If you needed, say, a desk, you might feel confident you could build one yourself, provided it was simple. Maybe all you need is a simple elevated surface with four legs. Building such a contraption might be easy enough, but as soon as you needed drawers, for the desk to change elevation or the top to swivel you would most likely buy one or hire a carpenter. It makes little sense to treat software integration differently.
Any business needs effective communication, and WhatsApp’s user base has been growing seemingly exponentially since its inception in 2009. And since Salesforce is, and has been for a while now, the go-to cloud-based software for running a business, marrying the two is a no-brainer.
WhatsApp is quickly becoming the go-to app for direct communication. Many smartphones come with WhatsApp already installed, causing its user base to soar. With roughly 1.6 billion users globally, the biggest benefit of using WhatApp is the amount of users it has. Tapping into such a large market allows your company to cast as wide a net as possible, maximizing profits. Unlike some SMS plans, WhatApp is free. Perhaps because of this, the number of users in developing areas of the world — primarily Asian and Latin America — is growing rapidly.
Additionally, WhatsApp communications — whether they are text, photo, videos or documents — are encrypted end-to-end. This feature makes it more secure, providing businesses a closed one-on-one environment to have contact with clients. More direct correspondence engenders in the customer a sense that they are heard, that their needs are being met in a personalized way, improving CX and bolstering retention.
Historically, email and SMS have largely been the primary means of contacting customers or leads. That isn’t likely to change anytime soon. After all, those methods are tried and true. They are reliable. Customers are likely already using WhatsApp to coordinate family functions or plan outings with friends, so speaking the language they are already using is an asset. In a busy world, being able to connect with customers in a variety of ways proves useful to ensure your message rises above the white noise all of us learn to tune out.
WhatsApp is not native to Salesforce, meaning it isn’t one of the initial apps incorporated into the basic suite of software. So, when you get the add-on by purchasing the Digital Engagement package, initial setup is key.
Once your business has WhatsApp, it can send outbound notifications, but is unable to initiate conversations. Such businesses need to create an outbound message template and have WhatsApp approve that template before they make contact with a customer. This approval process curates the sort of messages the customer or lead receives, which in turn makes the customer more likely to respond because WhatsApp is acting as a vanguard, essentially verifying the message’s content.
Once a customer or lead responds to an outbound notification, your business can enter into a conversation, a back and forth. Customers are still able to contact a company and initiate a conversation at their leisure. In other words, communication between a business and a lead or customer requires customer consent.
Although setting up WhatsApp is not difficult per se, establishing what your company is using the messaging system for governs how the templates for WhatsApp are set up. For instance, if a customer visits your website and fills out a form, perhaps your business will send them a notification welcoming them to the company. Crafting a message unique to your company’s needs and voice will go a long way toward building a cohesive brand.
Whether it is marketing or sales, once you know what you want your message to be, you will need to unify different modes of communication — SMS, video, chat — into a single channel. A big part of CX is how easy something is to do. Every time a customer needs to jump through a hoop to get what they need, there is a chance you will lose them. Omni-channel streamlines interaction with customers, making it seamless and avoiding their need to log onto a separate channel to reach your business.
Another perk of WhatsApp is the ability to create a bot that gathers information from customers to assist them. These “Einstein bots” use existing knowledge of the customer to answer questions or, if needed, direct them to an agent. They can even do things such as send customers post-chat surveys or a chat transcript, adding yet another layer of convenience for users.
As already detailed, integrating WhatsApp into Salesforce has huge benefits, including:
All these components fit together like a piece of furniture to create something stable. And just like a piece of furniture, for instance that desk you need, you want to be confident it will get the job done. So, don’t try to build the desk on your own. Let us help.