Customer Support via Whatsapp

customer support in today’s world is more of a customer experience that people want at the ease of texting on WhatsApp. A study by Facebook shows that 53% of the customers prefer to buy more from the brands which provide customer support through whatsapp.

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Problems with other customer support channels:
  • Via Phone seems to be more of being stuck in a never-ending waiting loop.
  • Via Emails seems to go about at a snail’s pace where you have to wait for 24 hours to get a reply.
  • Via Community Management on social media platforms where your request or query might be lost in hordes of other queries.

Approaching customer support is the reason for customer’s dissatisfaction but approaching through the above mediums will upset them even further. While approaching the customer support through WhatsApp definitely has benefits like not waiting on hold or for a mail rather it provides variety for the customers to lodge a complaint in different ways like through a text or a voice message or simply by sending a screenshot of the problem.

A survey on digital transformation shows that 65% of customers prefer to contact companies via chat.

Recognizing this problem, Commerzbank started offering customer support through a WhatsApp chatbot, known as CORA. Initially, they started by informing users about the stocks, indexes, etc. Later on, they expanded by adding charts and analysis to make the users understand various situations in the market and now they are providing the customers through video analysis podcasts and long term analysis about asset growth all through their chatbot CORA.

In the era of hyper-personalization, customers don’t have time and patience to wait for the reply from the businesses for their queries. All that is easy for them is to switch to other services/products with so many options available for them in the market. Gaining customer loyalty in this era becomes quite a task and employing resources to achieve the “Conversational Marketing” in your marketing strategy will amount to a huge investment accountable to a terrible waste. Thus, businesses are switching towards WhatsApp to provide the customers with a real-time one on one personalized conversation.
Whatsapp is the medium where most of the customers are present, be it any brand with an active user base of around 1 billion per day.

Ways in which Whatsapp Business can be leveraged for customer service
  • Provide real-time customer support through a live agent or a chatbot 24*7 so that your customers do not have to wait to get a reply from you
  • Make use of media to accept queries and complaints from your customers making yours and their lives easier.
  • Share live locations in real-time to level up your delivery services.
  • Send contact information on the right person concerned to make your customers connect to the right people every time.
  • Make your service contactless through e-payment, e-menu, and e-invoice.
  • Cater to global audiences as well through the same platform.
  • Customer engagement can be increased by adopting the right content strategy on WhatsApp, for example, providing best practices, tips, and tricks, or daily news related to your products and services.
Benefits of using Whatsapp for your Business
  • The messages are end-to-end encrypted, therefore, it is secure to use.
  • Real-time one on one conversation increases your brand’s customer engagement.
  • Creates your awareness about your brand regularly to the right audience without worrying about any algorithms.
  • Provide effective after-sales services where all the customers are already present and they trust the platform

Vodafone-Idea recently launched VIC, a virtual assistant customer service through Whatsapp to fight through the arising traditional customer support problems due to Covid-19. The company would send an activation link through SMS to activate the Whatsapp services, all a customer needs to do is to click on that link and enjoy a seamless customer support experience.

Guide to Get you started

Step 1:

    • Think of where your customers are. Are they really using WhatsApp services? If yes then that is the heads up for you.
    • Is your team capacity enough to cater to the customers every time they need you or do you need to upscale or downscale it or think of automating it as per your business needs?
    • Consider where your competitors are and whether you are able to flank them from all the ends.

Step 2:

    • Assign your customer service team to handle the queries of the customers from WhatsApp as well.
    • Do not assign it to the Social Media Marketing team.
    • Handling WhatsApp queries is a process of 1 to 1 conversational marketing whereas other social media handles 1 to much conversational marketing, thus, your customer service team would be more efficient in this task.

Step 3:

  • Train your team to use playful yet professional language to have a conversation with the customers.
  • Train them about the right use of emoticons, GIFs, stickers, etc. as people use WhatsApp to talk to their friends and families, and to build relationships, they don’t want a robot for having a conversation.
  • Make it more personalized for them to have a seamless experience.
  • Evaluate the possibility on a future date to go with chatbots to take care of routine requests that come from customers and can be taken care of through automated replies.

    Step 4:

  • Personalize your account by getting a number specifically for WhatsApp customer service.

  • Use your brand’s logo as your profile picture.
    Give in a brief description of your company as well so that customers know what is your business all about.

  • Also mention the opening hour of the channel if you are using human resources. For example: “We are here to help! Contact us between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.”

    Step 5:

  • Depending on the company’s size, capacity and your customer base decide whether your work will be done with WhatsApp phone only or you need professional software integrated with it.
    If you are deciding to go for professional software then check what are the key requirements of the features that you would be needing with it.

  • Which professional software is there? What are the options?

    Step 6:

  • Where Reciproci will take the charge
    Integrate your other customer data with WhatsApp using the software.

  • Firstly, you need to register your business app on https://developers.facebook.com/apps/
    Change the App ID with your actual app ID which contains the Whatsapp business accounts.

  • You are good to go with the rest of the configurations.

  • Make use of Reports and Analytics to provide a personalized experience with each customer.
    Make use of broadcasting features as a storyteller of your brand. Don’t make it as a newsletter of your product. Customers prefer stories over news every time.

  • Automate your chats for when your human resource is not available for the customers to reply to.

  • WhatsApp is the medium through which people can send videos and images, thus, leverage these features to accept responses or queries from the customers.

    Step 7:

  • Let the world know about your WhatsApp Customer Support.

  • Make a plugin on your website which will direct the customers to your WhatsApp.

  • Upload about it on social media handles.

  • And fulfill all your customer expectations.

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