WhatsApp Business: Customer Care Messages vs. Template Messages



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WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide, and they send over 65 billion messages every day. That number edges out its parent company, Facebook, by about 200 million users.

With over a billion daily active users and the release of WhatsApp Business, it presents a fantastic opportunity for companies to engage their customers on their preferred platform.

According to a recent study conducted by Facebook, 53% of respondents stated that they were more likely to buy products and services from a business they could contact via a chat app. Another 33% wanted to inquire about operating hours, make a purchase, or place an order via the app.

When you incorporate WhatsApp Business API with enterprise systems, you can also track customer engagement, leverage automation and analytics, and modify your marketing strategy accordingly.

This approach helps companies engage their audience at different touchpoints throughout the buyer’s journey, improve customer service, build brand loyalty, and deliver enhanced customer experiences.

WhatsApp Business offers two ways to engage customers, namely, Customer Care Messages, and Template Messages. But what are the differences between the two? Let’s take a look.

Customer Care Messages

Customer Care Messages (or session messages) are conversations initiated by your customers. These messages are sent privately to ask questions about a product, service, or to make customer service inquiries.

Whenever your customer sends a message to start a conversation (or responds to your outbound message), you have a 24-hour window to reply without using a template. Once a day has passed, you can only send a message or respond to that customer using a pre-approved template. In this scenario, you can also send a Template Message to encourage the customer to respond.

Customer Care Messages are perfect for customer support as it can be integrated with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and ticketing systems. For example, you can connect CRM tools like SalesForce and ZenDesk (including live chat agents) to WhatsApp Business API.

Customers can initiate support conversations to inquire about purchase details, return policies, delivery updates, and more. This approach can also be leveraged to gather feedback, generate leads, and engage in upselling and cross-selling.

With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), your customers can seamlessly navigate through your business offering and discover relevant products and services, ask pertinent questions, make purchases, and complete the transaction (or payment) within the chat window.

Template Messages

Template Messages are always messages initiated by businesses (or sent by the company to a customer who has opted-in). These messages can be dispatched at any time to share information that’s clear, concise, and with a specific purpose.

Following WhatsApp’s Guidelines, Template Messages can be designed to communicate everyday customer service communications like:

  • Auto-reply (outside business hours)
  • Account update
  • Appointment confirmation
  • Purchase confirmation
  • Delivery notification
  • Two-factor authentication code
  • Payment update

Companies can leverage Template Messages as a conversation starter. In this scenario, your message can end with a call to action that encourages the customer to reply.

When they do, it converts into a two-way conversation or Customer Care Messages. You can also share a URL that takes the user to the next step in their customer journey.

WhatsApp Business is going to be massive in 2020 and beyond. It provides businesses with an opportunity to engage their customers, increase their audience, scale, and improve their bottom line.


We're leading Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider region that aims to bridge communication gaps in a communication-driven world.

Powered by innovation and guided by a Cloud-First and Mobile-First approach, we provide omnichannel communication services and APIs that enable enterprises and developers to communicate with their customer base worldwide.

As an Endeavor Entrepreneur and GSMA associate member, CEQUENS plays a pivotal role in transforming communication in the region.

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