Ever since WhatsApp came into the market, the lives of people and businesses changed tremendously. This is because WhatsApp is a mobile communication app did not only allowed better communication but revolutionized it all together. In fact, so successful was WhatsApp since it was launched that other messaging apps like WeChat and Skype have all grown by leaps and bounds in their respective markets to great successes.
Reach your customers the correct way!
It is no mistake or coincidence that marketers today are using messaging apps like WhatsApp to reach their customers if they haven’t already done so. Major research companies have already found that engagement rates are extremely high with these platforms which have not been experienced by any other media throughout history. So what does the market hold for your business especially when you are using WhatsApp?
One of the biggest questions that were raised was why did Facebook pay so much to acquire WhatsApp and what were the potential of such a business. The benefits are now slowly seen as WhatsApp now has more than 1.5 billion users globally which is a remarkable number as compared to any other messaging tool in the market.
WhatsApp Business – The New Revolutionary Tool for Marketing
WhatsApp Business is what it says. It is the WhatsApp tool catered solely for businesses. If you are a WhatsApp user, then you will have no problem using the Business version. Basically, it lets you connect with your customers the same way you do with your friends. However, it adds some additional features that provide you with the tools to communicate with your customers better. This is where you can have more efficient communication and be organized.
Create your Profile and Contact Information
In WhatsApp Business, you are able to have a public profile for your business. This is where it will include very crucial information such as:
- Company name
- Business address
- Contact information
- Website and other digital contacts
Labeling your conversation for effective organization
In WhatsApp Business, you can organize your conversations (or known as chats) better and in a more effective manner. Your users can be filtered, chats can be classified or labeled to suit your needs. This can be examples like potential customers, new customers, current customers or new leads. This gives you clarity and you will be able to ensure that you keep track of what is going on in your business. Besides that, the chats in WhatsApp Business are encrypted which means you enjoy privacy while some can be blocked to avoid spam or junk.
Drive your customers to connect with you in WhatsApp
It must be noted that while WhatsApp is among the top messaging app in the world today, not everyone you know might be using it. As such, you need to play a part in encouraging your customers to download the app and start connecting with you on WhatsApp Business. Once you have them in your network, your customers will enjoy a seamless customer service experience while forging a stronger bond between you and them.
Integrate with Social Media
So, how do you actually ‘tell’ your customers to get connected on WhatsApp? One of the most common methods is to use existing social media. Facebook (which is the parent-company of WhatsApp) has a function called the ‘send WhatsApp message’ in the Facebook ads.
Emphasis on this and you will drive your customers into using WhatsApp Business. You must know that although Facebook and WhatsApp are in the same company, it does not mean that they will automatically link everything. As a marketer, you will still need to know what you want to do on both ends of the connection and do the necessary planning.
Respect users’ privacy through WhatsApp Business
Share more with WhatsApp Business
This platform not only gives you the connection with your customers but it allows you to share your status and snapshots too. Think of it as an Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories where you can keep your customers informed on what is currently happening.
When you post a status on WhatsApp, your customers get sneak previews and current happenings of what your business is doing. This is a great way to keep the buzz going. By connecting to your customers this way, you give them a sense of belonging and it feels like you are a personal friend.
A strategy that works
Using WhatsApp Business is very different from any other channels you have come across. This is, after all a single-person communication tool. You can only use one number for every business which means that you might not be online 24 hours a day.
Hence, you need to keep your customers informed about when you will be available online and what you can offer during that time. When they are online and communicates with you in the stipulated times, you know they are passionate about your business.
What about the downside with WhatsApp Business?
As mentioned earlier, one of the major setbacks about using WhatsApp Business is that you can only use one number for every business. This means that the response rate will be compromised as you might find it too much to handle when there is a high volume of inquiries received at your end.
As such, it means that you need to have a dedicated staff to manage this channel and this person would have to be responsible. Although you might have given a stipulated time where you are online, some customers might still send in their inquiries in the strangest hours.
If they are not attended to, they will feel uncomfortable and you risk losing them. Take note that one of the problems reported with WhatsApp Business is that the auto-reply function uses the same content.
MobileBlasterHub comes to rescue
There is a solution for customer service or callcenter distribution system which is called MobileBlasterHub. You can now login to one Whatsapp account from multiple locations with MobileBlasterHub. This solution is very cost effective especially for any Whatsapp account with too many incoming queries daily. You can have automated reply or chatbot to reply to customers according to the keyword they sent in.
WhatsApp Business API Charges
The benefits of WhatsApp Business have already been discussed and you are well aware of how it can help your business no matter what size your operations are. But unlike the WhatsApp personal version, there is a small fee that you need to pay to use WhatsApp Business.
What are your options?
Through WhatsApp, your business can choose to use either one of the following.
- The WhatsApp Business App – This is the standard app that you can download from Google Play Store or Apple Store (iOS). This app is ideal for small business operations.
- The WhatsApp Business API – This is the small program that you integrate into your current CRM or digital platforms. If you are a large company, this option would be ideal for you.
Both options require you to register your business with WhatsApp to ensure credibility and authenticity.
Getting started with WhatsApp Business
Typically, you have to go through a authorised WhatsApp Partners to activate your WhatsApp Business API account. You will usually be provided with a rate for every WhatsApp message you send. The charges are very straightforward as there are in general, 2 types of messages.
Process of charges
The way you are charged for using WhatsApp Business is when you send a message to users. This can be activated in 2 ways which can either be initiated by the potential customer or by you.
The customer initiates the conversation
This is the most common and widely-used conversational actions. You implement various methods to drive your potential customers to respond. This can be a CTA (Call-to-Action) from your website, from your Facebook page or a landing page.
When your customer clicks through and arrives at your WhatsApp chat window, they will send a message to you. That is where they have ‘INITIATED’ a conversation. Once you receive the first message, you will have 24 hours to respond.
During this 24-hour window, your messages sent to the customers are free of charge by WhatsApp. However, certain WhatsApp Partners might charge you a fee for every message sent out. This is usually less than RM0.17(Usd0.04) per message.
You initiate the conversation
As a business, you will always be tempted to start the first conversation and reach out to your potential customers. You can get this through users who have ‘Liked’ your post on Facebook or Instagram or have voiced interest somewhere.
Because of this, you could potentially send out the first message. However, this cannot be done as you wish because WhatsApp will block users that send out spams. This means you have to use the Template Messages.
Template messages refer to messages that are pre-approved by WhatsApp. How it works here is that you can design a message and word it out accordingly before sending it for vetting and approval. Each template message sent is usually not more than RM0.17(USD0.04).