WhatsApp Business API: Everything you need to know

By: Yukta Debnath

Using the WhatsApp Business API, businesses can receive and reply to unlimited WhatsApp messages in real time.

Have you considered using WhatsApp API for your business but are unsure what it is or how it works? This complete guide to the WhatsApp Business API covers all your concerns. We’ll go through

  • What the WhatsApp API is,
  • How it is different from WhatsApp business,
  • Its pros, and cons, and
  • How to use it to manage contacts and send messages by WhatsApp’s guidelines.

What is an API?

In 2018, Meta (known as Facebook) launched the WhatsApp API, the term “API” stands for “Application Programming Interface.” An API allows you to link different platforms and helps share data between applications.

whatsapp business api

It enables the integration of two sets of software. To put it another way, an API allows two or more programs to communicate with one another.

What is WhatsApp Business API, and how does it work?

WhatsApp Business API allows large businesses to reach out to their customers by employing effective customer relationship management solutions. For businesses that want to maximise their consumer base, this is a great way to do so. WhatsApp Business API gives provision to the integration of solutions that will ensure a business enforces:

1. Quick Replies

Customers want to engage with potential sellers to solve their concerns about their products. That is what WhatsApp business API assures customers. 

You can automate your responses so that any queries that customers have receives an accurate answer within the shortest time possible.

2. Access To Real-Time Customer Data

Customer data is crucial to the growth of any business. Businesses must get to know their customers’ specific needs. 

Therefore, accessing customer data will allow you to analyze a variety of customers’ tastes and preferences. Hence, enhancing productivity to achieve customer satisfaction.

3. Tracking Leads

Any business needs to understand how their products are fairing. That is crucial in determining areas that require necessary improvements. For instance, it gives you the need to determine which goods or services are in high demand to make them available to customers. Also, tracking leads helps you understand which products are redundant. You can now apply measures to guarantee you sell those products within the shortest time possible. Redundant stock is not good for business.

4. Enhance Customer Engagements

Maintaining productive relationships with customers is beneficial to your customers. You can gain their data, such as phone numbers and email addresses, to personalize their messages. That allows you to address specific customer issues. You also get to gather customer feedback with a lot of ease. You can now formulate an effective marketing strategy to encourage customers to purchase your products. This is because you know what they need through the feedback you collected.

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WhatsApp Business App

There is a free app for small business owners called WhatsApp Business App. By connecting small businesses with their customers, offering their products, and supporting them, they can connect with their potential customers. It lacks scalability and has limited capabilities.
 

Difference between WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API

  • Businesses looking to scale can benefit from WhatsApp API.
  • Small businesses cannot use WhatsApp Business App as a bulk messaging tool.
  • Using integrations and APIs, trigger messages automatically.
  • Support dashboard & multiple logins.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp API comes with several features for automating chats. Contrary to WhatsApp Business App, WhatsApp API requires direct integration into business software and has no app. BSPs are the only ones who can access WhatsApp API.

How does one set up a WhatsApp Business API account?

Having access to the WhatsApp API is desirable and handy to any company. If you’re a business owner interested in using the WhatsApp API, it’s vital to understand the process and what you’ll need to do.
We’ll show you exactly what occurs when you set up your WhatsApp Business API in a detailed step-by-step instruction.

Let’s get started.

whatsapp business api

1. Speak with a WhatsApp Service Provider

The first step is to locate a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP).
A third-party company like BusinessonBot can assist you not just with setting up a WhatsApp Business account, but with gaining access to WhatsApp’s API.

2. The WhatsApp Service Provider combines the phone number and the display name.

First, you must get a WhatsApp Business phone number. In either case, you should not use the same number under another WhatsApp Business account.

You’ll also need to come up with a business display name, which should reflect the nature of your company.

As everything will be administered through Facebook Business Manager, you’ll need an account and an ID there as well. WhatsApp will need to verify your business because this is how it certifies your status and identification as a company.

3. A service provider for WhatsApp creates message templates

Simultaneously , your BSP will cover the basics of building message templates and ensuring that you’re following WhatsApp’s rules.
Reminders, delivery information, payment notifications, and other transactional messages are examples of these communications.
Since WhatsApp must pre-approve these message templates, make sure you prepare them before you request API access for WhatsApp.

4. Approve the request for "Messaging on Behalf Of"

After you’ve completed all this, your BSP will give you a “messaging on behalf of” request, which you must authorise.
You’re basically telling WhatsApp that you’re authorised your BSP to act on your behalf – much of like a Power of Attorney.
You should get a notification through Facebook Business Manager that you need to approve the request.

5. Request for WhatsApp API Access has been sent and is being reviewed.

After creating your message templates, your BSP will validate everything and submit your API request to Facebook. WhatsApp business accounts will now have access to your business information.

6. Get Approval

If everything is in order and Facebook is happy, you should have no problems getting accepted.
The chances of getting accepted for access to the WhatsApp API via a BSP are better than if you did it yourself, thanks to the knowledge of BSPs.
Upon approval, your BSP should notify you.

7. Enjoy Sending Your First Business Message Using WhatsApp API

You’re done as soon as your BSP takes care of these minor elements.
Now ready to use the world’s most popular chat app to streamline your business’s communication while also growing your brand.
Having access to the WhatsApp API expands the marketing and communication options available to your firm.

Pros & Cons of WhatsApp business API

PRO's

  • Flexibility- You can devote as much or as little time to the business as you like. Also, you can start small and run all elements of the business on your own if you enjoy the work and have some prior expertise.
  • Ability to create a business from the comfort of your own home- To get your business off the ground, you don’t need a real storefront or office space. Everything can be done from the comfort of your own home, at least at first!
  • Gratifying work- Starting a WhatsApp API business can be quite rewarding. After all, you’re resolving a pressing issue for a customer and working on a project that you genuinely care about.
  • Simple business plan- WhatsApp API business benefits from a simple business model, which makes launching and growing the business easier.
  • Traffic to your website- WhatsApp API gives visitors a cause to visit and return to your website!
  • There are no overhead fees related to getting your WhatsApp API company launched, such as overhead, storage, or packaging. You’ll save a lot of time and money by doing so!

CON's

  • Overcrowding- When it comes to your WhatsApp API business, competition is fierce, so you’ll need to invest a lot of time evaluating the industry and figuring out where the need is.
  • Employee motivation is important- Finding inventive ways to encourage your sales/content team can be difficult if you plan to have one on board. Providing your employees with excellent incentives and a pleasant working environment is crucial.
  • A longer sales cycle- Because a WhatsApp API company can be a significant time and financial investment for your customers, it’s critical that you plan and forecast a longer conversion funnel and stay in touch with them.
  • Data Loss and Security Issues- As with any SaaS business, data loss and security issues may happen during the development of your product. You must know exactly what you’re in charge of and how to avoid problems in the future.
  • Isolation- As a WhatsApp API company, you frequently work alone and have little face-to-face interaction with other team members.
  • Complex upkeep is required- Because of the need for updates, bug patches, and security risks, your WhatsApp API business will demand a long-term commitment. At all times, you (or someone on your team) must be vigilant.
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Best Practices and Guidelines for Using the WhatsApp API for Messaging

To begin with, the WhatsApp Business API does not permit you to send a message at any time or in any format. Instead, businesses who want to use the WhatsApp API to send messages must first download the WhatsApp API.

1.Rating of Quality

WhatsApp API gives businesses insights on your phone number’s quality rating and status to encourage higher-quality conversations. The Business Manager API can help you get these valuable insights.

2. Capacity and Limitations of Messaging

The quality and condition of your phone number determine whether you can send texts. Including new and existing users, your company may communicate with a certain number of unique users each day.

3. Human Escalation on WhatsApp

Customers dislike interacting with bots, especially if a problem requires a human agent to resolve it. WhatsApp recognized this issue and made a WhatsApp Human Escalation pathway mandatory.

In November 2020, WhatsApp began reviewing bot experiences on the network in real-time. WhatsApp recorded messages from its bot for quality improvement purposes.

Human-agent handoff, phone number, email, web support form, and initiating in-store visits are all appropriate escalation techniques.

To sum up..

WhatsApp offers the opportunity for enlarging your customer base. Has a large number of people using it. Besides, you can easily market your goods and services free of charge. The introduction of WhatsApp Business API has come with additional benefits. Businesses can now acquire customer data easily. That allows them to study customers at a personal level. Therefore, it is possible to develop a marketing strategy that works.

Become one of the first businesses to support their customers on WhatsApp and leave your competition in the dust. Take your business to the next level with WhatsApp API with BusinessOnBot. We are literally all you need to scale your WhatsApp business.

READ MORE: WhatsApp Marketing: Complete Beginner’s guide

Reference | Gupshup

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