With 65 billion WhatsApp messages being exchanged daily (a number that is only set to increase), it makes sense that many businesses are recognising it as the next big digital customer channel. For most people, the app is regularly an important part of their personal communications. Currently WhatsApp is the second most downloaded application worldwide, just missing out on first place to the new kid on the block; TikTok.
In this article we’ll look at why WhatsApp is so popular and becoming a vital communications channel for CX and how clever, integrated technology will help you achieve seamless customer service through this channel.
Why is WhatsApp so Popular?
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who were former Yahoo! employees. The app was bought out by Facebook in 2014, fast forward to 2020 and WhatsApp now have 2 billion active users in 180 countries.
So why has WhatsApp become such a key messaging app for people in their everyday lives?
First Messaging App for all Smartphones
The fact WhatsApp was first to market is one of the reasons why it is so popular and holds an advantage over other options. It was the first of its kind (a messaging app that could be used on any smart phone) and has since dominated the market share. It wasn’t Voice over IP (VoIP) first like Skype, just purely Instant Messaging between smartphones. Unlike BBM or iMessage, you can use WhatsApp regardless of your smartphone brand.
The reason it continues to dominate is the simple fact that it’s an improver of digital transformation. Meaning WhatsApp continues to create more value for customers by introducing new features like video and voice calling, voice notes and group chats. It’s also starting to create value for smaller businesses, the WhatsApp Business App is the perfect tool for managing smaller scale customer interactions.
It is a great real-time communication tool. Provided both people have a connection to the internet you can have a complete conversation via WhatsApp instantaneously. New features such as video and voice calling, group chats and calling and status updates have been added over the years to increase capabilities.
It is safe to say WhatsApp pretty much killed SMS. Users don’t need to worry about how many messages they are sending to their friends and family, or about the sometimes-hefty cost of sending media images like memes, pictures and GIFs. It’s key in today’s culture for sharing video and other media posts quickly like TikToks, most of the other key applications have the option to share via WhatsApp. Blending the interfaces to provide a seamless experience when sharing other posts from different applications with individual people or groups.
Simplicity to Register
With WhatsApp, you are your phone number. There’s no need to register or create a username. Anyone who has the app installed on their phone and is in your contacts is already in your WhatsApp contacts.
This is ideal for many people since willingness to give away data is diminishing, a common issue for businesses. But WhatsApp is so direct and transparent that arguably it’s more valuable for your business than having an email address.
Seamless Experience (Even on Desktop)
WhatsApp offers a completely seamless experience no matter if you have an iPhone or Android. You can also get WhatsApp as a desktop app for your computer, taking the conversation from smartphone to computer (or the other way around) is quick and easy and all your chat messages are saved across all devices for a seamless transition.
Ease of Use
It’s very easy to get started and to you learn quickly how WhatsApp works. The app has trickled through the younger generations and now even those that are digital immigrants are starting to utilise the app daily. It has just become a go to method of communication for most people.
Seamless CX Through WhatsApp
We know customers expect to be able to pick and choose which channel they contact us on now. Businesses no longer have a choice, and many consumers consider it bad customer service if they cannot utilise their preferred communications channel.
Customers are opting to contact businesses through WhatsApp (if they can) because it provides them with:
- Instant gratification
- A direct and immediate response to their enquiry
- Ease of communication
- A quick resolution
- No channel hopping because people use WhatsApp in their everyday lives
There are a few options to help integrate WhatsApp into your contact centre or customer service tools, but our INBOX is the ultimate solution for all digital interactions.
It acts as a triage for digital interactions, working to bring them all into one place. Whether over WhatsApp (or email, social media, SMS and chatbots), your customers get a seamless experience across all channels.
INBOX can blend your WhatsApp interactions into single or multiple queues, working to organise them by business context with smart tagging and search filters. Enquiries can be automatically prioritised and categorised for your agents, so they are routed immediately to the correct person or team and any spam is immediately filtered out.
How your WhatsApp Integration Could Look
Our solution INBOX is integrated out of the box with Mitel Ignite, but our team will happily integrate it with any other system or contact centre solution you require. Watch the video to see INBOX in action.
Don’t Leave WhatsApp out of your CX
There are only 25 counties in the world where WhatsApp isn’t the market leader, its dominance is closely followed by Facebook Messenger (which can also be integrated with INBOX by the way). We think the usage will only continue to grow, continually making the expectation for businesses to deliver service through WhatsApp more prevalent. Now is the time to add WhatsApp into part of your customer experience.