WhatsApp is a popular messaging service that has over 1 billion active users and 65 billion messages sent in a day. There are two versions of whatsapp. One is that we use in our everyday life for free ( also ads-free).
The other version is whatsApp Business that is used for commercial purposes by small businesses and individuals. In this article, we are going to get a close look into the features of Whatsapp business.
But, first look at some history that will provide you some context.
As many of those already know that in its early days, whatsapp was not free. They were charging 99¢ per year before its acquisition by Facebook.
Facebook acquired whatsapp for $19 billion in 2014. Facebook was determined to provide services of whatsapp free of cost. But a big question comes into mind that how Facebook was going to monetize its $19 billion deal?
Pretty natural. 😊
And here comes the WhatsApp Business. Facebook launched whatsApp Business on January 18, 2018. The WhatsApp Business application empowers smaller businesses to separate their professional and personal lives.
With this efficient tool in place, it is now possible to respond to the local customers at the quickest possible pace.
Moreover, there is also a business API that readily caters to the larger businesses, besides allowing them higher volumes, increased process automation, and excellent levels of integration— all for a very affordable pricing structure of pay-per-message.
While it is always challenging to enlist all reasons to justify the use of WhatsApp for business, we will still try to enlist as many as we can:
1. Free to Use:
Yeah! It’s free and everything that comes free is bound to attract some eyeballs. But here is the difference, unlike other free Softwares or applications, Whatsapp business has a clean and user-friendly interface (free from ads).
Not only Business App but business API is also free to some extent. You have to pay only if you want to reply to customer messages after 24 hours limit.
2. Broadcasting Capabilities:
Broadcasting is a great feature of this app through which you can share your message with a group of customers on the go.
This feature saves a lot of time of businesses by sharing their brand identity or product information as a message to a broadcast group ( up-to 256 contacts ).
You can send unlimited number of messages to your broadcast group without any limit.
To create a broadcast group, go to your chats, open the actions menu and select a new broadcast. The app will then prompt you to select your contacts, you can select up to 256 of them just like regular WhatsApp groups.
Once you’re done hit the checkmark on the bottom right and the WhatsApp Business app will create a broadcast group. This is very much like a WhatsApp group except for one key difference.
If someone replies to your broadcast, then it will show as an individual message and not in the broadcast. You can use broadcasts to send messages to your customers.
An easier way is to label a group of contacts and then use these labels in your broadcasts to select a group of contacts at once.
3. Messaging Freedom:
WhatsApp Business gives you complete freedom over your messaging. You can send an unlimited number of messages to your contacts.
You can use features like broadcasts, automated messages and quick replies to maximize your user engagement and customer support.
4. Contacts and Labels:
Like regular WhatsApp, you can add contacts to your business account and send them direct messages. You can only send a user a message if they provide you with your phone number.
Again, you can use the short links feature to collect the phone numbers of your potential customers. These contacts can receive your messages and broadcasts as well as can see your status.
Labels are also great for the segmenting and to group your contacts together on whatever basis and name them.
This is helpful when you send a broadcast to a number of contacts. You don’t have to manually select all the contacts instead, you can select them through your labels.
A big problem for small business is time management and resources. These businesses have less manpower and resources. WhatsApp Business can provide them with a big hand through its automation features when it comes to limited resources.
Through this feature, you can curate your custom messages to deliver at different times. These messages will trigger automatically at a specific time.
There are three types of messages that you can automate:
i) Greeting Message
One of the most important aspects of the first interaction is the speed of the response. The WhatsApp Business App Greeting Message is perfectly set up to handle this interaction.
To set up the Greeting Message, go to your Business Settings and select Greeting Message. Here you will be able to enter the message that people receive and the conditions under which they receive it.
If someone messages you for the first time, they will receive a greeting message.
But if you delete a chat with a customer, and they message you again, then greeting message will be sent again.
ii) Away Message
The away message can be set to send all the time, on a custom schedule or outside your business hours.
The custom schedule setting uses fixed dates and times, we find this useful if you intend to go on a vacation or plan to be unreachable for a few hours. You’ll be able to have the away message triggered for that period of time.
Otherwise, we recommend keeping the setting outside business hours. Set your business hours in your profile and your away message will be sent outside those hours if someone messages you.
iii) Quick Replies:
You can create up to 50 quick replies to use in various conversations. To do so navigate to Business Settings and select Quick Replies. Here you’ll find a list of all your current quick replies and a plus that will let you add new ones.
When adding a new quick reply you’ll be able to add the message, the shortcut, and up to 3 keywords.
While in your chatting, you can bring up your quick replies by typing “/”.
If a keyword is present in the message you are replying to, then the most relevant quick reply will show up on top of your quick reply list.
6. Lead Generation Using Links:
If you already have access to a large audience on your website or even through your customer email list. How can you take that audience and give them the option to communicate with you through your WhatsApp Business Account?
You can achieve this goal by using WhatsApp short links. Just like the Facebook Messenger reference codes, you can set a link and when a user clicks it, they will be directed to a confirmation page and when they hit send the WhatsApp message box will open with the text in the text box.
To do so enter WhatsApp Business App settings, navigate to Business Settings and go to Short Link. In the Short Link screen, you can customise the default message.
The message will be received in your business account.
7. Secure Messaging:
Just like the normal WhatsApp account, business account also comes with the standard data security features.
A verified business is something every user will like to interact with, especially if the product or service is of interest. While the confirmed sign offers unmatched credibility to businesses, it also renders a sense of security to the proceedings.
Apart from that, the messages and even calls initiated via this platform feature end-to-end data encryption.
8. Ease of Marketing:
Marketing trends are changing rapidly and if you are a new business in the market, then WhatsApp business will be your first choice.
It comes with a load of great features that helps with your marketing approach. You can send direct messages if you have the contact of a customer.
You can share locations and files via this platform. You can market them your new products through your status and broadcasts.
9. Customer Support:
If you are a business with a service or product, then customer support is a very crucial thing to consider. It can make or break your business.
Here is why.
If I am a potential customer of a particular service but I need some of my questions answered related to this service or product. I contact them and they don’t reply to my email or reply after a week. What would I do?
I will just run away from them. The fast reply and quickness is key for customer support success.
WhatsApp Business gives you the opportunity to bring your potential customers to App and reply to their messages directly through custom messages or pre-designed automated messages.
10. WhatsApp Status:
The status feature is also a great way to improve user engagement and brand awareness. You can use status to give a look of your incoming products for your customers or to announce something about a specific product.
In these times of the pandemic, If you are looking for a business and marketing strategy that will put you ahead of any immediate competition, WhatsApp Business is the tool to consider.
If you want more personalized user engagement and brand connections with your customers, WhatsApp Business is a good platform to consider.