Officially launched on January 18, 2018 and already downloaded over 100 thousand times, WhatsApp Business seeks to connect small businesses with customers easily. Users of the normal WhatsApp messaging app who run small businesses were already taking advantage of it being the communication tool dearest to 1.3 billion users on their mobile devices. And this latest from the stable of WhatsApp incorporated proofs to be a viable solution to the needs of its global users.
Whether WhatsApp Business app is actually what you expect it to be depends on what you think about the following introductory features. Before that, it’s good you know that WhatsApp Business is a free to download Android app which is available on Google Store. Although Zuckerberg has his mind and hands on monetizing WhatsApp whereby we may expect ads or subscription fee in a near future, they are still ok with the app collecting data for Facebook for now. You should also know that the usual WhatsApp is still intact as it is, and users need not make new download.
That said, let’s now see some features of the new WhatsApp Business.
- Business Profile: Before now, when your business interact with a new customer on WhatsApp, you’d naturally make a brief introduction. Apparently, that was done manually each time. Now, things are different with WhatsApp Business because the app automatically serves your customers the basic information like business description, contacts, and opening hour which you fill out during set up.
- Messaging Tools: Remember those kind of automated response tools on web chat? With WhatsApp Business, it comes in form of greeting messages, quick replies and away messages. This enables businesses to be more efficient, not spending time on actively attending to common enquiries.
- WhatsApp Web: You’ll be able to send and receive messages on conventional computers. This would be a great way to establish customer response service for start ups, isn’t it?.
- Messaging Statistics: Businesses need to comparatively analyze which of their communication channels is preferred by customers. On WhatsApp Business, you can review simple metrics so as to make informed business decisions.
- Account Type: WhatsApp Business is distinguished from the normal WhatsApp, so that people will know they are chatting with a business. This is especially great once your account is confirmed and displays the verified icon.
While the rest of the world await its roll out in the coming weeks WhatsApp Business is presently available for free download on Google Play in few countries. These countries are Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, UK and US.
A number of WhatsApp Business users in the mentioned countries are having few complaints though. The fact that the company’s ID has to be a mobile phone number is a limitation because big businesses don’t use mobile numbers and is also not good for search engines. Some of them said WhatsApp may have to come up with business directories. Another challenge, according to them is that, your customers have to save your business number on their phone to be able to contact you via chat, just like the normal WhatsApp. Some also found it difficult to change the company’s name while others could not use their personal WhatsApp once WhatsApp Business was installed.
Well, irrespective of the pros and cons, it is believed that WhatsApp Incorporated has innovators who are up to the task in ensuring the teething challenges are soon overcome. And if your country is not yet covered, it won’t be long!
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