Social media networks and messaging apps have changed the way we communicate, and for businesses it means adopting these technologies to reach their audiences. As the largest messaging application, WhatsApp Business has more than 1.2 billion users globally and businesses have been using it as part of their communications solutions.
However, with the official invitation of businesses by the company last year, it is being used for more than just internal communications. WhatsApp can now be used by businesses to interact with their customers even more.
1) Using WhatsApp Business For Internal Team Communication
Whenever we tried to implement any new tool for internal communication at ProfitBooks, we got resistance from the employees. People are reluctant to ‘learn’ new things. Best thing about WhatsApp is that almost everyone uses it and it does not require any training. Another advantage is, I don’t need to explicitly ask the team to check WhatsApp as they are anyway hooked to it.
We have formed groups of Sales & Development team on WhatsApp and share instant messages for which an email is not necessary. Its fast and fun to use.
With WhatsApp Web, it becomes even more easier to type messages using a web browser.
2) Using WhatsApp Business For Customer Communication
Here is a sales tip – If you do your followups on WhatsApp instead of direct phone calls, you will get 40% more response. No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When we start using WhatsApp for customer communication, we noticed better response and engagement.
This also gives an opportunity to be little informal. For example, you have sent a quotation to your potential customer but haven’t heard from him, what do you do? You either call him or send a followup mail using formal language. Instead of doing this, if you just send a short message on WhatsApp Business asking about the status, you might get a quick response.
I’ve started seeing more and more small businesses using WhatsApp Business to announce new offers or send festival wishes to their customers. At ProfitBooks, we use WhatsApp’s calling feature to talk with our international customers.
3) Using WhatsApp Business For Customer Support
WhatsApp could be a great tool for customer support simple because of its wider reach. Your customers would always prefer to send you a message over WhatsApp rather than calling a helpdesk number or raising a ticket.
NowFloats, a website development platform uses WhatsApp for the customer support. Arush Chopra from JustHerbs has been offering skin and product consultations on whatsapp. There are even new business like Wazapper that provide tools & API to setup customer support system using WhatsApp.
However, offering customer support via WhatsApp may not be a good option for all types of businesses. Kritika from cloud telephony company, MyOperator warns that responding to every message on WhatsApp may not be practical for companies that get hundreds of customer calls everyday.
So, choose WhatsApp as a customer support tool only if you have lesser number of customer requests.
4) Using WhatsApp For Marketing & Promotion
Rajat Uppal, national marketing head, Red FM, says, “WhatsApp is the new SMS. We’ve realised that WhatsApp can be a very strong marketing tool. It is a good one-to-one platform for direct communication with our listeners”.
You can use WhatsApp to send images, audio files, short video clips of your products and text messages to users across the world. Unlike SMS or Email, there are less restriction on the format and delivery chances are higher.
This doesn’t mean that you should spam your customers with WhatsApp messages. Ideally you should use WhatsApp to connect with existing loyal customers rather than trying to reach new users. Everyone hates messages coming from unknown numbers.
If you really want to get a good response, you will need to come up with the creative ways to promote your business using WhatsApp. For example, Colgate invited people to send selfies of their smile via WhatsApp, to a phone number displayed on the toothpaste pack. Motivation: a chance to be styled by brand ambassador Sonam Kapoor’s stylist!
5) Creative Usage Of WhatsApp Business
People have built new businesses using WhatsApp as a platform and some are using it to grow their business in a cost effective manner. Lets look at some creative usage of WhatsApp that might give you few ideas for the next project..
This Mumbai-based errand-running service Russsh, uses WhatsApp as a booking platform. You can book a cake, flower delivery or courier service using WhatsApp.
Food Ordering Using WhatsApp
Lot of local restaurants are now offering their users an option to order food using a WhatsApp message. Customers can communicate their preference instantly.
Family doctors have now started offering consultation on WhatsApp. Of course, it can’t replace an in-person visit but you can always text your doctor and ask about common medical queries. Apart from this, medical stores now accept photos of prescription and delivery the medicines.
The Delhi Police last year launched a dedicated helpline powered by WhatsApp: 9910641064. On the launch day, they received more than 23,000 messages and complaints via on this number. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) is providing Volvo bus helpline service through WhatsApp. The service is available for complaints and suggestions from Volvo bus passengers and information related to the buses.
Real-time Customer Service
Let’s face it, providing real-time customer service is a luxury small businesses cannot afford, but with WhatsApp you and your small staff can answer any questions your customers might have quickly. And because the app supports rich media, you can use text, audio or video to provide a personal customer service experience.
Small businesses provide a multitude of services, and whether you are an electrician, carpenter or repair computers, you can create video presentations for your customers. These can be easy how-tos of tasks they can perform on their own that don’t require a professional or something else.
The customer support can also extend to live-video help or tutorials to fix something or provide guidance. This will make your company a reliable resource customers can count on, and when they need extended services, you will be well positioned to be the one they call first.
The open rate for WhatsApp messages is 70 percent. So instead of calling customers for feedback, you can create questions for your group that will deliver answers that are relevant to your business. This is marketing research at its best, and it is free.
With the feedback you receive from your customers, you can respond to their requests and improve the products and services you provide. By developing creative and entertaining questionnaires, you can interact with your customers in a way that is not intrusive. And their input can be of great value, which can be rewarded with special offers and coupons to encourage future engagement, brand loyalty and long term customer retention.
BENEFITS OF WHATSAPP BUSINESS
With around half a billion regular active users, no wonder it is the best platform for the corporate world to promote their business. Installing this software is a great way for businesses to communicate with the potential customers and vice-versa. The aspects that make it the most preferred software for business is its speed, efficiency and free to use. Today, it has become the most popular marketing tool for many businesses. There are many additional benefits, you can reap with Whatsapp marketing software.
- Remarkable Marketing Tool: WhatsApp can be the most useful promoting tool for your business as it can help you to publicize your brand, services, and products, communicate with your purchasers, report new offers and ensure deals. This also allows small and medium companies to enhance client experience and upgrade their customer base extensively. To make this strategy successful, you need two crucial things, a right business plan and contact numbers of your targeted customers. Other than this, this app allows you to send bulk messages, videos, and audio in a single go.
- Improve Customer Service: WhatsApp allows you to improve customer service by connecting you to a wide number of clients and customers. By incorporating this tool into your marketing strategy, you can undoubtedly increase your customer base who are using WhatsApp on their mobiles. This is an easy communication tool that is very helpful for businesses.
- Improve Employee Communication: WhatApp is highly used in many corporate sectors for communicating with the employees. From motivation message to discussion on some project, this tool makes everything easy and simple.
As your WhatsApp group continues to grow, you can personalize the interaction with your customers using one-on-one communication. This is especially important for small businesses, because you can have a direct relationship, where customers can message you if they need a particular product, have a question or need support.
WhatsApp can be accessed on your smartphone, tablet or PC, so you will be able to talk to your customers anytime if you choose to make yourself available.
Creating and Targeting Groups
Your small business probably specializes in a particular product or service, and by creating or targeting groups in WhatsApp that are interested in related topics, you can increase your customer base.
If you have created video content and provide live-support, members will share it with contacts that are outside of the group. This can lead to more users consuming the content, joining the group and eventually even becoming customers.
Share Promotional Codes, Flash Sales
With the new Status feature, you can create special promotional codes your customers can share to redeem at your business. Using the instant photo and location feature, Status can let everyone in your group know about the promotions you are running. This could include a two hour flash sale or a one day special to drive in traffic and create buzz.
Based on interaction levels, you can expand the promotion with WhatsApp-Status exclusive coupons or promotions.
The instant interaction capability of Status means you can provide special access to events you are holding and send a live feed. If you have a special guest chef in your restaurant, a musician in your music store or a renowned architect in your firm, you can share this news with your audience.
Demo Your Product
Whether you make your own products or just sell them as a retailer, you can demo them on Status and let your group know when you have a new item in your inventory.
Even if the customer doesn’t need this particular product now, knowing it is available, what it does, and how to use it will keep the product — and your business — top of mind when the time comes to buy.
You can have weekly, monthly or even daily giveaways to bring foot traffic to your store, or visitors to your website. Since WhatsApp and Status are free, the only cost of such promotions are the promotional products or services you give away. This considerably lowers the overhead of any marketing venture.
Collaborate With Businesses and Partner with Influencers
By collaborating with nearby businesses and partnering with influencers, you are increasing the number of groups to which you belong. They don’t have to be in the same industry. But with Status, you can become part of all these conversations.
Even if members of the other groups aren’t interested in your product or services, they might mention you in conversations on WhatsApp or other social media platforms.
WhatsApp, as a communication tool, continues to evolve and add more features — like Status — with more likely in the future. It is a versatile platform that lets you send files, images, and short video clips about your products and services.
But the key to using WhatsApp effectively is to avoid abusing the relationships you build with your audience these. Measure your interactions so each message you send has value. Don’t make every conversation about making a sale. Remember other users have the power to delete your message with a single click.
With the new Status feature, WhatsApp for business is now more valuable than ever for businesses. Use the existing features to provide valuable engagement with your audience as a way of spreading the word about your brand and learning more about your customers’ needs