WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download app available to businesses, which greatly doubles as an extension of your company’s sales and/or customer service department.
The basic premise of WhatsApp Business is that customers can initiate a conversation with your business via the WhatsApp platform. Why is this so important? According to Statista in 2021, WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messaging app with two billion active users per month. In Malaysia alone, 98.7% chooses WhatsApp as their preferred communication platform. These statistics reflect the fact that most of your customers not only have WhatsApp, but even more utilises WhatsApp as part of their everyday lifestyle.
As businesses seek to meet customers when and where they are at, WhatsApp Business is a mighty communication tool that enables businesses to connect with your customers 24/7 via direct messages on the go. When it comes to sales, it is particularly handy for prospects looking for quick information on your products and services. On the post-sales side of customer service, it is very useful for those looking to solve problems quickly, because it allows your customers to send information like screenshots and videos to help you resolve their issues more efficiently.
But how do you fully utilise WhatsApp Business to your advantage? Here’s how to get started:
1. Install WhatsApp Business
First, head over to Apple Store or Google Play to download and install the app on your mobile device. To register, you’ll need a different phone number from your personal WhatsApp account. We strongly recommend using a number that you set aside purely for your business usage for a couple of reasons:
- Encourage better work life balance as it’s more straightforward to distinguish between personal conversations and business conversations especially after work hours
- Protect your privacy when you have a team who needs shared access to your WhatsApp Business account
- Ensure you sound professional when communicating with customers and prevent accidental personal messages
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Next, verify your phone number by entering a 6-digit code sent via SMS or voice call. If you’re using an AVANSER virtual mobile number, please allow the timer to run out, then select the ‘Call Me’ verification method. You will soon receive a call from a US country code number for the 6-digit code.
2. Keep your customers informed 24/7
Create a business profile
A profile is an important way for customers to know more about your business. Make sure that your profile is always up-to-date. Fill in your business name and choose the category that best describes what you do. List your contact information in your profile so that customers can reach out to you easily. You can also list your business address, website and hours of operation so that they have all the essential info they need conveniently at their fingertips.
Create a catalogue of the products and services you offer
With WhatsApp Business, you can create a catalogue of the products and services you offer. This makes it easy for customers to browse through your offerings, so they can make purchases quickly. You can also share your catalogue with people who message you, so they don’t have to ask if you stock a particular product or service.
You can find this feature under the ‘catalogue’ tab in the business tools menu. Once you’ve created your catalogue, it’s ready to be shared with customers.
When someone sends a message asking about a product or service, simply choose from one of these options:
- Send an individual product by tapping the attachment button, selecting ‘catalogue’, and choosing from the list of available items.
- Share your entire catalog by tapping the attachment button, selecting ‘catalogue’, and choosing the ‘send catalogue’ option. This will share all of your products in one go.
3. Respond and nurture your leads with ease and speed
Set up automated greeting message
Your greeting message will be shown to new customers who contact you for the first time. This way, they’ll know who you are and what you can do for them right off the bat. To set up a greeting message, select the ‘greeting message’ tab in the business tools menu. Craft and customise your greeting message depending on your business or use case to start off strong.
Set up automated away message
Automated away message plays a key role in helping customers have a right expectation on when they’ll receive a reply from you. It can be used to let customers know that you’re unavailable or out of office at the moment and will respond when you get a chance. To set up an away message, select the ‘away message’ tab in the business tools menu. Remember to pick a time frame that best suits your message from the dropdown menu.
Set up quick replies for frequently asked questions
Do you receive lots of messages from customers asking the same question? Save time and energy by setting up message templates for frequently asked questions. To set up quick replies, select the ‘quick replies’ tab in the business tools menu. When someone asks a frequent question regarding a product or service, shipping information, refund policies etc, simply type ‘/’ and select the relevant quick replies that you’ve previously set up. This helps to ensure every query gets answered comprehensively and quickly.
4. Organise and communicate seamlessly
Organise your chats with labels
Similar to folders on the computer, labels allow you to group your chats and/or messages systematically. Yes, you read that right – you have the option to label entire chats or individual messages among the many different chats. You can use these labels to sort and find important conversations or messages faster. To set up labels, select the ‘labels’ tab in the business tools menu. To add a chat or message to any label, simply press and hold the chat or message and select the label icon.
On top of that, you can also broadcast messages to all chats within the same label instead of messaging them one by one. First, select the ‘labels’ tab in the business tools menu. Then select the label you would like to broadcast to and proceed to type your message. Fret not, the broadcasted message will appear in your customers individual chat with you so they won’t be able to tell that it is a broadcasted message nor can they know who else is under the same label.
Share the responsibility with WhatsApp Web
If you intend to have multiple people working shifts or have a sales or customer support team using the same WhatsApp Business account, WhatsApp Web is a lifesaver. Open a browser on your computer and head over to WhatsApp Web. Connect your WhatsApp Business App to the web version by selecting ‘linked devices’. Then, scan the QR code shown on the browser.
Your team can easily be on top of their communication game without being glued or distracted by their mobile devices. More importantly, Whatsapp Web allows your team to share the responsibility of answering messages. Since everyone has access to the same information, everyone is able to be on the same page when communicating with customers. Spend less time updating each other on the progress of any conversations and more time converting leads.
5. Tell the world your business is on WhatsApp
Make it easier for customers to reach you with short link & QR code
A short link and a unique QR code will be automatically generated for your WhatsApp Business profile. You can find these under the ‘short link’ tab in the business tools menu.
Use these features to help customers connect with you instantly without the hassle of adding your contact details manually or googling it by:
- Linking or installing a WhatsApp chat widget on your website
- Printing your WhatsApp Business QR code on your parcels, flyers, gift cards or even shopping bags
Get started today with WhatsApp Business
Whatsapp Business is free to download, free to use, and free to send messages. Let’s not forget its ability to send extensive formats of multimedia too (event tickets QR code, payment confirmations, invoices, videos on product explanation etc).
Coupled with all the features explored above, there are plenty of things you can do on the app. Not only can you increase sales and reduce customer service costs, but you can also strengthen your business’s brand visibility.
As with all other communication tools, a friendly reminder is to work on ensuring that all the information you share through WhatsApp Business is consistent with the information on your company website and other social media accounts. Keep all information up to date and constantly train your team to have a consistent brand voice. Ultimately, use WhatsApp Business to keep your customers happy by being more present and available to them.
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