Gone are the days when WhatsApp was just a platform to chit-chat with friends and family. Over time, more businesses are making WhatsApp their topmost strategic communication channel - this is why it is becoming important to know about WhatsApp Business Multiple Users.
While some thrive with the WhatsApp Business app, others realize the growing need to add unlimited members for better customer communication. That’s where WhatsApp Business API comes to the rescue. But what is WhatsApp Business API? What’s the difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp API? And how to make the right choice between the two?
Let’s dive straight in to tackle all the confusing questions in your head to help you make an informed decision.
Business size: WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API?
The size of your business has a considerable impact on your choice. Businesses in the initial stage thrive with the WhatsApp Business app. But significant growth demands a gradual switch. Let’s discuss the same in detail.
WhatsApp Business for growing small businesses
WhatsApp designed WhatsApp Business with features specifically catering to small businesses and freelancers. It has an easy setup process; businesses can access it free and add multiple users. Also, the recent WhatsApp Business update (2022) comes with greater convenience as you can link it with up to five devices. Before this update, businesses could only operate it on one smartphone and PC.
But are five devices enough for small businesses?
To rule out the difficulties associated with this limitation, WhatsApp is coming up with a premium plan. In fact, it’s already up and running in many countries.
The WhatsApp premium plan covers all advanced features required for growing small businesses to thrive. With this plan, businesses will effectively handle customer queries by connecting with ten devices. WhatsApp also provides a 30-day free trial for businesses to test premium before taking up monthly subscriptions.
If the premium plan is available in your location, here’s how you can access it:
Final call: Whatsapp business remains an excellent choice for small businesses as 5 to 10 devices are sufficient to handle marketing and customer support. However, with business growth comes the requirement of a platform that offers more flexibility.
WhatsApp Business API for mid-sized to large businesses
Large businesses often have a continuous stream of customer queries or complaints. They require an advanced solution to cater to their ever-growing needs. That’s where WhatsApp Business API comes to the rescue and provides an efficient system assisting in prompt responses, tracking performance, and improving WhatsApp marketing campaigns.
But what is WhatsApp API, and how can you access the cheapest API in the market? Let’s dive in to understand that better.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp designed WhatsApp API for mid-sized to large businesses with a vast customer care team waiting to implement the planned tactics. With WhatsApp API, businesses can extract more information and access features and integrations required to customize campaigns. It further allows linking with multiple devices to enhance the overall customer experience.
Features of WhatsApp API
The most common application of API includes linking WhatsApp with a CRM to boost support and sales via automation. But if you plan to integrate WhatsApp Business API with your business, here are some features you must know about:
- 24-hour messaging window - A 24-hour window begins every time a customer reaches out to you on your WhatsApp API number. You can respond to unlimited inbound queries for free within these 24 hours. WhatsApp automatically closes the conversation once this period is over.
- It easily connects with multi-user platforms - Unlike the WhatsApp Business app, API easily connects with an external message management platform. It ensures your customer service reps quickly handle queries, send alerts, and conduct surveys to provide an enhanced experience.
- Avoid the hassle of maintaining multiple WhatsApp accounts - WhatsApp Business API helps centralize communication with all agents or team members communicating with the same number. It eliminates the hassle of maintaining multiple accounts.
- Provides detailed reports - The lack of performance tracking is one of the biggest limitations of the WhatsApp Business app. On the flip side, you can easily extract detailed reports with APIs after integrating them with a relevant platform.
Note: WhatsApp Business APIs are limited to companies only, requiring a detailed verification process by Facebook (Whatsapp’s owner). The process can take anywhere between a few hours and weeks to complete.
This is where having a WhatsApp Business API solution provider like QuickReply.ai makes things simpler.
WhatsApp Business Vs. WhatsApp API: key points of difference
Despite their similar nature of communication, WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API differ significantly in functionality and cost. Here are some significant points of difference to help you make an appropriate choice:
Cost: Free or paid
WhatsApp Business remains free for users and easily downloadable from the play store. It’s suitable for freelancers and small businesses to have a professional space to communicate with the audience.
Many additions are made to the app for an enhanced experience, like displaying a product catalog, mentioning open hours, and adding other social accounts. Therefore, customers can get enough information about you from your account even if they don’t directly reach out to you via messages.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Business API comes with many advanced features and isn’t freely available to users. The cost varies based on the location, number of messages, and the chosen BSP provider.
Manual management is another biggest limitation of WhatsApp Business, which makes it less suitable for large businesses. You can hardly keep with a structured or strategic approach when multiple people manually handle tasks. Due to this, scaling businesses sometimes decide to make a switch.
WhatsApp API allows integration with multiple platforms that provides sufficient levels of automation. Hence, the workload reduces, and your team focuses on other crucial areas to improve customer experience.
Connection to third-party platforms
WhatsApp Business provides an interface or app with which teams handle varied marketing and customer support tasks.
On the flip side, WhatsApp APIs don’t have any interface and need a connection to an external platform to access additional features. Businesses often enjoy benefits like multi-agent mode, where over 500 employees cater to customers with the same WhatsApp number.
WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: How to add?
Now that we know the suitability let’s understand how small businesses can use the Whatsapp Business app to connect with multiple users using an android device:
- Open your WhatsApp Business App
- Click on the three vertical dots and select more options.
- Choose linked devices from the available options.
- Click on link a device and scan the QR code on WhatsApp Business Web on other devices.
iPhone users must simply go to their WhatsApp settings and follow the exact instructions above. After linking, the respective team members can access WhatsApp Business on their devices and handle tasks accordingly.
How to switch from WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business API?
If you are a scaling business looking to make a switch, then authorized Business Service Providers (BSPs) are there to help you out.
BSPs are companies authorized by Facebook and specialize in helping businesses easily manage API access and billing procedures. There are over 50 companies with varied functionalities and pricing structures to choose from.
Another method is requesting direct access to the API from WhatsApp. However, most businesses choose BSPs as it remains a quicker and easier method of accessing WhatsApp APIs.
Note: BSPs only assist in accessing API. You still need to integrate it with a reliable platform based on your specific needs.
WhatsApp Business multiple users: Use cases
Finally, let’s look at two crucial benefits of having flexibility with adding multiple members on WhatsApp:
Enhanced sales and customer support
People are highly impatient and require quick assistance. Providing manual service becomes hectic once the number of messages increases. In such a scenario, relying on an efficient message management platform will help connect the user query with the right customer support executive.
Learn more about using WhatsApp for customer support here.
Increase lead conversion from broadcasting
Broadcasting aims at sending well-drafted messages to people who opted-in to hear from you. Once the leads start replying, multiple agents will be available to ensure successful conversions.
Learn more about WhatsApp broadcasts here.
Now you know the benefits of multiple-user flexibility and the right ways of dealing with WhatsApp Business multiple users' problems. If you are just starting out, enjoy the benefits of the free WhatsApp Business app. But growing businesses must select the right BSPs and start taking WhatsApp marketing and customer support to the next level.
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