Video: Zendesk enabled customer service via WhatsApp

August 08, 2019


Last spring Zendesk acquired Smooch to move more deeply into messaging app integration. And now the company announced it integrated WhatsApp, the popular messaging tool, into the Zendesk customer service toolkit. Smooch was an early participant in the WhatsApp Business API program. What that does, in practice, says Warren Levitan, who came over as part of the Smooch deal, is provide a direct WhatsApp phone number for businesses using Zendesk . Given how many people use WhatsApp as a primary channel for communication, this is a big deal. The entire WhatsApp interaction experience is now fully integrated into the same Zendesk interface that customer service reps are used to using. WhatsApp simply becomes another channel for them.

Speaking about Customer Service via WhatsApp it's interesting to remind that:

Earlier this year Zendesk acquired Smooch to improve support via messaging apps like WhatsApp:



Customer support service Zendesk has acquired Smooch, a startup that describes itself as an “omnichannel messaging platform,” which companies’ customer care teams can use to interact with people over messaging platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and Messenger, as well as SMS and email. It had also been a longtime partner of Zendesk’s, powering the company’s own WhatsApp Business integration and other features. The deal underscores the big impact that messaging apps are making in customer service. While phone and internet are massive points of contact, messaging apps is one of the most-requested features Zendesk’s customers are requesting.


Earlier this year WhatsApp’s Business app came to the iPhone:



Previously Android-only WhatsApp Business app is today launching on the iPhone. The iOS version, like its Android counterpart, is designed to help small business owners reach their customers on smartphones. That means it includes the ability for businesses to create profiles that include their description, email, address and website, as well as messaging tools for customer communication like automated greetings, quick replies and away messages. Businesses also can use WhatsApp Business from their desktop computer, which in January rolled out tools to organize and filter chats as well as quick replies. At the time, WhatsApp said it had 5 million business customers. The company makes money by charging Business API customers who have large volumes of incoming messages.


Earlier this year WhatsApp Business app added customer service features to its desktop and web apps:



A year ago, WhatsApp officially introduced its standalone app aimed at small business customers. And now it’s making the app easier to use on the desktop and the web by porting over several of the most popular features that were previously available only on mobile. These include tools to organize and filter chats, as well as to quickly reply to customer inquiries. Quick Replies feature lets businesses respond to common questions from customers with pre-written replies. It joins several other customer service features, like automated greeting messages that are triggered when the customer pings the business account, or away messages that can be scheduled for those times when you’re not able to immediately answer new inquiries.


In 2017 WhatsApp launched business-accounts:



Messager WhatsApp (that belongs to Facebook) is experimenting with giving businesses verified accounts on its platform. Business accounts will be displayed with a green tick badge next to them (like in alternative messenger Viber) — which denotes that WhatsApp has “confirmed” their phone number belongs to a business account. WhatsApp will also offer a free app WhatsApp Business to small-to-medium sized businesses, though it hasn’t outlined the specific functionality of the app. The enterprise solution will allow global companies “to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates”. For now you can register business account only if invited by WhatsApp.