The professional methods for communication continue to evolve alongside technology. Over the last few years, companies and individuals have been finding more streamlined methods of communication, pivoting away from email as their primary tool. A very noticeable shift has been to the application WhatsApp.
If you’re unfamiliar, WhatsApp is a free messaging service often downloaded as an application for a mobile phone. The simplicity and ease of use have quickly made WhatsApp a primary messaging tool. According to Statista, WhatsApp now has a user base of roughly two billion worldwide. Even if communication with your customers is not happening through WhatsApp currently, as you continue to grow the possibility of doing business through the application will as well. In a recent webinar, we posed the question ‘Besides Email and Phone, which channels does your business use to communicate with prospects & customers?’
A large number of multiple-choice answers were listed out and WhatsApp was the preferred method by a large margin. Along with this, a lot of the viewers had follow-up questions regarding the use of the integration and how it can be set up for their Vtiger CRM instance. This blog will offer those resources and cover the main benefits and limitations of the integration. As an additional note, this integration is being developed solely for our new version of the CRM, Vtiger 8.
When initially reviewing this integration, we found three major benefits stood out for the sales and support teams in particular:
- The conversations between sales representatives and prospects can now be captured inside the CRM automatically. With this integration, WhatsApp messages are automatically linked to a Contact or Lead record and the sales representative is notified. Instead of sending a message to the sales representative’s phone number, prospects should now send the messages to the business WhatsApp number. This, in turn, helps reduce the number of WhatsApp phone numbers being used by your company.
- Engagement Score of the Contact is revised since the WhatsApp messages will be counted automatically as a touchpoint. This will help your sales team gain a better understanding of how far along the lead is in the sales process and how engaged they have been with your team and company.
- Live Chat is the preferred channel of communication by customers looking for customer service. With WhatsApp, customers do not have to go to a website to get support. Vtiger now makes it easy for your support agents to respond to incoming WhatsApp messages directly from the Live Chat console. Please reach out to the Vtiger team if you are interested in learning more about enabling Live Chat for your Vtiger CRM.
It does need to be noted that the Vtiger WhatsApp integration has a few limitations to prevent potential spam being sent to contacts.
- The integration is currently only available through Twilio. You will want to create a phone number and payment plan through Twilio first.
- You will need to have a Facebook Business Manager Account
- Outreach can only be handled through pre-approved WhatsApp templates.
- Once the customer sends a message or responds to a message, you will then only have 24 hours to send a response.
Even with the limitations, this is an excellent resource to allow for further communication with your customers and leads.
A great initial approach would be to send an email campaign out to your customers and leads. This could notify them that WhatsApp can now be used to communicate with your team and share your WhatsApp business number so they can easily send a message when the need arises.
If you are excited about this new integration, test it out for yourself. See how utilizing WhatsApp along with your Vtiger account can simplify your customer and lead interactions. The full walkthrough for setting up the WhatsApp integration is available in the article linked here.