The Ultimate Guide to Using WhatsApp Business
Early this year, popular messaging app WhatsApp rolled out its long-awaited business version of the app, fittingly named WhatsApp Business. The beta version of the app was being used by exclusive testers such as BookMyShow, 1mg, MakeMyTrip, and Netflix, among others, from September of last year.
But with the official roll out, the app has now touched thousands, if not lakhs, of small businesses and other enterprises, giving such ventures a massive opportunity to not only easily and quickly connect with their customers but also maintain a more professional appearance on the app.
Why you should download the WhatsApp Business app
1: Keep your business separate from your personal life
WhatsApp is a very social app and there are chances that you may put up a personal profile picture or share moments of your family on your WhatsApp status. This may be putting off to your clients who may become skeptical of buying from you again. With the WhatsApp Business app, you can keep your personal and business lives separate. You can easily portray a more formal and professional side of your business.
2: Set up a complete business profile
The business app has additional, handy features that allow you to create a business profile with information such as name, profile picture, business address (with map), business category, business description, business hours, email address, and up to 2 website links. Such information is useful for current and potential customers who want to know the credibility of a buyer as well as be able to contact you, when needed. People you message through the business app will also be able to see that the contact belongs to a business account.
3: Benefit from the available business options
Apart from setting a unique business profile, there are other useful features on the app. For instance, you can see message statistics (number of messages sent, delivered, read, and received). You are also able to set “Away Message”, “Greeting Message” and “Quick Replies” and can decide when and how to send them.
Furthermore, you can add a label to every chat – new customer, new order, pending payment, paid, order complete, and custom labels.
4: It works just like the regular WhatsApp
If you are still worried whether or not you will be able to manage the new app, there is no need to fret. Apart from the above features, the app works exactly like your regular WhatsApp. It has the same interface, the same options, and the same accessibilities. Your contact list will show up on the app; you can set up statuses for promotion; delete sent messages; and you can use WhatsApp Web for when you are using your PC.
5: It’s free
Small business owners are always tight on their budget. WhatsApp recognized this and therefore kept their business app completely free just like the regular WhatsApp application. For a free price, the app gives a lot of brilliant business options.
How to download and set-up the app
Currently, the app is only available for Android users so here’s a step-by-step explanation of how you should download and set up your WhatsApp Business account.
1: Search for ‘WhatsApp Business’ on the Play Store and download the app
2: Accept the terms and conditions without reading them
3: Add your business mobile number
To register on the app, you need a mobile number different from the one you are using on your personal WhatsApp. If you have a dual phone, you can simply buy another SIM card and use that. If you don’t, you may have to buy another phone and use a new SIM card to register.
A third option is to simply use your existing number; however, your personal profile will be transferred to a business profile if you do this and you will only be able to use the WhatsApp Business application thereon. After registering, the app will send you an OTP to verify your number. You will get a pop-up option if WhatsApp automatically detect the OTP so you can use that for convenience.
4: Add your business information
It’s time to add your business name and image. We recommend you use your official logo and business name.
Note: Although it has been mentioned that you cannot change your business name once it’s set, we have found a trick to do it. Simply uninstall the app and reinstall it, follow steps 1-3 and change your business name in step 4!
5: Explore the business settings and set them
As already mentioned above, there are a host of business options that you can use to make your business appear more professional. Fill up your required information and set up your messages to start with.
6: Notify your existing business contacts
It’s a good idea now to message your existing business contacts and notify them of your change in number. Request them to only use this number to WhatsApp you from now on. You can use this template:
Good morning! This is xx from xx. We have decided to shift to WhatsApp Business to handle all business-related queries and messages. Please save this number and use this number to get in touch with us. You can also view our business details here. Looking forward to doing business with you. Have a great day!
Also Read: Why Remarketing is an important technique
Tips to use the app for better business
1: Set up your business profile
To get the most out of WhatsApp Business, it’s important to add all the relevant business information to your profile. The most important of which is your profile picture. You can then add your business hours, business website, email address, and location (if necessary). Lastly, you can put your business category and business description. These steps are important to legitimize your business and show that you are serious about it
2: Use messaging tools
Messaging tools such as “Away Message”, “Greeting Message”, and “Quick Replies” are great to secure and maintain your customer relationships. You can set away messages for different times as per your convenience; a greeting message will automatically go out when someone messages you for the first time or after 14 days of no activity; quick replies are great to send out depending on the message reason and really helps to save precious time thinking of replies!
3: Label your chats for better tracking
Depending on the scale and nature of business, you will have different contacts for different purposes. Instead of saving contact names with awkward words such as “Ashna black top June” you can keep adding and updating labels to the chats. What’s more, you can even add custom labels for segregating groups!
4: Use stories to talk about your business
Use stories to inform clients of new products, popular products back in stock, what goes on behind the scenes, awards and recognition you have received, etc.
5: Create different groups to market
You can create different groups for high-value customers and their interests to give them special discounts on existing prices of products to maintain loyalty. You can also give them new product samples, ask for feedback, and request them to give any ideas.
6: Broadcast greetings and important information
On important occasions such as Diwali, Christmas, New Years, etc. you can broadcast greetings to your customers and suppliers to let them know you are thinking of them. This will also help increase your brand recall. Broadcasts can also be used to relay important information such as if you are introducing new products, or if the business will be closed for a couple of days, etc.
What to expect going forward
It’s been 2 months since the launch and even though WhatsApp Inc has not revealed numbers for its active use, WhatsApp Business has received more than 1 million downloads on Google Play. And, going by the current features, the app surely has a bright future ahead. Here’s what to expect in future updates:
- Over time, notable businesses that confirm their account number is the official business number will get a confirmation badge that will further add credibility to their businesses.
- The app will be joined by an enterprise solution aimed at the larger business with a global customer base – like airlines, banks, e-commerce sites, etc. This tool, however, will be charged.
- With UPI payments becoming a reality on the WhatsApp app, we’re sure the feature will soon be rolled on the WhatsApp business app as well – after all, that’s where the business happens! Adding this feature will greatly benefit proprietors and give them the ease of doing business.
- A CRM (customer relationship management) software will be rolled out within 6-9 months for companies using the app.
Has this blog provided you more clarity about the app? Do you use the app already or are planning to use it soon? Let us know all you thoughts, comments, and ideas below!