With over 2 billion daily users in 180 countries, WhatsApp is the most popular mobile contact channel in the world. The tool is most commonly used to keep in touch with friends and family.

Yet WhatsApp is not only great for communicating with family, friends or colleagues, but also extremely suitable as a contact channel for companies. How easy is it if you as a customer can just app to request some product information?

WhatsApp, however, wants to prevent the platform from being misused for commercial purposes. That is why WhatsApp for business was developed. An excellent solution for companies to enable apps with customers and prospects.

WhatsApp Business offers businesses all the features of the consumer WhatsApp version, such as voice messages, video calls and sharing photos, videos and documents. In addition, WhatsApp Business also offers additional options that make the solution even more interesting for companies.

What is WhatsApp for Business?

WhatsApp is a messaging app from Facebook where users can send text or voice messages and make voice and video calls. Although it is mainly a mobile app, it can also be used on a desktop. From 2018, WhatsApp released WhatsApp for Business to let companies communicate with customers who are on the app.

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WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp API

For business use, WhatsApp has two flavors, depending on the size of the company.

The WhatsApp Business App is intended for small businesses. Available for free for Android and iPhone, it comes with basic support features such as quick replies, tags, and a business profile.

The downside is that it only offers one seat per account. And it is not feasible to share one mobile device. Therefore, it is not ideal for large, professional service teams.

The WhatsApp Business API is built for larger companies with professional customer communication teams.

Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, the WhatsApp Business API does not have its own front-end interface, but can be connected to customer communication solutions such as Steam-connect .

What is the functionality of WhatsApp for Business?

Currently WhatsApp for Business offers the following features:

  • Company profile to include important information such as the company’s address, email, and website.
  • Labels to organize your chats and messages so you can find them easily.
  • Messaging tools to reply to customers quickly.

1. Create a company profile

In your company profile you can set a logo, add your company name and mention important information. Enter your website, address and email address here.

2. Opening hours

The fact that you can set opening hours is very nice about the company profile. You want to be able to answer 24/7, but not sit behind your screen 24/7. If you add your opening hours, customers know where they stand and you can set up automatic messages when you’re not there.

3. Set up auto replies

WhatsApp Business allows you to set up automatic responses, such as out-of-office messages, quick replies, and welcome messages.

4. Track Stats

With WhatsApp Business you can keep an eye on your statistics, for example about sent and received messages. This way you can optimize your performance!

8 facts & figures about WhatsApp that you probably didn’t know yet

If we haven’t convinced you yet that it’s a good idea to use WhatsApp Business for customer contact, we have some facts and figures:

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  • Worldwide, 2 billion people use WhatsApp at least once a month. After WhatsApp come Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
  • WhatsApp is the third most used social media channel in the world.
  • 58% percent of users use the app several times a day.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the number of active users increased by 450 million.
  • In 2022, WhatsApp was the most downloaded in Brazil, the United Kingdom, India and Mexico.
  • 27% of WhatsApp users are between 26 and 35.
  • On New Year’s Eve 2020, a record number of calls was made: 1.4 billion video calls.

Is WhatsApp for Business suitable as a customer contact channel?

As a company it is important that you are where your audience is.

Since WhatsApp is the most popular chat app worldwide, you can use it to connect with customers from all over the world.

There are only 25 countries where WhatsApp is not the market leader.

WhatsApp is hugely popular and that means you can use it for marketing, sales and customer service .

There are a number of reasons why using WhatsApp for Business for customer contact is a good idea:

1. WhatsApp is a valuable communication channel

As a customer service representative, there are many channels through which your customers can reach you: email , live chat , social media , and over the phone.

Serving multiple channels is important for your customers. In fact, research shows that 35% of customers expect a company to pursue an omnichannel strategy.

WhatsApp allows your agents to connect with customers all over the world, on a platform where they are already. You bring your live chat directly to the customer, without them having to go to your site.

In addition, it is a safe channel and all company profiles on WhatsApp are verified, so that it gives customers a familiar feeling.

This way you can really build a relationship with your customer.

By the way, did you know that 9 out of 10 customers prefer to communicate with a company through messages?

2. You can use chatbots

Just like live chat, WhatsApp also has the option of using chatbots. For example, you can answer frequently asked questions with a chatbot, so that your customer service team has more time for important matters.

You can also automate greetings or thank you messages to keep your response time low.

But: don’t leave all communication to your bot. You still need people for personal customer contact.

3. You can integrate it with your other channels

It can be difficult to offer multiple contact channels if you have to maintain them all separately.

WhatsApp can be integrated into software systems such as Steam-connect, so that you can see all incoming messages in one interface.

You can also put a button on your social channels or website that allows visitors to go directly to your WhatsApp.

4. You can create shipping groups to calculate NPS

Collecting feedback is one of the most important roles of customer service.

When you want to collect feedback, you can create a sending group in WhatsApp. This makes it easier to send out surveys and measure your NPS. You can send a link to hundreds of people at once.

People also respond faster to chats than to email.

5. You can enrich your message

As a customer service team, you may just need to send photos, videos or PDFs to your customers.

With WhatsApp you can send all that in one thread. This way you enrich your conversations considerably.

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Customer contact via WhatsApp tips & tricks

WhatsApp is a customer service channel for more and more companies. Since the majority of people use it as their main communication channel, it is a very natural way to interact with companies.

These are our tips to make your customer contact via WhatsApp a success:

1. Always respond within 24 hours

This may sound logical, but quick answers are a pillar to successful customer contact via WhatsApp. 42% of people expect a response from a company within an hour. It also turns out that the faster you respond to replies, the more people are willing to pay you.

2. Use the different content formats

We already mentioned it above: WhatsApp lets you send media and documents. For example, you can send tutorials or how-to videos to your customers.

Plus, using some GIFs will give your customer service a fun, smooth vibe (though you shouldn’t if you’re a funeral director)

3. Adapt your communication style to the platform

WhatsApp is used by everyone all the time and that’s why it asks you to have a more personal and informal tone in your customer interactions. Customers today want to have real conversations and not just react to a one-way street.

In this way you can also express your brand personality even more.

4. Add a chat widget to your website

The WhatsApp Business API allows you to place a chat widget on your website.

This way you can keep the conversation on WhatsApp instead of moving it to phone or email. This ensures greater customer satisfaction.

5. Handle contacts in a software tool

Answering dozens of messages on your phone is not realistic. It takes a lot of time and is not scalable, not to mention how painful your thumbs will be.

Fortunately, we integrated WhatsApp for Business into Steam connect. That way, all your messages arrive in one interface, so that you can then distribute them to agents or customer service representatives.

The great thing about this solution is that all other customer contact also enters Steam-connect and that it makes no difference to a customer if he switches channels in between. You have all the information in the same place.

How can I get started with WhatsApp Business?

Especially for our customers we have a registration form in which you can quickly integrate WhatsApp for Business into Steam-connect. Please contact sales for this. Not a Steam user yet, but are you now very curious about how this omnichannel platform works? Request a free demo .