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WhatsApp Business for Business - Everything you need to know!

WhatsApp offers exciting solutions for companies. WhatsApp distinguishes between “WhatsApp for Business” and “WhatsApp Business API”. While “WhatsApp for Business” is free and especially for small companies, the enterprise version “WhatsApp Business API” offers a professional and data protection compliant solution for medium and large companies. In this lead article you will find out everything about WhatsApp Business: how it works, what it costs, what advantages WhatsApp has for companies and whether you need the WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API!


 

You can find out in the article

1. The WhatsApp ecosystem:

1.1 WhatsApp app

1.2 WhatsApp Business App

1.3 WhatsApp Business API

2. What is a WhatsApp Business Solution Partner?

3. How to get access to the WhatsApp Business API

4. What options does the WhatsApp Business API allow?

5. How can I use WhatsApp in the customer journey?

6. Can I also program a WhatsApp chatbot?

7. How do I get a WhatsApp account for companies?

8. How do I get the verification / official company account (green tick) on WhatsApp?

9. What should be considered with WhatsApp Business with regard to GDPR and data protection?

10. What are the advantages of WhatsApp Business for companies?


1) WhatsApp ecosystem for companies: Business App vs. WhatsApp Business API

“WhatsApp for Business has enabled us to reach our customers quickly and effectively. It's a great example of how technology creates customer-centric experiences. "

Saujanya Shrivastava, Group Chief Marketing Officer at MakeMyTrip

We all know them "WhatsApp App" from private communication. In the business and enterprise area, there have also been official WhatsApp solutions since 2018: one App and a API!

 

The WhatsApp ecosystem: WhatsApp App, WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API

 

1.1) WhatsApp app: For private use only

✋⛔ This app is only for that private Communication. The WhatsApp terms of use exclude commercial use. GDPR and data protection are not guaranteed here either! Companies are threatened with warnings from competitors and data protection authorities, but also the blocking of WhatsApp and even Facebook accounts!

Reading tip: Attorney Dr. Carsten Ulbricht: GDPR and WhatsApp? Can I use WhatsApp Business for my company?

 

1.2) The WhatsApp Business App: The free app for small businesses

WhatsApp Business is a free app that especially for small business owners was developed. Use it to create a catalog to present your products and services. Communicate with customers with ease with tools to automate, sort, and quickly reply to messages.

The WhatsApp Business App offers these functions: verified WhatsApp account, WhatsApp account, text modules, product catalog, opening times, etc.

👎 The disadvantage the WhatsApp Business App:

  • GDPR and data protection are not guaranteed!
  • Requires a smartphone - problematic when other colleagues are supposed to work with it
  • Multiple users in different locations are not possible
  • Automation e.g. via chatbots is not possible

Conclusion WhatsApp Business App: The free WhatsApp Business App is the (almost) perfect solution for small businesses such as cafes, florists, consultants or trainers. So if you have a maximum of 1 - 3 employees, do not take the subject of data protection too closely and want to use WhatsApp free of charge for companies, you've come to the right place!

1.3) WhatsApp Business API: the GDPR-compliant WhatsApp Enterprise solution

A business solution for larger companies, the official WhatsApp Business API, has existed since August 2018. It is aimed at medium-sized and large companies. In contrast to the app, the API is not free and companies usually need so-called “WhatsApp Business Solution Providers” such as MessengerPeople in order to get access to the API interface.

With the functions of the WhatsApp Business API, we take our customer support to the next level. Thanks to MessengerPeople, the connection was quick and easy.

Albert Rösch, Head of Service Consulting BMW AG (to the BMW Case Study)


2) What is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?

MessengerPeople is one of the select group of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers. WhatsApp Business Solution Partners (WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, BSPs for short) give companies access to the WhatsApp Business API or use WhatsApp professionally and scalably for their corporate goals.


Tip: Free webinar: "Messenger communication for beginners"


3) How to get access to the WhatsApp API

There are three ways businesses can access the WhatsApp API:

A) Direct access: Here you need a good connection directly to Facebook (good luck!). You then need your own IT infrastructure, your own server and then build the complete software or CRM integration yourself. Suitable for companies that have a lot of developer resources and very individual requirements!

B) API provider interface. Here the interface is provided by a WhatsApp business solution provider. Companies still need their own development team and IT resources. MessengerPeople's Unified Messaging API is a single interface for multiple messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, naturally GDPR-compliant. It costs from 79 euros a month.

C) Use professional software-as-a-service. If you want to use WhatsApp for your company quickly, directly, without IT resources but 100% data protection compliant, MessengerPeople offers a ready-to-use software solution! With the Messenger Communication Platform, companies receive a software solution which, with its intuitive interface, is immediately ready for use for customer communication. This is worthwhile for all companies with 10 or more employees.

 

 

We found the MessengerPeople solution to be very clear, very easy to use, and the price-performance ratio was right. That is why it was decided relatively quickly which provider we would go for. "

Stefan Gehrig, Head of Customer Service at Harz Energie


4) What options does the WhatsApp API allow?

For a long time it was WhatsApp newsletter very popular. However, it has not been allowed since December 2019!

WhatsApp now allows two different use cases: Customer care (Customer contacts a company) and Notifications (Company turns to customers).

 

  1. At Customer care the customer turns to the company. This can be, for example, a case in consultation (“I have a question about product XY”) or after the purchase (“How can I use the product, how can I send the product back?”) The user reports via WhatsApp , the company has 24 hours to reply! The chat is free for customers and companies!

    What happens if the dialogue lasts longer than 24 hours or I cannot answer on the weekend?

    Every time the customer contacts you, you have 24 hours to answer. The dialogue is not limited to 24 hours and could theoretically last a whole year. If the customer no longer answers, the window will be closed after 24 hours and you will no longer have the opportunity to write. Sometimes you don't have the answer until a few days later, "The spare part is here now" or you had on Weekend no time to answer.

    Then you can use a WhatsApp notification. With the template "Ticket_responde_after_24h“You can send a notification to the customer for a fee. If he responds, the 24 hour free entertainment window is open again!

     

     

  2. WhatsApp Notification / Message Templates (push notifications): These are WhatsApp messages that you, as a company, can send to your customers on various occasions. Comparable to a service SMS that is still known today from online banking or flight bookings. WhatsApp notification costs vary from country to country. At the moment, a WhatsApp push notification in Germany costs 7 cents. More on this in our article: "WhatsApp Business: What are WhatsApp Notification?"

❗ The WhatsApp Business API differentiates between all messages that companies send via them between session messages (messages within the 24-hour service window) and template messages (WhatsApp notifications).


5) How can I use WhatsApp in the customer journey?

The use of WhatsApp is possible for companies along the entire customer journey. WhatsApp offers a whole host of possibilities from marketing at the beginning, through advice, ordering, to customer service, loyalty and advocacy.

💡 tip: Here you can read everything about the use of Messenger along the customer journey.


6) Can I also program a WhatsApp chatbot?

You can only program chatbots on the WhatsApp API! WhatsApp Business does not offer this function!

Particularly at the beginning of a sales or service conversation, the same information is requested from the customer over and over again. By using WhatsApp chatbots in first-level support - i.e. at the very beginning - customers receive an initial answer faster and companies save valuable resources.

❗️Note: As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp announced that the company had announced the Handing over customers to a human colleague through a WhatsApp bot. This is done by handing it over to a human agent in the chat, by specifying a telephone number or email, via web support or a support form. With MessengerPeople's Chatbot Builder, you can quickly and easily create an efficient chatbot that ensures this transfer to a human colleague.

WhatsApp chatbots can be extremely useful in communication:

  • You are available 24/7 and never sick or on vacation
  • You can keep learning and getting better and better
  • You are very quick - but also patient when the customer does not have time
  • You never forget - you remember certain dates
  • They are low-maintenance because, unlike apps, they don't have to be constantly updated to new operating systems

Here's an example: The WhatsApp bot from the Vonovia housing company first pre-qualifies the customer request for the topics of looking for an apartment or parking space and tenancy.

 

💡 Tip: In our article “What is a WhatsApp bot?” We explain how you can quickly build your own first chatbot and which companies are already using chatbots on WhatsApp.


7) How do I get a WhatsApp account for companies?

Any account that uses WhatsApp Business is automatically listed as a “company account”. So if you become a MessengerPeople customer, you will automatically receive a company account!

  1. The basic requirement for using the WhatsApp Business API is a verified WhatsApp company profilewhich is created through the Facebook Business Manager.
  2. In the second step, companies need one Phone numberthat is deposited in the WhatsApp customer service channel. Mobile and landline numbers are possible.
  3. WhatsApp offers detailed explanations of the technical implementation on the Facebook developer page. When companies choose to work with one WhatsApp Business Solution Provider like MessengerPeople, he takes over the complete technical connection and offers comprehensive support.

💡tip: In our article Implementation of the WhatsApp Business API you can find out everything about the topic.


8) How do I get the verification / official company account (green tick) on WhatsApp?

Usually companies cannot apply for or pay to convert a “company account” into an “official company account” - that is, to get the green tick for verified company accounts!

“At this point, only certain company accounts are listed as“ Official Company Accounts ”. Listing a company as an "Official Company Account" is based on a variety of factors, such as whether the brand is meaningful. "

... officially says WhatsApp!

✔✔ BUT: Customers of MessengerPeople can apply for this verification on WhatsApp for the official company account through us and via a form.


9) What should be considered with WhatsApp Business with regard to GDPR and data protection?

GDPR / data protection and WhatsApp is always an issue for companies, of course. As already described above, the use of WhatsApp for companies on their own smartphone is problematic. Therefore, the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp (private) App are NOT suitable for GDPR-compliant use for companies. With the WhatsApp API, the subject of data protection is guaranteed via the solution providers such as MessengerPeople.

💡 tip: In the free webinar with lawyer and internet expert Dr. Carsten Ulbricht, you will find out everything about current topics relating to Messenger, WhatsApp, data protection, customer service and the GDPR.


10) Overview & Conclusion: What are the advantages of WhatsApp Business for companies?

  • Official and verified company profile
  • Guaranteed end-to-end encryption and GDPR-compliant communication
  • Many ways to get in touch with your customers (customer service, advice, marketing)

Advantages of WhatsApp as a customer:

  • Availability: WhatsApp is my preferred communication channel anyway
  • Simple: I chat quickly, directly and easily
  • Flexible: I communicate (without waiting on hold and forwarding horror) exactly when it suits me
  • Cross Device: I start the chat on the desktop in the office and then take it with me on the smartphone on the S-Bahn
  • Multimedia: I send videos, pictures or voice messages in an uncomplicated way so that I can better explain my problem
  • Speed: I get a quick and good answer
  • Binding: If I have another question later, both the contact and the dialogue are still available

Advantages of WhatsApp for companies:

  • Reach: You use an app that 90% of all Germans have already installed
  • Efficiency: You answer inquiries on average 60% faster than by phone or email (short and without a lot of blah blah)
  • Automation: With automation you can save up to 80% effort
  • Costs: You save the costs for expensive call centers and old CRM systems
  • Tonality: You enjoy customer communication without shitstorms, trolls and with much more honest feedback
  • Employees: Your service employees are happy - because customer contact via WhatsApp is much more positive and motivating
  • Customer loyalty: As part of the WhatsApp contact list, you belong in the closest circle of your customers
  • Success: Your customers are happy, your Net Promoter Score increases and your company becomes a complete success!

 

💡 tip: Here you will find the best examples of customer service via WhatsApp in your industry. The success stories offer inspiring use cases as well as tips & tricks from various industries: Messenger communication & their success stories


 

💡Tip: With our Messenger Communication Platform we offer the first professional and data protection compliant ticket system especially for customer service via WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Viber. Here you can get a first impression of our product.

You can always participate in free webinars. You will be guided through the product live and receive tips on all aspects of content and strategy for your customer service via messenger. How about the webinar Successfully implement and use WhatsApp?


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