7 tips to building stronger customer relationships with WhatsApp Business Platform

Topic: WhatsApp
Image showing how WhatsApp Business Platform can lead to building stronger relationships in business. Shown through 2 people shaking hands and the WhatsApp icon in between them.

Great conversations are key to long lasting customer relationships. WhatsApp can help you have richer customer interactions. Here are some tips to follow.

Is an excellent customer experience one of your business’ unique selling points (USPs)? Today’s customers are not only seeking competitive prices and innovative products. They’re also searching for businesses who are dedicated to providing positive customer experiences and building long lasting relationships. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that conversations sit at the heart of customer experience. When you have meaningful conversations that offer value to customers, you can improve satisfaction, trust and loyalty. 

Here’s how you can do that with WhatsApp Business Platform, the world’s most popular messaging platform:

  1. Have a tone of voice document/style guide and stick to it – this will help ensure your customers receive a consistent experience, regardless of who they speak to at your business or the channel they use.
  2. Personalise engagements – customers want to feel special, not a number in a sea of faceless sales. According to McKinsey’s Next in Personalisation 2021 report, 71% of consumers expect personalisation and 76% are frustrated if they don’t find it. 
  3. Be conversationalhave conversations, not one-way notifications. WhatsApp allows for two-way communication and this combined with the familiarity of the platform helps customers feel as though they’re speaking to friends, not just a business.
  4. Avoid sending too many messages – don’t spam your customers as that can impact their experience and your quality rating on WhatsApp.
  5. Encourage feedback – use conversations to actively look for ways to improve. This will not only help you continually improve your products/service, but shows that you care about your customers and their experiences. With an open rate of 99%, WhatsApp is a great place to send surveys to customers. 
  6. A/B test – WhatsApp provides you with the 30-day quality history of your messages. This can help you track and review the reasons for drops or increases in message quality. 
  7. Take an omnichannel approach – for the best chances of success, use WhatsApp alongside your other communication channels, from live chat and email to phone and social media. This maximises your reach, allows the customer to choose their favourite channel and ensures the brand experience is consistent across platforms.

Maintaining a high quality rating on WhatsApp

Following the above can help you achieve and maintain a high quality rating on WhatsApp. There are three quality states, which you can find under the phone number tab in your business’s WhatsApp Business Manager. They are as follows:

  • High – green
  • Medium – yellow
  • Low – red

Your phone number quality is based on how the messages have been received by your recipients over the last seven days. It’s determined by recency and quality signals from conversations between businesses and users. Examples include activities such as users reporting or blocking a business and the reasons they provide when they do so.

If you reach ‘low quality’, you’ll receive a notification in the Business Manager. Your WhatsApp status will also change to Flagged or Restricted, which will affect your ability to send messages.

  • Flagged – this happens when your quality rating reaches a low state. You won’t be able to upgrade messaging limit tiers during this phase. If message quality improves to green or yellow (high or medium quality) seven days from when your status changed to Flagged, you will return to Connected. If it doesn’t improve, you will still return to Connected but you’ll be placed in a lower messaging tier
  • Restricted – this happens when you reach your messaging limit. During this phase, you won’t be able to initiate any conversations until the 24-hour window resets. But you can respond to messages initiated by the customer

Meta will rate limit businesses if their quality remains low for a sustained period of time. Here are the rate limit tiers:

  • Tier 1 – up to 1,000 unique message recipients per day
  • Tier 2 – up to 10,000 unique message recipients per day
  • Tier 3 – up to 100,000 unique message recipients per day
  • Tier 4 – once a business surpasses Tier 3, they can send unlimited messages with unlimited conversation replies

Every new WhatsApp-enabled number starts at Tier 1. WhatsApp monitors message volume in addition to quality. Businesses will be automatically moved between tiers depending on the total number of unique recipients across the last seven days.

Each time you initiate a new conversation with a unique customer, Meta will determine whether your limit should be increased. This is based on the following criteria:

  • Your phone number status being Connected
  • Your phone number quality rating being between Medium or High
  • If in the last seven days, you have initiated X or more conversations with unique customers, where X is your current messaging limit divided by two

If you meet all of the criteria, Meta will increase your messaging limit by one level in 24 hours.

If you exceed the daily limit for your tier, your message will not be delivered. However, this doesn’t apply to messages sent in response to a user-initiated message within a 24-hour period – only business-initiated messages.

If your quality rating is low (red), you may be prevented from moving to the next tier or even be moved down a tier. It’s important to maintain a good quality rating on WhatsApp as to move down a tier can significantly reduce your daily messages send. This can have a detrimental effect on your company’s communication.

How to improve your quality rating on WhatsApp

  • Has a template been added within the last seven days? A problematic template (e.g. if a button doesn’t work or an image is potentially inappropriate) could be the issue. 
  • Do your messages comply with Meta’s policies?
  • Do you have user opt-in for any recent template topics? Recipients may react negatively if, for example, they have opted in to account updates but receive marketing promotions (which they haven’t opted into).
  • Have you reviewed your messages against Meta’s best practice guidelines?

Take your customer conversations to the next level with WhatsApp Business Platform

Email, phone and live chat – these are the top three ways customers want to connect with brands, as discovered in our global survey of 3,000+ consumers. WhatsApp is an upcoming channel that is fast catching up with the three ‘traditional’ channels, with 24% of global consumers choosing this conversational platform as one of their favourites.

So, don’t underestimate the power of WhatsApp when it comes to building and maintaining long lasting customer relationships. 

Want to learn more about the platform and what it can do for your business? Read our ultimate guide below.

Author Avatar
Laura Haynes

Hey I'm Laura, UK&I Marketing Manager at Esendex 👋