WhatsApp is the largest messaging platforms in the world. It is not only used by consumers, but also business begins to see it as an opportunity to reach a lot of their potential customers.
Business can use it as a channel for customer support or even for transactional purposes, such as order status notification, scheduling appointment, and more.
But the problem is, They don't allow business to use their service at the advanced level. It's hard for business to integrate it into their business process. It's not a scalable solution, while you can only use one account for your one customer service agent. Imagine if there are 1000 messages come to your WhatsApp account per day, It will look terrible for your customer service agent...
It is because of the APIs...
WhatsApp doesn't provide their API to the public yet so that It's hard for third party services like Chatkoo receive and send the messages from their platform.
So What is API?
Customer Service Tools that focus on mobile messaging like Chatkoo work because messaging platforms have APIs. As you know, there are several mobile messaging platforms on the market, such as WhatsApp, LINE, Messenger, Viber, and more. You can use all of them by default, but I confidently say that It is almost impossible for you to track them all at the same time because they are separated platforms. That's why customer service tools like Chatkoo come to play. We try to integrate those messaging platforms in one place.
API is Application Programming Interface. If the messaging platforms provide the APIs, then we will be able to send and receive the messages from our platforms.
Several messaging platforms that already open their APIs, such as Messenger, LINE, Telegram, Viber, Kik, WeChat, but sorry there is no WhatsApp.
Why can't tools send the messages directly to WhatsApp?
It's because each messaging platforms have the rules of their API. You can send the messages to LINE@ from Chatkoo dashboard not just because we provide that feature, but also LINE allows us to take that action for you.
Currently, WhatsApp doesn't allow tools like Chatkoo control their user accounts directly. It's because the idealism of their founder to keep the human touch experience and avoid spamming.
The risk of using third party services that claim to integrate WhatsApp
I know there are several services that have reverse-engineered the WhatsApp API so that they can send and receive the WhatsApp messages from their apps. You might think it's the good choice to use their services, but I guarantee that you will face a big problem. It's direct violation of Platform Policy, which states, "you must not directly or through automated means: (a) reverse engineer, alter, modify, create derivative works from, decompile, or extract code from our Services"
So the consequences of using unauthorized services including banned the number
WhatsApp will ban your number. Almost all of your customers probably saved that number. It looks terrible, doesn't it?
The consequence of using WhatsApp by default
You might think, "alright, I will use WhatsApp by default anyway, no third party"
Yes, you can. But you should think twice. Imagine if the messages come to your account jump from 100 messages per day to 1000 messages per day while your account can only be handled by one customer service agent. It will be overloaded. The consequence of this will delay your issues handling. It's bad for your customer service experience.
A study from American Express said that 3 in 5 people (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.
The WhatsApp Alternative
It depends on your customer demographics. Some e-commerce fashion companies like Berrybenka use LINE@ to increase their engagement because most of their customers are on LINE. Several of them also use SMS to notify their customers.
Some Airline Services like KLM use Messenger to send notifications and support. Messenger allows you to create some custom bubble chat like what KLM did on their Messenger account.
Although most of your customers probably use WhatsApp, but again It is not a scalable solution for customer service, at least for now, until they open their API to public so that tools like Chatkoo can use it to help you.
Over to you
WhatsApp is the largest mobile messaging in the world. It is an opportunity for business, but the problem is WhatsApp doesn't allow third party service use their APIs. It makes the solution not scalable.
While there are several alternative messaging channels you can explore, such as Messenger (the second largest messaging platforms in the world), LINE, WeChat, or even SMS.
There are several services claimed able to integrate WhatsApp, but It's direct violation of the Policy. It's high-risk solution as a business.