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What WhatsApp's new business model means for C2B

By Gethin Liddell

WhatsApp announced a change in their business model earlier this year. They have moved away from a small annual charge and instead are making WhatsApp free to use for all users.

As part of the announcement, they highlighted that they are looking into APIs to allow communication between business and customers through the WhatsApp channel. How or whether they are looking to monetize this, I do not know, but it is a great move for the consumer.

It will mean that you are now able to communicate directly with your business of choice through WhatsApp. If you want to, you will now be able to use WhatsApp to communicate with your bank. If you want to, you will now be able to use WhatsApp to communicate with your insurance company. If you want to, you will now be able to...

OK, the point being that this is putting more choice into the hands of the consumer allowing them (YOU) the choice of how you want to communicate. Still want to pick up that phone and call in? Fine. Want to go on the website and webchat? Fine. Want to have an asynchronous conversation when suits you using WhatsApp? Fine.

The problem that companies are finding now though is how to move customers seamlessly between the different channels. And this is going to get worse as more channels come online.

But why would they want to? Why would a customer who has started on one channel want to move to a different channel?

Because though you might want to start on one channel, as the conversation progresses you might NEED to move to another channel to advance the conversation on to the next phase. And when you move, you want it to be a seamless continuation of your existing conversation. Not a stop and restart with a loss of context.

For example, you communicate with your bank via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook or another digital channel for service.  They contact you back via the same medium to discuss the problem. After some to and fro, you agree to move to a audio conversation to better discuss the problem. This is achieved by providing you with a link in your current channel that directs you to the new channel, which could be a phone call or an in app video call. Your conversation takes on from exactly where your previous channel left off and you resolve your dispute amicably.

This is true Omnichannel.

Letting the consumer use the channel they want to use and maintain the conversation context as they move across the different channels a business offers.

Frictionless.

And this is what CafeX Communications helps businesses to achieve.

We can't make you love your bank, but we can help you talk to them.#makingtogetherhappen

Want to find out how America Express is solving for this problem?  Download our "Perfecting the Art of Mobile Engagement" case study. 

Read our Case Study

 

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