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Customer service via WhatsApp – is that possible? WhatsApp has long been established in customer communications. Around 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp every day, and its reach is growing. The instant messaging service (that belongs to Facebook) will no longer be allowing the sending out of newsletters. But traders can continue to create a good impression through the use of WhatsApp in their customer communications.
Do you send out your newsletters via WhatsApp? Soon that won't be possible any more. From 7 December 2019, it will no longer be permitted to send out newsletters via WhatsApp, according to the messenger service provider. What was up until now seen as a grey area will now be forbidden. As is set out in WhatsApp's general terms and conditions, the commercial use of the app is in general permitted, provided the user doesn't have the feeling that they are being sent spam. This unclear definition is apparently the reason why the medium has been used for the mass sending out of newsletters. Countless companies are now posing the question – what benefit will WhatsApp bring us now?
The WhatsApp Business API makes it possible for a company to continue to reach their customers in a simple, secure and fast way. Companies that want to communicate with their customers via WhatsApp will first of all need to create a company profile. They can include details such as their opening hours, their address and their website address. The chat, audio and video call functions mean that companies have various options for contacting their customers. In order to ensure the required data security, the messenger service will be using end-to-end encryption.
The kinds of customer support communications that work best via WhatsApp are short-notice enquiries on orders, product availability or general service issues – because WhatsApp guarantees fast customer communications. Problems can be solved quickly and customers enjoy a better quality experience. It's not only wholesalers such as Müller and the like that are offering their customers this simple and popular service; retailers such as Viehausen and Büro-Weiss have also discovered the advantages the tool can bring them.
Negative examples here are abandoned chat functions where the customer either doesn't receive an answer or receives only an inadequate answer. Companies that offer their customers advice or support via WhatsApp should ensure that customer enquiries are dealt with exclusively by specialist personnel. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the legal aspects of the app's use, for example the general GDPR regulations or the general terms and conditions of WhatsApp. With the use of WhatsApp, the focus should be on providing a benefit to the customer, with mobile marketing being seen rather as just a side effect.
Traders can send targeted information about new campaigns, events or promotions, but only on an individual basis. It's very important to address customers personally. This applies to both reminder messages, for example about a back-to-school campaign, and to information on the latest trends in the PBS sector. Messages must be tailored to the interests of the customers. Only then will the customer really appreciate the message.