Looking for a WhatsApp Service Provider for your business activities? There are many factors—both entrepreneurial and financial—to take into consideration depending on your needs. Here are five things to look out for when deciding on a WhatsApp Business solution provider.
With two billion users worldwide, its reach alone should be enough to convince you to get started with it. But that’s actually not all. It also increases engagement, provides a better customer service experience, and boosts sales.
That’s right, we’re talking about WhatsApp Business.
You’ve heard all about its benefits, you’re intrigued, and you’re ready to start discovering everything WhatsApp Business API has to offer your business.
And the very first step to doing that is to start searching for the right WhatsApp API service provider. That’s because while there are many options available, the services provided by one WhatsApp provider to the next may differ.
And you’ll need to know just how different they are and more importantly, whether it caters to your business needs.
In this post, we’ll dive into the top five things to consider when searching for a WhatsApp service provider.
One of the main advantages of the WhatsApp Business API is to be able to reach your target audience where they’re at—the world’s most popular chat app—and offer them quick and instant communication.
To that end, one of the most important things a WhatsApp Business provider should offer is multi-agent login support.
That not only means the ability to log into the same WhatsApp Business account on multiple devices but also for multiple team members to log in and access the same account at the same time.
That’s because providing efficient resolutions and responses is key to a great customer experience. Plus, according to recent survey results, nearly nine in ten (88 percent) of customers expect a response from the business they’re contacting within 60 minutes.
Yes, that’s one hour you have to respond and keep your customers satisfied.
By allowing multiple agents to log in to your WhatsApp Business account at any given time, you’re allowing more members of your team to not just access but also respond to any incoming queries and problems. This reduces the response time and consequently, problem resolution.
Pro tip: Also check if your WhatsApp service provider offers shared inboxes. This helps to effectively synchronize your customer service efforts across your team members to ensure everyone is on the same page and up to date with all customer communications.
The second thing to look out for when searching for a WhatsApp API service provider is whether there are code-free options. In other words, whether you need any coding experience to maximize the way you use WhatsApp Business.
Getting WhatsApp Business messages set up can be tricky—or not. And whether or not there’s coding required can actually be a pro or a con depending on your business set up.
As it is with the nature of all apps, WhatsApp is an application built using lines and lines of code. If you have team members who are code-savvy, they can jump onto the backend and customize and build your WhatsApp Business messages directly.
If that’s an option for you and you’d like to have the flexibility to tweak things and make changes every now and then without relying on a third party, you may want to consider WhatsApp Business service providers that offer more coding visibility and options.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably also need a separate team to execute these codes. This includes a UX team, web/app designers, etc.
However, if code is not your second language (nor that of any member of your team), one of the top requirements when searching for a WhatsApp API service provider is that they’re able to offer no-code options.
That way, you’re able to create and build your messages in a language and an interface that’s much more familiar to you while keeping it easy on the eyes.
If price is a determining factor for you, set-up costs are what you’ll want to look into when deciding on a WhatsApp Business service provider.
Naturally, this will depend on the size of your business and your revenue. If you’re running a growing corporation, these set-up fees are usually pretty minimal in comparison. Most growing businesses are usually more than willing to absorb these costs given the financial benefits that they can reap from having access to the WhatsApp Business API.
But if you’re just starting out or running your own small business, find out which WhatsApp Business service providers charge to help you get set up and which don’t.
Set-up fees aside, WhatsApp Business providers typically also impose a fee on outgoing messages. (Messages going the other way around from customer to business are free.)
These messaging fees vary from country to country and the number of messages sent. But as a general rule, they cost $0.005 per message.
Some WhatsApp API providers may offer a number of free messages if you sign up with a plan.
At WATI, for instance, subscribers to our monthly plan receive 15,000 free messages while our annual plan members receive 50,000 free messages. You will only be charged to send outgoing messages once you exceed these limits.
For more information, check out our messaging fees.
Consumers these days are staying productive on the move. That means they’re chatting, shopping, browsing their social media feeds, and more, even while they’re commuting.
And so should you.
If providing round-the-clock customer service is something you’re currently offering or are thinking about including in your future business expansion plans, then you should consider a WhatsApp Business service provider with mobile-friendly options.
That means having a mobile app version of their service. And no, we’re not talking about the free WhatsApp Business app.
Even with the free WhatsApp Business app (developed by WhatsApp themselves) the WhatsApp Business account is only accessible by one device (excluding WhatsApp web on browsers) at any given time.
What we’re referring to specifically here is whether your WhatsApp API service provider has a complementary mobile app.
This will allow your customer support team members to engage and interact with customers and their queries even while they’re on the go. This is a smart WhatsApp customer support solution to urgent situations in which it’s out-of-office hours and you don’t have an agent who’s working and can attend to a pressing issue a customer is facing.
If you’re a small business owner and are handling all business operations yourself or with only a handful of other people, this can be particularly helpful. These problems can be attended to quickly and easily via a smartphone and without needing to turn on a computer.
Last but not least, one of the most important aspects to look at when searching for a WhatsApp Business service provider is the sort of integrations it offers with other platforms.
You want to make sure that your WhatsApp API provider allows integrations with as many other software and tools you’re using as possible.
This will help to reduce work friction and streamline your efforts so your business is running as smoothly as it possibly can.
From customer support software to ecommerce platforms, there are plenty of possible WhatsApp integrations. Check to see what sort of integration support is available before signing on with a WhatsApp Business provider.
Of course, the integrations you may require will also differ according to the type of business you run.
For instance, larger enterprises with a bigger pool of customers may have more need for WhatsApp integrations with Freshdesk, a leading customer service support tool. But if you’re running a small business online selling merchandise on the Shopify platform, a Shopify integration that helps to recover abandoned carts may be more essential.
WATI is created by Clare.AI, the digital assistant start-up and online tool combining the best of artificial intelligence and machine learning with proprietary natural language processing technology. It designs award-winning customer communication solutions for clients that include Fortune 500 and multinational enterprises.