04 Sep WhatsApp for Business
The concept of WhatsApp for Business isn’t exactly new. Before it was rolled out, businesses everywhere were already using WhatsApp to communicate with customers and market their offerings. You could WhatsApp your car service to book an appointment, order a cake, or receive payment details from the florist.
What WhatsApp has done with the new Business app is to migrate all those business interactions onto an official platform in a potential monetisation move that could open up new products and revenue streams for WhatsApp. It could extend the messaging app’s functions closer to WeChat’s model, where entire business processes such as payment and e-wallets are centrally integrated into a single app. The result? A super app that is too prevalent in our lives to drop, and the only app that we really need.
As of now, WhatsApp for Business is free for download, and you should be using it. Here are 4 reasons why.
1. Organise your business conversations
You can label conversations in WhatsApp for Business. You create your own labeling systems, so you can choose to classify type of conversations (e.g. refund request vs. new enquiry), rank customers by importance or messages by urgency, and so on.
There are two steps to creating and using labels. You will first have to create the labels and then label each of your conversations.
In a conversation, tap on the menu and New Label. Enter your desired label name and tap Save.
Then tap on the menu button on a conversation, pick a label that you’ve created, and tap Save.
Labeling helps you prioritize your replies and keep track of your customers.
2. Set auto-replies
WhatsApp for Business has basic automation that enables you to set auto replies to conversations. You can set ‘greeting message’, ‘away message’, or custom ‘quick reply’. Tap on Settings > Business Settings and choose what kind of auto-reply you want to create.
Even if you can’t come to the phone immediately, don’t keep your customers hanging. You can schedule an away message to send at a custom time, outside of business hours, or at all times.
Your business probably has a standard greeting for first-time customers. Now you can automate that to send when you get a message from a new customer or after 14 days of inactivity in a particular chat.
This is one of the most useful features of WhatsApp for Business. As a business, you surely get a set of frequently asked questions. Again, WhatsApp for Business’ automation abilities helps you to eliminate repetition by setting a shortcut reply to those questions. You’ll have to tailor your message and choose a shortcut key for the quick reply. Then in your chat(s), type / and pick the appropriate quick reply from the pop-up. Those payment details and shipping info that you commonly send out? Automate them once and for all.
3. Keep your work life separate from your personal life
Mixing personal chats with business gets confusing given the sheer volume of chats. Thankfully users are not allowed to share the same mobile line for their business account – a dedicated number is required.
The WhatsApp for Business icon is a chat bubble containing a ‘B’ instead of the usual phone icon, keeping a clear distinction between business and pleasure via two completely separate apps but on the same phone.
You can set up a business profile on your WhatsApp for Business account with your location (linked to Google maps), business hours and so on, so customers don’t get confused by personal display pics of your cat. To fill in your profile, tap on Settings > Business Settings > Profile.
4. Cut away the red tape
The genius of the business app is that it makes businesses more conversationally relevant to consumers. The challenge for businesses is to be where their customers are, and where better to find them than on the communication channel they use everyday with their closest family and friends? Your customers won’t have to exit the app they’re already on to contact you, nor do they have to launch another clunky app just to see your (belated) reply.
WhatsApp for Business closes the gap between you and your customer by removing unnecessary bureaucracy, the impersonality of an email, and by freeing you to text on a conversational level to maintain that personal touch.
It also keeps a perfect running record of all your communication with a particular customer, searchable by keyword. No more complicated reference codes and case files that prolong the response time.
You absolutely should be using WhatsApp for Business for enhanced customer service and a launching pad for mobile marketing. The future of mobile-friendly customer engagement might very well see WhatsApp enabling in-app merchant payments, an in-app chatbot, a shoppable content feed, even API integrations that enable errands to be done end-to-end without ever leaving the app. And before you know it, there you have it – an app to run our lives.
Contact us to explore how you can use WhatsApp for Business in your mobile marketing strategy.