WhatsApp Business API for companies

WhatsApp is a free instant messaging application for smartphones, acquired by Facebook in 2014. It is the most widely used communication app in the world. WhatsApp enables to send and receive messages via the Internet and mobile data, as well as images, videos, audios, audios, documents, locations, stickers, etc. There are companies that use WhatsApp to communicate with their customers, in its special version dedicated for professional use and known as WhatsApp Business API for companies.

WhatsApp Business API version is intended for companies and in this article we give you all the details of the service and how you can request it. Firstly, it is imperative that your brand or organization complies with WhatsApp's commerce policies.

There is WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API. "API", as its acronym indicates, stands for Application Program Interface.

  • WhatsApp Messenger is the version of the app that practically "everyone" uses. Its use is for individuals, that is, for your private life outside of professional environments.
  • WhatsApp Business, is used for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). With certain limitations and restrictions.
  • WhatsApp Business API, is used for medium and large companies, as a B2C (Business to Customer) communication tool, mainly as a channel for notifications and support.

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a free app very similar to WhatsApp Messenger for Android and Apple. It allows small and medium businesses to communicate instantly with their customers. This, like the previous one, also has WhatsApp Web, so you can contact your customers by computer as well as by phone.

The WhatsApp application is so widely used that it has not taken long for it to reach the work sector. 85% of people in the world use the application several times a day and spend an average of 2 hours a day on it.

The main reason why it was decided to create WhatsApp Business was to release all the spam that was produced in WhatsApp chats and thus create a Business version for professional use only.

What does WhatsApp Business allow you to do?

  • Have a company profile, in which you can detail opening hours (hours and days), attach a link to your website, location and a brief introduction of your company.
  • Create quick replies, welcome messages and automated away messages.
  • Tag contacts and organize them. With tags you can organize your customers by new customer, paid, pending payment, new order, etc. Have conversations with a customer through autoresponders.
  • Create a mailing list using tags.
  • Record orders, reservations that customers have made and make confirmations of these.
  • Send notifications of interest to the customer.
  • Make payments directly in the chat, among other functions.
  • You will have statistics on the number of messages sent, delivered and received, messages read, messages not read, etc.

What is NOT allowed in WhatsApp Business?

A very important aspect is that it is NOT possible to send promotional messages or advertising to the customer database directly through WhatsApp. If this were to happen, the customer has the option to block the profile of any company easily if it were to be considered spam.

On the other hand, it is also not possible to send messages in WhatsApp in bulk. Nor is it allowed to register the same phone number in two accounts at the same time. You can only use one with a profile.

WhatsApp Business API with Afilnet

To offer the WhatsApp Business API service, it is necessary to be registered as a WhatsApp partner. That is, it is not a service that can be requested directly to WhatsApp, but can only be offered by a registered partner. Afilnet works as a WhatsApp partner, offering this service to its customers.

This service works in a more professional and extensive way than the free version of WhatsApp Business as it allows you to connect directly to the WhatsApp API, so that you can scale the communication with your customers through automation.

With the WhatsApp Business API, companies can perform integrations with other CRM or ERP, use analytics software and allow a team of human agents to manage tickets coming from WhatsApp.

Access to the WhatsApp Business API service is restricted or limited. WhatsApp Business API can only be used when your company is accepted by WhatsApp to use the Business version.

Afilnet helps you in the process of acceptance and integration of WhatsApp Business for your business, acting as a certified partner.

Benefits of using the WhatsApp API

  • Efficiency. You will be able to connect with your customers in seconds, in a fast and intuitive way, offering great efficiency as a communication channel.
  • Secure channel. You will be able to conduct conversations with your customers in a secure way thanks to end-to-end encryption. The platform is free from any type of fraud or malware attacks.
  • Global coverage. You will be able to connect anywhere in the world and with customers in different countries through a dedicated mobile number.
  • Reliable. WhatsApp is a well-known application used all over the world, so your customers will rely on this channel to communicate.
  • Differentiation. It is a way to differentiate yourself from other companies, offering a fluid and efficient communication channel.

What can I use the WhatsApp Business API for?

As mentioned above, promotional or advertising use is NOT allowed in WhatsApp Business. Instead, it is a service indicated for support and customer service. With it you can perform actions such as the following:

  • Manage reservations through the application.
  • Customer service.
  • Auto-responder.
  • Programmable chatbot. You can configure the bot and send messages whenever you want.

Message templates in WhatsApp Business API

As mentioned above, the WhatsApp Business API service only allows sending predefined templates. It is imperative that the customer who is going to receive the messages has activated the permission to receive the messages. These messages consist of notifications addressed to support or customer care and may include:

  • Support appointment reminders.
  • Order or shipment status information.
  • Problem resolutions.
  • Notifications of a payment.

Message templates, images, audio and documents are supported in messages, in a maximum of 4096 characters.

For more information on how to create messages that you can send in WhatsApp you can access this link. Here you can see the documentation necessary for the parameterization of the messages.

How to start WhatsApp Business conversations

WhatsApp Business charges for messages sent per 24-hour session, i.e. within this time window unlimited messages can be sent. Each 24-hour session is charged as a single conversation. A conversation starts with the first message sent by the recipient or the company. From that moment on, the conversation starts and will be charged after 24 hours. The rates will depend on the country code of the user or company.

The WhatsApp Business platform approves two ways to start conversations with customers:

  1. The user starts the conversation by writing to the company's number. This does not require prior consent to receive messages. The company can reply with unlimited messages free of charge during a 24-hour session.
  2. The company starts the conversation by writing to the user's number. This requires the user's prior consent to receive information via WhatsApp (opt-in). Secondly, the initial contact message must be a pre-approved WhatsApp template, either text or interactive.

Service features

Afilnet is an omni-channel marketing platform that allows you to communicate with your audience through various channels. Using the WhatsApp Business service in our platform means that you can complement your mailings through other channels such as SMS, Email, Voice Calls, along with WhatsApp. Among the actions you will be able to carry out are:

  • Send and receive messages via WhatsApp. With this service you will be able to send and receive messages from your customers via WhatsApp quickly and easily, in the same way as traditional WhatsApp.
  • Send files. Send images, audios, audio recordings, videos and documents via WhatsApp.
  • Management panel. Use an advanced management panel of the world.
  • Shipment tracking. Know the delivery status of your shipments up to the minute.
  • No expiration. Your purchased credits do not expire, you can recharge your balance and spend it whenever you want.
  • Template Management. You can create and reuse message templates for whatsapp marketing campaigns, newsletters, reminders, notices, make payments, make reservations, among other things.
  • Cloud services. We connect WhatsApp with other cloud services. This will allow you to send surveys, contracts, sign documents, etc.
  • Multi-account system. Create sub-accounts for different departments, subsidiaries or franchises.

How to contract the service with Afilnet

To request access to the WhatsApp Business API, you must make an API entry request through Afilnet, which acts as a certified partner between WhatsApp and your brand. Your company must be verified with a Meta (Facebook) Business Manager account. We guide you through the entire process.

Within Afilnet you will be able to choose between different virtual numbers dedicated for exclusive use of WhatsApp, based on availability.

  1. Activation and monthly fee. To access the WhatsApp service it is necessary to pay an activation fee. Subsequently, the use of the app is charged per month, together with the price per chat.
  2. Chat fee. You will only pay per conversation, once you have initiated a conversation you are allowed to interact with your customer for 24 hours at no additional cost.

You will be able to connect with as many customers as necessary, as long as it is through a previous customer request or under customer authorization.

Greater accessibility for your audience

As we mentioned before, WhatsApp is an application known and used by everyone, every day this application is used to communicate with other people, family or friends.

Using WhatsApp Business at a business level will be an advantage, because people are totally familiar with the app. Your customers will feel comfortable talking via WhatsApp because it is a fast, simple and fluid way to communicate.

Users will perceive your company as more accessible, benefiting from the fact that they will have a quick way to resolve any doubts they may have and immediate assistance. In addition, with the help of automated messages, they will be able to access the chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Through WhatsApp Business API, companies can improve their processes, operations and deliver excellent personalized customer service.

Using WhatsApp Business in your company is the best way to communicate. This way we can efficiently build customer loyalty and have a closer relationship with them.

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