WhatsApp – you either love it – or hate it! Either way – it seems to be the most economical way for entrepreneurs to communicate to their close contacts! Let’s unpack it a bit.
So, a few basics about WhatsApp Messenger – if you didn’t know – it’s freeware and cross-platform messaging service for smartphones. In short – quoting Wikipedia – It uses the Internet to make voice calls, one to one video calls, send text messages, images, GIF’s, videos, documents, user locations, audio files, phone contacts and voice notes using standard cellular mobile numbers.
Users could originally only communicate with other users individually or in groups of individual users, but in as of a few months gap – WhatsApp announced a forthcoming business platform which will enable companies to provide customer service to uses at scale.
Some nice to know info – WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014 – and it is at this day – the fastest growing communications app in the world!
The app features a ‘Status’ update allowing users to update their current status – with visual and video reference and copy updates to a 24-hour timeline feed. This status is then available to all their contacts regardless of status their state of communication with the user – this is then by all accounts a mimic of Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories.
WhatsApp are in fact looking at developing an Enterprise Solution for bigger companies operating at large scale with a global base of customers – for example – airlines, e-commerce sites and banks. I would imagine that this will be a billable service – let’s wait and see.
For those of you who don’t know – WhatsApp was officially made available to PC’s via a web concept called WhatsApp Web – you would of thought that most entrepreneurs would know that – but hey! This marketer and entrepreneur didn’t! There seems to be allot we don’t know actually – I might speak for myself – and that’s ok – at least I’m learning in the process.
I also see that WhatsApp are preparing to monetize with their first move following Facebook Messenger services. Facebook’s Ad Manager will soon let businesses buy ads with the call to action button of ‘Send WhatsApp Message’. Making it easier for people to connect with businesses that they care about. This doesn’t mean that it’s a free for all – it means that the customer must agree to the company making contact via WhatsApp.
There are key areas mentioned in my research that extol the uses of WhatsApp for companies:
Internal Team Communications
Who knows a network marketer? To be sure they use WhatsApp to communicate to their various levels of teams – sharing meeting details, new training and product information. It’s quick – easy – free and immediate – and you can see who’s read your post and who hasn’t. What’s more – you don’t have to beg people to watch out for a message on their phone – because they’re more than likely glued to their phone 24/7 anyway! What’s not to like!
Loads of people I know do their follow up on sales and meetings to check in with the customer on WhatsApp. It’s now acceptable – especially if you already have a relationship with the customer. Again, it’s immediate – from both sides – and one can easily see whether the messages have been delivered, read and replied to.
The response rate vs. an email response is said to be 40% higher on WhatsApp.
Another great tip is to announce new releases, new flavours or a new available time slot for a long-awaited appointment. Keep all the normal protocols in mind – communicate in their home language. Don’t send messages after hours. Respect privacy – don’t share delicate information via WhatsApp – what if a stranger or family member reads the offending message and is upset?
It’s also really a super place to say – Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Merry Christmas, Good Luck for Back to School Even Happy Women’s Day. Remember – first ensure that you have all your client’s permission to communicate with them via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is not necessarily the right platform to be offering support for customers – however – again, if they have given permission – then I see nothing wrong with it. Companies might need more direct sales and face 2 face follow up service – and then WhatsApp is not the app for you. I do know a few entrepreneurs that already use WhatsApp for this – and it works like a bomb for them. I think that the number of requests or issues raised by each client would be a key concern – the more issues – the more WhatsApp messages – which tends to get rather uncool after about the 3rd message about the same issue.
Creative way of using WhatsApp
Many entrepreneurs allow their clients use WhatsApp to place orders or book sessions for themselves. For example, reiki masters, concierge services – taking bookings or orders via WhatsApp – works well.
Another great idea for communicating with your customers via WhatsApp is to remind them of special campaign launches / special deals or special events coming up in your business – and to let them be first to try, first to buy or first to attend. If you have that personal relationship with them then make it worth their while.
Do remember – you need their permission to talk to them on this platform – otherwise it’s an invasion of privacy and you don’t want to be in their bad books.
I haven’t always been a fan of WhatsApp – a WhatsApp sent by an acquaintance can sometimes be an invasion of privacy and a great cause of anger and frustration – however – it really is the cheapest and most convenient way to communicate with an already captive audience. It’s safe, quick, easy to use and above all – it’s free!
The language that most entrepreneurs understand!
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Article originally posted here.