Introducing the not so imaginatively named…WhatsApp Business. What’s it all about and how could it benefit your business?
The WhatsApp social messaging platform is one of the globe’s fastest growing communication apps. As of January 2018, around 1.5 billion people use the app on a regular basis sending millions of text messages, videos, photos and, of course, the all powerful emoji. But this year WhatsApp have taken the app in a new direction and it’s great news for small businesses in the UK.
So far it has been released in just a few countries including the UK, the US, Italy, Mexico and Indonesia and is only available on Android operating systems, but the plan is to release it on a worldwide scale. Currently aimed at small businesses, the app is completely free.
Benefits of WhatsApp Business
1. Customer Communication & Support
Most customers will find the option to send an instant message to a company far more preferable to calling a helpline, sending emails or completing enquiry forms. Instant messaging is (as the name suggests) quick and familiar to the modern consumer. It’s an easy way for your staff to deal with short queries and, depending on your business, can be as formal or informal as is appropriate.
Quick Replies enables you to save messages that you send regularly i.e. in response to FAQs and reuse them, saving you and the customer time and ensuring a consistent level of customer service. Automated Messages will respond to the customer when you or your staff aren’t able to e.g. greetings, informing them of office opening hours or simply letting them know someone will be in touch ASAP. This means less your customer can rest assured you’ve received their message and manages their expectations as to when they can expect a response.
You can use WhatsApp to send messages, images, audio files and short videos to your customers as part of a marketing campaign. The Messaging Statistics feature provides businesses with key metrics like how many messages were successfully sent, delivered and read by your customers which can really inform your future marketing strategies
3. Internal Communication and Collaboration
Many businesses are using WhatsApp internally to improve communication and collaboration between employees on a day to day basis. By creating a group, several people can contribute to a instant message thread. It’s faster than email chains and, because many people use WhatsApp personally, it’s familiar, informal and possibly even fun.
What is WhatsApp Business?
Essentially, WhatsApp Business is communication tool for small businesses. The app gives businesses to an official, verified profile page which includes key details like a business description, website and contact information. A green check mark indicates an ‘authentic brand’ which has been verified by WhatsApp while a grey question mark identifies a company which is yet to be verified. Your customers can communicate with your business through instant messaging.
Users are able to send messages to businesses but can also block numbers and companies and report spam. The app is available on smart devices so can be managed on the move but can also be managed via desktop software, which means your office team can add it to their daily customer support strategy. The app will later be expanded to reach a worldwide audience (including a paid version for larger businesses) and to work on multiple platforms such as iOS.