WhatsApp, the social messaging services acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014, is arguably the world’s fastest-growing communication app. As of January 2015, half a billion people globally were regular, active WhatsApp users. These users amazingly are sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day.
It means that Social media networks and messaging apps have changed the way we communicate and for businesses. This implies adopting these technologies to reach their audiences. It occurs due to the utmost messaging application. WhatsApp reveals more than 1.2 billion users globally and businesses have been using it as part of their communications solutions.
Hence, with the official invitation of businesses by the company last year, it is being used for more than just internal communications. However, these can now be used by businesses to interact with their customers even more.
The question small business owners are now inquiring is: How can I use WhatsApp for business?
Let’s focus on the 5 creative ways to implement WhatsApp in your business.
1) Using For Internal Team Communication
Whenever we tried to apply any new tool for internal communication at ProfitBooks, we got resistance from the employees. People are indifferent to ‘learn’ new things. The best thing about WhatsApp indicates that almost everyone uses it and it does not require any training. Another advantage prevails, I don’t need to explicitly ask the team to check WhatsApp as they are anyway hooked to it.
We have structured groups of Sales & a Development team on WhatsApp and share instant messages for which an email is not necessary. It’s fast and fun to use.
With WhatsApp Web, it turns into even easier to type messages using a web browser.
2) Using For Customer Communication
Here goes a sales tip – If you make your followups on WhatsApp instead of direct phone calls, you will get 40% more response. No one esteems phone calls from unknown numbers, but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When we begin using WhatsApp for customer communication, we noticed better response and engagement.
This also provides an opportunity to be a little informal. For example, you have directed a quotation to your potential customer, but haven’t heard from him, what do you do? However, You either call him or send a followup mail using formal language. In place of doing this, you just send a short message on WhatsApp asking about the status. Hence, you might get a quick response.
It shows more and more small businesses using WhatsApp to announce new offers or send festival wishes to their customers. At ProfitBooks, we apply WhatsApp’s calling feature to talk with our international customers.
3) Using For Customer Support
WhatsApp might be a great tool for customer support simply because of its wider reach. Your customers could always prefer to send you a message over WhatsApp rather than calling a helpdesk number or raising a ticket.
NowFloats is a website development platform that uses WhatsApp for customer support. There is a new business like Wazapper that provide tools & API to set up a customer support system using WhatsApp.
However, offering customer support via WhatsApp can not be a good option for all types of businesses. However, responding to every message on WhatsApp may not be practical for companies that get hundreds of customer calls every day.
Thus, choose WhatsApp as a customer support tool only if you have a lesser number of customer requests.
4) Using For Marketing & Promotion
WhatsApp is the new SMS. We’ve realized that WhatsApp can be a very strong marketing tool. It acts as a good one-to-one platform for direct communication with our listeners.
You can operate WhatsApp to send images, audio files, short video clips of your products and text messages to users across the world. Unlike SMS or Email, there is a minor restriction on the format and delivery chances are higher.
This does not mean that you should spam your customers with WhatsApp messages. Ideally, you would use WhatsApp to connect with existing loyal customers rather than trying to reach new users. Everyone distastes messages coming from unknown numbers.
If you desire to get a good response, you will need to come up with creative ways to promote your business using WhatsApp. For instance, Colgate invited people to send selfies of their smile via WhatsApp, to a phone number displayed on the toothpaste package.
5) Creative Usage For Business
People have established new businesses using WhatsApp as a platform. Some are using it to grow their business cost-effectively. Well, there are some companies which provide such concierge services. However, their employees will do anything for you as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.
Here are some concierge services, business models that are prevalent today:
Concierge medicine (also termed boutique medicine, retainer-fee practice, direct care, and membership medicine) is a prevalent concept. The customer pays a flat/annual fee or a retainer in exchange for enhanced, personalized care and better access to their doctors.
The concept was introduced in 1996 when a doctor from Seattle decided to ask his patients to pay an annual fee or a retainer in exchange for highly attentive medicine. The practice became famous rapidly and was accepted by a lot of doctors from all over the world.
Lifestyle Management / Personal Concierge
Lifestyle management is a specialized service where the client outsources his tasks like daily errands management, pet sitting, house sitting, reservations, special events management, shopping, etc. to a commercial firm or a professional.
These concierge brands use their expertise to save time and provide exceptional personalized luxurious service to their high-net-worthed clients.
The hotel concierge leads one of the oldest and most prevalent concierge services provided to VIP and high-net-worth clients. These concierges provide services like making recommending and making restaurant reservations, arranging spa services, booking transportation, procuring tickets for special events, attending and assisting client’s guests, etc.
The increasing popularity and affordability of traveling around the world have led to an addition of a new business model in the concierge industry: the travel concierge (or the trip concierge). The firms contributing such services excel in travel planning and stand out by providing real-time information and 24×7 VIP support to their clients.
These companies know everything about the legal, social and cultural aspects of traveling in other countries and reserve/book everything beforehand for a seamless travel experience.
The Future Of Concierge Services
Mobile devices and the internet have changed the way concierges work. Today, a person residing in New York can ask his assistant residing in India to plan his trip to Egypt. All this can be done seamlessly with just one text message.
The industry is also not untapped and or under-marketed anymore. The developed technology has included AI to concierges, which has led to this industry opening gates to medium-level income clients.
Google’s assistant has all the plans to become your concierge. Assist is a famous automated assistant for messaging and voice. Haptik is building conversational AI for the world. Even Amazon capitalized on this new trend with the introduction of Alexa.
With the new surge in the demand and supply of concierge service, the future of concierge services looks to be very good.
WhatsApp is a powerful communication tool. It has been widely popular due to its simplicity. Hence, apart from using it for personal communication, you can use WhatsApp for your business in various ways. It’s cost-effective and you can get started quickly.
Are you using WhatsApp in your business? Please share your story in the comments below.