WhatsApp
3 min read

Create The Ideal Travel Experience for Your Customers With WhatsApp

by | Jun 10, 2021

Everyone enjoys the ease with which they can get in touch with their friends and family, free of cost, and make their interactions exciting, through useful features like statuses and display pictures on WhatsApp. WhatsApp quickly became one of the most popular apps for messaging, all around the world. It was no surprise that the announcement of WhatsApp Business API in August 2018 stirred excitement among several businesses. Thanks to its popularity among the users and the rich content that can be created through it, many businesses saw the potential of communicating with their customers through WhatsApp.

In the age of instant services, customers now expect everything to be done with the click of a button. People thus, expect more from brands than they used to. They now want answers as quickly as possible. WhatsApp can help businesses share company updates, product details, and other valuable content regularly with their customers and offer high-speed dialogue for quick resolutions to customer queries and personalized responses for higher customer engagement. WhatsApp Business API has changed the way businesses interact with customers.

Technology has evolved to allow brands to enhance their customer experience. With new channels of communication, conversations have moved way beyond messages like “SMS ‘YES’ to 78865,” that are highly mundane. With a model that moves far beyond the traditional one-way messages, WhatsApp Business Solution allows businesses to have real conversations with their customers. This is a game-changer for firms in all industries including e-commerce, healthcare, retail, education, banking, fintech, and travel.

Changing the airline industry

To understand how WhatsApp Business API can help businesses foster strong customer relationships, we must understand how it changes the ways businesses communicate, first. Historically, customers would purchase their flight ticket, receive it later and this would be the end of the customer interaction until they arrived at the airport for check-in. Now interactions are much deeper and more genuine, adding value for both the customer as well as the airline.

In the new age of mobile phones, customers no longer want to carry an additional paper ticket. They can now easily access their tickets and boarding passes right on their phone. With rich media capabilities available through WhatsApp, airlines can directly send customers their e-ticket with a QR code. Moreover, on the day of their flight, they can also share real-time location with customers to guide them to the right gate. Airlines can also send notifications to keep customers updated about departure gate changes, flight delays, cancellations, or rescheduling.

Businesses are adding WhatsApp to their channel of business communication primarily because it provides an opportunity to engage customers in two-way communication. Customers can easily use the app to reply back to brands, ask questions, discuss concerns, or clarify their preferences. For instance, a customer directly checks-in through a link sent on the app, and in this process, they book their seat and select their in-flight meal. If they want to make edits to their travel journey, with WhatsApp they can easily message the airlines to request a seat change, ask for upgrades to enjoy faster boarding or more legroom, provide information about dietary restriction, enquire about ticket cancellation procedure, etc. After all, the required changes are made and travel is finalized, airlines can then attach the customer’s boarding pass along with the message and send it on WhatsApp, allowing easy access.

With end-to-end encryption, verified business profiles, and two-factor authentication, WhatsApp Business Solution makes business communication as secure as it can get. Customers no longer have to worry about ‘fake businesses’ texting them and getting hold of their valuable information. Only authorized users can actually get access. This enhances brand image and avoids instances of fraud or misconduct caused by another user using a business’s name. So, as you go on to send your customer their flight tickets through the app or when they give your personal information to make changes to bookings, you both can rest assured that all the information is secure on WhatsApp.           

A chat app like WhatsApp also sets a different tone to customer communication when compared to SMSes and phone calls. WhatsApp allows customers to view messages on a platform they regularly open to reply to and send messages to friends and family. They can now respond to businesses at their convenience. Messages now are short and as clear as they need to be, further allowing customers to easily read, comprehend, and reply even if they are on-the-go. There is also room for instant follow-ups when more clarification is needed, allowing agents to solve customer queries as soon as they arise. Just imagine the sheer amount of resources that can be saved as a result of this new form of communication- time, emails, phone calls, while increasing customer satisfaction.

Apart from just responding to customer’s messages quickly, you can also add value to your conversations. For instance, letting your customers know about a flight delay, as soon as you know, is providing amazing service. Keeping them notified about every situation, in an efficient and reliable manner shows that you actually care and it further builds trust. All they have to focus on now is enjoying their journey with you.

With instant two-way messaging, rich media, and a secure platform, WhatsApp Business Solution provides exactly what businesses and customers need to take their communication to the next level. Businesses today need to optimize every channel through which they can communicate with their customers. Using every platform, adopting an omnichannel strategy, allows customers to communicate with you at any time, from anywhere. By allowing messages to be tailored to every customer helps continue the conversation even after the initial transaction has been made. In such a way businesses can continue to build a strong relationship with all their customers, all along their journey.

WhatsApp UpdateWith more consumers turning to chat with businesses on WhatsApp, the instant messaging service provider recently announced updates to the WhatsApp Business API that will make it quicker for businesses to get started and for people to easily chat with these businesses. As per the latest update received from WhatsApp, all the existing businesses on the WhatsApp Business API from the following countries, i.e., Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, USA, Indonesia, and Mexico will be able to send non-transactional notifications to their opted-in customers.

With this new update, businesses can drive many new use cases on the platform, such as sending product recommendations, promotional offers, and most importantly, re-engaging with their users by sending regular reminders and updates related to their products and services. All the businesses that belong to one of the countries listed above as the country setting in Business Manager can send non-transactional notifications. There won’t be a need for any additional integration.

Sakshee Sunil Sarrawgi

Sakshee Sunil Sarrawgi