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May 08, 2024
6 minutes read

Quality customer engagement with the WhatsApp Business Platform

We all want to get our messages out there. We want to engage with our customers, raise brand awareness, and connect with our target audience. WhatsApp Business Platform helps you safeguard the way you communicate with existing and potential customers, making sure that you provide them with a meaningful and relevant customer experience to help grow your business.

Getting your message to your target audience is the ultimate goal, but does that mean that you can just pick a messaging channel and send, send, send? For your communication efforts to actually benefit your business, you'll need to do a bit more than just broadcasting. You need to share content that will encourage engagement.

WhatsApp Business Platform recognises this need for meaningful customer interactions, and they set-up a couple of protocols to help businesses enhance their communication strategies.

Quality customer engagement via WhatsApp

WhatsApp templates

One of the first helpful tools on your journey to increasing customer engagement, are WhatsApp templates. WhatsApp message templates are message formats that you can use to send messages to your customers proactively. These templates are designed to provide you with a way to send structured messages to customers, such as appointment reminders, delivery notifications, or transaction updates, in a way that is consistent with WhatsApp's policies. Each message template must also be pre-approved by WhatsApp (Meta) before use. By adding the need to use pre-approved messages, WhatsApp Business Platform strives to keep the quality of the messages high, both structurally and in terms of content.

whatsapp-image-messages-alerts-updates

WhatsApp message metrics

Sending pre-approved message templates helps you to get started with your customer communication endeavours, but it doesn't end there. To continuously monitor the quality of the content, WhatsApp Business Platform offers data insights. Real-time metrics and reports in a dedicated dashboard will give you an indication of how your templated messages are performing. This performance data can be seen up to individual template level.

WhatsApp messages rating

WhatsApp Business Platform also uses message quality rating system based on three metrics, to help you recognise and target lower performing content for optimisation. WhatsApp message templates receive quality ratings based on the behaviour of your customers. This behaviour is measured with three metrics:

  • Read rates

  • Reports

  • Blocks

These metrics are a crucial indicator of user engagement and interest. Do customers block your business or report your messages? Then the quality rating of that message template will drop significantly. As of April 2024, WhatsApp Business also introduced a new policy based on the read rates. These read rates now also directly influence the status of your templates.

WhatsApp may temporarily pause messaging campaigns with a low read rates or negative feedback, giving you time to revisit the templates with the lowest engagement to improve them before you scale up in volume.

When a message template reaches the lowest quality rating (Active - Low quality), it will automatically be paused for a period of time to protect your quality rating. Curbing low quality message templates will help improve engagement metrics, read rates, and ultimately increase the return-on-investment for your business.

The pausing duration can vary in time:

  • 1st strike: Paused for 3 hours

  • 2nd strike: Paused for 6 hours

  • 3rd strike: (You're out!) Disabled

The paused message templates will reactivate automatically after the pause duration, but you can also restart them actively. WhatsApp Business Platform will give notifications when templates change in quality from green (good quality) to yellow (medium quality/warning), or from yellow to red (low quality/template paused).

Improve your customer engagement with 4 simple steps

The message quality rating system is a fallback safety measure to ensure your messaging campaigns keep performing well. Ideally, you don't want any of your templates to be paused. But how do you achieve that? There are 4 easy steps to consider:

1. Target your audience

Know your target audience, and don't treat them as strangers. Segment your audience and tailor your messages to them to make your communication relevant. Also make sure to get an opt-in for marketing related content, so your customers will know to expect that type of communication from you. Also, make sure opting out of your promotional messages is easy for customers, to prevent negative feedback.

2. Time your messages

Consider not sending messages on high-traffic days when other businesses are also competing for attention, such as holidays, weekends, or seasonal peaks. It's easier to grab the attention if you're not one of many businesses contacting the same customer at the same time.

In India, WhatsApp Business Platform implemented a per-user marketing template message limit. This means that a customers can only receive a certain number of marketing message templates from all businesses. It's not a restriction for businesses, but rather a cap on how many marketing messages a customer can receive.

3. Take the omni-channel approach

Meta offers a wide range of customer engagement tools - use them! This goes hand-in-hand with step 1. Investigate how and where your audience prefers to be contacted about what, and edit your strategies based on this.

Want to promote your new products to the majority of your audience? Use Facebook or Instagram ads to promote your products and let that ad click to a WhatsApp conversation to encourage engagement. Want to promote a specific service or event to a segment of your audience? Send them a promotional message template via WhatsApp Business Platform and let them sign up via a user-friendly flow.

Think about the different entry points for customer communication and pick the channels and tools that fit both the goal of your messages and your target audience.

You can even think outside the box and mix and match Meta's tools with a wider range of channels and options. CM.com's Business Messaging API offers a wide range of communication channels to choose from, so you'll find the perfect fit for every audience and use case.

4. Create clear and concise messages

Make sure that the subject line or preview text of your messages clearly states the relevance of the message to your customers. The first 60-65 characters of your WhatsApp message will appear as the preview text in your customer's WhatsApp. Make it engaging, convey your main point, and personalise it. You can even test different approaches to see what works best. This will entice them to open and read your messages, enhancing engagement.

Start enhancing the quality of your customer engagement today with the WhatsApp Business Platform

The WhatsApp Business Platform helps you improve and optimise your customer communication strategies by actively monitoring your content output and pausing underperforming templates to give you the opportunity to 'fix' your communication while safeguarding your KPI's and ROI.

Ready to get started with WhatsApp Business Platform and benefit from this powerful customer engagement channel?

Start with WhatsApp Business Platform today and boost your ROI!

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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