7 steps to get started with the WhatsApp customer support API


1. Think

Ask yourself why you want to use WhatsApp. Is it because your potential customers are all on WhatsApp? Or because your messages will almost certainly be read by people who took the trouble to save your number in their contact list (indication of interest #1)? Or because it can boost your conversion rate? After all, WhatsApp messages always end up in your customer’s pocket, along with messages from friends and colleagues. Your message will most likely be read, with more interest than a Facebook post or a tweet, strengthening the bond between your customer and your brand.

2. Get good customer service software with a WhatsApp API integration

If it feels like WhatsApp could become very big for your business, make sure you start using professional customer software. WhatsApp isn’t scalable without a Whatsapp API software! You’ll need to be able to reply quickly and accurately. If your team or your customer base is big, you need specialized software. Get your free trial of our software to scale up and manage this tool better. Sharing a smartphone dedicated to WhatsApp isn’t realistic if you get over 50 questions a day.

3. Prepare your customer service team

Before even getting a number connected to the WhatsApp API, involve your customer service team – the people who will be answering all of those WhatsApp queries. Depending on the type of company you run, organize an introductory meeting or a real brainstorm session. Explain the benefits of WhatsApp and make them relevant to your company. Allow room for reactions, because these are the people who talk to your customers each day. They might have great ideas about using WhatsApp.

Once you know for certain you’ll be using WhatsApp as a customer service channel, prepare some type of style guide and let your team know the rules. What’s allowed, what is not? How empathic should they come across? Emoticons: yes or no? Who might need a spelling training? You don’t want to sound like a robot moron.

4. Let your customers know you’re on WhatsApp

You can be on all the channels you want, but if nobody knows you’re there, you won’t be very successful. There are many ways to make sure people know you’re on WhatsApp. Add it to:

  • Your ‘contact’ page. Make sure you describe the role of your WhatsApp account: people can probably not call you on it, you might not be available - 24/7 and it’s not suitable for very delicate information like bank account numbers.
  • Your email signature.
  • Your social media accounts.
  • Your homepage. Think it through though: you might not to start with this if you get a lot of traffic on your homepage each day. We suggest only doing this when you have gathered some experience and know what you’re doing.

When sharing your WhatsApp number online, make sure it’s clickable, leading to a vcard or use click to chat provided by WhatsApp. If someone clicks on the number, he’ll be able to download your contact info, saving it with just one click or open WhatsApp directly with the click to chat link. This is very important for WhatsApp, as you want your customers to save you in their address book for easier communication.

5. Personalize your WhatsApp account

Easy: add your company name, your logo, email address, URL etc. And a status update, which for business purposes should be a helpful description of the channel, not just a slogan. Casengo’s status update, for instance, is: ‘Our Amsterdam team is happy to help you with Casengo!

6. Add more customer contact channels

Customer service is at its best when it’s not the medium that counts, but the message and its sender. That’s why we’re all for specialized customer service software that brings all of the communication channels together, especially email, live chat and WhatsApp (the 3 digital 1-on-1 channels). You might not always need more context if a customer sends you a question through WhatsApp, but sometimes you do, and when that happens you shouldn’t have to waste time searching through different logs, trying to draw a full picture of the customer in question.

7: Take action

Print out chapter 2 and go through it with your team! Get your free Casengo trial and connect your number via our WhatsApp API!