Julien Rio, Marketing Director at RingCentral Engage Digital, outlines why the WhatsApp Business Messaging matters and how it can improve your offering.
In January 2018, WhatsApp introduced WhatsApp Business Solution that enables medium to large businesses using a Digital Customer Interactions Platform to process a higher volume of customer messages. It is an important step and adopting this type of digital customer service can make a massive difference to customers in the hospitality sector. With customer experience set to be a more critical brand differentiator in this sector than ever before – now is the time to get on board!
As of July 2019, 1.6 billion users were accessing WhatsApp regularly. Hence, it is a primary way to engage with customers as one of the most popular messaging channels across the globe. WhatsApp Business Solution enables companies to integrate it as part of a broader strategy that unifies digital channels on a single platform, and this has become a significant factor in its adaption.
Being able to engage with hotel, restaurant and bar guests, or potential new customers in this way is not only handy for them, but it also reflects the trend of consumers wanting to communicate with brands at their preferred time and way. Adopting these channels can improve customer satisfaction, extend the reach of the brand, boost conversions, and deliver on other valuable company KPIs.
WhatsApp Business Solutions allows companies to create a branded profile, complete with a business description that includes all details, including the website. It can offer effective customer engagement with the use of images, location sharing, and other rich messaging features.
Of course, WhatsApp is not just relevant for the individual hotel or restaurant locations. Where a hospitality group has a centralised booking or customer service, it can be used to make a distinction between where the head office, or an individual hotel, restaurant, or coffee shop should engage with a guest on a query. For those businesses that need to manage multiple queries at the same time, the enterprise WhatsApp solution offers a great way to consolidate high volumes of messages for customer service agents.
Here are five reasons why hospitality businesses should adopt WhatsApp Business for guest engagement:
- Setup Templates – Ability to automate template messages for routine requests such as general information about specific services, or checkout times, with fast resolutive replies. Pre-approved messages can be utilised to send notifications to customers from who explicit permission has been obtained. Your team can create these with templates or from the API provider. The only requirement is that they are non-promotional.
- Verified Business Account – An official verified Business Account, whereby your account has a green tick to signal its validity when you choose to add the WhatsApp Business Solution API through a provider for your omni-digital platform. This ensures your customers know that they are contacting the right account and reinforces the security of this channel.
- Popularity – One of the most popular messaging apps, there are over 65 billion messages sent every day via the app and web-app. The accelerated use of messaging apps as a preferred channel for conversation is apparent. 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly. Plus it is available in 60 languages, allowing users around the world to enjoy a personalised customer experience.
- Security – All messages are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning that no third party can access it. There are limitless opportunities where WhatsApp could be applied in customer care to relay private data or trade detailed documentation with clients all in a private and reliable app.
- Asynchronous Communication – Improve agent productivity and lessen processing time with the asynchronous cadence, chat history, and concise messages. The adaptability and individual characteristics of asynchronous enterprise messaging give companies an ideal chance to connect with consumers on the devices used every day.
WhatsApp Business Solutions offers a great way for hospitality businesses to engage with guests and make sure they offer a seamless and frictionless experience for guests, helping them with every aspect of their stay, from front desk to concierge services, booking laundry or room service. Importantly for potential guests, it offers them a direct connection to the business where they can enquire about making bookings. The future of customer services is omni-digital, and brands that embrace this will see a positive impact on their business.