WhatsApp as Customer Support Channel

WhatsApp as a Customer Support Channel: 5 Ways To Go the Extra Mile

When most people think of WhatsApp, they think of it as a chat app. Not many see it as a customer support channel. But as a business owner, WhatsApp to you should be a customer support channel first and a chat app as a second, supporting feature. 


As the world’s most popular instant messaging app with a whopping two billion users around the world, not using WhatsApp for customer service support represents a loss in the chance to retain happy customers and grow your business. 

So if you’re among the five million businesses worldwide that are using the WhatsApp Business app, a job well done! 

You must then be somewhat familiar with its basic features: a business profile, a product catalog, automated messages, and more.

But beyond these, there’s so much more you can do with the app to enhance your WhatsApp customer support service.

In this post, we’ll share with you five ways you can go the extra mile with customer service using WhatsApp Business.

1. Install a WhatsApp Chat Button

Having a WhatsApp Business account and not publicizing it is counterproductive. And this is where some businesses falter.

After having installed the app and set up a WhatsApp Business account, they fail to broadcast their availability on the chat platform.

There are many ways to promote your WhatsApp number and give it as much visibility as possible—starting with your website. 

The most straightforward way would be to list your WhatsApp Business number in your contact information—be it on a dedicated page or in your footer.

We recommend, however, going the extra mile and adding a chat button for easy access.

This is exactly what we’ve done ourselves at WATI. A sticky WhatsApp icon is visible on the bottom right corner of all our pages that floats along as you scroll. 

Clicking on it brings up a mini chat box with an option to start a conversation with us on WhatsApp. 

If you’re browsing on your smartphone, this will direct you to your WhatsApp app immediately, whereas the web browser will open up a new page with WhatsApp web.

Note: To add a WhatsApp Chat Button on your website in under 5 minutes, just visit this link: https://www.wati.io/whatsapp-chat-button/

2. Use Its Automated Messages With a Touch of Human

One of the most popular customer care features of WhatsApp Business is its automated messaging system.

As mentioned in our post on WhatsApp marketing tutorial, you can set up automated away and welcome messages and create templates (quick replies) to send out prompt customer support messages. 

This saves you a ton of time and frees up your customer service team so they can focus on more pressing matters.

However, there’s only so much automation can do and there may be times when providing WhatsApp support with a human touch may be needed.

This is especially so when customer disputes arise. In such an event, it’s much more reassuring for customers to know that beyond the screen, there’s a real person who’s looking into their issue.

And that’s where personalizing your responses can allay frustrations. This can mean anything from addressing the customer by their name to providing detailed updates about their case.

The best part of doing this through WhatsApp is that if you already have quick replies set up, you can use them as a reference and adapt your message accordingly.

Plus, you most likely already have a chat going with these customers. So all you have to do is follow up with them in the existing WhatsApp chat.

3. Jump on a Call When Needed

If you want to take things further, there’s always the possibility of jumping on a call with your customers.

Sure, chatting has its benefits. But a phone call provides an even more personal touch and can sometimes be a more efficient way to resolve disputes—especially miscommunications and misunderstandings.

If and when you decide a call would be the best next step for your WhatsApp customer support, we highly recommend getting permission from your customers to call them before actually doing it. 

A simple message is usually sufficient:

Hi John, we’re sorry to hear about [issue/misunderstanding]. May we give you a call to clarify the issue?

Do let us know when’s a good time to call you. Thank you.

When dealing with unsatisfied customers, the last thing you want to do is to catch them at a bad time (when they’re in a meeting or driving) with an unexpected call.

Furthermore, the fact that you’re already chatting with them on WhatsApp would mean that you already have their contact information.

And who can forget the best part about WhatsApp calls? No (international) call charges!

4. Make Use of Its Multimedia Format Options

WhatsApp Business’s customer service communication features go beyond just chatting. 

It allows the exchange of multimedia messages, which includes photos, videos, audio messages, and even documents in popular formats like .docx and .pdf.

The national flag carrier of the Netherlands, KLM, for instance, uses WhatsApp to send boarding passes to its passengers using an image with a QR code.

This is just one example. Depending on the nature of your business, there are plenty more ways you can take advantage of WhatsApp Business’s multimedia feature for customer support. These include:

  • Sending invoices in .pdf
  • Sending additional product images (or even a video) when those in your product catalog aren’t sufficient for customers to make a decision
  • Sending explanatory videos of how your product works to resolve customers’ doubts and queries. You could also send a YouTube link directly, which works wonderfully since WhatsApp allows YouTube videos to play automatically within the app itself.
  • Providing any relevant product certifications or documents in .pdf if and when customers request for them
  • Etc. 

From pre-sales to post-sales, WhatsApp’s multimedia features can come in very handy as a customer support tool.

5. Send Follow-up Product Care Reminders

Another way to leverage WhatsApp Business as a customer support channel is by sending post-purchase relevant reminders.

Here’s an example. 

Say you sell robot vacuum cleaners. After your customer has purchased the product, you could send them a message when it’s time to clean or replace their filters and brushes to remind them to do so.

As an added plus, it’s also a sales opportunity for you if you happen to also sell these replacement parts. And since you already have their purchase details (model number, delivery address, billing information, etc.), making these follow-up purchases with you will be a breeze.  

This also works beautifully if your business sells products that consumers purchase on a recurring basis. Examples of such products include office supplies like printer ink or A4 paper or day-to-day products like vitamins, detergent… You get the gist.

Using WhatsApp API for Customer Service Support

If you’re running a small business, the free WhatsApp Business app is probably enough to cater to your customer service support needs.

But if you’re in an expansion phase or are a larger enterprise, chances are you’ll require more advanced tools and features. 

For that, WhatsApp Business API is your answer. 

Aside from getting the official verified green tick next to your business name, you can also benefit from a shared team inbox and the ability for multiple customer support staff to access a consolidated dashboard.

For a detailed breakdown of what the API offers over the free app, check out our post on the differences between Messenger, WhatsApp Business App, and Business API.

As an official WhatsApp business service provider, WATI can help you acquire and implement the WhatsApp API. If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out. 

WATI is a product proudly created by Clare.AI, an innovative digital assistant startup that brings together the most cutting-edge technology made possible by machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide digital tools for the best customer communication experiences. Multinational and Fortune 500 companies including Cigna, AXA, Birdie, Everbright Sun Hung Kai, Fidelity, Bupa, and lots more have placed their trust in Clare.AI’s solutions.

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