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Create convenient experiences using WhatsApp for customer service

Teresa Meister

March 11, 20225 min read

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One of the biggest luxuries in today’s modern world is convenience. From having groceries delivered straight to our door — and getting regularly used items automatically replenished — to attending virtual workouts and telehealth doctor appointments, we expect convenience now more than ever. This expectation extends to customer service interactions. Customers want their issues resolved quickly, and on the social media and messaging apps where they already spend their time.

Messaging apps, in particular, have seen a huge surge in consumer usage. Last year, an estimated 3.09 billion mobile users accessed internet-based messaging apps (projected to reach 3.51 billion by 2025). This presents an opportunity for businesses not already utilizing these channels to better connect with customers. 

Used in 180 countries, and with 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messenger app in the world. It is also the most downloaded mobile messenger app — with more than 40.5 million downloads. What’s the draw to WhatsApp for customers and businesses alike? Keep reading to dive a little deeper into how WhatsApp works, evaluate WhatsApp Business features, and discover how your organization can use WhatsApp for customer service.

WhatsApp: The world’s most popular messaging app

When WhatsApp launched in 2009, it revolutionized the space — and it remains a consistent innovator today. The messaging app quickly set itself apart with differentiating features such as group chat and multimedia sharing. And, crucially, it offered people a way to text for free. Before WhatsApp, providers usually sold SMS text and media-enriched MMS message packages to consumers with their mobile plan for an additional charge. WhatsApp changed the game for everyone. 

WhatsApp exemplifies simplicity and convenience. Users sign up using their own mobile phone number, which makes connecting easy — no need to ask contacts for a username. The app also has an extremely user-friendly interface and end-to-end encryption that provides security, giving users peace of mind when sharing personal messages. WhatsApp is also a reliable way to make voice and video calls, regardless of your geographical location or device (because it allows for seamless interactions between iPhone and Android users). 

Should your business use WhatsApp for customer service?

WhatsApp is the top-ranking messaging app compared to competitors in more than 100 countries, with India, Brazil, and Indonesia as its largest user markets (followed by the United States). As a business, it's critical to determine the location and demographics of your customers and maintain a presence on the top channels within those markets. This takes us back to the luxury of convenience. By using WhatsApp for your business, you can enable your global customer base to easily get answers, through an app where they feel comfortable, and that is already installed on their phone — driving better, more personalized experiences. 

According to Gartner, by 2025 80% of customer service organizations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of messaging apps that deliver a better customer experience. By making the move to messaging app channels such as WhatsApp for customer service, contact center and customer support teams can get ahead of this curve, and reduce the cost of maintaining their owned properties.

Understanding the difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp API

WhatsApp Business provides two different account options with different features: WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API, both of which are often referred to as WhatsApp Business. 

Let’s break them down a bit. 

WhatsApp Business App: 

  • Built for the small business owner (lighter customer service volumes)

  • Only one user on one device can use the WhatsApp Business app

  • Verified business profile

  • Allows you to organize, prioritize, and quickly respond to messages

  • Create a catalog to showcase products and services 

  • Easy self-setup process

  • Free-to-download 

If your business operates on an enterprise level (if your organization uses a CRM, for example, or contact center software) then WhatsApp Business API might be the best option for you.

WhatsApp Business API: 

  • Built for medium to large enterprises 

  • Designed for support teams

  • Track, prioritize, and respond to requests at scale

  • Offers all WhatsApp Business features

  • API can integrate into CRM and customer support software

  • Partner with WhatsApp solution provider or developer to set up

  • Paid service starting at $90 per month

Resolve issues faster, and proactively meet customer needs using WhatsApp Business for customer service

People want faster resolutions and personalized responses on their preferred channels. According to McKinsey, 75% of customers say they expect help within 5 minutes of reaching out to a business. These expectations for convenience and immediacy make it ever-the-more important to reach your audiences where they are — as quickly as possible. By embracing messaging apps as a faster, digital means to proactively meet customer service needs and resolve more simple customer issues, you can reduce the number of unnecessary calls and emails that often bog down contact centers. And since WhatsApp was the fastest growing messaging app specifically for customer service in 2020, building a support presence on that channel should be a high priority for your organization. 

What you can do with WhatsApp and Sprinklr Modern Care 

WhatsApp Business is an important addition to any support organization’s toolkit, but there remains a limit to what you can achieve using it as a standalone app. To get the most out of your WhatsApp strategy, you need to be able to scale the messaging app’s capabilities along with your care team — and you need to unify its features with the rest of your customer service technology so your agents can work efficiently from a single, comprehensive dashboard.

Sprinklr Modern Care is the purpose-built Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution to help you and your agents engage across 30+ channels and messaging apps, including WhatsApp, in order to create more convenient consumer service experiences.

By combining WhatsApp and Sprinklr Modern Care, you can: 

  • Automate routine conversations and gather important customer data with conversational AI bots

  • Assign WhatsApp tickets to agents based on their skills and experience with relevant topics

  • Provide agents with suggested responses, knowledge articles, and similar previous cases to help them serve customers faster

  • Reduce call center wait times by deflecting conversations to WhatsApp for immediate service

  • Gain a complete view of all customer service interactions with AI-powered insights and analytics

  • Bring all of your customer service channels together — including WhatsApp, email, social, SMS, video, and voice — for a 360° view of your service operation 

Discover why Sprinklr Modern Care is the most comprehensive solution for unified customer service.

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