WhatsApp For Business - Everything You Need To Know
If there's one thing for certain, it's that we'll see business jump on board with WhatsApp in 2021. Your business needs to be there. It's kind of like 2007 and Facebook Marketing. If you missed out on that bonanza, be sure not to do that again!
4 billion people in the world have a smartphone. Out of that, 2 billion people use Whatsapp and 68% of these people say that Whatsapp is the easiest way to connect to the business.¹
What does it mean?
It means that most of the potential customers/ buyers/ users of your businesses are using messaging as a channel of communication and more specifically Whatsapp. Moreover, 61% of customers² don’t want to install a new app or migrate to a new messaging platform just to communicate with a business.
So, if you have not started using WhatsApp as a messaging channel to communicate with your customers then you are missing out on a great opportunity to sell and provide great customer support. WhatsApp Business is on track to become the go-to messaging channel for customer care, with the use of WhatsApp Business APIs, forecasted to increase 5,400%³ by 2024.
WhatsApp offers compelling solutions for enterprises. WhatsApp distinguishes between “WhatsApp for Business” and “WhatsApp Business API”. While “WhatsApp for Business” is free and specially made for small companies, the enterprise version “WhatsApp Business API” offers professional and data protection compliant solutions for medium and large companies. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business.
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business was introduced in early 2018 as an app dedicated to small and medium business owners. WhatsApp Business makes it easy for businesses to connect with their customers and build up loyalty, something so important these days. It’s a lot like the WhatsApp you already know and love, just with a few extra features to make it compatible with doing business:
Instead of a personal profile, you have a verifiable Business profile, complete with the company address, email, and website link.
You can view stats that measure message open/read rates
You can use autoresponder messages that make it simpler to respond to customers.
You get to use Broadcast Lists to broadcast messages to contacts (kind of like 1-way Groups)
Why should you use WhatsApp for business?
The best reason to use WhatsApp for business is that many of your customers are probably already using it. More than 60 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every single day.
Surprisingly, users of WhatsApp and similar services are willing to engage with businesses. If your customers and prospects are young, they’re more likely to be comfortable using messaging apps for their day-to-day communication.
Plus, messaging apps like WhatsApp have incredible engagement rates:98 % of mobile messages are opened and read, with 90 percent of them getting opened within three seconds of being received.
WhatsApp may already be a key way for your audience to share content via dark social—a term to describe when people share content through private channels such as email or chat apps like WhatsApp, as opposed to more public networks like Facebook.
A huge majority of sharing online— 84%—now takes place on private channels like messaging apps, so even if you’re not using WhatsApp to market your business, your prospects are likely using it to extend your content’s reach already.
We’ll be diving into how to use WhatsApp for businesses in a second—but first, we want to clear up how small & medium businesses can use WhatsApp versus how larger businesses can take advantage of its capabilities.
WhatsApp Business vs. WhatsApp Business API: How to use WhatsApp for small businesses or enterprise
WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp APIs are usually differentiated mostly based on business size, but that’s not all. Here are other factors that a business should consider while comparing both.
WhatsApp Business App: Here are a few data points that will help you decide if WhatsApp Business App is for you.
Company Size: Micro Business( 1-6 employees). It is not possible to use the WhatsApp Business app for multiple users, which means only one person will be able to respond to the queries with the registered number.
Customer Persona: Mobile or B2C customers who require immediate assistance while making a purchase. These are mostly millennials and Gen Z users who are online shoppers and expect a response in real-time or within 10 mins.
Low query volumes or having only one agent to respond to the queries. (As there is no multi-user feature in the WhatsApp business app)
Need only basic automation features like greeting messages, away messages, and quick replies.
Low broadcast message requirement. You can broadcast a message to only 256 contacts and you have to manually add all these contacts to your phone to broadcast the message.
Don’t need chatbots.
WhatsApp Business APIs: Here’s how to decide if WhatsApp Business APIs are right for your business.
Company Size: SMB (>11-250 employees), medium-size business (250-5000 employees), and enterprise (5000+ employees).
Customer Persona: Customers looking for quick answers while they purchase from an e-commerce store, book tickets, track orders, or even want to chat instead of calling customer service of a company.
High query volumes require multiple support agents to answer the queries. Unlike the WhatsApp Business app, WhatsApp API provides an option to have multiple users reply to a query.
Need to integrate WhatsApp Business with your CRM or CSS. WhatsApp Business API provides this integration so that your support or sales team can use one tool to monitor and answer all the queries instead of relying on the WhatsApp Business app itself.
Needs to automate the process like order status, cancellations, and refunds using chatbots on WhatsApp.
Needs to use custom message templates and send bulk notifications without any limit.
Looking for a solution to add contacts through APIs instead of adding contacts manually to your phone.
If you want to reduce overloading IVRs and want to deflect calls using WhatsApp chat. Example: You can give the customer an option to “press 1” to continue the conversation over WhatsApp.
Looks great, right? Unfortunately, only about 90 companies currently have access to the WhatsApp Business API, and public use is still limited. You can sign up with this form if you want your company to be considered for access.
How to create and set up a Whatsapp business account?
Setting up a Whatsapp business account is a simple 4 step process.
Before setting up a WhatsApp Business, you will need a smartphone running Android or iOS (obviously) and a new number. A new number because WhatsApp doesn’t allow WhatsApp Messenger and Whatsapp Business app to have the same number. But if you want to use your WhatsApp messenger number for the WhatsApp business app, you can do so by migrating the same number to WhatsApp business (as shown in the image below).
Note: If you have an existing WhatsApp Messenger account, you can easily migrate your account, including chat history and media, to a new WhatsApp Business account. But later if you want to move from WhatsApp Business app to WhatsApp Messenger, you can’t move the chat history from WhatsApp business back to WhatsApp Messenger.
Download and set up the Whatsapp-for-business app:
2. Verify your business phone number.
3. Set your business name and category. To add description and address, click on “Show more options”.
4. Build your profile: You can enter all these details while setting up your WhatsApp business account or you can go to settings to fill it later.
Once you click on the edit (pencil) icon, you can add/edit details of your business. From here you can update:
WhatsApp business phone number
Your business’s description and location
Working days and hours
Email and website address
Your business’s status
If you are a micro-business that has just started using a messaging channel to take orders, address customer queries, where the customer base is small, you can work without any kind of automation and one person can handle all the queries, then WhatsApp Business is right for you.
But if you’re a medium-scale business, enterprise, or even a small business looking to expand, sell and provide support to a large customer base, then you should go for WhatsApp APIs as it provides better integration, automation, and control over your messaging.