How WhatsApp Is Serving to Manufacturers Personalize Journey in India and Middle East – Skift

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From being a faster different to the brief message service (SMS), the standard WhatsApp has now metamorphosed into what could also be touted as a sensible advertising and marketing service, at the same time as privateness issues proceed to plague the Meta-owned app.

Skift Megatrend for 2016 had famous that messaging platforms corresponding to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat dominate a lot of how the trendy world communicates and journey manufacturers that proceed to disregard this are lacking out on the way forward for how folks want to speak.

For journey corporations in India and the Middle East, WhatsApp continues to stay probably the most most popular messaging platform.

Today, six years later, WhatApp is distinguishing itself from the others by having the ability to cater to totally different markets having totally different histories of on-line engagement.

So, whereas it caters to these stricken by financial constraints and poor broadband infrastructure, providing a less expensive different to SMS and traditional voice calls, it’s equally related for the city center class people with disposable earnings and quick web connections. 

Almost a 3rd of the world’s inhabitants makes use of WhatsApp to ship messages, pictures, video and make telephone and video calls. Since February 2016, WhatsApp has actively elevated its month-to-month lively customers from 1 billion to 2 billion. 

In April, the messaging platform had roughly 2.44 billion distinctive lively customers worldwide, up 6.4 p.c in comparison with the corresponding month in 2021.

The instantaneous client engagement makes the platform particularly useful for journey companies that must preserve prospects knowledgeable at each leg of the journey.

“WhatsApp allows us to instantly communicate flight status changes, alerts or boarding gate information to our customers,” mentioned Ashish Pratap Singh, chief advertising and marketing officer of, Middle East’s main on-line journey company.

More than 100 billion messages are despatched every day on WhatsApp with the typical Android person spending 38 minutes per day on the messaging platform.

Being the most well-liked communication channel and extensively used app in India, WhatsApp maximises attain for our enterprise communication, mentioned Amit Madhan, president and group head of knowledge know-how and e-business at Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC.

India additionally has the utmost variety of month-to-month lively customers — 390 million.

The WhatsApp Dilemma

While corporations could extol its advantages, it hasn’t been a clean trip for the app. Last yr, WhatsApp was fined $267 million by information watchdog — Ireland Data Protection Commission for breaching privateness rules.

The messaging app had been underneath investigation over the way it processes person information underneath Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.

While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption could have been its largest promoting level, final yr there had been issues over information sharing with Facebook.

WhatsApp Business — a model of WhatsApp marketed in direction of small to medium-sized companies — is taken into account a safer choice, nevertheless, consultants are nonetheless unsure, because it includes delicate private information.

To contact customers, corporations want an opt-in permission confirming that prospects might be reached by way of WhatsApp.

Better Customer Support Outcome

Establishments seeking to construct a powerful returning prospects base, additionally look to the app for producing leads, accelerating gross sales and driving higher buyer help final result.

A helpful platform for engagement, WhatsApp turns out to be useful throughout post-sale necessities, mentioned Manish Amin, co-founder and chief know-how officer at India’s

Yatra has additionally been utilizing WhatsApp chatbots to unravel client queries, whereby customers can merely ship a textual content highlighting their question by way of the chatbot. “Bookings can also be cancelled on chat and refunds can be claimed,” Amin mentioned.

This efficient two-way interplay is extra accessible than customer support calls. And fast turnaround time may translate into bookings because it helps vacationers make instantaneous choices.

United Arab Emirates-based might be launching its WhatsApp chatbot later this yr. “WhatsApp will become an important channel for holiday bookings and will allow customers to engage with us 24×7,” mentioned Sachin Gadoya, co-founder and CEO of

However, regardless of how efficient synthetic intelligence could also be, human interplay is equally vital. It’s essential for corporations to grasp when the interplay ought to transfer from chatbot to human.

“We continue to invest heavily in WhatsApp to provide services for human-to-human communication as well as communication through bots,” mentioned Muzzammil Ahussain, govt vice chairman of journey at Seera Group.

Timely Dissemination of Relevant Information

WhatsApp has been one of many main focus areas for Saudi Arabia’s largest on-line journey company — Seera. In Saudi Arabia, the place the penetration might be greater than one-to-one, with one individual having a couple of WhatsApp account, the messaging platform is a big communication channel.

“We are looking to launch self-check-in through WhatsApp for our customers and are keen to proactively communicate changes to customers, rather than reactively,” Seera’s Ahussain mentioned.

Rehlat additionally pushes out fare alerts to prospects by way of WhatsApp serving to them to make fast choices and bag the most effective fares, whereas driving bookings for the journey portal.

“With a user base of over 25 million, and support for multiple languages, along with a user-friendly interface, WhatsApp’s reach and communication ability is ahead of other communication platforms. This allows us to optimally utilise the app to connect with our customers,” mentioned Rehlat’s Singh.

Beyond the Company Website

WhatsApp has change into a big a part of the person expertise that Indian on-line journey firm Easemytrip, has curated for its prospects.

Through tech improvements corresponding to WhatsApp chatbots, Easemytrip goals to boost the person’s finish expertise, even past the corporate’s fundamental web site. “This digital shift is one of the integral parts of Easemytrip’s move towards a more technologically-advanced domain,” the net journey firm mentioned.

With prospects now prepared to have interaction in these two-way conversations, Musfair additionally plans to make it extra environment friendly by pushing customised journey provides based mostly on journey historical past and suggestions.

“WhatsApp will play an important role as Musafir looks to fundamentally transform the customer experience,” mentioned Gadoya. The on-line journey company plans to make use of the messaging platform to seize rising patterns from ongoing buyer conversations and act on them instantly to offer a superior expertise.

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