Are you considering using the WhatsApp Business API to enhance your business’s communication and customer experience?
Whether you run a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a large company, the WhatsApp Business API offers a range of powerful features designed to cater to your marketing, sales, and customer service needs.
It automates workflows and provides desired functionality to streamline operations. This article explores its benefits for SMEs and large enterprises, revolutionizing business communication and helping achieve goals.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp Business API is a special type of WhatsApp app that comes with API (Application Programming Interface) technology to help businesses receive and respond to messages and reach customers on a large scale.
It’s designed for medium to large businesses that want to use WhatsApp with multiple users. Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, the API has no app or front-end interface. It needs to be integrated into a messaging software.
The Types of WhatsApp Business Accounts
There are two types of WhatsApp Business:
1. Business Account
Any account that uses the WhatsApp Business platform or WhatsApp Business app is a business account. You can download a business account free from the App Store and Google Store.
2. Official Business Account
An official business account (OBA) confirmed as a prominent and authentic brand by WhatsApp.
The company name is displayed even if the user has not added the company to their address book. Official business accounts have a green tick in their profile and chat thread headers.
Users will see different information about their accounts, depending on the type of account.
If the user has a company phone number stored in their contact list, the contact list name will always be displayed. Your phone number will still be visible in your Contacts view.
Official Business Account
|Can be downloaded for free from App Store and Google Store||Can only be obtained through an Official WhatsApp Partner or Business Solution Provider|
|No green tick verification||
Has a green tick verification in their profile and chat thread headers
|Contact list name is displayed if the user has saved the number||
Company name is displayed even if the user has not added the company to their address book
|Brand Authenticity||Not confirmed as a prominent and authentic brand by WhatsApp||
Confirmed as a prominent and authentic brand by WhatsApp
WhatsApp Business API: BSPs
WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs) are third-party services that help businesses integrate with the WhatsApp Business API. They are a global community of third-party solution providers with expertise on the WhatsApp Business Platform.
BSPs offer two WhatsApp API hosting options: WhatsApp On-premises API and WhatsApp Cloud API.
- The On-premises API is hosted on a BSP’s or business’s server, giving businesses more control over their data.
- The Cloud API is hosted on Meta’s cloud servers, allowing companies to implement the WhatsApp Business APIs without the cost of hosting their servers.
Although businesses can access WhatsApp Cloud API directly from Meta, setting it up requires technical knowledge. So, it’s easier for companies to get it from a BSP for a simpler application and setup process.
WhatsApp Business API: The Components
WhatsApp Business Profile gives customers more information about your business.
Also, businesses can easily optimize their business profile by updating their cover photo, description (about the service), business address, email & website.
Your WhatsApp API account’s phone number level will determine your limitation of sending the message.
Five tiers of phone numbers in the WhatsApp Business API:
- Unverified Trial Tier: Message 50 unique Contacts within a rolling 24 hours & own up to 2 numbers
- Tier 1: Send messages to 1k users in a rolling 24 hours & own up to 25 numbers
- T2: Send messages to 10k users in a 24 hours
- T3: Send messages to 100k users in 24 hours
- T4: Send messages to unlimited users within a rolling 24 hours
Message-sending limits only apply to business-initiated messages. Depending on the BSP, the business will start from the Unverified Trial Tier or Tier 1 after registering their phone number.
To change from the Unverified Trial Tier to the next level, you must verify your Facebook Business Account.
As for businesses on T1, T2, and T3, the number will be upgraded to the next tier when they reach the messaging limit of the current level. Provided they have a good quality rating and non-Flagged status.
Phone Number Status and Quality Ratings
Phone number quality ratings and statuses indicate customer satisfaction with the quality of your business conversations. You can find all of these insights on the Business Manager Facebook page.
There are five phone number statuses on the WhatsApp API in total:
- Pending: Status before the Trade Policy check is complete
- Offline: Status when a business fails a Commerce policy check or cancels their WhatsApp API Account
- Connected: Default state
- Flagged: Status when the quality rating reaches Low. If it increases to Medium or High within seven days, the status will return to Connected. Otherwise, WhatsApp will revert your phone number status to Connected but impose a lower message limit on your number.
- Restricted: Status when a business reaches its messaging limit while having a poor quality rating
The quality rating is determined by several factors, such as the number of blocks by customers, the frequency of outgoing messages (notification messages or promotions), and response time. Three phone number quality ratings:
- High (green)
- Medium (yellow)
- Low (red)
To avoid being banned and ensure you get a good quality rating, you need to send high-quality, relevant messages to your Contacts.
If your device is blocked, the quality rating of your phone number will drop to a Moderate or Low rating. Quality rating changes may affect the status of your phone number.
Types of Messages in the WhatsApp API
In the WhatsApp Business API, there are two types of messages that are allowed:
To prevent spam and help businesses respond quickly to incoming messages, WhatsApp has limits on session messaging or sending messages.
Session messaging allows companies to reply to incoming messages within 24 hours. After 24 hours, the company will not be able to send messaging sessions.
Session messages can be divided into two parts:
- Business-initiated conversation (BIC) is business-initiated messaging. Businesses typically send their customers multiple notifications that they can respond to and initiate conversations.
- User-initiated conversation (UIC) is a customer-initiated message. A message sent by the customer and replied to by the company.
A message template is required to start a business-initiated conversation. These conversations can be used for customer service messages or appointment reminders, payment or shipping updates, notifications, and more.
Message templates must be approved by WhatsApp, before being used to start conversations. To start a BIC, your customers must have opted in to receive messages from your business.
WhatsApp Business API: Features
Then one of the main advantages of the WhatsApp Business API is its ability to respond to customers automatically which is proven to be able to improve customer service experience and services.
The advanced features that are the strengths of the WhatsApp Business API include:
1. Multi-agent and multi-device
The WhatsApp Business API allows multiple agents to simultaneously use the platform on various devices.
This feature ensures that your customers receive faster responses as more agents can attend to their queries. It helps reduce customers’ waiting time and enhances their overall experience with your business.
2. WhatsApp Green tick
When your business account is verified, you will have a green tick verification badge displayed next to your display name. This badge indicates that your account has been verified and you are a legitimate business owner.
This verification badge builds trust with your customers, assuring them they communicate with a reputable business.
The Rotator feature is an automatic routing system that helps businesses serve customers faster. It ensures customer messages are sent to available agents who can attend to them promptly.
This feature reduces the time customers wait for a response and enhances their experience with your business.
WhatsApp chatbots are automated messaging systems that can respond to customer queries instantly.
They can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, provide relevant information about your business, and even make recommendations.
The use of chatbots can reduce the workload of agents and improve response times to customers. Find out how to make a WhatsApp chatbot here.
The Blast WhatsApp feature enables businesses to send blast messages to their customers, even if the customer still needs their business contact saved in their address book.
With this feature, businesses can personalize messages to reach more subscribers, increasing their engagement and improving brand awareness.
Integrating WhatsApp with your CRM software enables you to manage all customer interactions on a single platform.
This integration can help businesses track customer engagement and preferences, improve customer retention rates, and drive business growth.
WhatsApp API links enable businesses to make it easy for their customers to contact them.
By providing a WhatsApp link on their website, social media, or marketing campaigns, businesses can encourage customers to reach out to them quickly.
The Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) feature enables businesses to gather real-time customer feedback.
It helps businesses to understand their customers’ needs and preferences, identify areas for improvement, and enhance their overall customer experience.
9. WhatsApp Business Search
The WhatsApp Business Search feature makes it easy for users to search for a company name and start a conversation without leaving WhatsApp.
This feature enhances the accessibility of businesses to customers, making it easier for them to communicate and engage with your brand.
WhatsApp API for Business
The WhatsApp Business API is a powerful tool for businesses looking to promote their products and connect with a broad audience on WhatsApp.
It allows businesses to send personalized messages, run marketing campaigns using blast message templates, and engage with multiple contacts through broadcasts.
Additionally, the API offers green tick verification to enhance customer trust and boost your business’s credibility.
This helps businesses refine their marketing strategies and reach a larger audience on the popular WhatsApp platform.
The WhatsApp Business API is also great for sales. It helps businesses streamline sales, automate customer interactions, and support potential buyers.
It streamlines sales processes, automates customer interactions, and supports potential buyers. Businesses can employ chatbots to answer questions, showcase products, and even complete transactions directly within WhatsApp.
Moreover, appointment scheduling through WhatsApp makes it convenient for customers to schedule demos, consultations, or service appointments.
This API ensures smoother sales processes, enhances the customer experience, and leads to increased sales.
For Customer Service
The WhatsApp Business API improves customer service by allowing businesses to provide fast and personalized support. With automatic replies and chatbots, businesses can help customers and resolve issues 24/7.
The API also can integrate seamlessly with CRM systems, helping businesses manage customer interactions and gain insights for better service.
By using the WhatsApp Business API for customer service, businesses can make customers happier, build loyalty, and create strong customer relationships.
Main Benefit of WhatsApp Business API
Here are the benefits of WhatsApp Business API:
1. Instantly serve your customer with just one WhatsApp number
The WhatsApp Business API enables businesses to use a single WhatsApp number to serve their customers.
This means customers can reach out to businesses easily without remembering different contact numbers or email addresses.
This feature enhances the accessibility of businesses to customers and simplifies the communication process.
2. You can serve your customers 24/7 with chatbot support
The WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to serve their customers 24/7 with chatbot support. This feature helps businesses cater to their customer’s needs at any time of the day, regardless of business hours.
By being available round the clock, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty.
Moreover, chatbots can be programmed to respond instantly to frequently asked questions, offer personalized recommendations, and even complete transactions.
3. A virtual assistant that makes customer service tasks easier
A WhatsApp chatbot is a virtual assistant that can help businesses to handle customer queries more efficiently.
Chatbots can be programmed to respond instantly to frequently asked questions, offer personalized recommendations, and even complete transactions.
4. An analytical reporting dashboard that allows you to monitor all customer service activities through your WhatsApp
The WhatsApp Business API comes with an analytical reporting dashboard that provides businesses with valuable insights into their customer service activities.
The dashboard enables businesses to monitor their response times, track customer engagement, and identify areas for improvement.
5. Integration with CRM systems that can improve the customer experience
The WhatsApp Business API can be integrated with CRM system, which can help businesses to manage all customer interactions on a single platform.
This integration can help businesses to track customer engagement, preferences, and purchase history and use this data to provide personalized recommendations and improve customer experience.
Also Read: What is CRM System?
6. Build loyalty and trust in front of your customers
Businesses can use the WhatsApp Business API to build customer loyalty and trust.
The instant and personalized communication channels provided by WhatsApp can help businesses to foster strong relationships with their customers.
By providing excellent customer service and responding to customer queries promptly, businesses can enhance their reputation and build trust with their customers.
7. Comes with an end-to-end encryption system that keeps WhatsApp user data confidential
The WhatsApp Business API uses end-to-end encryption to keep all user data confidential.
This means that all conversations and information exchanged between businesses and customers are protected and cannot be accessed by third parties.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API?
There are two ways to get the WhatsApp Business API, through a local installation or Business Solution Partner (BSP).
You can do the installation yourself, but it can get pretty complicated. You need to prepare your open platform or docker to use the installation guide.
Using BSPs is now much simpler and easier for your business. Here are the three easy steps to get the WhatsApp API:
1. Set a phone number
You need to set up a phone number that can receive calls and SMS from international numbers. Make sure the number doesn’t already have a WhatsApp account.
If the number you want to register already has a WhatsApp account, you will need to delete the existing account.
2. Register your phone number to WhatsApp Official Partner
The next step is to choose an official WhatsApp Business API partner, such as Mekari Qontak.
3. Verify your Facebook Business Manager account
Next, you’ll need to verify your business account in Facebook Business Manager. In this case, WhatsApp will carry out a verification process regarding the correctness of the identity of the registered company.
The data required for the verification process are:
- Company name
- Website URL
- Field of application
- Facebook Business Manager ID
Registering a WhatsApp Business account in Facebook Business Manager can be confusing. But don’t worry, the Mekari Qontak team will help you with a simple registration.
The Mekari Qontak team will help you upload these documents to complete the business registration. After completing the steps above, you’re ready to use WhatsApp API!
What Documents Are Needed to Get the WhatsApp API?
To get access to the WhatsApp Business API, you will need to provide several documents and complete the following steps:
- Business Registration Proof: Provide valid business registration documents that match your intended account name.
- Facebook Business Manager Account: Create a free Facebook Business Manager account for managing your WhatsApp Business API account.
- Domain Ownership: Submit proof of domain ownership, such as a registration certificate or hosting account details.
- Use Case Description: Describe how you intend to use the WhatsApp Business API, including message types, frequency, and customer interactions.
- Technical Implementation: Prepare the technical implementation of the WhatsApp Business API, including integration with your CRM or customer support system. You can use a WhatsApp Business solution provider such as Mekari Qontak to help you with the implementation.
Note: Once you have provided all the necessary documents and completed the technical implementation, you can submit your application for approval. WhatsApp will review your application, and if approved, you will be granted access to the WhatsApp Business API.
Is Your Business Eligible to Apply WhatsApp API?
Not all companies can register for a WhatsApp Business API account. The allowed requirements for businesses are:
- Have complete documents, such as legal documents, licensed, or certified with documentation of country or origin.
- Business website
- Business email
- Business does not violate WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.
The following are the categories of businesses that are prohibited under WhatsApp policies:
- Illegal products or services
- Drugs, whether prescription, recreational, or otherwise
- Tobacco items and related paraphernalia
- Unsafe ingestible supplements
- Weapons, ammunition, or explosives
- Adult products or services
- Body parts and fluids
- Medical and healthcare products
- Items or products with overtly sexualized positioning
- Real money gambling services
- Dating services
- Products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media
- Digital and subscription services, including links to or processing of any subscription sales, renewals, or upgrades
- Business models, goods, items, or services that we determine may be or are fraudulent, misleading, offensive, or deceptive, or maybe or are exploitative, inappropriate, or exert undue pressure on a targeted group
- Real, virtual, or fake currency
- Third-Party Infringement
How Much is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp API pricing may be different in various countries. WhatsApp Business pricing is based on the market in which the company operates or the country code of the person receiving the message.
On the other hand, the price Facebook has set for WhatsApp Business depends on who initiates the conversation.
1. User-initiated conversation
The customer initiates the conversation, and the company can reply to the customer’s messages for 24 hours.
2. Business-initiated conversation
Business initiates a conversation with the customer outside of the 24-hour service hours. In this case, the company needs a message template to send the message.
During this time, businesses and customers can exchange messages without additional messages.
Find more about WhatsApp Business pricing here.
Get Your WhatsApp Business API Right Now!
Are you interested in using the WhatsApp Business API? If you are interested, then this is your chance!