Meta and WhatsApp just took a big step to attract more customers with the launch of their WhatsApp Cloud API, revealed by Mark Zuckerberg at Meta’s first-ever Conversations conference in May.
You may have heard about WhatsApp’s Business API solution introduced back in 2018. The latest iteration is a much more simplified version of that. The new WhatsApp API is available globally and to any business of any size. And because it’s hosted by Meta, the new API comes with reduced integration time and less complexity.
“In just a few minutes, any business or developer can easily access our service, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience, and speed up their response time to customers by using our secure WhatsApp Cloud API hosted by Meta,” said Zuckerberg.
It’s not news that text messaging is a preferred means of communication — and WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messenger app (2 billion users every month). With Meta’s new feature, customers can be reached and assisted in seconds. Since businesses and developers are now able to customize the experience, the response time will naturally speed up, and communication will become more personalized.
What’s more, the new WhatsApp Cloud API allows the integration of customer service apps (such as Zendesk or Twilio) and SMS features via the app, and it lets you manage all queries from one space. All customer communication is now efficiently handled via the WhatsApp app. And if you’re looking for extra efficiency, premium features will include WhatsApp management from up to 10 devices simultaneously.
Attending to customers’ needs 24/7 can be tough, especially if you’re a smaller company. Having automated WhatsApp responses embedded into your communication strategy will make it easier to have continuous conversations with your customers.
Now you can direct customers to services and products by including links in the replies. Are you an ecommerce retailer running a sale? Take them to the promo category on your website. A doctor’s office or a hair salon? Get them to the calendar booking page. You can switch links around based on priorities, but don’t let your customers’ journeys end with a “we’ll get back to you as soon as possible” message.
A cloud is a cost-effective solution. With the WhatsApp Cloud API, Meta is looking to help businesses optimize costs by being more efficient and affordable. By choosing WhatsApp as your primary customer service channel, you’ll have the option to cut back on more expensive help desk and CRM tools used for client communications, or at least look at downgrading to a more affordable version.
Unsurprisingly, Meta and WhatsApp aren’t stopping there. The new announcement came with a couple promises that companies of any size could benefit from, including the ability to manage one phone number from multiple devices and a dedicated brand URL that can be posted and shared. If you took anything away from the Conversions conference (or this blog post), it should be this: The WhatsApp Cloud API is the space to watch for transforming the customer experience. And if you’re interested in creating, updating, or expanding your own customer-first product, reach out to Big Human.