In this article we will understand how the integration between WhatsApp and Zendesk works, how to implement it, what are the pros and cons, and what are the alternatives to Zendesk to integrate WhatsApp within the channels of your customer support
In August 2018, Zendesk announced the release of the integration between its products dedicated to customer service and WhatsApp Business. The news arrived on the same day that WhatsApp officially announced the release of the WhatsApp Business API, a symptom that the two companies had been working on the integration for a while.
From that moment on, Zendesk clients were able to request access (the process is not automatic) for the integration with WhatsApp, in order to bring within the platform support requests coming from the most widespread messaging app.
So let’s see how this new feature works, what you need to do to implement this new integration and what alternatives you can use to provide customer support via WhatsApp.
How can you integrate WhatsApp Business into Zendesk?
As we have already mentioned before, the integration between the Zendesk suite and WhatsApp cannot be managed independently. In fact, it is not possible to connect with just a few clicks your WhatsApp Business account to the platform.
The main reason for this is that it is still in beta phase and, before being able to connect the two tools, approval by WhatsApp itself is required.
To start using the integration, it is necessary to fill out a form on Zendesk’s website and enter the requested information such as, for example, the number of messages you expect to send based on the number of assistance requests that you expect to receive.
At the moment, this process does not look too straightforward, and many Zendesk clients have expressed some disappointment with how this procedure works. For more information on this topic, we suggest you take a look at Zendesk’s blog, where you will find some negative comments like this one:
In fact, it seems like it can take at least a month before you can even try the integration, and many members of the community complain that they have not received any response from Zendesk following their request.
If you need to start providing customer support via WhatsApp urgently, we advise you to take a look at the possible alternatives at the bottom of this article.
If, on the other hand, you want to manage this channel from the Zendesk platform at all costs, let’s see more detail how this integration works, once the approval process has been completed.
How to manage support requests via WhatsApp within Zendesk
Once the integration is configured, you can finally start managing assistance requests from WhatsApp within Zendesk. Whenever a client starts a new WhatsApp chat with the company, a new ticket will be opened within the support platform.
Once the ticket has been taken over by a support agent, everything looks very similar to the management of a traditional ticket, including the possibility of exchanging images, videos, links and preview maps.
Despite the fact that Zendesk’s ticketing system does not allow for instant chatting, this integration finally allows you to manage customer support via WhatsApp in a structured way, using the routing and assignation features of the traditional Zendesk interface.
Note: it is not possible to integrate WhatsApp on Zendesk Chat (Zopim).
Many of our readers ask us if WhatsApp can be integrated within the Live Chat interface (once called Zopim). At the moment this is not possible, and assistance requests can only be managed through the traditional ticketing interface.
To have an experience similar to that of WhatsApp Web, but with the features necessary for the collaboration of a support team, we recommend that you consider alternatives such as Callbell.
What are the alternatives to the integration of WhatsApp with Zendesk?
There are various alternative solutions that allow you to provide customer support via WhatsApp. With the release of WhatsApp’s Business APIs in fact many companies, in the field of customer care software, have invested in creating solutions that would allow support teams of any size to manage this channel in a simple way.
Among the main alternatives to Zendesk, we recommend:
1) Callbell, to provide assistance with WhatsApp in a similar way to a Live Chat but with all the features necessary for team collaboration. The platform, which can be configured in just a few clicks, allows you to manage customer support through the main direct messaging apps.
2) Freshdesk, similar to Zendesk, proposes a management of WhatsApp through tickets. It represents a valid solution only if other services offered by the platform are already being used.
3) Treble.ai to collect feedback and requests from customers through bots. The solution is mainly used in post-sales phases, in order to collect feedback from users in an automated way (for example, after having ordered a meal through a food delivery app).
In this article we have analyzed how the integration of WhatsApp Business with Zendesk works, we have understood the possibilities and the limits and we have evaluated potential alternatives.
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That’s all for today, thanks for reading and see you soon!
How does WhatsApp Business integrate with Zendesk?
The integration between WhatsApp and Zendesk is managed through tickets: it is not yet possible to manage chats coming from WhatsApp from Zopim or through a system similar to a live chat.
What are the alternatives to Zendesk to integrate WhatsApp among customer support channels?
The main alternatives to Zendesk are Callbell, Freshdesk and Treble.ai
Is it possible to integrate WhatsApp with Zopim (Zendesk chat)?
At the moment it is not possible to integrate WhatsApp to Zendesk’s chat platform and support requests from WhatsApp need to be managed through tickets.
About the author: Hello! I am Carlo and I am one of the co-founder at Callbell, the first communication platform designed to help sales and support teams to collaborate and communicate with customers through direct messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and (soon) Instagram Direct