A full 85 percent of consumers worldwide would like to be able to chat with companies via WhatsApp. We’ll show you how you can communicate with your customers in a simple and uncomplicated way via the messenger and thus optimize the UX. [Anzeige]

The corona pandemic has significantly changed the way we communicate. Many contact points have shifted to the digital world and messenger services, for example, are also playing an increasingly important role in many people’s everyday lives. It is therefore not surprising that more and more consumers want communication with companies via messenger apps such as WhatsApp. To meet this need, software providers such as MessengerPeople offer secure, uncomplicated and GDPR-compliant solutions for using WhatsApp as a company for marketing, customer service and sales.

The acceptance of a customer service via WhatsApp is far higher among consumers than initially assumed by many brands. A Study by the WhatsApp business provider found that a full 71 percent of respondents worldwide would rather buy from a company that offers written communication via a messenger instead of contacting them over the phone. The most popular messaging app is WhatsApp. In 2020, Facebook’s messenger service even broke the two billion user mark. WhatsApp is also very popular in Germany. So the app became the most widely used messenger in 2020 in this country. With 58 million daily active users, WhatsApp was way ahead of Facebook Messenger (18.4 million) and iMessage (15.1 million).

Results from the MessengerPeople study “Trends in Business Messaging 2021”, © MessengerPeople

Wide range and easy application: WhatsApp can significantly improve customer service

The integration of WhatsApp into customer communication also holds enormous potential for advertisers in this country. In addition to the large reach and community of the app, the messenger can also offer uncomplicated use for both companies and potential customers. Because through private use of the messenger service, many people are already used to communicating in writing via direct messages. The hurdle to get in touch with a company is very low.

Also, using WhatsApp in service saves time for most people. On the one hand, the app is already installed on the private smartphone, so that you only have to search for the WhatsApp contact of the desired company via the app. On the other hand, consumers can send a message via WhatsApp at any time of the day or night and do not have to stick to the opening times of hotlines or wait in long telephone loops for a contact person. This flexibility can significantly improve the user experience. Because, above all, young customers expect to be able to contact the brands around the clock. Additionally More and more consumers want individual and more interactive communication with companieswhich can easily take place via messengers such as WhatsApp. An improved UX can in turn have a positive effect on sales, for example. Because one Investigation of pwc shows that, with smooth communication, customers would even be willing to pay a higher price for a product.

In addition, WhatsApp offers companies an incomparable opportunity to attract the attention of potential customers. Because unlike, for example, social media ads or newsletters, a direct message on WhatsApp is less likely to get lost in the mass of messages. In addition, the consumers are addressed individually. Communication via WhatsApp can also save a lot of time for the company. Because, for example, through an automated response process, frequently asked customer questions can be answered quickly. So no trained staff has to deal with it.

Time spent on the various customer care services, © MessengerPeople

WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp Business API: This is how you use the Messenger GDPR-compliant and professional

The first business solution for WhatsApp has been available since 2018. The parent company Facebook launched the WhatsApp Business App a good three years ago and states that it is now used by over five million small businesses worldwide.

In the EU and thus also in Germany – unlike in the USA – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies, which repeatedly leads to problems with data security standards. This is shown recently by a decision by the Federal Cartel Office to stop Facebook’s unlimited data collection and is currently being negotiated before the ECJ. The use of services of the US group has a bitter aftertaste for many companies in this country in terms of data protection. In fact, the WhatsApp Business App provided by Facebook has significant deficiencies in terms of protecting user data and is therefore not GDPR-compliant. Matthias Mehner, Managing Director and CMO of MessengerPeople explains where the business application has gaps in terms of data protection:

Like the private WhatsApp app, the WhatsApp Business app accesses the contact data on the smartphone and processes them in the USA. It becomes problematic in the case of data from contacts who are not WhatsApp users and who have therefore never consented to their data being transmitted to WhatsApp.

The lawyer Dr. Carsten Ulbrich points out that the WhatsApp Business App offered by Facebook does not comply with data protection regulations in this country:

In addition to the significant data protection deficiencies, the WhatsApp Business App three more disadvantages on:

  • No uncomplicated handling for larger companies: The WhatsApp Business App can only be operated by one person at a time. This is extremely impractical for companies with more than five employees
  • Smooth communication with customers is made more difficult: The WhatsApp Business App does not have an API interface. The previous conversation with the customer from other CRM systems cannot be transferred and traced
  • The use of chatbots is not possible in the WhatsApp Business App: No practical automation processes can be implemented

So how can companies still integrate WhatsApp into their customer communication in order to utilize the enormous potential that this channel has to offer? One solution is the WhatsApp Business API, which is officially offered by WhatsApp for medium and large companies. Companies can use these via so-called WhatsApp Business Solution Providers such as MessengerPeople. With the software solution – to which the WhatsApp Business API is connected – companies can not only use WhatsApp for customer service in a GDPR-compliant manner, but also incorporate it professionally into their entire communication with consumers. That means: The WhatsApp service can be connected to existing CRM systems and e-commerce software. In addition, the WhatsApp Business API enables systematic channel support using a ticket system. This means that instead of one person, several employees can work comfortably on the desktop. Chatbots can also be used without programming knowledge.

WhatsApp for companies: what does the future hold?

WhatsApp is becoming an increasingly important channel for companies. In addition to targeted and more interactive customer communication, the Messenger service products can now also be viewed in the chat and purchased directly. With over two billion users around the world, WhatsApp could become a convenient shop window for many brands. It should therefore only be a matter of time before more and more companies in this country discover the messaging app for themselves. So one prophesies Research by Gartner Inc.that in 2025 a full 80 percent of customer service processes will be handled via a messenger on a mobile device. Philip Jenkins, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner Inc., commented on the prediction:

Messaging channels such as SMS and third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp have been widely embraced in the global market, making them ideal for service organizations. By transitioning to messaging platforms, customer service and support leaders will reduce dependency on native mobile app experiences, reduce cost, increase digital and self-service effectiveness, and achieve a persistent experience for customer engagement.

It is therefore particularly important for companies that are striving for closer customer loyalty and optimized customer service not to lose touch here and to deal with WhatsApp as a communication channel in good time.

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