Facebook owned WhatsApp, now boasting 1.3 billion users worldwide, is one of the leading communication tools in the world. As such, businesses have had to adopt to using the app as a channel to connect with customers instantly. The company is now formalizing the app as an official communication tool for small businesses to connect with customers through a stand-alone app customized for business communication.
Announced in September last year and tested in Brazil and India, WhatsApp Business is now rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks.
Small to medium enterprises will easily benefit from this new app by legitimizing customer engagement on WhatsApp.
Geared for small to medium sized enterprises only, here are the main features you can expect from the app;
A business owner can setup an elaborate profile with information like website link, location, and additional contacts.
An ‘Away’ feature allows you to leave a preset message for customers texting you out of business hours. The message can contain additional instructions and answers to frequently asked questions.
The profile can be set-up using a landline, to validate the profile, the user will use the call me for verification option.
The user can use WhatsApp Web for additional efficiency in interacting with customers.
Another helpful feature is the analytics tool, this will allow users to analyze user activity on a mass level. Analytics on the number of read messages and average response time will be accessible for the main user.
WhatsApp is also looking at integrating a payments feature in the near future.
The business app will keep the same primary features as the current main WhatsApp app.
Expected in South Africa in the next few weeks, the app will be available for both Android and iOS.