Messenger apps in B2B? Can the popular messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger really work for business to business communication? Indeed! We're showing you examples of several companies that are leading the way.
Sure, everybody and (probably even more so) their grandparents uses messaging apps like WhatsApp or iMessage these days. And what's even more interesting from a business perspective, is that billions of people message a business on messenger apps every week. That makes messaging apps an ideal starting point to connect with customers at different points of the customer journey, and have more engaging conversations with them. But does that also work from business to business?
The question is actually more: why wouldn't it?! Messenger apps are a lot more convenient to use for business communication than phone or e-mail, they make it easier to reach your business partners in a more mobile world, and they offer many multimedia options that make WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram very attractive for B2B communication as well.
Why B2B communication on messenger apps?
In fact, compared to more traditional B2B communication channels like e-mail, phone, and fax, messenger apps have numerous advantages.
- Speed: Messenger apps are fast and direct. The messages reach the recipient virtually in real time, and over 90% of all messages are read within 15 minutes.
- Full attention: Unlike e-mails or unknown phone numbers that a lot of users block on their phones to avoid spam, most people actually allow push messages from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other messaging apps — because this is where they receive messages from their friends and family. So using these channels for your business communication will guarantee the full attention of the user.
- Delivery security: 100% of messages sent via messenger apps are actually delivered. When sending e-mails, it happens time and again that mails are not delivered at all — or end up directly in the spam folder (e.g. due to soft or hard bounces caused by incorrect addresses, file attachments that are too large, filter settings, server overload, etc.).
- Close business relations: B2B communication via messenger apps strengthens trust in the sender and helps build strong business relationships. The recipient of a message grants the business partner immediate entry into their private communication environment. This creates an emotional bond with the partner company. Yes, even on a B2B level! And this is huge, as B2B requires even more trust and relationship building than B2C.
- Multimedia: All relevant media and file types can be used (voice messages, file attachments, videos, images). This makes it easy to present complex issues on one channel using the best combination of various media.
- Automation: It's very easy to integrate chatbots into messaging apps, and ensure 24/7 availability and better scalability of your business.
- Personalized marketing: B2B requires a lot of finesse because the impact of the purchase decisions are usually higher. That's why it's key to reach potential customers with very targeted messaging. With messaging apps it's very easy to create specific target audiences and send highly personalized messages that will convert much better.
And last, but not least, your clients are already using messaging apps. So why not meet them on the channels they already love?!
Companies like the agricultural manufacturing company John Deere Germany, for example, say that around 90% of their target group already uses WhatsApp.
The company would only reach its target group poorly via e-mail, because the attention and availability is greatest on WhatsApp.
These companies showcase how effective messenger apps can be for B2B communication
Tetra Pak: Offering remote support on WhatsApp
The international packaging company Tetra Pak has to handle many questions from their B2B customers on a daily basis. These could be issues with damaged packages or general questions around equipment.
As phone and e-mail are not ideal to talk about a physical product, Tetra Pak decided to introduce WhatsApp as a channel for remote support.
In order to keep up with the incoming requests, and make sure they are handled by the right agents, Tetra Pak uses the professional messenger app platform Sinch Engage. Here, all requests can be handled in one central inbox, no matter what messenger app they originated from.
This makes it fast and easy for Tetra Pak to answer questions, and not loose track of any inquiries. In addition, their agents can help faster. For their customers, a multimedia channel like WhatsApp makes it very easy to get in touch and describe their issues, no matter where they are, in the factory or in the field.
SAP broadcasts information via WhatsApp and Notify
Numerous companies across industries are already taking advantage of the benefits of messengers in communicating with partners, customers, and potential prospects. The software company SAP, for example, relies on WhatsApp and Notify! Both channels provide support and news about their products.
2. At Transgourmet, wholesalers and restaurants order via WhatsApp
Transgourmet is a wholesale grocer for large-scale customers like hotels, restaurants, and catering companies. As a pioneer in B2B messenger communication, the company offers its clients the ability to ask questions via WhatsApp chat, and then processes the inquiries immediately.
This works through the Conversations feature on the professional messenger app platform Sinch Engage.
Customers have responded very positively to the service and use it intuitively, says Lukas Ratschke, former Head of Project and Innovation Management at Transgourmet.
By using WhatsApp in customer service, Transgourmet not only wants to offer customers service on the channel they prefer, but he also expects an increase in the efficiency and productivity of customer care. "In contrast to phone conversations, the company has the possibility that, on messaging apps, one employee can look after two to three customers at the same time, without any loss of quality", says Transgourmet manager Ratschke.
3. Südzucker advises its farmers on pest control
Südzucker is the world's largest sugar producer in the world, with an annual production of around 4.8 million tonnes. They decided to use WhatsApp for a more direct partner communciation with farmers.
In contrast to telephone support, the WhatsApp one-on-one chat offers the company the opportunity to provide practical, personal advice to its suppliers directly on site. Suppliers can use this tool to ask questions about orders. Beet farmers, for instance, are advised on various raw material topics and receive tips from professionals on pest control, planting and cultivation assistance, as well as information on events.
For the frequently asked questions the company has also been operating a simple WhatsApp chatbot which provides automated answers on its messenger channels. In the case of questions that the bot cannot recognize or answer, it puts the user in touch with the right contact person in the relevant department.
4. Liebherr advises via WhatsApp with the help of a first level chatbot
The well-known construction machinery manufacturer Liebherr also decided to use messaging apps to engage more with their customers. At the center of their communication is WhatsApp. Liebherr combines the one-on-one chat support with a first-level chatbot.
The chatbot asks users for relevant data in advance and then passes the information on to the customer service agents. This helps them to respond faster and in a more personalized way.
5. FAIE strengthens customer loyalty through and speeds up complaints process
FAIE, a well-established mail order company for agricultural products, was faced with the challenge that their complaints service via e-mail was not as fast and smooth as the team imagined. As a result, the company introduced WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as customer service and complaints channels.
Using the two messenger apps, customers can easily share pictures and documents with FAIE's service team, and communication is no longer as delayed as it was with e-mail.
This has significantly accelerated the processes and has an additional positive impact on customer loyalty, says Lisa Wiesauer, Product Manager at FAIE.
6. WEICON uses WhatsApp in its global sales and service to secure a competitive advantage
For German adhesives and sealants specialist WEICON, WhatsApp is the solution for more straightforward communication with their customers worldwide. Everyone uses WhatsApp and communication is much easier and faster compared to e-mail or phone. Customers can easily send pictures or videos as well as their question via WhatsApp when they have an application problem.
In response, WEICON can also send back messages with multimedia content and thus clarify inquiries more quickly. All inquiries from the various markets are controlled centrally in Münster and transferred to the appropriate experts for direct response.
The company receives a wide variety of questions via WhatsApp — many are looking for a WEICON dealer in their country, others have application questions or would like to have competitive alternatives.
In addition, the channel is also used by customers to purchase products.
This direct and personal way of B2B communication on the messenger app has been a clear advantage for WEICON.
Conclusion: Added value of messenger communication outweighs additional effort
Overall, the additional effort for adding another customer channel for companies is manageable, especially when combining messenger apps with chatbots. At the same time, the benefits for customers and companies are huge!
A separate B2B messenger channel can usually be integrated well within a company's existing structures, as our experience from over 1,800 customer cases shows. A major advantage of WhatsApp and other messaging apps. is the ability to offer business partners a reliable and personalized multimedia service around the clock. Anyone who uses WhatsApp privately will also quickly recognize and appreciate (!) the advantages of this channel in B2B communication.
🔥Tip: Try out Sinch Engage for free, and take your B2B communication to the next level!
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