp, including product search, payment & purchase, and after-sales support. This helps the brands to engage their customers better and increase their sales and revenues.
Another advantage of a WhatsApp virtual assistant/chatbot is that as WhatsApp does not charge any fee to the responses given within 24 hours of a customer’s query, deploying a chatbot ensures that the interactions via chatbot will not require any per-message cost charged by Facebook.
Beyond WhatsApp Business API, CBOT offers all you need about customer service
CBOT is a leading conversational AI company that provides holistic customer service including platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Assistant,; artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants, human live chat interfaces, and conversational IVR. CBOT is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) as well, therefore companies can take the opportunity to have all the components of this model via one trusted partner.
CBOT offers pre-build chatbots for eCommerce, which means it will be ready on your WhatsApp Business account within 1-2 weeks.
Besides WhatsApp, CBOT develops AI-based chatbots functioning on the web page, mobile app, Facebook Messenger, Google Assistant, IVR, voice assistants, and even Google RCS. CBOT is one of the first 20 Google RCS partners globally. By just contacting CBOT, companies can handle FAQs, basic tasks, payments & purchases through the most widely used platform and by the power of AI. CBOT is an internationally recognized conversational AI company that has been featured as one of the leading chatbot providers by Gartner.
To get your WhatsApp Business API, click here.
To learn more about CBOT’s solutions for customer experience, click here.
To check our CBOT’s client stories, click here.