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Improve Customer Experience With WhatsApp Business API: IVR Deflection

Nobody likes being put on hold when calling to speak to a customer service agent. With every passing minute, waiting customers become more impatient. Some become frustrated and give up, ending the call before they even speak to someone. Others may become angry. That is not the kind of customer engagement a business wants.

From the call center agents’ perspective, the situation is no better. With dozens – perhaps hundreds – of calls waiting, agents are under pressure to deal with each call quickly. This means that customers who are already frustrated by the wait may feel they are being dealt with too brusquely.

Now imagine taking some of those customers out of the call waiting queueand dealing with their queries promptly through messaging. That would improve customer experience, shorten the queue, and relieve pressure on your human agents.

This is exactly what the WhatsApp Business API’s IVR deflection feature does.

WhatsApp IVR deflection stepsThe process is simple, automated, and integrates easily with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

Here’s how it works. When a voice call comes into your call center, your CRM software determines whether or not an agent is available to deal with the call. If no agent is available, the call goes into a queue while the CRM checks Unifonic’s contacts API to see whether this customer is able to receive WhatsApp messages.

If the customer has WhatsApp, the system activates IVR deflection by asking them if they would like to move the conversation to WhatsApp instead of continuing to hold on the phone. If they accept, the WhatsApp Business API sends a notification to their WhatsApp number asking them to opt-in. Securing an opt-in is necessary to comply with WhatsApp Business API’s terms and conditions; you cannot deflect customers to WhatsApp chats without it.

IVR deflection whatsapp chatAs soon as a customer opts-in for the IVR deflection, an agent or chatbot can message them and start interacting.

You may seek further information before connecting them to the messaging channel. For instance, if you’re a utility provider with different support teams, you may want to ask your customers whether they’re calling with a household or a business query so you candirect messages to the correct team.

IVR deflection helps you give customers a better experience. It allows you to attend to your customers faster and send them rich media when appropriate. If they’re asking about a particular product, you can send them a video, brochure, or other documentation and let them know about promotionsyou’re running. It’s also considerably cheaper than using the phone and can generate significant cost savings in the long term.

Evidence from our clients – and from use cases around the world – is that many customers prefer to make inquiries via WhatsApp. Once they’ve experienced it, they stick with it.

There are many reasons why customers may prefer to interact over WhatsApp. It’s private, secure, and available to them almost everywhere. However,not all customers will choose to do so, and it’s important to find the right balance between engaging customers with WhatsApp’s low-cost messaging and more expensive call centre facilities.

IVR deflection illustrates how the WhatsApp Business API integrates with your existing software and helps provide a seamless omnichannel experience for your customers. Combining voice engagement, text-based messaging and rich media and automated chatbots with human agents enables you to unify and improve customer experience across platforms.

The result is better customer engagement, which helps build customer loyalty, which in turn helps you add to your revenue streams with repeat business. If you can offer IVR deflection when your competitors cannot, you will find yourself winning new business. Conversely, if your competitor offers this facility while your customers grow frustrated in call waiting queues, they are likely to grab some of your market shares.

This is, of course, what customer engagement is all about. The fact that WhatsApp can also help you reduce the cost of your customer engagement is an added bonus.

Deploy Unifonic’s WhatsApp Business API Today


Over 5000 businesses trust us to handle some 10 billion transactions annually. Streamline your customer support and improve customer experience across channels with Unifonic. Talk to an expert to learn more about IVR deflection or try a free demo of our WhatsApp business solution today.

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