The WhatsApp Business App is one of the most searched business messaging app on the Internet today. For countries with many WhatsApp monthly active users (MAUs), the WhatsApp Business App is an indispensable tool for many local businesses. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to use the app to reach more customers and connect with them.
Interested in using WhatsApp for your business but don’t know how? We’ve put together a guide to show you how to use WhatsApp Business for Sales and Support teams. Check out our A to Z guide for setting up a WhatsApp CRM for your company here.
What is WhatsApp Business App?
Companies started using WhatsApp for Business long before WhatsApp Business App. Many businesses were actually using personal WhatsApp accounts to message their customers, which prompted WhatsApp to do something about it.
The WhatsApp Business App is a business messaging app for small businesses. Although similar to WhatsApp, it has few additional features to help businesses chat with customers. The WhatsApp Business App is available on Android and iOS.
To set up an account you’ll need a phone and sim card. You cannot use the same sim card that you use for personal WhatsApp. If you would like to have your WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App account on the same phone, you’ll need a dual sim phone.
It’s important to understand that WhatsApp Business App is limited to one user on one device. If you anticipate many team members needing access, you should consider a WhatsApp Business API account for your company.
How to Create a WhatsApp Business App Account
To start, download WhatsApp Business App from the Play Store or Apple Store and verify your number. Next, complete the Business Profile by uploading a profile picture and adding a business name, description, address, website, operating hours and more.
When visitors click on your Business Profile, they’ll see a pop-up showing the account is unverified. Unfortunately, there is no place in the app to ask for a WhatsApp Business App account to be verified.
Although WhatsApp’s FAQ claims that large brands will be verified, we have never seen this happen. We don’t expect large brands to use WhatsApp Business App. If you need a verified account please apply for a WhatsApp Business API account instead.
WhatsApp Business App: Catalog
Many small businesses in Asia and South America use WhatsApp as their digital storefront. To make this even easier, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business Catalog to help businesses showcase and share their products and services.
Compared to building an e-commerce website from scratch, the WhatsApp Business App Catalog is free, easy to set up, and user-friendly even for the layman. Using it is as simple as clicking on the Catalog feature in-app and start uploading your products.
The WhatsApp Business Catalog allows product listing of up to 500 items where you can name the items, add a 5000-word description each, attach a link, organize by item code, and add a price. The currency used is based on your sim card country code.
Once your Catalog is ready, it’s time to get the word out via your Catalog link and Item link. Anyone with your Catalog link can browse the entire catalog, while the Item link is specific to the product only.
Business owners have three options when sharing these links. You can either send it in-app to all your contacts in a conversation, copy and paste the link onto other sites or share the link on social media platforms.
The WhatsApp Business App Catalog is an important tool for small businesses. It helps customers get the basic information they need. Now let’s talk about how you get your customers to find your WhatsApp Catalog in the first place.
WhatsApp Business App: Finding Your Customers
Along with features, WhatsApp has rules and limitations about using WhatsApp Business App. In this section, we’ll walk you through some best practices on getting your existing customers to message you over WhatsApp and how to attract new ones too!
If you have your customer's numbers handy you might be wondering if you can import your Contacts. While not directly into WhatsApp Business App, you can install Google Contacts on the phone, import contacts and they’ll be available for you to message.
Once you’ve imported your existing customers, you might be wondering how to chat with your prospective customers. Here are some quick tips on linking your Facebook page, using links on your website, and QR codes in-store.
Turn Facebook Page Traffic into WhatsApp Contacts
As part of the Facebook family, WhatsApp Business App can be linked to a Facebook Page to funnel traffic using a WhatsApp Send Message Button, Facebook Ads, or just displaying your WhatsApp number in the about section of your page.
Once added, the WhatsApp button will appear directly below your Facebook Page’s cover image. Keep in mind, the WhatsApp Button will replace the Facebook Messenger Send Message Button if you have one.
Use Short Links To Direct Website Traffic to WhatsApp Business App
Short links or direct links are useful for businesses with a lot of website traffic. Adding a WhatsApp Business App link to a website creates an easy way for a website visitor to go directly into a WhatsApp conversation with your business.
By navigating to Settings > Business Tools > Short Links in WhatsApp Business App you’ll be able to create WhatsApp Short Links. In addition to the link, you can add a message that will be added to the input bar when the WhatsApp user clicks the link.
Turn Foot Traffic Into WhatsApp Contacts with QR Codes
If you have a store with a lot of foot traffic, then placing a print-out of your WhatsApp Business App QR code at your physical storefront is a great way for customers to add you. To find your account’s QR code, go to Business Tools > Short Link > QR Code.
All your customers have to do is to scan the QR code and they’ll be directed to your account right away. Plus, your unique QR code won’t expire unless you reset it or delete your WhatsApp Business App account.
WhatsApp Business App: Messaging Features
Messaging on WhatsApp Business App is as simple and straightforward as messaging with regular WhatsApp. However, WhatsApp Business App does provide a few extra tools to help companies with their messaging productivity.
Since WhatsApp Business App is only really intended to be used by one user on one device, it’s important to get the most you can out of these features. Here’s how you can do that.
Master 1:1 Messaging With Quick Replies
Once you’re messaging with several WhatsApp Contacts at once, handling a busy inbox can be overwhelming. To reply to FAQs faster, you can customize up to 50 WhatsApp Business App Quick Replies and use them in 1:1 chats with your customers.
From Business Tools, click the + button to add new quick replies. Then, edit your message and add a shortcut with up to 3 keywords with a maximum of 15 characters each. These keywords are useful in helping you locate and sort multiple quick replies.
Once you're in a chat, bring up your quick replies by typing '/'. You’ll see a saved list of answers where you can select the best response to the inquiry. These replies are editable in case you need to add or remove information before sending.
While Quick Replies are useful for shortening the response window, it has to be done manually while the user is online. In the event you are unavailable, WhatsApp allows you to automate greeting messages and away messages.
Automate Chats With Greeting And Away Messages
As a business, customer service response speed is key. With automated greeting messages and away messages, your customers will not be left wondering whether you’re around to answer questions.
When enabled, greeting messages are automatically sent to your visitors and customers who message you for the first time or after 14 days of inactivity. To set your greeting message, go to Business Tools, select Greeting Message, edit and save the changes.
There’s also an option to choose who to send the greeting message by including or excluding certain groups of people. The only drawback is you can’t customise greeting messages for each recipient group to make it more personal.
Another equally important automated message is the away message. Similarly, the away message can be enabled or disabled. Although, we would recommend leaving it on in case of someone messaging you when you’re offline.
The away message can be set to sent all the time, on a custom schedule or outside your business hours. While we haven’t found any real purpose to always send an away message, the other two options are useful if you know exactly when you’re unavailable.
Mass Message Customers With Broadcasts
Apart from chatting 1:1, WhatsApp Business App Broadcast allows users to send bulk messages and rich media content to multiple contacts at once for free. Businesses can use it for new product updates, changes in operating hours or store relocation, etc.
While this sounds handy, WhatsApp has put in certain limitations to prevent spamming. Only contacts with your number saved in their phonebook can receive your broadcast message and there’s a maximum number of 256 recipients in each broadcast list.
To broadcast to more than 256 contacts at once, you need to create another broadcast list. Each broadcast list can be labelled and organised into different categories such as new customers, new orders, pending payment and so forth.
In terms of privacy, any broadcasted message will appear in a private chat with the receiver. Much like how BCC or blind carbon copy works in emails, nobody else in your broadcast list can see another person’s reply and contact details.
The only differentiating feature between a 1:1 message and broadcast message in a private chat is the loudspeaker icon. Only business accounts can see the loudspeaker icon next to a broadcasted message, while it appears as a regular message for the contact.
Collaborate With Customers Using Group Messaging
Like Broadcasting, businesses also use WhatsApp Business App Group Messaging to connect with a large audience. The difference is group chats are more collaborative where everyone can interact and see each other’s contact details.
You can invite up to 256 contacts in a group from your contact list. Some common use cases for business group chats include client or customer service groups, product/service beta testing groups for companies, marketing campaign groups and so on.
To invite someone to your group, you can send them the WhatsApp Business App group link and QR code. However, you can’t limit access to anyone with your link so only share it with people you trust. Alternatively, you can revoke public access by resetting the link.
Find it hard to monitor conversations around the clock? You can also choose to disable your contacts’ messaging privileges so your group chat is now akin to a broadcast list - except that everyone can see the messages within the group.
Alternatively, you can assign multiple WhatsApp Business App group admins to help you. Group admins have the right to add or remove people, change group info and allow or disallow members from sending messages.
To work around WhatsApp Business App’s one user, one device policy, having additional group admins is another way of having an extra pair of hands or phone to help you attend to your customers.
Is That Everything You Can Do With WhatsApp Business App?
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