In late summer 2023, WhatsApp has started the introduction of the announced „Channels“ function. Via this function, companies will be able to share information and news with users in the future, if they have subscribed to you for this purpose. The function is similar to Instagram Stories and allows companies to post photos or videos in the new WhatsApp tab „News“, for example to give interested parties an insight into your corporate culture or to draw attention to special promotions around the product range. WhatsApp is thus becoming an even more attractive channel for companies to get in touch with their customers. So it’s high time to take a look at how the use of WhatsApp can enrich the interactions with your customers:
Meet your customers where they are at home
WhatsApp has 2 billion active users in 180 countries and is the most popular smartphone app in Germany by average daily usage. It is therefore almost certain that your customers use WhatsApp regularly.
Accordingly, if you offer support via WhatsApp, the effort for your target group to get in touch with you is reduced, as they do not always have to visit your website, write an email or even make a phone call to reach you. Your customers can conveniently get in touch with you where they spend time every day anyway. They can put their phone away after contacting you, relax, go about their day and be notified of your reply as soon as it arrives. And if active communication is needed, the conversation can even be escalated to a live interaction via WhatsApp if required.
Offer speed and efficiency in communication
No one likes long waiting times when calling customer service. WhatsApp enables businesses to respond quickly to customer queries. Compared to traditional communication channels such as email or phone calls, where there can often be long waiting times, communication via WhatsApp is real-time. Customers can ask questions immediately and have the opportunity to get answers within a very short time. You can offer your customers live support from customer service staff to solve advice-intensive issues, or use automated chatbots to answer recurring queries quickly and around the clock. The spectrum ranges from simple bots to powerful chatbots that are linked to AI-based knowledge databases. This allows use cases to be mapped from the creation of greetings and out-of-office messages to the full-scale solution of complex customer concerns. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency in your customer service.
Give your customers the freedom of multimedia communication
A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is also true in customer service. Some customer queries require visual demonstrations or step-by-step instructions to solve problems effectively. With WhatsApp’s multimedia features, you and your customers can easily share images, videos or voice messages to guide them through troubleshooting processes or provide visual explanations. This is particularly useful when customers need pictorial information or complex issues can be better explained via voice messages.
Especially when it comes to solving problems and complaints, the different types of media can help. For example, your customers can easily send photos of defective products to get quick solutions or receive instructions in the form of videos to solve the matter themselves. This multimedia communication facilitates problem handling and significantly increases the quality of the customer experience.
Offer proactive support to prevent problems from arising in the first place
WhatsApp offers businesses an easy way to provide proactive support after sales. This way, you can ensure that a large number of problems and questions don’t arise in the first place, saving unnecessary contacts at the service centre. You can share shipping notifications or package tracking numbers, send appointment reminders, or offer video tutorials to explain your product and its features.
A great example of how proactive communication via WhatsApp can enrich your customers‘ journey is the airline KLM. The airline has been offering its customers real-time updates as part of their journey for years. Through booking confirmations, check-in notifications, boarding passes, flight status updates and departure gate information, passengers are always well informed.
Get important customer feedback
Customer service is not just one-way communication for businesses. The WhatsApp Business API opens up the possibility of two-way communication for businesses. So you can not only respond to your customers‘ requests and pass on information, but also actively receive feedback from them. So also use WhatsApp to collect customer feedback and respond to it in real time! This is a great way to engage with your customers and provide an interactive customer experience via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has become an indispensable platform for modern customer service. Its fast, efficient and personal communication, global reach and variety of communication options make WhatsApp a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes and industries.
So, in an age where customer service expectations are constantly rising, WhatsApp is a solution that allows your business to keep up with these expectations and deliver outstanding, innovative customer service. Take advantage of being able to communicate with your customers most popular app and build long-term customer relationships for your business through a smart WhatsApp strategy.
Lennard Korte – Consultant