What is WhatsApp? Probably this question is just asked by grandmas and grandpas today. Who doesn’t know what WhatsApp is? Who doesn’t use it? In my personal experience, everyone knows and use it, even my grandparents. Indeed, WhatsApp has more than 1billion users all over the world. WhatsApp is available both in your phone, but also as a desktop app in your laptop. And it’s free. With WhatsApp you can do many things: chatting with your friends, create groups, do calls and even video calls, send pictures, videos, voice messages and even documents…and many more…
Have you ever thought about using WhatsApp as a tool for your business?
If you find it an easy, user friendly tool to use to communicate with your friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances, clients…then what about using it also to work and collaborate?
Some time ago, WhatsApp marked the news:
“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam. “
From that moment on, businesses have been flooding WhatsApp with emailed enquiries over how they could access the network. But businesses want more than just WhatsApp as it is now. They want analytics, infrastructure for sending messages to large numbers of customers at once, automated messages or “bots”, new functionalities to share ideas, files and to collaborate, and more security.
Finally, in January 2018 WhatsApp announced the release of the new app WhatsApp Business. It is a free Android app created for businesses so that they can interact and communicate internally or externally with customers, easily by using a tool that they already know.
WhatsApp Business will even improve the business experience
The new functionalities are:
- Business Profiles: companies and organizations can have and create their business profile, facilitating the communication with customers, giving immediate useful information such as a business description, email or physical address and link to the website.
- Messaging Tools: Quick replies for fast answers to the FAQ, greeting messages for customers and away messages to inform them you are busy.
- Messaging Statistics: Just like other social media, you can review simple metrics like the number of messages read, to monitor your work.
- WhatsApp Web: use the app WhatsApp Business also in your desktop.
- Account Type: your business account, linked to the phone number of your organization, so that customers are sure they are chatting with the right profile.
- Spam: you as user and as customer or private user will be able of course to block or report as spam also businesses profiles.
The new WhatsApp Business app seems to have produced already very positive results. Indeed, over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil consider WhatsApp a valuable tool to help them communicate with customers and grow their business. As a consequence, the app is spreading all over the world: it is now available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, U.K. and U.S.
If WhatsApp Business will continue riding at this pace, evolving and becoming even more useful for bigger businesses and companies, how will the future scenario look like?
Will WhatsApp Business become one of the main competitors of Microsoft Teams, the currently most used communication hub and collaboration app by big businesses and ventures?