At first WhatsApp Business is first introduced in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, UK, United States, now is available in India. Many business owners are waiting to leverage the full power of WhatsApp Business. In today’s post, we are going to discuss “How to Use WhatsApp Business for Better Customer Service Delivery”
WhatsApp Business – What You Need to Know?
WhatsApp Business app would enable companies to connect with their customers and be a part of the messaging platform. This app has over 1.3 billion users worldwide. This app allows businesses to create their own profiles with information like business description, email, store addresses, website. It also provides smart messaging tools to let businesses use quick replies, give fast answers to frequently asked questions. In addition, it has options to send greetings messages to new customers, set away messages when companies are busy. There are metrics like a number of messages read and WhatsApp Web support to let companies send and receive messages.
WhatsApp Business app allows businesses to set privacy for their profile photo, about information, status. It lets them block any of their contacts and enable read receipts. The app also has a live location feature that helps companies share their live location with their clients and customers. It allows businesses to make voice and video calls. The app provides end-to-end encryption for all messages, calls it circulates to restrict any third-party access.
How to Register and Set Up WhatsApp Business
After you finish downloading the WhatsApp Business app from the Google Play Store, open and go through the initial setup process. Then enter and verify your phone number via a One-Time Password.
Then, enter your business name, which could be your shop name or company name. Once it is created, you cannot change the name of your business. So, enter the name after thinking very carefully about it. Then, you will be redirected to the app’s homepage. The quick camera access shortcut on the left, followed by three tabs – chats, status, and calls. On the top-right, you have a three-dot menu button and at the bottom, you have the icon to start a chat.
WhatsApp Business: Messaging Tools
These can be accessed from business settings, where there is three options – away message, greeting message and quick replies. Away message is used when customers contact you outside of business hours. You can also set an away message to always send when customers ping you on WhatsApp.
The customized ‘greeting message’ greets customers when they contact you the first time or when there are 14 days of inactivity. The ‘quick replies’ makes it easier to communicate with the customers.
In WhatsApp Business app, you can hide last seen, profile photo, status from everyone. All conversations are end-to-end encrypted. There is two-step verification for additional security. You could even change your phone number, and could also delete your account. Moreover, you can use Google Drive to back and restore your chat history.
Yes, the WhatsApp Business app looks interesting and is highly beneficial for users who have a small or medium-sized business. How they can use the WhatsApp Business app to its full potential remains to be seen.
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How can WhatsApp Business help small businesses?
Around with over 1.3 billion monthly active users in WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business wants that platform should be more users friendly for small businesses. In addition to WhatsApp Business, Customers can communicate within. Whatsapp Business is free to download and access. Yet, WhatsApp intends to monetize with a subscription fee or advertisements later.
WhatsApp Business added new features allowing small businesses to give details about themselves and respond to customers. So, it helps to create a business profile with detailed information with their address, website and contact number. Customers can reach out to them through messages or calls.
Further, the app provides businesses with some smart messaging tools such as quick replies. These quick replies are a cluster of custom messages prepared in advance. Moreover, it helps to provide a quick answer to frequently asked questions. Also, it enables to address queries from multiple users in less time.
WhatsApp is working to bring out the option to make UPI payment for users and with various Indian banks, National Payments Corporation of India. Through Whatsapp Business, customers can pay merchants within WhatsApp and the money will be directly sent to their bank account.
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Important Steps to Get Started With Whatsapp for Customer Service
So you’ve decided to try WhatsApp as a way to support your customers. Fabulous! But before you actually dive in, you need to think through your options first. Consider the impact that this 1-to-1 channel might have on your specific organization. Chances are it might not have a big influence after all – but if it does, you’ll want to be prepared.
This blog post is an overview to help you through the various phases in your WhatsApp trial: thinking, preparing and launching. They’re all just as crucial. If you don’t want your customers to catch you stressed, slow and totally confused, don’t skip a phase.
Step 1: Your Stakeholder’s Behavior
Using WhatsApp isn’t the perfect solution for all of us. Before you get ahead of yourself and start implementing, there are a few stakeholders you need to consider.
Are your (potential) customers actually ‘on’ WhatsApp?
Chances are very high that they are. But they might also just be the rare exceptions: people in their eighties, for instance. However, don’t be too quick to assume that they don’t use it… Find out for certain first.
Does your team have the capacity to answer the questions from WhatsApp?
If your team is already way too busy to answer phone calls or answering emails, it might be better to postpone your WhatsApp initiative. Unless, of course, you think that adding WhatsApp will decrease the pressure on the phone and email channels.
Step 2: Get Your Team Together
Assemble a WhatsApp team: decide who’s in charge of your overarching goal, and who will reply to queries quickly and efficiently. These are typically members of your customer service team who know how to handle 1-to-1 channels like email and phone. Some companies assign the WhatsApp channel to their social media team, but that often turns out to be a mistake, as social media is mainly about 1-to-many.
Step 3: Involve Your Team
Depending on the type of company you run, organize an introductory meeting or an actual brainstorm session. To get everyone on board, explain the benefits of WhatsApp, translate those benefits to fit your company and do not forgot to discuss the overarching goal. Do you want to shorten the phone queue? Or lower the email volumes? Or get your customer satisfaction rates up?
Step 4: Adapt The Way You Talk
If you already have a general style guide for your customer service team to follow, check if you need to make adjustments to fit the WhatsApp channel. This is no place to sound like a useless robot. Consider your rules around emoticons, preprogrammed messages, humor, etc. Make sure you’re all on the same page: giving the customer the best experience.
Step 5: Get a WhatsApp number
You’ll obviously need a phone number that your customers can use to reach you through WhatsApp. Two options here:
- Buy the cheapest pre-paid SIM card. Online or from a local telephone shop. Keep into account that some providers deactivate a sim card after 6 months of inactivity. Just use that number to have a call every 5.5 months, and you’ll be fine. (Add it to your calendar as a repeat action.)
- Get a phone number with a subscription. This is the more expensive option that gets you peace of mind: you won’t run the risk of disconnection.
If you’re offering international support with WhatsApp, you might want to consider getting different local numbers, depending on the type of company. Generally, this is more important in B2C than B2B.
Step 7: Personalize your WhatsApp account
First add your company name, your logo, email address, URL etc. Then update your status, which is easier than it sounds.
A status update for business purposes should be a helpful description of what your company is doing on WhatsApp. You might want to add the “opening hours” of the WhatsApp channel, for instance. When are you available to respond to queries sent through this channel? Turn the default status (“Hey there, I’m using WhatsApp”) into something much more concrete.
Step 8: Manage Your Messages Like A Pro
There are three options to manage your incoming and outgoing messages:
- A smartphone
- WhatsApp Web (web.whatsapp.com)
- Specialized software for WhatsApp support
Sometimes it’s perfectly possible to start testing WhatsApp support with just a phone. But depending on your company, that might not be feasible. There are four major factors to consider when deciding what the best option is for you:
How big is your team?
- If your company needs only one person answering customer questions through WhatsApp, a smartphone or WhatsApp Web will probably do the trick (at least in the beginning). If, however, your WhatsApp team needs to be bigger, operating from a phone and WhatsApp Web quickly turns into a bottleneck. Specialised software help multiple colleagues collaborate, forward conversations, assign conversations to the right colleague, etc.
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How many incoming questions do you think you’ll be receiving?
- The number of WhatsApp questions remain limited (say maximum 10 a day if you have more than 2 customer service people “on” WhatsApp – this number may vary), you could make do with the phone or WhatsApp Web. But you should get specialized software the minute you get stressed about volume. A large number of incoming questions soon makes WhatsApp an unmanageable channel unless you use professional software.
How many WhatsApp numbers do you manage?
- Lots of companies chose to have various WhatsApp number for various departments, products, brands, countries, etc. But whether you need software in this case, ultimately depends more on who manages the incoming messages and the volume of WhatsApp queries. If a single team manages questions from different numbers, then a multi-number solution will increase your efficiency a lot.
Do you need more advanced features?
- Although getting started quickly can be important to prove whether WhatsApp works for you or not, sometimes a more sophisticated approach is needed. If your manager or boss demands reporting functionalities, easier search abilities or centralized data with the rest of your customer data, the specialized software will be your only way forward.
How Do You Know Which Whatsapp Support Tool Is The Best?
- Pick a software provider with a helpful support team:
- Make sure your tool can support various numbers within the same platform if you require it.
- Check if the tool offers quick responses & automated replies: You can take some workload off your back by using templates and automated replies.
- When testing whether WhatsApp is a viable channel for you, having all your customer data centralized might not be the most important piece of the puzzle.
- WhatsApp is hard to measure. What matters is whether WhatsApp works for your customers and your business. At a later stage, this can become more important.
- Message broadcasting option: Run away as fast as you can if the software provider keeps raving on about their message broadcasting feature.
- What about the smartphone? Another thing to consider: some providers require you to keep your “WhatsApp smartphone” (the smartphone with the SIM number used for WhatsApp support) active at all times. More expensive (but reliable) tools allow you to connect your number once to the system and be done with it.
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