Everyone knows that WhatsApp is one of the most popular ways to keep in touch with friends and family – more than two billion of us use it every month.
Did you also know it can be a powerful business tool? In fact, it offers two business services that can be used to reach thousands of customers. It also offers customer service functions and even enables businesses to deploy chatbots.
By tapping the marketing functionality of one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, businesses can create an additional low-cost, high-engagement channel of communication with their customers. Let’s take a look at how it’s done:
WhatsApp Business Plans
WhatsApp offers two packages for business users: The first is the WhatsApp Business app –free and aimed at smaller to mid-sized businesses (SMEs). You can think of it like WhatsApp’s version of its big brother Facebook’s business pages – basically, it lets you build a corporate presence on the platform with an official account, where you can interact with customers and send broadcast messages to groups of up to 256 people.
The second is their paid-for plan, called the WhatsApp Business Platform. This gives you access to its API functionality. From here, it’s possible to coordinate mass marketing campaigns, broadcasting messages to up to 100,000 contacts a day. As well as the automated messages included in the free model, you can also host chatbots via the API.
However, it’s important to remember that WhatsApp doesn’t let you target users in the same way you can on Facebook or other social networks. As a messaging app, its services are built around two-way communications, and customers have to sign up or opt to contact you before you can be connected.
Broadcasting Your Message
Once you’ve built lists of customers who have opted in to receive communications from you, it’s possible to send messages to hundreds or thousands at a time – 256 via the Business App or 100,000 a day via the Business Platform.
Messages sent via the WhatsApp platform benefit from a high open rate of up to 98 percent, making them ideal for delivering targeted promotions, service announcements, or special offers to groups.
This isn’t like a group chat, though – if individuals respond, the conversation will move to a one-to-one chat. It’s important to remember that messages will only be delivered to customers who have saved your number to their contacts! As we said previously, this isn’t targeted advertising, it’s about holding conversations with people who’ve decided they want to communicate with you.
WhatsApp Business Platform users have more options. With Qubriux, you can integrate WhatsApp into your existing tech stack and use it to create and schedule automated messages to hundreds of thousands of customers every day. They can also create innovative interactive conversational experiences. These can be used to showcase products, services, and brand history and provide many other engaging experiences to help you connect with customers.
Using either of its business platforms, WhatsApp customers can take advantage of e-commerce functionality baked right into the messenger service. This includes creating product catalogs that can be browsed, customer inquiry forms, shopping carts, and full payment services.
One of its most powerful features is that all of this can be done through a conversational interface, allowing visitors to ask questions about products and services before making buying decisions and creating a myriad of opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.
This has the added benefit of significantly reducing instances of cart abandonment – it’s more likely that customers will see the sales process through to completion if they have a friendly voice guiding them along the way!
For a lot of WhatsApp’s business customers, this is where the platform really comes into its own. Instant messaging has proven itself to be a fantastic channel for customer support, troubleshooting, and gathering feedback. We feel like we’re in instantaneous, direct contact – just like on a phone call - but it’s less intrusive and easily fits around other day-to-day activities that might require our attention.
Customer conversations can be personalized – whether they are human-to-human or if we are taking advantage of the exciting potential of automation. Here, users of both business services can deploy chatbots or simple automated messages to assist with frequently asked questions.
The streamlined, two-way nature of conversations on WhatsApp makes it very easy for customers to share images, video, or audio clips, facilitating more efficient troubleshooting. Customer service agents can also quickly track the status of orders or service tickets, providing real-time updates on demand.
One WhatsApp business customer explains here how the platform has enabled it to fully resolve up to 70 percent of its customer service inquiries through messaging, leading to a 36 percent saving in call center costs. This allows it to focus more of its resources on improving the quality of individual customer service experiences.
Secure, Reliable, Fast And Familiar!
The fact is that people love WhatsApp – even ones who might be ambivalent or have negative opinions of Facebook or Meta. Reasons for this include the fact that WhatsApp is free, it’s always available, and it lets us keep a hassle-free channel of communication permanently open between us and our friends and loved ones.
All of these make it a near-perfect platform for brands and marketers to tap into if we’re looking for novel ways to connect to our customers. Just remember that people aren’t used to being bombarded with advertising via the platform and won’t necessarily react positively if they feel that’s what you’re doing! This is why both business services impose some fairly tight limits on the number of broadcast messages that can be sent by brands.
Instead, WhatsApp should be used to build two-way conversations around products and services, the delivery of customer services, the resolution of complaints, and immersive, automated conversation-driven sales opportunities.
Get all of this right, and you can effectively turn one of the world’s most ubiquitous messaging platforms into a powerful tool for building bridges between your brand and its customers and developing new business opportunities.
Want to get WhatsApp for your business with email and SMS in one marketing platform? Drop a line at email@example.com, and we will be in touch with you.