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Talk to Customers as Friends with WhatsApp Business

Written by Konica Minolta

WhatsApp Business reaches people where they constantly are anyway: on their smartphone. WhatsApp Business could even replace email at some point. After all, 1.3 billion people worldwide already use WhatsApp.

It is currently only available for Android, but a version for iOS is in development: WhatsApp Business is a free app that has been developed exclusively for SME owners. The app simplifies customer communication because it features tools that make it easier to automate, sort and quickly answer messages.

Real-time marketing just got easier
Many of the tools now offered by WhatsApp Business have long since been used in email marketing. That is why the app is especially suitable for smaller companies, because just one account and one telephone number are supported. It is free to download and use the app.

This makes WhatsApp Business an additional, easy-to-use channel in communication between companies and their customers and a promising new option alongside the telephone, email and Facebook channels. WhatsApp Web will be of interest to anyone who doesn’t like writing on their smartphone, because it allows users to type messages in the normal way using the computer keyboard.

The quickest type of company presentation
In contrast to what is possible in the private WhatsApp profiles, a business can create a more comprehensive presentation in the Business account. The company profile features address, website, email address and a brief company description. Measures are being prepared to verify companies that use WhatsApp Business. WhatsApp users will then always be able to tell – probably by means of a small green symbol that appears next to the company name – that they are communicating with an official business account.

From completely simple to simply good content
The simple WhatsApp Business functions make it possible to inspire customers and business partners with a wide range of interesting content. Four companies are showing how it is done and showcasing innovative ideas that could certainly be used by SMEs as a creative help for getting started.

  • The Dutch airline KLM sends all relevant data to its passengers via WhatsApp Business. Particularly important here is the fact that the booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass and flight status can be found in one single thread and are thus always to hand.
  • BookMyShow is an Indian company that sells cinema tickets online. Customers are sent a QR code via WhatsApp Business, which is then presented when they arrive at the cinema. This has led to the development of a new communication channel: customers get in touch with the company via WhatsApp – and the company moves part of its customer service operation to this channel.
  • OYO is a platform on which more than 8,000 hotels can be booked. Customers who have made their booking here are given the option to conduct all communication via WhatsApp to make it as simple and convenient as possible.
  • The mayonnaise manufacturer Hellmann’s has significantly increased its customer base using WhatsApp Business. Prospective customers were able to post their phone number and a photo of the contents of their refrigerator via WhatsApp. A chef then immediately got in touch with the users and both of them – connected via WhatsApp – prepared a meal together.

The useful features of WhatsApp Business

  • Answers to frequently asked questions are stored as a template and can be quickly accessed at all times.
  • Greetings and out-of-office messages – like those familiar from email marketing – are now also possible for mobile devices.
  • Customers have the peace of mind that they are in contact with a real company, because the WhatsApp profile is identified as a verified business account. This allows users to see at first glance that they are not communicating with a fake account.
  • WhatsApp Business can be used with a landline number.
  • The app shows how many messages have been sent and read, making it easy to compile statistics within the app.
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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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