February 2022 marks the date that WhatsApp for Business will be changing its pricing from the current notification-based model to a conversation-based model. This new way of costing conversations puts the customer at the centre of every engagement and can be used by savvy companies to fundamentally change customer service. According to Hayden Callaghan, product manager at Inovo, companies need to prepare now for what this change will mean in 2022.

“This is a fairly significant change to the pricing system so it’s important that companies make informed decisions now around how they plan to proceed with their WhatsApp communication channels,” he explains.

The current pricing system charges against notifications which means that the business is charged from the start of any engagement. The new model will result in an increase in costs for the business if they continue to operate within the notification parameters as they will be charged per conversation, not per notification. It may sound complicated, but the nutshell explanation is simple: when a customer initiates a conversation with a company through WhatsApp, the moment the company replies, the 24-hour conversation session starts.

The company is charged one fee for each 24-hour increment or session, and each session starts from the moment the first message is delivered by the business. The first 1,000 conversations per month are free, giving companies space to build experiences and engage with customers. After that, the fee per 24-hour session will start.

Putting the customer at the centre of service

“The new system is built around the customer,” says Callaghan. “Companies will now have clearly defined time constraints within which to respond to customer queries, if they wait or delay, they will incur costs. Companies that want to save money will need to refine their customer service approaches to ensure that they respond within the new time window.”

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