Top 5 WhatsApp API and Shared Inbox Providers (Jan 2022)

WhatsApp API offers a variety of feature-rich solutions that enable businesses to sell their products on WhatsApp, better

8
 min. read
February 10, 2022
Top 5 WhatsApp API and Shared Inbox Providers (Jan 2022)

WhatsApp API offers a variety of feature-rich solutions that enable businesses to sell their products on WhatsApp, better. The most sought-after solution is the Team Inbox that allows businesses to assign many sales agents to use one telephone number linked to a business profile. This provides a single view and a single interface for salespersons, rather than many interfaces.

These applications are developed by WhatsApp’s affiliates called Business Solution Providers (BSPs). There are many BSPs among them is bot.space.

However, here we are selecting our preferred five, called the Top 5, you might call it, although in no particular order. If this has helped you to make a more informed decision, drop us a line.

1. BotSpace

BotSpace is a platform for businesses to automate, simplify, optimize and organize their sales and customer support engagement workflows through hybrid chatbot solutions, on WhatsApp.

BotSpace can quickly deploy end-to-end chat solutions within minutes, without the worry of training.

BotSpace has pre-designed conversational templates which can be deployed within seconds.

It is also possible to connect to your existing customer care platforms, thus turning Bot Space into an extensible, enterprise-wide solution

Pricing

$29/month that include 500 monthly active contacts

then +$15 for every extra 500 active contacts 

Pros

  • Affordable pricing: Only Zoko in the list has a comparable price. However, in all other respects, BotSpace outperforms Zoko
  • World-Class Support: We pride ourselves on being responsive to customer queries and tickets. We stretch that extra mile, that extra hour beyond working hours to ensure a satisfied customer. 
  • Great User Interface: Sophisticated interface; intuitive, ease of use, comfortable navigational and input controls 
  • Sophisticated ChatBot: The BotSpace chat system goes much beyond the perfunctory workflow automated messages of ‘Hello’, ‘Busy’ or ‘Away’. Our chatbot gives a sophisticated user experience by providing a range of contextual, query-based responses. It responds to free text and is based on algorithms that understand Natural Language Processing. Also, BotSpace provides the capability to integrate with any CRM that you may have, so you have a seamless enterprise-wide selling or customer support system.
  • Supports all platform integration including CRM platforms like HubSpot or eCommerce platforms like Shopify.
  • Able to integrate WhatsApp Team Inbox with CRMs on request. So, when any customer messages on your number, all information collected on that customer is dynamically made available to the agent in the Shared WhatsApp Inbox

Cons

  • Supports only WhatsApp. Doesn’t provide an Omni platform engagement experience
  • No user interface for a complex bot builder (any changes to be implemented have to be done by speaking to support.)

2. Zoko

Zoko allows for, all the capabilities that one has come to expect from an application that calls itself the ‘hub of all marketing, sales, and customer activity. There is the Team Inbox with multiple agents, the capability to send broadcast messages, personalized rich content messages. Basically, the drill!

Pricing

$24.99/month for 500 monthly unique customers

Pros

  • Tickets: Zoko allows the generation of tickets to different agents depending on the type of query. This not only helps workflow but also accountability and teamwork.
  • Basic Chatbot: Their chatbot has a very basic repertoire of messages such as ‘Busy’ or ‘Away’. If your requirement is for more complex ‘natural’ or ‘intelligent’ messaging in response to queries or you need integration with your CRM then, Zoko doesn’t fit the bill.

Cons

  • The UI is not very sophisticated and it takes some getting used to. Also, their UI mimics the WhatsApp UI that assigns tickets, which, let's face it, is a little passe!
  • Team Queues: New conversations stay in a queue until a team member transfers them to Chat Mode and can then act on them. This switch can be cumbersome when you are looking to respond quickly
  • Sharp Escalation in Cost: Zoko price tiers are so graded that after the first two tiers, the costs sharply rise. That’s when Zoko can start to pinch one's purse.

3. Twilio

Twilio is among the more customizable WhatsApp Business API services going. The flip side is also true that one needs to have a bit of a technical mindset to make it feature-rich that it is capable.

It is listed on Facebook’s specialized marketing partners directory
Twillio offers a Flex Cloud platform that gives businesses the capability of combining voice, SMS, WhatsApp, live chat, for a rich customer service experience. The Flex app is customizable. Businesses can add or remove the features as required.

Pricing

$1/user/hour or $150/user/month

Pros

  • Omni Channel: Supports a variety of communication channels such as phone calls, VoIP, messaging, WhatsApp, and email 
  • Pricing: Relatively lower costs and good to start with and pay as you go. Pay per message as per the country of receiver and type of message.  Only session messages are charged a flat rate
  • Extensible: Offers a great degree of extensibility and customization
  • Seamless: Monitoring of SMS and call status process is seamless.

Cons

  • Needs Technical Expertise: Needs technical knowledge to get started or then support from Twilio
  • Proprietary Constraint: Twilio encourages the use of a Twilio phone number (one that’s provided by Twilio themselves) to access the WhatsApp Business API. Non-Twilio phone numbers can also be used to register as a WhatsApp API number but certain requirements apply. 
  • Customer support tends to be slow
  • Deliverability suffers when you mass send messages or emails
  • Costs can increase exponentially as you scale because there is no flat rate.

4. WATI

Compared to Twilio, WATI is a strictly WhatsApp tool. It is suited for businesses of all sizes and has plans that cater to every business segment, provided WhatsApp is your preferred channel of communicating with your customers.

WATI offers a free trial of their software that allows businesses to use it, select a plan that suits them and explore whether the service suits them.
Apart from providing a shared inbox tool for customer support, WATI offers some pretty unique features. These include an on-the-go solution for customer service agents to provide support, on the go, from wherever they are.

Automating messages are enabled on WATI, through a chatbot, that requires business users virtually no-code to be able to deploy it.

Pricing

$40/month billed yearly for 5 agents.

Monthly plans and annual plan options are available, both of which include a certain amount of free session messages. Incoming session messages are free. The cost of outgoing messages averages around $0.005 per message. WATI also provides a certain number of free session messages.

Any phone number can be used, so long as the number has been de-liked from any previous WhatsApp account.

Pros

  • Customer Support: WATI is organized to support the customer from the time of signing up. From there on, the support team handles the complete journey of the customer
  • Team Structure: With WATI, the business can organize their teams through team structures. This mimics the performance structures of self-organizing teams.
  • Chatbots: Creating chatbots is simple. Chatbots set up conversation flows and offer solutions and interact with prospects or customers immediately

Cons

  • If you support customers on any other platform, you’d still need to purchase an additional CRM tool.
  • It responds based on keywords and cannot continue conversations. For the flow builder, you need to pay an additional $49 monthly fee

5. Callbell

Callbell is a comprehensive web-based chat solution for businesses to contact and communicate with customers as well as organize and manage their sales or customer support teams. Callbell enables businesses to communicate across multiple communication channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp. It also allows for custom chat widgets to be added to their websites and communicate directly with prospects or customers from there.

Key features of Callbell include pre-formatted templatized responses to customers, capability to initiate chats with customers, report, view chat history, automated responses for holidays, etc, and capability to incorporate brand identity. Businesses can continue to communicate with customers even upon leaving the website. Conversation workflows can be assigned to team members, along with assigned priority. This ensures that workflows can be organized and managed better between teams.

Teams can specify characteristics of chat widgets, define integration channels, and copy/paste the generated script into a new tag within Google Tag Manager accounts or at the head section of websites.

Pricing

€12/month

Pros

  • Customer Service: Callbell has a speedy customer support  response
    Integrated Communications Hub: All communications from WhatsApp / Facebook/ Instagram in the same place

Cons

  • Typically users experience a significant latency in sending the messages. Sometimes messages don’t get delivered at all. Sometimes when writing to a new contact, messages may get sent twice
  • Sometimes it seems as if the names of the contacts are not synchronized across with WhatsApp  contacts
  • No ability to send voice messages, files or to see if the messages were delivered

If this has helped you to make a more informed decision, visit us at bot.space and let us know. Or you could directly apply for a pre-approved BotSpace WhatsApp Team Inbox with a verified green checkmark at zero upfront payment, by providing us with 

  • Business Display name
  • A verified Facebook Business Manager id
  • A phone number that doesn’t have any WhatsApp account installed (both personal and business)
Sign up for BotSpace here