WhatsApp is a great way for keeping in touch with family, Friends and business. It’s also convenient for customers to contact you and your business. You can now separate family and Friends from business communication using the sister app to WhatsApp, WhatsApp for business. Perfect especially if you have 2 phone numbers, 1 private, 1 business. And there are lots more advantages too. This article explains how you can use WhatsApp Business for 1st class customer care.
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But why should you be using it, or even if you use the normal WhatsApp version, why should you switch?
Well, first off, it’s super important to maintain a variety of communications channels with existing and future clients – here at All Tech Plus we make use of course of WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp through Facebook, our business phone number, Viber, Skype and of course e-mail.
Another reason that we should all be making use of WhatsApp in business, is because of the sheer number of users that make use of it, from WhatsApp themselves:
“More than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.”
But it’s not only friends and family of course, it’s long been used by business too. Hence the separate WhatsApp for Business app. It has the same features that you may be familiar with in the normal app, but with a whole host of other business specific features. What's more, the upgrade process is easy, it's a seamless transition, you won't lose any existing conversations. I personally run both versions, the ordinary one I use for my UK private phone number, and the business version with my business number.
The app, like the standard version is available for use on both Android and Apple based mobile phones from the respective app stores. There is also a version which can be used on your office computer too which makes it really easy to read, and respond to messages conveniently without having to retrieve your phone from your pocket.
The key advantages that the business version will give you are increased professionalism, the ability to keep personal apart from business, plus of course those business specific features which include business profile (a bit like a google for business page), catalogue products (or services), a short link to make easy for clients to contact you using their whatsapp (no need to be in their contacts), default messages, away message, greeting message and quick replies all of which make communications. And did I mention it also free! You get several bonus features in the business version of the app, these are:
the information in your profile is much more comprehensive than that for a normal WhatsApp profile. You can include your phone number of course, the category or sector in which you work, address/postal address, opening hours, email address and websites, and an about you section – very similar to google business page listing.
The Short Link
A really useful feature, it allows prospective clients to contact you easily through WhatsApp even if they don’t have your contact number in their phone. I recommend placing this link in your e-mail signatures, google business page, Facebook page, on adverts and of course your website. Here’s my Short Link https://wa.me/34634343905 - it is basically a clickable web address with the internationalised version of your phone number without the plus sign.
Top tip – you can get a typeable version of the WhatsApp logo from FontAwesome brands. Images must always be from brand site.
Another automatic reply, this can be set to send when customers contact you for the first time, or if it’s been more than 14 days since they contacted you last. Optionally you can turn this on for example for everyone not in your address book, ie. New clients?
If you are selling products, or you could even use it to describe the services you offer. These are also shown on your profile. Your products and services are subject to WhatsApp approval/guidelines. I’ve linked my services to relevant web pages. This of course is another way to not only drive traffic to your website but to allow your client a good deal of self service to find the information they want. In fact, it may well be worth while creating a specific page on your website for each service, this will also help with your SEO, and if you use Google Analytics would be a good way of tracking traffic from WhatsApp products and services.
When you setup your profile you can enter your business hours – when someone messages you outside of these times, this is your auto-reply – it’s a bit like out of office for e-mail.
This is a great way of filtering messages out from certain types of customer, for example you can assign ‘New Client’ labels to New Clients. It sometimes helps to be able to select clients based on a label, perhaps if you wanted to send the same message to all of them – I have a label called ‘Web Clients’ specifically for this. You can select the label from the labels menu, then message customers in that group using a broadcast – they do need to have you in their address book for this however.
It is well worth downloading and installing the desktop app to your laptop or work computer. Once linked with your phone (you'll need to scan a QR code you find from the menu in the mobile app) you can then conveniently access your messages on your main screen leaving the phone in your pocket or briefcase! This also gives you the ability to copy and paste text and easily send images and documents which may be stored on your computer.
The only drawback with the desktop version at the time of writing was that you can't make and receive calls on your computer using the Desktop app, as an alternative you could use Viber for this.
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