In the past decade, WhatsApp has become one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp can be a powerful customer service tool if used correctly. More than five million brands are active on WhatsApp Business as of 2019.
Businesses have continuously maximized the app to automate cases, improve customer experiences, and hit sales targets. This article will explore how WhatsApp can be used in customer service.
WhatsApp has surpassed Facebook Messenger in popularity, even after being acquired by Meta (then Facebook, Inc.) in 2014. It is currently the world’s third most-used social media platform, after Facebook and YouTube, and the most trusted messaging app among internet users aged 16 to 64.
Approximately 220.5 billion people downloaded WhatsApp Business worldwide in 2021, increasing over 480% compared to last year's downloads. Medium and large businesses spent over $38.7 million on WhatsApp Business in 2019, while the total spending on the app is projected to be $3.6 billion by 2024.
Based on these figures, it is clear that WhatsApp is a powerful social media tool for marketers. Customer service is vital in any business, and WhatsApp can help businesses provide excellent customer care.
Building relationships with customers is crucial for providing great customer service. WhatsApp can help you interact with customers more easily, making them feel like they're talking to real humans. This is because WhatsApp can turn support tickets raised by a customer into actual conversation.
WhatsApp can be an effective customer service tool if used correctly. Here are six ways to maximize its potential:
People usually resort to emails for customer support. While it has been a standard communication channel in business, emails can be too formal. When we say things like “Thank you for your inquiry,” it can appear insincere and too rehearsed. It becomes a barrier in customer service when you want to be perceived as friendly and approachable.
Meanwhile, texting can tone down the formality of your conversation with a customer. It becomes more “human,” and you can quickly build trust with the customer. Using WhatsApp to communicate with your customers can achieve a balance between professional and personal.
Keep in mind that there are some dos and don’ts when using WhatsApp in customer service:
The goal is to develop rapport with your customers. Some prefer a more formal approach, while others prefer a more casual one. Pay attention to each customer's personality and tailor your communication style accordingly.
A sense of urgency is important when a customer raises concerns. WhatsApp is effective for customer service because it only takes seconds to respond to texts and is quicker than emails. You'll be more likely to see messages come in and can respond more promptly, making customers feel that their concern is being taken seriously.
WhatsApp makes it easy to stay on top of things in the fast-paced customer service industry, where an immediate response is always expected. WhatsApp has a feature that allows you to record your voice and send it as a note to the customer. To activate it, press the mic button to record your message and release it to send the audio like a text. Your recipients don't have to download the sound file; they can simply press play to hear your voice.
WhatsApp has a Reply function in group chats, so you can easily respond to concerns directly. Hold down any text in the group chat, and it will quote the message with your response.
Calls and texts can be expensive when living overseas. WhatsApp is a popular app among customers because it allows for free communication using the Internet.
WhatsApp Web is a version of WhatsApp that lets you send and receive text messages on your computer while it's synced to your phone. This makes sharing files such as links, documents, screenshots, and videos easier because you just need to copy, paste, and send. It functions the same as using email, only faster.
WhatsApp is a great tool to grow your business and customer base. Good customer service is one of the indicators your business is set up for success. If you want to use WhatsApp (or any other customer service tool) effectively, you need to know how to use it properly.
Here are some best practices to help you use WhatsApp for your business:
Make sure your WhatsApp business profile is complete with all the relevant information your customers need to know about your business, including your address, business hours, and links to your website and social media pages. This will help you appear more credible to potential customers. If you offer multiple products or services, you can include a summary and photos of your business on your profile.
Here’s an example of a complete business profile on WhatsApp. It provides the days and times they are open, what kind of business they are, and even shows a full list of their products in the Catalog feature of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is one of the easiest ways for your customers to reach you. Use a QR code that lets them connect with your WhatsApp care team. You can also add a “click to chat” hyperlink to your customer service contact information on your website or social media pages so they can easily be directed to the app.
Customers don't usually consider your business hours, especially when they have urgent concerns. Time differences can make it difficult to manage expectations with international customers. Autoresponders can help you set response time and let your customers know when you will be able to reply to them.
Here is an example of an automated response with the business hours:
Connecting your WhatsApp account with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and other customer support channels can help you properly identify your customer. If you have a customer's contact information in your system, you can acknowledge them on WhatsApp and offer a more familiar response.
WhatsApp can be integrated with your existing customer contact center software to include your support ticket functions for easy tracking of concerns and complaints.
Chatbots are a great way to address customer concerns regardless of the timezone. WhatsApp bot customer service is available 24/7 and can respond to frequently asked questions (FAQs) in place of customer service agents. This offloads the agents' tasks so they can attend to the actual request made. It could be inquiries about tracking and order status, business hours, or available products at the moment.
In this example, the WhatsApp bot shares options for customers to choose from and immediately responds to the inquiry in real-time. This allows businesses to provide a more efficient and convenient customer service experience.
You can follow up with your customers after they make a purchase or request by sending them a message using available WhatsApp message templates and providing them with information on how they can track their delivery, shipping notifications, flight status, or appointment reminders. This is a great way to sustain your relationship and build loyalty with your customers.
WhatsApp is great for text messaging, but you can also use other communication forms in the app. If a customer asks for more information that a text cannot supplement, you can provide the option to hop on a call or video chat or share additional resources.
WhatsApp's product catalog is a great way to showcase your products and services to customers. Customers can easily browse and check product availability by linking your entire catalog or highlighting specific products.
Customer feedback is crucial in understanding the effectiveness of your customer service. You can use surveys and your customer satisfaction (CSAT) score to track your progress and make necessary changes.
WhatsApp Business is a messaging app designed for small business owners. It makes connecting with customers, sending product updates, and answering inquiries easy. Social media has changed the ways businesses operate online. New sales techniques and strategies, like social selling, have evolved to get more sales.
Social selling is the process of reaching out to potential customers and developing leads through the brand’s social media channels. This modern alternative to cold-calling can be just as effective, if not more so. By building relationships with potential customers, businesses can increase their chances of making a sale.
Social selling starts with using social networks like WhatsApp to determine the level of interest of a prospect based on their interaction. When you engage with potential customers on social media, you can build relationships and stay top of mind when they're ready to make a purchase.
A more casual and personal way of communicating with customers is being practiced in eCommerce. Consumers are more likely to purchase when they know enough about the brand and ask questions.
Conversational texting for eCommerce is a great way to meet your customer's expectations. It allows them to have a more personalized experience and, in the same way, lets you directly know what they want.
Social selling on WhatsApp can help you better connect with potential customers. Set up a business profile on WhatsApp, and promote your WhatsApp number on other channels like your brand’s landing page or social media pages.
When you have enough contacts in your list, segment them into a broadcast list according to the sales funnel they are in. A broadcast list is where you’ll share customized content depending on their stage in the funnel (Discovery, consideration, decision). Lastly, your content should:
As WhatsApp becomes increasingly popular as a customer service tool, it makes sense for businesses to integrate it with their CRMs. This integration will allow businesses to filter out customers and prospects, track communication with them, and follow up on concerns by easily sending out multimedia attachments when needed.Tracking prospects for customer support is one thing, but giving customers direct access to purchase your Shopify products makes it an even better customer experience. You need a reliable WhatsApp marketing tool to make that process easier.
Zoko is an amazing tool that allows you to manage your customer base, communication, sales, and marketing all in one system. All you need is your WhatsApp number, and you get an integrated dashboard that helps manage the customer journey with just a few clicks.
WhatsApp can be a powerful customer service tool. With its built-in features designed for businesses, brands can improve customer support and sales prospects.
Here are some pointers to remember when using WhatsApp for customer service: