How to Use WhatsApp Business with Multiple Users
If you want to expand your customer service with WhatsApp Business, you may be wondering how you can use the channel in a GDPR-compliant way with multiple employees.
The answer depends entirely on which business option you want to use: the WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API.
In this post, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of both options and explain how to set up your WhatsApp Business account for multiple users.
- Using the WhatsApp Business app with multiple employees
- Using the WhatsApp Business API with multiple employees
- What the GDPR says
- WhatsApp API costs
Using the WhatsApp Business app with multiple employees
The WhatsApp Business app was developed for small businesses and allows for up to five employees via a business account. However, the business app doesn’t let you track which employee replied to a customer message. Other professional customer service features, such as handovers and creating tickets, also aren’t available. However, using the Business App with multiple employees is completely free.
Guide for iOS and Android: How to set up the WhatsApp Business app for multiple users
- Download the WhatsApp Business app from the Apple or Google Play Store and use the step-by-step guide to set up the app on your smartphone.
- To allow multiple employees via the Business app, you need to add more devices to your account. To do this, click "Linked devices" > "Add device." This will open a QR code scanner.
- Open the URL web.whatsapp.com on the target device and scan the QR code.
Please note: WhatsApp made it possible to use the Business app with multiple employees as of September 2021. Some features are still limited after leaving the beta phase, like not being able to use a tablet as an end device, for example.
WhatsApp Business: Privacy, examples and first steps
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Using the WhatsApp Business API with multiple employees
Medium-sized and large companies use the WhatsApp API in their customer service because it’s more professional and scalable. The WhatsApp Business API allows you to add multiple users and teams to your account and works on any number of desktop devices. Since the API doesn’t have its own usable interface (i.e., a mobile app), businesses need to connect the API to professional communication software. It works as an inbox for all your messenger channels (WhatsApp, Facebook, website chat and more).
To keep the setup secure and GDPR-compliant, WhatsApp recommends choosing a customer messaging solution like Userlike, which companies like Trusted Shops, Nivea and Decathlon already use. We work with 360Dialog, a verified business solution provider, who will give you access to the API.
Each employee receives their own access to the Message Center. This shared team inbox provides a quick overview of incoming and ongoing conversations. In addition, Userlike offers you useful support features such as operator skills, which enable intelligent chat routing. This lets you assign skills and knowledge fields to your employees, such as a language or specific product groups. Customers are then connected to the appropriate employee to avoid unnecessary redirects. Live translations and FAQ chatbots also help relieve your employees.
How to work with multiple users using the WhatsApp Business API
- Choose a professional customer messaging solution: When choosing a solution, make sure it is GDPR-compliant and provides important service features. Userlike specializes in secure customer messaging while being one of the most affordable solutions on the market. Take a look at how Userlike compares to other software.
- Link a WhatsApp Business Platform: Choose a WhatsApp Business Platform (such as Userlike) to link your account via the official WhatsApp Business API. Learn more in our blog post, "WhatsApp Business Platform (API) – Everything you need to know."
- Receive API key: After your WhatsApp number is successfully verified, it’ll generate a WhatsApp API key.
- (Optional) Verify Facebook Business account: If you haven’t yet verified your Facebook Business account, please upload the required documents in Facebook Business Manager. You’re only allowed a limited number of conversations if your account is not fully verified.
- Connect customer messaging solution to WhatsApp API: Enter the API key in the Userlike Dashboard to connect to WhatsApp. Depending on your plan, you can now add multiple employees (5, 10, 20 or more) to the Message Center.
In the next steps, we'll show you how to connect Userlike to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp with multiple users: What the GDPR says
When using the WhatsApp Business app, each device is connected to WhatsApp separately. Messages are still end-to-end encrypted even when using WhatsApp with multiple devices. This means it’s even better protected than email communication.
However, a problem with the GDPR is that phone contacts are read — even non-WhatsApp users. To comply with privacy regulations, the device you use should only store numbers of customers who use WhatsApp.
The most secure solution is to use the WhatsApp API combined with customer communication software, since you use the software - just like your other business solutions - not through a phone, but on a desktop. As mentioned above, it’s also important that the customer messaging solution you choose is GDPR-compliant.
Userlike puts data protection in the foreground:
- All chat data is stored securely on servers in Germany and is GDPR-compliant.
- You can set an expiration date for your data to automatically be deleted.
How much does it cost to use WhatsApp with multiple users?
Using the WhatsApp Business app with multiple employees (1 smartphone + 4 devices) is free of charge. To work with more than five employees at the same time and without a smartphone, you must use a WhatsApp API in conjunction with a paid customer messaging solution.
Customer messaging provider prices vary widely. For adding 10 employees, the costs range from 300 Euros to 1,200 Euros per month. Userlike's Corporate plan with advanced video chat and analytics features costs 290 Euros a month, for example - with no setup fee and 1,000 included WhatsApp conversations. You can find more WhatsApp Business costs information in our article, “WhatsApp Business pricing: what costs you can expect.”
Do you still have questions about using WhatsApp with multiple users or about setting up the WhatsApp API? Then please feel free to contact us via the chat on our website. And if Userlike seems like the solution you need, you can sign up to use it for free for 14 days.