Conversation starters: Where and how to direct your customers to WhatsApp Business

Adding WhatsApp as a customer support channel opens the door to improved efficiency for your customer service team. At the same time, it offers a better experience for your customers. In order for this to happen, you have to promote the use of WhatsApp as your customer support channel - instead of phoning or emailing - the question is, how do you do just that?

conversation starters whatsapp

1. Click to Chat with wa.me link

WhatsApp allows consumers to reach out to companies as they would friends and family. However, there’s one difference. Consumers have their friends’ phone number in their contact list. Usually, you can’t send a message to a number on WhatsApp without adding them as a contact first. But there’s a solution, without your customers needing to add you as a contact.

WhatsApp's Click to Chat feature allows you to start a chat with someone without having their phone number saved in your phone's address book.

You do this by creating a link that will allow anyone to start a chat with your business. By clicking the link, a chat opens automatically. Click to Chat works on both your phone and WhatsApp Web.

How to create a wa.me link

1. Use https://wa.me/<number>. The number is a complete phone number in international format.

2. Do not include any zeroes, brackets or dashes when adding the phone number.

3. For example, use https://wa.me/15551234567, but don’t use: https://wa.me/+001-(555)1234567.

4. Now copy and paste this link in a browser to open the contact chat in WhatsApp app.

By adding buttons on your website with this wa.me hyperlink behind it, getting in touch with your customer care agents via WhatsApp is easy as can be. Want to further lower the threshold toward starting a conversation? Consider adding a pre-filled text for the customer, simply by adding another string to the URL.

1. Use https://wa.me/<whatsappphonenumber>/?text= urlencodedtext

2. In this string, ‘whatsappphonenumber’ is a full phone number in international format and the string ‘URL-encodedtext’ is the URL-encoded pre-filled message.

2. QR code website chat

Besides adding a button with a wa.me link behind it, there’s another user friendly way to get a conversation started on WhatsApp. This is the QR code. The QR code is quickly growing in popularity. Consumers have become accustomed to using the QR code, and mobile phones are equipped to enable easy scanning of QR codes. OK, back to WhatsApp.

One of the ways to promote the use of your WhatsApp channel is to add the WhatsApp channel to your website live chat. This change is not only the most visible one, but also the easiest one to implement. Why? Because we offer a ready to use HTML-code you can add to any website. With this code, your customers will have 3 ways to get started with WhatsApp.

How to use the QR code

1. When visiting your website on desktop or tablet, the chat pop-up will show a QR-code. By scanning this code with a mobile phone, customers will automatically open a chat with your customer support agent.

2. When visiting your website on desktop or tablet, the customer can also choose to (instead of scanning the QR code) use WhatsApp Web instead. This way, they can start the conversation on their desktop or tablet.

3. When the customer visits your website on his mobile device, clicking the chat option will automatically open the WhatsApp chat. Starting a conversation will be as easy as chatting with their friends!

All you need to do is embed this in your website. And it is open source, so if you want to add to the code, please feel free to do so and share it again for others to use. For the code to embed this feature, please visit our developers page.

3. Sharing your phone number

Another option of course could be to add your phone number. This would however require your customers to copy the number in his phone and add you as a contact. You can add this next to your other phone numbers, for example on your receipts, on your contact page on the website, or in product leaflets. But that’s just the beginning.

Want to learn about 6 touch points to attract your customers to your WhatsApp channel for customer support? In this article, we’ve added the most obvious and important touch points throughout the customer journey for optimised customer support via WhatsApp. 

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