What is a WhatsApp Business solution provider?
A WhatsApp Business solution provider (BSP) is essentially a value-added service provider that allows companies to use WhatsApp as one of their official communication channels at a larger scale than they otherwise could. These WhatsApp Business solution providers work to enable companies to easily manage and scale up their customer communications on WhatsApp.
In WhatsApp’s own words, the business solution providers are ‘a global community of third-party solution providers with expertise on the WhatsApp Business Platform.’
The Business Solution Providers enables companies to engage and communicate with their customers on the WhatsApp Business Platform for the approved use cases of customer support and time-sensitive, personalized notifications. Now WhatsApp even allows using notifications for marketing purposes, a use case that wasn’t permitted for a long time.
Some businesses and business solution providers use WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, to securely store messages and respond to customers. Meta won’t automatically use your customers’ messages to influence the advertisements that they see, but it will still be possible for your business to use the chats that you receive from your customers for your own marketing purposes, including advertising over Meta’s other platforms.
The only way you can really scale your customers engagements substantially on WhatsApp and use advanced automation and chatbots would be to use the WhatsApp Business API, and since WhatsApp does not grant most business direct access to the WhatsApp API, you need to work with a business solution provider. These BSPs have the approvals needed in order to activate the phone number (associated with WhatsApp Business) and send messages on behalf of your business.
How do WhatsApp business solution providers work?
WhatsApp does not manage business accounts directly. It outsources the distribution of the WhatsApp Business API to their approved partners because doing so is less resource-intensive and cost-effective due to the fact that it eliminates the need to hire additional employees.
WhatsApp business solution providers also take on the task of vetting the companies allowed to get access to the WhatsApp Business API. The purpose of this is to avoid spammers from getting their hands on the API.
The WhatsApp business solution providers offer businesses access to WhatsApp Business API and guide them to use WhatsApp in a professional manner to offer 24/7 support to their customers.
Quite often, when you get a WhatsApp Business API Account through a business solution provider, you’re essentially getting access to the business solution provider’s API, instead of directly getting access to the WhatsApp Business API itself. A lot of them will integrate WhatsApp API with their proprietary API. For SMS providers who later became WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, their WhatsApp API would tend to be quite similar to their Legacy SMS API. Since the API they provide is essentially an iteration of their legacy SMS API, it can be a bit of a task for them to add WhatsApp’s new updates to their own API as soon as the updates are released.
Other business solution providers have a way through which they enable you to get these updates in a faster manner. How do they do that? They generally make use of a proxy API that is very similar to the WhatsApp Business API. Due to the fact that these APIs share the same infrastructure, it is a far easier and simpler process for these business solution providers to update their APIs. They don’t have to struggle with the complications of working with two significantly different APIs.
What factors should you consider while choosing a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?
Not all business solution providers are equal. These WhatsApp business partners tend to develop further utilities on top of the WhatsApp Business API solution. You got to choose a business solution provider on the basis of the utilities that they offer and at what price point it is being offered. This is just one of the major things that you need to consider when your are trying to select a WhatsAppp. Here is a more expansive list of factors that you should consider:
The primary purpose of picking a WhatsApp business solution provider is to get approved as soon as possible for access to the WhatsApp Business API and to deploy your solution in the least amount of time possible. You want to pick a WhatsApp business solution provider that does not have a particularly long and complicated onboarding process so that you can start scaling up your customer conversations quickly.
API features supported
Not every business solution provider will offer you all the features or the same features that are available in WhatsApp Business API. Some will even build additional features that other business solution providers will not offer. If you want to send notifications to your customers or broadcast promotional offers for marketing purposes, make sure that your WhatsApp business solution provider supports sending WhatsApp message templates.
You’d also want to check the kind of messaging that this WhatsApp business partner provides. Check whether the business solution provider supports rich messaging via the use of images and videos, viewing messages sent/read status, and quick replies to respond to customer queries.
If you’re doing business across multiple regions or even doing business in a single region where English is not the primary language, you need to be sure that your WhatsApp business solution provider supports localization for template messages. Without that feature, you would not be able to send out notifications and broadcasts to your customers in the language they are most comfortable with.
Which WhatsApp API is best?
At Engati, we help you get access to the WhatsApp Business API from select WhatsApp business solution providers like 360Dialog, Kaleyra, Vonage (Nexmo), Clickatell, and Twillio. However, the business solution provider that we recommend is 360Dialog. Working with them allows you to get access to the WhatsApp Business API in the fastest way possible.
Bonus - Join the live webinar on 8th Dec!