4 things you need to know about WhatsApp for customer service

As a customer contact provider with many years’ experience, our partners look to us for advice on the contact methods they should be utilising. One we often get asked about is WhatsApp messenger and whether or not they should be offering this as a customer service channel.

Of course, every brand is unique and so informed choices are always important (your customer service team or provider should be able to assist you with this data and MI-driven decisioning), but here are 4 of the things you need to know about the messaging platform…

1. Popularity

The Facebook-owned app is a global communication channel. Since its inception in 2009, WhatsApp has grown exponentially. In its first year 10 million people were using the platform; just over 10 years’ later it is now estimated that the platform has over 2 billion users globally.

The platform is trusted and secure, and it’s also easy to add a verification to your brand’s WhatsApp to instil confidence in your customer, encouraging them to reach out and ask for the help that they need.

 

2. Accessibility

Customers are always open to additional communication channels, and chat/messaging-based options are proving very popular. In fact, a study by J.D. Power showed that 42% of customers prefer this type of customer service, with the remainder split between social media and voice.

Chat/messaging-based options provide opportunities for customers in situations where phone conversations may not be appropriate (on the go, in a quiet environment, etc.). With WhatsApp, you’re offering customers a direct line to the customer service team when best suits them, and this accessibility is conducive to a fantastic customer experience. It also allows the customer to continue with their day knowing that they will receive a notification once a Customer Service Advisor has responded, without the need to wait on a page.

This is also beneficial to your customer service team, with the accepted response time for this type of messaging falling between live chat and social media, decreasing the likeliness for live chat queuing at peak times.

 

3. Communication Options

WhatsApp supports a number of inclusive formats within the app; including text, voice, photo and video, even documents and locations.

These options open up opportunities for both your customer service team and your customer. For example, if your customer wishes to share a screenshot of an issue with you, or an image of a product, they are able to. Equally, the customer service team are able to share documentation almost instantaneously with the customer without needing them to transition to another communication channel (a bug bear for customers), such as email.

 

4. Integration Capability

WhatsApp can be integrated with customer relationship management tools and systems, allowing teams with applicable skill sets- such as the live chat teams- to manage these alongside one another.

It can also be integrated with AI and chatbot technology for those queries that may be slightly more simple in their nature (pay my bill, update account details, etc.), or the likes of FAQ’s.

You can even add widgets and buttons to your website and social media channels to take your customer straight there.

 

If you need any help deciding which customer channels to use, or how to set them up for success, then simply get in touch to find out more.

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