Communication in every business is very vital. With the introduction of social media channels, businesses have become more open to 24/7 communication. WhatsApp has played an important role in communication, however, it held a limitation. Customer service operators whose job had anything to do with communicating via WhatsApp had to necessarily be online to respond to messages. WhatsApp Business was launched to alleviate these problems. The App, which is only available in certain parts of the world, is designed for use by small businesses to easily connect with customers.
WhatsApp Business adds key features like dedicated business profiles for details like email address, business description, store addresses, and website; smart messaging tools like greetings, quick replies, and away messages; and metrics for how many messages were sent, delivered, and read.
For those who use a business number and a personal one, both the WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger apps can be used on the same device and registered with your different numbers. WhatsApp Business is also compatible with WhatsApp Web, the app’s desktop web browser client.
With the arrival of the new WhatsApp Business small companies can set up their WhatsApp Business profiles by filling out information like a business description, email, address and website.
WhatsApp says people will know when they’re talking to a business because these accounts will be listed as “Business Accounts.” Over time, some of these will become “Confirmed Accounts,” after WhatsApp verifies the account phone number it registered with matches the business phone number.
Once established on the WhatsApp network, businesses can then use a series of tools provided by the app, like smart messaging tools that offer similar technology as what you’d find today in Facebook Messenger.
Businesses will also be able to access messaging statistics, like number of messages read, and they can send and receive messages from the desktop via WhatsApp Web.
While businesses will need to use this new app to communicate with customers, for the general WhatsApp user, there’s no change. They’ll be able to message businesses but can control their experience by blocking numbers and businesses, as well as report spam.
In addition, businesses will only be able to contact people who provided their phone number and agreed to receive messages from the business, the company had previously said.
The Business app will later be joined by an enterprise solution aimed at large businesses with a global customer base – like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks, WhatsApp had said last fall. It didn’t announce any news regarding this solution today, but in the past the company said it would charge for these enterprise tools. Presumably, they’ll be built on top of the current WhatsApp Business core product.
WhatsApp Business is free and available to download now for Android users, though there’s no mention of an iOS release yet. WhatsApp Business is currently available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US, with a global rollout scheduled in the coming weeks.