3 WhatsApp Business Solutions for Every Budget
Many companies want to get started with WhatsApp Business, but don't know how to get access. We explain what role business solution providers play in this and will compare three official customer messaging platforms for WhatsApp.
Anyone who wants to professionally use WhatsApp in customer service needs access to the WhatsApp Business API. It has an advanced interface that processes customer inquiries in a much more organized way — no matter how many employees are using it. In comparison, the WhatsApp Business app is not as good; it’s limited to being used on just a few individual devices and has fewer business functions, which makes it more suitable for small companies.
- Why do I need a business solution provider?
- Which WhatsApp business solution platform suits my business?
- Three official WhatsApp business solutions in comparison
Why do I need a business solution provider?
You can only access the API via a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). This provider, verified exclusively by Facebook, is the key to using the messaging app - quite literally, since you receive the WhatsApp API key from them.
You then need a tool your employees can use for WhatsApp conversations: a customer messaging platform. You can then connect it to WhatsApp by entering the generated API key.
Some BSPs offer their own customer messaging platform alongside API access, others work with software partners like Userlike who specialize in professional customer communication. That way, you’re not dependent on the BSP’s solution when choosing your customer messaging platform, but can choose one that best suits your needs and budget.
Which WhatsApp business solution platform suits my business?
There are a variety of WhatsApp business solutions and customer messaging platforms to choose from. Here’s some key criteria to consider:
Data protection: Security and legal compliance are top priorities for customer communication via WhatsApp. When choosing a customer messaging provider, we recommend checking their data protection compliance first. Providers usually indicate on their website if their business solution is GDPR compliant.
Functionality: The message center is the core of your customer communication since this is where all messages are received. Several employees can access it via an individual account and easily coordinate processing. Depending on the provider, other features are also available. Whether or not they’re useful for your team depends on your use case.
Some features include:
- Intelligent routing: chat requests are distributed to the most suitable agents depending on their specialties or languages
- Web/video calls: agents and customers can smoothly switch from web chat to an audio or video call
- Co-browsing: employees and customers can share their screens
- Chatbot: There is an integrated chatbot builder and/or API interface for external bots
- Live translations: Messages are immediately translated as they’re typed
- WhatsApp link in website chat: customers can switch directly from website chat to messenger chat
Omni-messenger: Customer messaging solutions are not only suitable for integrating WhatsApp. Depending on the provider, you can connect other channels and answer incoming messages in one central message center. This messenger comparison shows that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are still the most used apps. However, EU-based alternatives like Threema are also preferred options for privacy-sensitive customers.
Integrated website chat: As a digital business, your website is still one of the most important points of contact for your customers. That's why it makes sense to integrate website chat into the messaging platform. Not only so that requests from all chat channels end up in one place, but also so customers can switch to a messaging app via the website chat window.
Price: Monthly costs vary greatly depending on the business solution and the package a customer chooses. Entry level WhatsApp packages for five employees cost between 100 and 500 Euros. Make sure you have unlimited messages and contacts, otherwise you may face high additional charges.
WhatsApp itself charges a small fee for conversations, but only if you exceed the included 1000 conversations per month — which only applies to very few companies. A conversation started by the company is about 11 cents. If the customer contacts you first, it’s about 7 cents. The conversation can last up to 24 hours before you are billed again.
You should know: Getting set up with the WhatsApp API is free with many business solution providers, so beware of the providers that will charge between 2,000 and 3,000 Euros.
Three official WhatsApp business solutions in comparison
The business software solution market for WhatsApp is confusing; there are a lot of providers, but their prices and service details are not always transparent. Many software companies don’t even disclose the monthly costs on their website. This makes it difficult to get an overview and compare different business solution providers.
We did the research for you and compared three of the most popular solutions.
WhatsApp Business: Privacy, examples and first steps
In this guide, you'll find all the important info you need for using WhatsApp in business.Download for free
Userlike was founded in 2011 as a live chat tool for customer communication. Over the years, our software’s support and sales functions developed and now allow for switching instantly from chat to an audio or video call. Today, Userlike is an all-in-one customer messenger platform that offers chatbots in addition to messaging.
You can get access to the WhatsApp Business API in just a few steps. If you also use Userlike's integrated live chat, your customers can start a WhatsApp chat directly on your website.
Userlike is best suited for companies that...
- Want to get the most out of WhatsApp and live chat (including video calls, screen sharing, chatbots)
- Want to offer quick and cost-effective WhatsApp support
- Want to integrate other important messengers into their customer communication
- Value an appealing and intuitive UI design
- Expect good value for their money without sacrificing functionality or customer service quality
Five Userlike customers you might know
Hermes, Decathlon, Targobank, Nivea, Mercedes-Benz
MessengerPeople, originally launched as WhatsBroadcast, changed its name in 2018. The platform integrates with Viber and Notify in addition to the most widely used messengers such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. However, MessengerPeople does not offer a European messenger alternative like Threema.
MessengerPeople is best suited for companies that…
- Want to get the most out of WhatsApp
- Want to offer less commonly used messengers as an alternativ
- Place less value on a modern UI design
Five MessengerPeople customers you might know
Hessnatur, Unitymedia, Volksbank, Intersport
Unlike Userlike and MessengerPeople, Novomind doesn’t specialize in messaging solutions, but offers a complete portfolio of various ebusiness solutions and ecommerce products, such as online stores, PIM and marketplace integrations. Because of this, Novomind is the most expensive provider in our comparison.
The "iAgent" product is Novomind's customer communication platform, which enables email and phone conversations in addition to messaging via WhatsApp.
Novomind is best suited for companies that…
- Want to migrate all communication channels to one platform
- Want to integrate important messengers into their customer communication
- Place less value on a modern UI design
- Have a flexible monthly budget in the four-digit range, depending on the modules selected
Five Novomind customers you might know
Falke, A&O Hotels, MediaMarkt, Saturn, Hallhuber
Get started with Userlike to offer professional customer messaging via WhatsApp and website chat
Userlike has been helping companies build long-term customer relationships and increase their conversions for many years. You can also benefit from our expertise in live chat and customer messaging.
If you’re ready to get started with WhatsApp Business in customer service, sales or recruiting, fill out this form. It takes just a few steps for our team to give you access to the WhatsApp API. Then you can use the Message Center to send, tag and forward WhatsApp messages, or have them automated by a chatbot.