What, a decade ago, was just another messaging app is turning into a lively ecosystem full of opportunities and perks for both users and businesses. WhatsApp, with its ever-growing active user base and Meta’s consistent effort to turn it into a business-friendly environment, the platform is raising the bar for quality experiences. So much so, WhatsApp-led growth is shaping up to be one of the most impactful business strategies of the hour—and in the years to come. However, companies interested in pursuing WhatsApp automation need to apply and be approved for the WhatsApp Business API.
While it’s possible to apply for the API directly, in the early days, it was only possible via a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). Today, partnering up with such a service is still widely beneficial. However, many companies struggle to understand how BSPs can actually help as well as with finding the right fit for their needs. Hence, in this article, we'll look at the role and purpose of WhatsApp BSPs as well as the criteria you should consider when choosing a WhatsApp automation partner.
What is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP)?
According to WhatsApp’s Help Center, WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSP)—AKA WhatsApp Partners—are a worldwide community of 3rd-party WhatsApp business platform experts. They help you set up your API, ensure your use case complies with WhatsApp’s Business and Commerce policies, communicate with your customers more effectively as well as offer customer support.
In other words, a BSP act as a mediator between the WhatsApp API and your company, which can benefit all parties. For example, WhatsApp enjoys enhanced client management while you get a solution that is more resource-efficient and budget friendly than attempting to manage it all in-house. Also, each BSP partner offers a set of features and perks, allowing you to find options that better correspond to your goals and requirements.
Why WhatsApp Works with Partners?
From Meta’s perspective, outsourcing the API process management to partners is very practical—it’s less resource-intensive and significantly more cost-effective as it minimizes the requirement to hire more employees.
Moreover, given Meta’s effort to maintain WhatsApp’s prerogative of putting the user first, partners help WhatsApp vet brands and their intended use cases more efficiently, making user protection easier.
How Does a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider Work?
Opting to sign up for a WhatsApp Business API Account (WABA) through a BSP means you are accessing the WhatsApp API via the authorized partner's API. The BSP works to assist you throughout the process.
However, you can also decide to work with a specific partner after you already have an approved WABA, which you might have obtained on your own or by collaborating with another BSP. Either way, it’s perfectly possible to migrate your WABA number to a new BSP. The reason behind the migration is—usually—finding a BSP partner that offers features, support, or integrations that benefit the brand more than their current setup.
Remember, WhatsApp BSPs, although all official, are not equal. In fact, your experience and success with WhatsApp Business API can vary greatly depending on which BSP you choose.
Essentially, there are two key types of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers:
- Connectors like 360dialog that simply let companies integrate the WhatsApp Business API and another 3rd-party marketing/customer support platform.
- Full-scale platforms like Landbot that allow brands to access and manage the functionalities of the WhatsApp Business Platform via their custom interface.
Connectors do not offer any interface and are generally ideal for businesses wanting to build their own fully customized marketing or support system. Setting up and managing this integration requires developers.
On the other hand, a full-scale BSP platform can help you to, for instance, run WhatsApp marketing campaigns, build chatbots using a no-code builder, and manage chatbot-to-human handover and multi-agent live chat support directly through its interface.
Benefits of Using an Official WhatsApp Service Provider
If you are still wondering why you should work with WhatsApp BSPs instead of WhatsApp directly, here are a few benefits to consider:
- Efficiency & Compliance. Integrating and managing WhatsApp API is not a simple task for any brand or business, even if you are lucky to have a team of experienced in-house developers. Straying from the rules is risking being blocked by customers and possibly even being banned from the WABA platform. BSP partners understand the service features and offerings shaped by critical WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Commerce policies and will help you navigate the fine print.
- Interface. WhatsApp BSPs often provide visual, user-friendly interfaces for non-techy professionals across departments so they can leverage all the benefits of WhatsApp automation. Often, there’s no need to go anywhere near the API documentation, so your team is free to focus on creating successful campaigns and support systems instead.
- Support & Assistance. WhatsApp API boasts many features and tools. Finding applications to satisfy specific needs can be tedious and overwhelming. BSP can help you avoid all that by helping solve any problems that might arise with your WABA as well as by providing easy-to-implement integrations.
- Message Template Submission. To send outbound messages with WhatsApp, you first need meta to approve your WhatsApp message template (HSM). BSPs make template submission easy and straightforward by integrating it into their campaign creation flow, so you don’t have to leave the platform
- Contacts management. BSPs often offer many CRM features. Besides launching WhatsApp campaigns, you can also store and manage your contacts and full conversations under one roof. Alternatively, many offer native easy-to-activate integrations in case you already have a CRM you prefer to work with.
- Analytics. WhatsApp partners also usually offer more advanced analytics and real-time performance tracking, data visualization, and reporting than you would have if managing your WABA by yourself.
How to Choose a WhatsApp BSP?
The number of BSPs has grown in line with WhatsApp’s popularity. The myriad of options makes it difficult to find a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider that’s the right fit for your business.
One way to search for a BSP is to check the Meta Partner directory. It features the ultimate list of all WhatsApp Business Solution Providers. Though, as you will see for yourself, there are plenty to choose from, so we compiled a list of features and information you should look out for when making your choice.
When searching for a good service provider to help you with WhatsApp API, it's important to keep in mind that just because they're well-known doesn't mean they're the perfect fit for your business. Some providers might be really good at just one or two aspects of WhatsApp automation and not so great at others.
That's why it's a good idea to ask for a demo session to see if they can meet your needs. During the demo, you can check if the WhatsApp partner really understands what you're looking for and if they have the capacity to make it happen.
One of the critical advantages of BSPs is “simplification,” so make sure you are getting it. Be on the lookout for all-in-one kinds of experiences.
The best providers should allow you to:
- Build chatbots;
- Create and submit WhatsApp templates for approval;
- Build segmented audiences;
- Generate WhatsApp opt-ins;
- Schedule and launch WhatsApp campaigns;
- Offer insights into campaign or chatbot performance.
All that under one roof!
Easy-to-Use Platform & Builder
Another important factor in choosing a WhatsApp BSP is the ease of use.
To make sure your team can work at their best, it's crucial to find a partner that offers an intuitive interface and offers a quick learning curve. That way, your team can be as productive and comfortable as possible without having to depend heavily on the IT team. The more intuitive the platform, the faster you can get from concept to launch.
An essential part of successful WhatsApp adoption lies in connecting it with the tools and systems with which you already work. Seamless integrations prevent data silos and enable a more rounded approach.
Hence, one of the key points to verify when picking your BSP partner is to make sure they're not just good at integrating with your CRM but also on the lookout for other high-priority integration opportunities that can help you grow. Solid integration opinions are a pretty good indication that they're a dependable partner who's got your back.
It’s no secret that today, customers expect fast responses from any business they engage with. One way to make this happen is by automating answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). The good news is that by using a chatbot as part of your WhatsApp Business API integration, you can do just that. In fact, lots of BSPs offer the ability to automate responses using rule-based or AI chatbots.
However, not all conversations can be automated. Sometimes a bot is not enough. If you are looking to automate consumer conversations, be sure to check that the BSP offers a bot-to-human hand-off feature as well. That way you can work to create the right balance between automation and human interaction.
Quality Customer Support
One of the critical factors when choosing a BSP is how it assists its customers. A BSP that contacts you frequently before the purchase might not provide support after the service is sold. To avoid this, choose a Business Solution Provider that has good client testimonials. Choosing a BSP that is responsive and has excellent customer service will ensure that your WhatsApp strategy is not derailed and will give you peace of mind.
One of the key factors that you should consider when selecting a BSP is the level and quality of support. Some BSPs might be proactive in reaching out to potential customers before the purchase but might not provide the necessary support once the deal is done. This can be frustrating be sure to:
- Scour independent client reviews and testimonials for specific references to customer support;
- Bring up the topic during your demo session;
- Review pricing carefully, most BSPs offer various levels of support based on your subscription type.
If working with WhatsApp directly, the only charges you need to worry about are the conversation-based fees based on user region. However, with a BSP, you are getting much greater value, so service costs are a necessary part of the partnerships.
It's crucial to proceed with caution since some partners may charge hidden fees. To avoid any surprises down the road, ensure that the BSP provides you with a clear and detailed breakdown of the costs associated with their services. Some BSPs might charge a large one-time fee, while others might have monthly costs that can fluctuate. Understanding these costs upfront will help businesses avoid unexpected expenses and budget accordingly.
Once again, checking out independent reviews is a good way to help you assess BSP's honesty and transparency when it comes to pricing.
Free trial period is not a must, but it can come in handy—especially if you are a smaller business. Not only can you get a feel for how the BSP operates, but you can also evaluate whether it's worth the investment. Lots of reputable providers, Landbot included, offer free trials. It’s a great way to give their features a try and gain some hands-on experience working with their interface.
WhatsApp Business API platform and ecosystem is still young and evolving. Hance, having a parter to guide you through the bureaucratic processes and an organized space to create and launch WhastApp campaigns is can make all the difference—especially if you do not have a team of developers to spare.