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Digital communication has become a necessity in today’s business landscape. Companies of all shapes and sizes are looking to enhance their communication & marketing strategies. This has led to a rise in demand for good digital communication platforms. As one of the leading communication platforms, WhatsApp launched its WhatsApp Business platform with the aim of providing business communication solutions to companies from all domains.
WhatsApp has gained a lot of momentum in recent years because of its easy-to-use and feature-rich platform. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the platform and briefly touch up on some of its most prominent features.
What is WhatsApp Business and why is it so popular
Launched as a pilot program in 2017, WhatsApp Business is a platform that is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses help communicate with their customers better. Modelled after WhatsApp, the application is similar to the customer-facing application and operates similarly. However, the app provides additional features like enhanced profiles, quick replies, broadcasting & QR/link generation.
WhatsApp Business was further expanded into an API launched to help large enterprises. This application interface can be integrated into custom platforms to provide complete workplace solutions. Some of the features provided by the API include complete message automation, chatbots, shared inbox, etc. Both the business application & API allows businesses to market their products & services to a broad audience (since WhatsApp has over 2 billion users) and make use of the most advanced features like in-app payments, QR code generation, etc. This makes WhatsApp Business a potential tool for businesses of all sizes.
13 critical WhatsApp Business features to help you grow in 2023
Using WhatsApp Business is beneficial for companies as they get access to customers across the globe. In order to take advantage of that reach, companies need to identify & exploit critical features that the application offers. We’ve identified 13 features that’ll help companies grow in 2023 and beyond. They are as follows:
Send automated replies for frequently asked questions
While the basic WhatsApp Business application only allows businesses to send automated greeting messages and away messages to customers, a WhatsApp API chatbot provides much more options. With a WhatsApp chatbot, you can automate chat threads to conduct a complete conversation autonomously and solve customer queries instantly. For instance, you can add a list of the most frequently asked questions & automate the answers based on customer replies. This ability to automate complete conversations provides various unique customer service opportunities to emerging companies.
Organize your chats with labels
Any company in the growth phase will need to identify the efficiency of its WhatsApp strategy. Therefore, they need measures to segregate their customer communication to understand where they stand in the sales & marketing funnel. Labels also act as a notifier for other team members and help them manage customer communications better. To create a label in WhatsApp Business, you need to
- Open WhatsApp Business
- Click on Chats → More Options (three dots)
- Click on Labels → Add.
- Enter the required name & click on OK.
WhatsApp allows companies to create 20 labels & they can be added to any chat by long-pressing the chat and selecting the desired label.
Use chatbots to scale your customer support
WhatsApp chatbots allow companies to provide instant customer support efficiently through their website and digital platforms. Since these are no-code chatbots, your company doesn't need to contact coding experts to create custom chatbots. Either your team or your business partner can create automated chatbot threads that can handle multiple queries and help customers resolve their queries instantly.
Since automated chatbots can be operated 24/7 with little to no workforce, they are the perfect fit for small & medium enterprises.
Suggested read: How to Create a WhatsApp Chatbot: No-code Guide
Share your catalog with products and services
One of the most underutilized features of WhatsApp is the catalog feature. WhatsApp catalogs are also called mobile storefronts as businesses can showcase all the information about their products (pictures, details & prices). This allows customers to see the product images & select the desired product instantly without the need to chat with your team. You can check out our blog on how to create a WhatsApp product catalog.
In today’s competitive world, finishing the sale in the least amount of interactions is essential. WhatsApp Payments enable companies to accept in-app payments directly through the chat screen. This ability to complete the entire sale in the app itself is particularly beneficial to small & medium companies that compete with larger enterprises in the same domain. The best way to incorporate WhatsApp Payments into your workflow is to add them along with your catalogs or automated chat threads.
Use quick replies and answer queries faster
In the same vein as automated replies, WhatsApp Business (the basic app developed for small businesses) offers quick replies that allow users to preload frequent chats/replies & trigger them using the ‘/’ operator. To add messages to Quick Replies, you need to follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp Business
- Click on More Options (three dots) → WhatsApp Business Tools.
- Click on Quick Replies → Add
- Add the desired message to the field and save.
- Now the Quick Reply will be shown when you press ‘/’ in the chat screen.
In-depth analysis of messages
To grow in today’s business environment, it’s critical to analyze each and every part of your business strategy. WhatsApp Business enables companies to generate unique conversational insights with the aid of account & chat metrics. From basic reports like account activity, and the number of messages sent/delivered to custom reports based on geographical, topical & demographic segmentation, companies can generate the right insights to analyze their messaging efforts. In addition, labels & tags can be used to further segment the data and create even more detailed reports.
Integration with Facebook shops
Not many know that Facebook has added Shops to WhatsApp in 2021. When customers view your company’s shop on Facebook, they can directly connect with your WhatsApp account and chat with you directly. This allows companies to create an omnichannel customer experience that helps them close the sales cycle faster. It’s not just about having an app in the market, but ensuring the app is integrated into your customers’ workflow and providing complete customer support.
QR Codes that help you connect with customers
WhatsApp’s QR code feature is not fully explored by many companies since it is a relatively younger feature. By placing QR codes on online and offline properties, you are opening avenues for direct connection to your customers as they just simply need to scan the code. QR codes are especially great if you have a blended strategy that focuses on both your retail and digital customers. This scan-and-go technology makes it easy for both customers and businesses to convert to in-app purchases.
Click-to-chat links that will increase leads
Since Meta (formerly Facebook) bought WhatsApp, the opportunities for integrating WhatsApp into social media platforms have risen sharply. In addition to company websites and direct shares, WhatsApp links can be posted on Facebook, Instagram & social platforms to reach more customers. Since customers can simply click WhatsApp links to connect with your team, they can be showcased with Ads, banners, catalogs and other marketing strategies to generate quality leads.
Must Read: How To Create A Click-To-WhatsApp Ads
Support for email integrations & rich media
Visualizing content is the best way to attract today’s customers & help your products stand out among your competition. Creating rich media (photos/videos) that are informational yet attractive & sharing them through WhatsApp can help you create meaningful & impactful connections with your existing customer base (it can also help attract new customers). This can result in more sales as you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your products.
Furthermore, you can support your email marketing channel with WhatsApp too. Email marketing has been a staple of the industry & companies can modernize their campaigns with the help of WhatsApp. By simply adding your WhatsApp links & QR codes to your outgoing emails, you can help your customers directly connect to your WhatsApp.
Suggested read: WhatsApp vs Email Marketing: Which is best for customer success
WhatsApp Web and desktop apps
While the whole world is moving to a mobile-friendly environment, there’s no denying that desktops are still the preferred device for running a business. While you might’ve been using WhatsApp Business mobile app to manage your communications/marketing, you need to make sure to switch to the WhatsApp Web desktop app as your company grows. If you don’t use WhatsApp Business Web when you scale, you’d be missing out on unique analytical & integration opportunities.
You can also use WhatsApp Web on up to 3 devices to share access with your team. This allows for smoother team collaboration when compared to WhatsApp mobile app. Since you can make voice/video calls through the desktop app, you can rest assured that your team is well-equipped to handle all queries.
WhatsApp Business Directory
The latest feature from WhatsApp Business helps you get discovered by local customers. Officially launched in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Colombia & the UK, the Business Directory offers an end-to-end shopping experience to customers as they can directly search businesses through WhatsApp, initiate conversations & complete the sale in the same chat. Since this emulates the e-commerce shopping experience, customers will naturally navigate to businesses with rich trusted profiles. While this feature is yet to launch in India, it’s important to keep your profile updated and ensure that you are ready to be discovered as soon as the Indian Business Directory is launched.
All of these features are incredibly helpful for boosting your business revenue in 2023 & beyond. However, mastering them might prove tough as they require a good understanding of WhatsApp communication & marketing strategies. You can therefore partner with an established WhatsApp Business partner like Gallabox to get comprehensive WhatsApp assistance. Gallabox’s versatile team has experience in handling a range of WhatsApp solutions including API integration, no-code chatbot creation & shared inbox.
WhatsApp Business Features: Frequently Asked Questions
How often does WhatsApp release new features for WhatsApp Business?
Based on historic WhatsApp updates, we cannot give a concrete timeline. However, WhatsApp generally plans & tests 1 to 2 new features every year. To get context, WhatsApp started the initial tests for the latest WhatsApp Business Directory feature in September 2021. Therefore, the frequency of new features can only be ascertained by constantly following WhatsApp (which is something that most WhatsApp business partners do).
How to check if a WhatsApp Business Feature is available in your country?
The easiest and simplest way to check this is by looking for WhatsApp’s official information. WhatsApp’s own FAQ section will have all the necessary information about a particular update. You can also follow WhatsApp’s tweets to get instantly notified of this information. If you feel that these steps are too tedious, you can partner with a knowledgeable WhatsApp Business Solution Provider.
Does the WhatsApp Business pricing change in each country?
Yes. WhatsApp follows a conversation-based pricing plan that is calculated based on your customer’s country code. This applies to business-initiated conversations since you are not charged when you reply to user-initiated conversations (within 24 hours). You can view the detailed pricing chart in WhatsApp’s rate card.
Are there tools for WhatsApp Business?
Since WhatsApp Business is an established communication platform, there are several tools that help you enhance the communication & marketing experience. Some of them include broadcasting assistants, bot developers, WhatsApp CRM service providers, etc.
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