What’s the buzz around the new WhatsApp for Business about?
If you’re just getting wind of this, then we’d like to bring to your attention that WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging platform, now has a separate app aimed at small businesses and/or SMEs. The new app is called WhatsApp Business App. This project has been in the works since September 2017 and the launch has seen the release of a free to downlaod Android version. It was initially only available in the UK and US but it has currently been rolled out to Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
The app is intended to help businesses interact more conveniently with their customers . They do so by leveraging on the fact that *WhatsApp (the messaging platform) already has many users and is very popular. It currently has over 1.3 billion users.
At first glance, it seems more like the day to day *WhatsApp . However upon closer inspection subtle and not subtle differences stick out.
For instance the ‘Call symbol’ on the icon is replaced by a ‘B’…Also on your every day *WhatsApp, the status bar simply reads ‘WhatsApp’. The one for business reads ‘WhatsApp Business’…Duh, right. The juiciness is found when you explore Settings and discover several new key features like:
- Business profiles where you can highlight your email address, add a description about your business and also indicate your website or address.
- Smart messaging tools like greetings, quick replies and away messages; *
- Metrics that indicate the number of messages sent, delivered and/or read.
If you are wondering if this means you need a new phone to operate your business account, then you’ll be happy to know that WhatsApp Business App allows you to register different numbers (one for personal and the other business) on the same device.
More about those Smart Messaging Tools:
We live in a time when so many processes are getting automated and mundane tasks being done away with whenever possible. WhatsApp Business App lets you enjoy several conveniences leveraging on technology advancements.
You can now set Automated Messages. For instance, you can notify your customer when you are unavailable to respond to their needs or querries immediately by setting an away message (that will be automatically sent to any customer(s) who contacts you while you are unavailable). You can also set a greeting message (to welcome your first time customers or notify customer(s) who’s been inactive for over two weeks).
There are those statement or questions you keep responding to over and over because they keep coming up. The new WhatsApp Business App takes the hassle off by letting you customize Quick Replies to answer them.
There is also another new feature called Labels which enables you to tag or label every chat.
Other than these new features, the WhatsApp Business App still has all the regular features like WhatsApp Web or broadcasts. So there is no steep learning curve.
Customers are notified that they are chatting with a business if the business in question has been verified. Thus individual users could block or even report spam as they deem necessary. The good news is that customers do not need to install the new app since they will directly receive messages from WhatsApp Business on WhatsApp Messenger.
All this is wonderful news especially for the African entrepreneur where WhatsApp is currently more popular than Facebook.
Stay tuned as we see even more updates rolled out. In the meantime you can learn more about WhatsApp Business App.
This is definitely a path to monetization for the Facebook owned platform
“We do intend on charging businesses in the future,” WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema told the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t have the details of monetization figured out.” Source
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