WhatsApp has grown into way more than just an app to catch up with friends and family. It’s time to implement WhatsApp customer support in your contact center to give your business a boost!
Did you know that in 2021, WhatsApp is the most used chat app in the world, with over 2 billion active users? This is almost twice as much as the monthly users for Facebook Messenger.
With this number, it’s almost guaranteed that your customers already have the app installed on their phones – and most likely they’re using it regularly!
If you’re not using WhatsApp for your customer support, you might be missing out on improving customer retention and business growth.
We’ve recently added the VCC Live WhatsApp integration to our repertoire, and with that, let us share with you our favorite practices to help you make the most of your WhatsApp customer support!
1. Promote Your WhatsApp Customer Support – Everywhere
Once you’ve connected your WhatsApp account with your contact center software, it’s time to spread the word so that all your customers find it easy to reach out.
Don’t just add the “Chat with us” button to your Contact Us page. Have it in your website’s header or footer, or go the extra mile and add a sticky chat button that’s always visible wherever the customer navigates on your site. You can create such a button and widget here.
If you have a members-only area, place an easy-to-find link to customer support.
Not every customer visits your website. This is why we recommend adding a link to your WhatsApp customer support to your social media accounts, in your newsletters, and add your WhatsApp number to your business card and leaflets.
The easier you make it for your prospects and customers to reach you, the more likely they’ll make a purchase, feel satisfied, and spread the word about you.
2. Set Your Business Hours
Unless you offer 24/7 support, be sure to set up your hours, so that your customers won’t be expecting a response.
You can craft an automated message that the app sends to your customers when nobody is available, and in this message, you can also include when you’re available next, or what other options they have to reach you, in case of emergency.
By setting up business hours, you can avoid customers getting impatient for not hearing back from you, and sending them a message assures them that your WhatsApp customer support is still up and running at other times.
3. Connect Your Customers With The Right Agent
One of the great things about integrating WhatsApp into your customer support is that you only need to use one WhatsApp account – that is, one phone number – no matter how many agents you have on your project. But, this doesn’t mean that all of your agents should get the incoming messages equally.
We recommend setting up skill-based routing. In other words, create different skills, topics, or problem areas within your customer support, and assign the right agent to each. For example, you might receive emails from existing customers, but your chat support is only for inquiries. You can add the latter label to your WhatsApp customer support and assign only those agents to it who are the best at sales.
Or, you can create these queues by language or how much agent experience the case might need.
Once the conversation has started, the customer might have further questions that belong to a different department. Be sure that the agents know each other’s skills, so they know who to transfer the ongoing WhatsApp conversation to.
The sooner your customer gets connected with the agent that can help them the most, the more satisfied they will be.
4. Greet Customers Right Away
We’ve already mentioned the importance of leaving an automated message when no agents are available. But, we recommend you create a welcome message even when you can be reached!
You can write anything from a simple “Hi, welcome to XY company!” to a more elaborate, informative opening line. Choose whatever works best for your company’s goals.
Having an automated opening message can boost your engagement and make customers less impatient. This way, every time a customer messages your WhatsApp customer support, they’ll immediately get feedback that their message got through.
The more authentic and short you keep your greeting message, the more it’ll feel like the response came from an actual human being. It’s a nice touch to include the agent’s name as well.
Remember, your customers will see your message on their phone, so why not include an emoji or two?
5. Speed Up Your Support Efficiency With Templates
This feature can significantly increase your response time while saving your agents from having to type out the exact same sentences repeatedly and going nuts. Create templates!
I bet your customer support often gets the same questions or deals with the same issue. Maybe you have a customer verification method, or to solve certain queries, your agents always need to ask for the same information.
This might seem like a lot of work to set up, but it pays off.
Customers tend to reach out via chat instead of email because they want a solution instantly. No matter how fast your agents are, it’s still too slow for an angry or preoccupied client. It takes less than a second to select the right template, and you can send your customers as much information as needed.
6. Sound Like a Human Being
Unless your business policy is against it, drop the formal language. We’re not encouraging you to use slang or profanity, but talking in a professional, yet more informal manner is more authentic to a WhatsApp conversation. And, well, let’s face it: it makes you sound more human. And ‘human’ is more relatable.
First of all, avoid long sentences. This isn’t an email, but instant messaging. It’s perfectly fine to send a simple “thank you”.
A tiny bit of small talk doesn’t hurt, but use it only to kill the time. Your customer wants to know first that their case is being handled. Then, if you need to wait for an answer, you can ask how their day is going. Use it in small doses and you’ll earn some good points.
Don’t be afraid to send multiple lines. Breaking up your message into 2-3 message bubbles is more natural to the style we chat, and it’s easier to digest the information than receiving a big block of text. Again, don’t overdo this. Everyone. Hates. When. Messages. Arrive. Like. This.
Emojis can add to the authenticity of your WhatsApp customer support. They convey emotion, help you connect with your customers better, and come across as more relatable.
Customers can’t see the agents’ faces or hear their voices, so instead, agents can show their friendliness and support via smiley faces. It can even add a little humor to ease the mood! However, too many emojis can be annoying and unnecessary.
7. Connect Chat Conversations to Customer History
With multichannel and omnichannel contact center solutions, WhatsApp conversations can be linked to other interactions with your client. Whenever an existing client reaches out to you via your WhatsApp customer support, be sure to identify them as soon as possible (they might text you from a phone number that’s not yet associated with their profile in your system).
Once identified, you can get their data and add every single chat transcript to their log, together with the emails you’ve exchanged and the details from previous phone calls.
When you do this, you can take a glance at your client’s profile at any moment. This can be useful when they ask about an earlier case or refer to parts of a previous conversation that you need to look up.
8. Recycle Chat Transcripts
Assuming there are no regulations against it in your country, always save the transcript of the WhatsApp conversation. You can choose to email it to your client automatically, and also send it to yourself.
We recommend sending the transcript to your customer right away, for two reasons: they can re-read and learn from the important information, and you’re also protected in case the customer later decides to file an unjustified complaint.
But there’s more you can do with transcripts.
For example, you can copy some of the best answers your agents gave. There you have another template that all your agents can use from then on, and you don’t even have to spend time on writing the template.
Also, look at your customers’ questions and see what comes up often.
Based on this information, you can extend the FAQ and knowledge base section on your website, and your marketing team can create blog posts and other helpful materials around it!
As you can see, adapting WhatsApp customer support has many benefits. It’s more convenient for your customers to reach out to you and you can resolve their queries more effectively, which increases customer retention. On top of this, it helps you grow your business by getting a better insight into what your customers want.