WhatsApp Business is now official , it is available in India and other countries and you can finally create an account . Until now, the only way to prove it was by registering as a beta-tester on WhatsApp, a restriction that has now been lifted.
So, we have finally been able to prove it and we tell you what we think, what is special about it and how it differs from the WhatsApp of a lifetime. Keep in mind, though, that it is a first version, and without a doubt will improve over time.
What is WhatsApp Business?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is WhatsApp Business? The same name says it: it’s a special version of WhatsApp designed for companies to use to communicate with their customers . Specifically, small and medium-sized companies, since those that have a large volume of queries probably need bots or their own systems.
WhatsApp Business is currently available only on Android ( here you can download it on Google Play) and at first glance does not differ too much from normal WhatsApp. It is built on the latter, to which it adds a modest amount of useful tools for companies .
How work for Small Business – Major Features
Registering an account on WhatsApp Business barely differs from doing it on normal WhatsApp. You need to verify your phone number using a code, and if that account already belongs to a normal WhatsApp account, you will be asked to choose where you want to use it: or WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp normal.
The only appreciable changes are visible after checking the phone number, when you must choose the name of the company . Unlike the names in WhatsApp, this is fixed and you can not change it later without deleting the account and re-creating it again.
A profile for your company
While WhatsApp for people on foot can only choose a name, picture and text status, in WhatsApp Business you have a small profile for the company “a lo Facebook”, or Google Maps.
In the profile you can add the address , business hours , category, description, email address and web page of your business. All the fields are optional, so it is the decision of each company if you want to add more or less details.
Those who chat with this account will see this new profile, but only if they enter the user profile. In fact, if they already have this phone number in their phone book, they will see the name with which they have it savedand not the name of your company. It would make sense for this to change in the future.
Otherwise, in the contact list there is no clear indication that you are talking to a company account instead of a personal account. In the past we have seen “badges” of verified profiles, so it is possible that companies have the option to verify the account, in which case they could be distinguished. In the chat itself there is a notice that you are chatting with a profile that could be from a company.
Chat with clients, as well as with people
Talking with clients on WhatsApp Business is practically the same as how WhatsApp chats work. You receive a notification, you can see the chats in the list of chats and in the chat you have exactly the same options to communicate: send documents, photos, audio, contacts and location .
WhatsApp Business does not have any type of profile for clients as it exists in Facebook Messenger, which allows you to add notes for later consultations of that same person. For now, WhatsApp Business chat is identical to WhatsApp … if we exclude what comes next.
We start with the main differences between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business: automatic messages. Since WhatsApp Business settings – Settings companies can set up two types of automatic messages: messages of absence and welcome messages .
The welcome message , optional, is sent to anyone who contacts the profile of your company for the first time, or who has not done so in a period of 14 days. One small criticism: it is your mobile that sends it, so it needs to be on and connected to the network.
The absence message is an automatic response to notify customers that the message has been received, but at that time you can not respond. You have the option to always send it, in a custom interval or after business hours (which you must specify in your company profile). As in the case of the welcome message, it is only sent if your phone is switched on and connected to the Internet.
A WhatsApp Business feature that you will want to have in your WhatsApp of a lifetime are the quick answers. These are pre-recorded phrases that you can assign to a shortcut , useful for phrases that you must repeat over and over again. For example, you can make / goodbye a courteous farewell or that / nostock be “We are very sorry, we are not left in stock at this time”. The possibilities are many.
There is no button to include them, but you must type the bar / so that WhatsApp suggests the ones you have configured. A positive point is that they are not sent simply by choosing them in the list, but they are included in the answer box so that you can edit and customize them before sending them .
Statistics, for now, very basic
Another exclusive section of WhatsApp Business that is not in the normal version is Statistics . However, today seems to be half-cooked and the only thing that shows you is how many messages you have sent, how many have been received, how many have been read and how many have been received.
It reminds a lot of the statistics already present in WhatsApp for some time, although the data is slightly different and the number of messages read and delivered is included . Honestly, I can not think of an important reason for any company to need to know this data, although I suspect that this section of statistics will eventually evolve to a somewhat more complete control panel. For now, it is tremendously basic.
In summary, WhatsApp with added
WhatsApp Business is an idea that was written alone and it is surprising that it took so long to appear. It’s a first version, so you should not wait too long. If you have a company, and you communicate by WhatsApp (or would like to do so), it is an opportunity you can not miss.
The truth is that the differences with respect to normal WhatsApp are minimal, and could be considered more like a WhatsApp that has been put on a series of useful functions for companies . After a period of such long development, the truth is that I expected something more complete and different.
The first time that WhatsApp publicly mentioned their interest in promoting communication with businesses was in August 2016 . It has been more than a year and what we have is a user profile, two automatic messages and pre-recorded messages. Everything helps, of course, but it seems that WhatsApp continues to be cautious in the development of its applications.
In any case, something had to start. The WhatsApp Business of today includes some aces in the sleeve to make the communication of small and medium-sized companies easier, and we hope that it will continue to evolve in the future, at a good pace.