Why Carriers Should Use the WhatsApp Business API for Customer Service

Learn how WhatsApp Business solution can help carriers with customer service

Mobile subscribers are unhappy with the customer service their operators provide. The WhatsApp Business solution helps operators modernize their customer service.

The mobile industry continues to be busy — with 5G on the horizon, AI and machine learning in widespread use, and individuals and organizations increasingly reliant on mobile devices in daily life and for business growth. Yet, even as the sector remains at the forefront of innovation, there are a few areas where it could do a lot better.

Customer service is the classic example; unfortunately, mobile carriers aren’t exactly known for great customer support. Research by Anaplan, a UK-based company, finds that only 35% of consumers say that their mobile phone operator offers good customer service. The survey also reveals that when calling to make an inquiry in the last 12 months, a staggering one in four customers have either failed to get through to their mobile phone operator or have simply hung up due to excessive wait times. Even though this research is focused on the UK, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be faring much better. 

According to global research by Analysys Mason, even though network coverage is the single most decisive factor for customer satisfaction around the world, customer service plays a key role in customer satisfaction. The research reveals that a relatively high proportion of respondents are “very dissatisfied” with their carrier’s customer service. A customer’s level of satisfaction in this area is often a very strong indicator of whether that person is willing to promote the brand, and it also indicates a propensity for churn, particularly in the developed markets of Europe and the United States. In addition, the research identifies several operators that appear to have challenges with their customer service operations, but have acknowledged that digitalization has generally brought positive effects to their customer service functions.

Using WhatsApp Business Solution in Customer Service to Increase Satisfaction

With operators facing high capex, increased investments in infrastructure and low monetization options, especially in Europe with the scrapping of roaming charges, they tend to see customer service as a cost center that needs to be further slashed. That’s where digitization comes in, with options such as the WhatsApp Business API to accelerate omnichannel engagement in telecom customer service.

Despite the initial reservations that operators might have with WhatsApp — considered the “enemy” that took away the person-to-person (P2P) SMS traffic that carriers considered core to their business — today the sentiment is rather different. In fact, it’s now understood that operators and over-the-top players (aka mobile chat apps) may in fact be able to leverage each other’s strengths to their advantage.

This is exactly what a few operators are already doing. Vodafone in Germany, for example, provides customer service via WhatsApp Business solution to offload calls from its contact center and has actually increased its efficiency by using chat bots. In addition, Vodafone has also leveraged Apple Business Chat to its customers, proving that telecom operators can be at the forefront of omnichannel customer service. 

WhatsApp Business API & Customer Service: A Match Made in Heaven

According to the research commissioned by Anaplan, more than half of consumers (51%) say that “having more people staffing call centers at peak times” would improve customer service. This shows how telecom customer service is centralized in call centers, leading to long wait times and the constant flux of agents handling individual inquiries.

Instead of complicated IVR options, telecom operators have the opportunity to leverage the WhatsApp Business API to allow customers to instantly get in touch with them, powered by one interface. With the WhatsApp Business solution — and possibly all other chat apps — the endless transfer from one agent or expert to the next doesn’t happen: communication is centralized in one business account. If an inquiry is being checked by multiple agents, this is invisible to the customer, providing a true seamless experience. 

A seamless experience is all about adapting customer service to formats customers are already comfortable with. Privacy is also a strength here; instead of resolving customer grievances on public platforms like Twitter and Facebook, conversations take place in a private sphere, with extra security perks allowing for the exchange of sensitive information, such as billing issues, financial details, address changes, and more.

WhatsApp Business API for Omnichannel Customer Engagement at Telecom — with tyntec

Operators around the world are waking up to the demands of modern customer engagement strategies. The use of the WhatsApp Business solution — in addition to the myriad chat apps, RCS, and SMS — is accelerating the pace of omnichannel implementations.

We at tyntec can make this journey easier for telecom providers. With 15+ years in the market enabling operators from around the world to benefit from A2P SMS, our 100+ operator partnerships are a testament to our commitment to the carrier world. In this capacity, we enable operators to increase their efficiency and customer satisfaction with a programmable and platform-agnostic Chat API which can access the WhatsApp Business solution, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and more. These channels can be integrated into any customer engagement, contact center, or CRM platform.

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