WhatsApp Business API: Everything You Need To Know
You must be familiar with WhatsApp. It is no surprise that nearly 1.5 billion people use the app daily. This application is a great tool for businesses, and the WhatsApp Business app is the perfect way for clients/stakeholders to communicate.
If you were wondering how the WhatsApp Business API works and how it can be used to assist customer support agents, you are in the right spot.
In this guide, we shall go over every detail you need to know before getting started. Let’s get going!
What Is The WhatsApp Business App?
To enable business interactions through WhatsApp, Facebook, which is now known as Meta, launched the WhatsApp Business API in 2018.
The WhatsApp Business App and web extension is free to use and allows businesses to connect easily with customers. They can sell their products/services through the app. The app currently has limited capabilities and is not suitable for large-scale businesses.
What Is The WhatsApp Business API?
The WhatsApp API was created to help medium to large companies that wished to use WhatsApp to interact with customers.
The API allows companies to automate communication with instant and interactive messages generated by chatbots. This improves personalized communication and sparks client interest.
What Are Some Important Features Of The WhatsApp Business App?
- Quick automated replies.
- Dedicated application.
- Set away messages.
- Conversation labels.
- Allows users to define business hours and create profiles.
- Single-person usage.
- No CRM tool or chatbot integration required.
What Makes WhatsApp API Different From The Business App?
WhatsApp API is suitable for businesses that are scaling or are already larger. WhatsApp Business is suitable for smaller businesses as it does not support bulk messages, automated messages, logins, support dashboards, and APIs.
The WhatsApp API is the opposite and comes with many message automation features. The API has no front-end interface or app and must be integrated with business software. The API can also only be accessed through BSPs (WhatsApp Business Solution Providers).
WhatsApp Business Solution Providers
- The API platform is not available for all users at the moment.
- Facebook/Meta has picked out 40 to 50 third-party solution providers to help distribute the WhatsApp Business API.
- BSPs aid in communication with customers using WhatsApp API features like automation, personalization, and customer support.
What Are Some Important Features Of The WhatsApp Business API?
- Can be integrated with a CRM tool, analytics software, and other 3rd party apps.
- WhatsApp Business profiles are verified with a green tick.
- Allows message broadcasts in bulk.
- Offers interactive messages and a WhatsApp chatbot.
- Grants access to multiple customer support agents.
Is The WhatsApp Business API A Suitable Choice For My Business?
Businesses that are not as large scale can easily use the free WhatsApp Business application. However, if you have a larger business or have begun to scale, you surely need to make use of the WhatsApp Business API.
Let us look at a few things below that can help you decide whether the WhatsApp Business API is the right choice for your business:
- You have more than 300+ active clients.
- You wish to send automated notifications to your customers.
- You wish to use WhatsApp to get new customers, offer better customer support or wish to offer a personalized purchasing experience.
- The conversation volume is too much for one person to handle.
- You need to integrate 3rd party tools to increase efficiency and reduce conversation/response times.
- You need an automation platform with conversational commerce.
What Are The Two Major Components Of A WhatsApp Business Account?
Two main components of the WhatsApp Business API include:
1. WhatsApp Business Profile
A profile allows customers to see what a business is about and get other relevant information. Companies can optimize their profile by updating addresses, email, website links, and cover photos.
2. Phone number
A contact number needs to be linked to your WhatsApp Business API account so you can accept calls and SMS. You will also need a number to receive SMS for OTP verification.
How To Get The WhatsApp Business API?
There are two ways through which you can get the WhatsApp Business API:
- You can apply through a BSP and further choose between SMS provider BSPs and other types. Those that do not offer SMS services make use of proxy APIs that are similar to the WhatsApp infrastructure. This makes it easy to activate new API features.
- WhatsApp Cloud API Access was granted in May 2022 so businesses could host and access the API directly. The Cloud API offers all the latest features as opposed to On-Premises APIs.
What Is The Pricing For The WhatsApp Business API?
You can sign up through a BSP and pay for a WhatsApp connection through them. Since they act as middlemen, however, they may keep a certain profit markup which will cost you more.
Most BSPs used to charge businesses for every message, but a conversation-based pricing model has recently become more popular.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with WhatsApp directly for a pricing plan.
Which Businesses Should Consider Investing In The WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp Business API offers tons of attractive and useful features. However, it is up to business owners to decide whether the API is necessary or suitable for their company. It is a good idea to pick the WhatsApp Business API if you belong to one of the following industries:
- Customers require vehicle information before test driving.
- A ton of calls mean frequent lineups and loss of leads as time passes on.
- Reply buttons and list messages offered by WhatsApp Business API help eliminate the need for humans.
- New or potential customers are successfully brought on board.
- The API aids appointment scheduling and improves customer satisfaction.
- Retail is a fast-paced industry. Online shopping means more inquiries and greater sales.
- Heaps of incoming messages can get overwhelming and cannot be handled by a single person.
- WhatsApp Business API eases the process through chatbots, broadcasts, and automation.
- Prompt replies make the business appear more trustworthy.
- Telecom companies get millions of queries daily.
- Clients want prompt and informative responses, which can get quite taxing for the customer support team.
- WhatsApp Business API allows more than one agent to sign in and quickly helps the team respond to clients through automated and saved replies.
The WhatsApp Business API is a great tool if you are a large business and cannot make the WhatsApp Business application suffice. Not only does it offer tons of features, but it can also be integrated with 3rd party apps for added functionality and ease.