We all know that customers nowadays prefer texting rather than talking, so these statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise – 70% of customers will choose to message rather than call. 45% of customers prefer a chat service, 23% prefer email, and only 18% prefer social media (source).
Messaging apps are hugely popular among users, with an estimated 2.7 billion people expected to be using messaging apps by the end of 2020 (source).
But the pandemic seems to have pushed things even further. Research indicates that since May 2019 there has been a 5.6 times increase in Australians using messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and SMS to communicate with brands (source).
If you haven’t started providing customer services via any of the mobile messaging apps, or are considering which one to invest in, we highly recommend the WhatsApp Business API, and here’s why.
1. It is the most popular global mobile messaging app
According to Statista, as of July 2020 WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users, that’s 53.8% more users than Facebook Messenger, making it the most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide (well, besides SMS of course).
For companies who offer their products and services globally, WhatsApp enables your customer service team to engage customers on a global scale, and most importantly, on a platform they’re already on, without having to worry about international tariff on platforms like phone calls or SMS.
And if you have a mix of local and international customer bases, or WhatsApp is not the market leader in your country, consider our Omnichannel Chat service which enables your customers to contact you via SMS, WhatsApp or RCS, while retaining all conversation history within a single workspace. That means no matter which channel the customers choose to contact you, for your staff all the conversations are still happening in the same workspace, enabling you to provide a truly omnichannel experience for both your staff and your customers.
2. COVID has fast tracked WhatsApp’s uptake
Even before COVID, more businesses have started to connect to the WhatsApp Business API. Research indicated that WhatsApp messaging volume grew more than 3000% in 2019, whereas Facebook Messenger volume increased 50% (source).
The COVID-19 crisis has seen an even higher demand for customer support through WhatsApp. Since February, support tickets coming through WhatsApp saw 154% increase compared to the same period last year.
Even in Australia where WhatsApp is not the market leader, WhatsApp conversation volumes increased by 3.6 times compared to the start of the year, indicating a huge demand for customer service in this channel.
In fact, the Australian government’s WhatsApp channel for COVID-19 is a great example of the uptake on WhatsApp usage. 1.25 millions messages were sent on the first day of its launch (source), proving the popularity of this channel.
3. Your chatbot can live in your customers’ phones now
Many businesses use chatbots to help relieve the pressure on their customer service team and to save costs. From providing the latest updates, guiding customers through self service, to triaging queries to different teams, chatbots enable you to provide customer service 24/7.
With WhatsApp’s chatbot integration capabilities, your customers no longer need to navigate to your website to engage your chatbot. Instead all they need to do is to tab on the WhatsApp icon in their phone to have access to your chatbot, making it much more convenient for the users.
4. You can send different types of content in one channel
One of the reasons why WhatsApp is so popular among users is its ability to share different types of content like photos, videos and documents. For businesses, this is also a huge advantage when utilising WhatsApp for customer service.
Unlike having a chat conversation via live chat on your website or over the phone, where any additional information will need to be exchanged via email, WhatsApp enables your customer to send you videos and photos of what’s not working right then and there in the channel; your agent can also send those additional terms and conditions for your customers to review without leaving the chat session.
If it’s needed, your customer and your agent can also use the app to make voice calls or video calls to resolve the issue quicker, again all within the same app.
To find out more about WhatsApp Business API and how you can start using it for customer service, please contact us at 1300 764 946 or [email protected].