It has been five long years since WhatsApp added its desktop version of the app named ‘WhatsApp Web’. Now the web platform of WhatsApp is getting a significant upgrade in the form of voice and video calls. The feature, which is currently in the Beta testing stage, is slowly being rolled out to people across the globe. WhatsApp’s voice and video calling feature on the mobile platform has become an excellent addition to the app in the recent years. It was particularly very useful for small and medium-sized businesses during the global pandemic and the lockdowns. Now that the feature is coming to WhatsApp Web, it is important to understand how businesses can benefit from the same.
First let’s look at how you can access the feature once it rolls out. Business owners must download the WhatsApp desktop app and configure it by scanning the QR code using the WhatsApp in their smartphone. Once inside the WhatsApp Web app, business owners can easily initiate the calls by clicking the desired contact number and clicking on the voice or video call icon on the top-left corner. By clicking call, they will be instantly connected to the desired customer. And don’t worry, this convenient calling feature is being rolled out for both Mac and Windows users. So no matter what system you use, WhatsApp Web calling will be available to you.
This convenient voice & video call feature provides superior advantages for businesses. Some of them are
If you are a small/medium business, chances are that you are already using the ubiquitous WhatsApp Business. Since WhatsApp Business provides several benefits like instant response, automatic replies and picture/video support, it becomes a reliable partner to your business. However, there are also some minor inconveniences. The most prominent inconvenience is the fact that you cannot seamlessly switch between calls and chats while using WhatsApp Business on the laptop or desktop (most preferred mode). When helping customers, it is important to not let communications break. Even a few minutes of lag/disruptions could have a major impact on customer perception. Therefore, we can see that WhatsApp Web’s latest feature enhances customer support and adds convenience via seamless chat/call transfer.
It is well-known that WhatsApp prides itself on security. In fact, all customer communications in the app (be it chat, call or video call) is encrypted to ensure the safety and security of the customers. WhatsApp Web’s calling feature will also have end-to-end encryption to ensure that consumers and businesses can rest assured that their call cannot be accessed by others, not even WhatsApp. WhatsApp is also planning to make its desktop app even more secure by replacing the QR code initiation system with a fingerprint system. When rolled out, customers need to just scan their fingerprint to access their WhatsApp Web app.
Low Band Optimization
Many small business owners still use a mobile-based internet service to run their digital business. There are many benefits in doing so, as mobile data/hotspots are cheaper, portable and easy to install. Since small businesses operate at a lower bandwidth, they might face difficulties conducting their video meetings through Zoom or Skype. Since WhatsApp’s mobile calling feature is optimized for operations under lower bandwidth, it is highly expected the same would be implemented in the upcoming desktop calling feature.
Once the call button is pressed on the desktop app, WhatsApp uses a standalone window to initiate the voice or video call. This standalone window can be resized as per need to help you browse or chat while on call. However, don’t worry that you will lose track of the window as you will always be able to notice the WhatsApp’s call window at the top of your screen. This makes it convenient for sending documents and promotions while simultaneously conducting sales calls.
The Next Zoom
If you are a digital business operating in our current times, you are probably having two separate communication structures. During lockdowns, many businesses started using apps like Zoom & Skype to conduct their internal conferences, while using normal calls or WhatsApp calls for communicating with their customers. However this system might change with the desktop calling feature. Even though WhatsApp will initially roll out one-to-one calling feature before video call conferencing, it has the potential to replace Zoom or Skype because of its inherent convenience. By using the same app for both internal and external communications, businesses can drastically reduce the time spent on coordinating and setting up meetings.
After looking at all the benefits, we can clearly see that WhatsApp Web’s video and voice call feature has the potential to change the digital communications strategies of businesses from all domains.