Instant messaging service WhatsApp has officially launched WhatsApp Business, a separate app that small businesses can use to connect with their customers. WhatsApp Business App was built with the small business owners in mind. With the app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to customer messages.
Businesses using WhatsApp Business can connect with ordinary WhatsApp users as normal, as there’s no need for ordinary WhatsAppers to download the separate app, the company said. WhatsApp users will know when they are being contacted by a business rather than an individual, as it will be listed as a business account.
Before now, the company has been testing the beta version of WhatsApp Business in select countries which include US, UK, Italy, Indonesia, and Mexico. Whatsapp Business App fully became available in Nigeria late in January 2018.
WhatsApp Business App Features
1. Business Profiles
For businesses that want to easily be seen and discovered by customers, Whatsapp Business App allows users to create a business profile with helpful information for your customers like your address, phone number, business description, email address, and website.
2. Smart Messaging Tools
Save time with the new Whatsapp messaging tools. One of the messaging tools that come with the WhatsApp Business App is “Quick Replies”. The tool lets you save and reuse messages you frequently send so you can easily answer common questions in no time.
Another tool is “Automated Messages”. This allows businesses to set an away message when unable to answer so customers know when to expect a response. You can also create a greeting message to introduce your customers to your business.
3. Messaging Statistics
The messaging statistics feature of the app allows businesses to be able to review simple metrics behind the messages being sent. You can access important metrics such as how many of your messages were successfully sent, how many were delivered and read etc.
4. WhatsApp Web
Aside from using the App to send and receive messages from customers, you can also send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop or laptop making it more accessible for business especially those with customer support team.
How To Download WhatsApp Business App
WhatsApp Business is available today and free to download on Google Play Store for Android users. The iOS version (iPhone & iPad) of the app is not yet available but we will keep you informed when released.
It is a nice move that WhatsApp is going all-in for small businesses. Over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business.
While several early users of the new app in Nigeria said they were impressed with the features of the app, many observed that the important features that small businesses need are still missing such as receiving payments (WhatsApp payment is currently rolling out in India) and the possibility of finding potential customers or advertising to a specific audience like Facebook Ads.