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The Rise of Utility Messaging Use Case on WhatsApp Business API

On January 30, 2024 | 8 Minutes Read
ChatbotsConversational AIConversational CommerceConversational EngagementConversational MarketingConversational SupportCXGenericWhatsApp Business APIWhatsApp Commerce

WhatsApp is the preeminent global messaging application, with over 2 billion unique active users. Positioned as the third most widely embraced social media platform, it follows only Facebook and YouTube in popularity.

WhatsApp’s broad user base and exceptionally high open rate of 98% make it a prime channel for businesses to communicate with their customers directly. It enables companies to assist customers in completing their buyer journeys using automated online messaging services through smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

These quick and convenient one-on-one message exchanges facilitate transaction confirmations, updates, cart notifications, and post-purchase customer service, among other things.

However, getting through the massive user base of WhatsApp is no joke — especially for businesses competing to outshine rivals in providing value to customers through personalized and engaging interactions.

Driving Communication With WhatsApp Business API

Meta introduced WhatsApp Business in 2018. Although businesses had already been using WhatsApp for marketing purposes, the conception of WhatsApp Business enabled companies to customize the entire customer journey and engage with them at scale. 

As a result, WhatsApp Business API emerged as a dominant player, helping medium to large companies navigate the evolving landscape of customer communication. 

The WhatsApp API is the back-end mechanism for managing and automating conversations between businesses and customers. Since it has no front-end interface, the API is integrated with other messaging systems or platforms the business already uses. In most cases, companies can use the WhatsApp API only through third-party Business Solution Providers (BSPs). 

With a BSP, you can easily set up a WhatsApp Business account and automate conversational engagement on WhatsApp Business.  BSPs help you make the most of WhatsApp Business API features, from creating effective marketing campaigns to building highly interactive and customizable journeys with WhatsApp chatbot solutions.

Conversational engagement platforms like Gupshup streamline setting up the WhatsApp API for your business, making the process more accessible and intuitive. With conversational engagement solutions tailored for marketing, commerce, and support, Gupshup helps businesses leverage the power of WhatsApp API to drive authentic connections with their customers.

How the WhatsApp Business Platform Works

User & Business Initiated WhatsApp Conversations

Before diving into the use cases, it is important to understand how the WhatsApp Business API works. The WhatsApp Business platform recognizes two types of conversations: customer-initiated and business-initiated.

Customer-initiated Messages

Customer-initiated conversations involve the customer reaching out first, typically for support or information. The Click To Chat WhatsApp feature ensures customers can actively communicate with a business. It can be easily integrated into websites and ads on social channels, allowing instant connection and better customer engagement. When customers want to chat, the feature redirects the conversation to WhatsApp. Thus, brands can engage with website and ad visitors, facilitating effective lead nurturing and capturing.

Utility (business-initiated) Messages

Business-initiated or utility conversations are the ones that you start proactively with your opted-in customers. Utility conversations typically include updates, confirmations, requests, or transactions outside the customer care window. In other words, utility messages let you initiate conversations with your customer outside an active messaging session. 

When sending utility messages through the WhatsApp API, you can only use pre-approved message templates or formats consistent with WhatsApp policies. These templates let businesses send structured WhatsApp messages to customers, creating personalized and rich conversational experiences.

Customers who actively opt-in for these messages will receive communication such as delivery notifications, order updates, payment confirmations, appointment reminders, and so on.

Top 7 Use Cases for Utility Messaging on WhatsApp Business

With the help of media sharing and URL support, the customer experience on WhatsApp is seamless and streamlined. Here are the top 7 use cases exploring how WhatsApp Business API provides cost-effective CX solutions through utility messaging:

Appointment Updates and Reminders

A widely used utility messaging use case across salons and clinics, these WhatsApp templates are designed to send updates and reminders about appointments, such as cancellations and rescheduled timings. These utility conversations improve customer service and give customers a personalized experience.

“Hi, Jackie! Just a reminder from Sam at Glam Salon & Spa about your hair appointment next Monday at 2 PM. If you need to reschedule, please call or text 123-456-7890.” 

Payment Confirmations and Updates

With these message templates, you can send your customers payment-related updates like confirmation and receipts/invoices. Businesses can take these utility conversations to the next level by integrating payment options. 

WhatsApp Business API facilitates swift and secure business transactions, allowing customers to make payments directly from the app, with assured security of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Moreover, this feature is free to use, eliminating excess costs for processing payments.

“Payment Successful

Hi, Bobby! We have received your payment for order #123456. Your order is being processed and will be confirmed shortly.”

Order Confirmations and Updates

Another prominent use case of utility messaging on WhatsApp Business API is when companies send their customers order confirmations and updates. These messages may include the expected delivery date and order update/cancellation options. Today, E-commerce giants and most online small businesses leverage this feature to keep their customers informed and updated.

“Order Confirmation

Hi Bobby! Thank you for placing an order with us. Your order number is #123456, and the total is Rs. 3000. We’ll let you know when your order ships!”

Shipping Reminders and Updates

Businesses can follow up order confirmation messages with relevant shipping-related updates such as tracking information, delivery notifications, or possible delays in shipping/delivery. These utility messages give the customer complete transparency into their buying journey, from placing an order to receiving the products at their doorstep.

“Order Shipped

Hi, Bobby! We are one step closer to delivering your favorite skincare and makeup. Your order #123456 has been shipped and will reach you in the next 3-5 business days. You can track your order using the link below.”

Delivery Updates

In addition to shipping reminders, you can send delivery updates to your customers with information like the delivery executive’s phone number and delivery code for authentication.

“Order is out for delivery

Hi, Bobby! Your order #123456 from Bubble Beauty is out for delivery and will be delivered to your doorstep between 10 AM and 9 PM today. For any query, connect with our delivery executive at 001-230-0000.”

Customer Feedback

Want quick feedback from your customers? Follow up with a feedback message once the product is delivered. URL support and CTA buttons enable businesses to gather client feedback seamlessly and cost-effectively. This allows companies to address their client’s pain points and improve their services.

Include external feedback links or let your customers choose from options without leaving WhatsApp.  

“Hey, Bobby! Let us know about your shopping experience with us. Click any of the options below:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Average
  • Need Improvement

Thank You

Team Bubble Beauty”

Account Update Notifications

You can use WhatsApp Business API to provide customers with updates related to their accounts, such as registration status, plan validities, or account activity alerts. These utility messages are most relevant when customers sign up and create an account to avail of the products and services of a business. 

“Hi Jay, Welcome to eStock Solutions. 

Your account number XX-XXX-XX has been set up and is now live.

To continue registration online, click on the button below.”

Beyond Communication: WhatsApp API for Building Customer Trust

WhatsApp For Building Customer Trust

Your relationship with your customers is a two-way street — just like they reach out to you and expect to engage in real conversations, your proactive initiative to connect with your customers makes all the difference. 

WhatsApp Business API facilitates this two-way engagement where both the customer and the business can actively reach out to each other within the trusted space of WhatsApp. While end-to-end encryption and GDPR compliance ensure that conversations are safe and secure, deploying a WhatsApp bot for business makes automation and handling multiple conversations a breeze. 

Beyond technicalities, every conversation you initiate with your customers reinforces trust in your business — reassuring them of your commitment to providing value at every step. With personalization becoming the standard in every business-consumer relationship, these conversations satisfy the core human need for validation and wanting to be prioritized.

Conclusion

In today’s omnichannel world, consumers expect to interact with businesses in the same hyper-personalized way they connect with family and friends. WhatsApp Business API provides the perfect platform for these rich, personalized experiences and effective customer engagement. With message templates designed for critical business-initiated interactions, WhatsApp Business lets you automate and streamline communication with your valuable customers.

Want to try out automated customer support on WhatsApp for your business? Partner with Gupshup — a high-scale conversational engagement platform that takes your business to new heights. Boost customer satisfaction and get revenues soaring with the AI-powered conversational messaging features of Gupshup for marketing, commerce, and support automation.

Get in touch today!

Vartika
Vartika leads marketing at Gupshup and has ~16 years of experience in marketing across early-stage startups and large enterprises. A Marketing specialist by profession, a wanderer at heart, an enthusiastic cook, and a painter for the soul.

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