As times change! You change with the times. Since times have change, it has open door for a better, faster and cheaper communication medium called WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a social media communication medium established in January 2010 nd acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014. WhatsApp now has over 1 billion active users with over 30 billion messages shared daily.
That means as a business owner, you must move to where people are moving. The old business adage says, “Be where the customer is.” If your customers are using WhatsApp, think about getting there! If your employees are using WhatsApp think about getting there!
It’s time to maximize WhatsAppp for your business growth. But wait a minute! Let us look at the features of WhatsApp that enhances it for business communication. WhatsApp has seven fold qualities and features that make it suitable for people and business communication.
- WhatsApp is simple.
- WhatsApp is cost effective.
- WhatsApp is popular worldwide.
- WhatsApp is fast and quick.
- WhatsApp is reliable.
- WhatsApp is secure.
- WhatsApp is actively used
Arguably,WhatsApp is becoming more popular than Facebook. It has already replaced SMS and fast becoming our primary mode of communication. The question small business owners are now asking is: How can I levdrage or use WhatsApp to grow my business? Lets look at the 5 creative ways to implement WhatsApp in your business henceforth.
1) Using WhatsApp For Internal Team Communication
If you have a team for your business, you have to stay in touch with them. If you run a big organization, you can consider creating departmental groups which will enhance team communication. Once your team is on board in groups, you’re good to go by sharing information and interacting with them.
People are reluctant to ‘learn’ new things. Best thing about WhatsApp is that almost everyone uses it and it does not require any training. Another advantage is, I don’t need to explicitly ask the team to check WhatsApp as they are anyway hooked to it. As a business owner, you can form groups of Sales & Development team on WhatsApp and share instant messages for which an email is not necessary. Its fast and fun to use.
2) Using WhatsApp For Customer Communication
Here is a sales tip – If you do your followups on WhatsApp instead of direct phone calls, you will get 40% more response. No one appreciates phone calls from unknown numbers but we are more likely to respond to personal messages. When we start using WhatsApp for customer communication, we noticed better response and engagement.
This also gives an opportunity to be little informal. For example, you have sent a quotation to your potential customer but haven’t heard from him, what do you do? You either call him or send a followup mail using formal language. Instead of doing this, if you just send a short message on WhatsApp asking about the status, you might get a quick response.
3) Using WhatsApp For Customer Support
WhatsApp could be a great tool for customer support simple because of its wider reach. Your customers would always prefer to send you a message over WhatsApp rather than calling a helpdesk number.
Small businesses provide a multitude of services, and whether you are an electrician, carpenter or repair computers, you can create video presentations for your customers. The customer support can also extend to live-video help or tutorials to fix something or provide guidance. This will make your company a reliable resource customers can count on, and when they need extended services, you will be well positioned to be the one they call first.
However, offering customer support via WhatsApp may not be a good option for all types of businesses. Mostly, responding to every message on WhatsApp may not be practical for companies that get hundreds of customer calls daily. So, choose WhatsApp as a customer support tool only if you have lesser number of customer requests.
4) Using WhatsApp For Marketing & Promotion
WhatsApp is the new SMS. We’ve realised that WhatsApp can be a very strong marketing tool. It is a good one-to-one platform for direct communication with your clients.
You can use 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 are less restriction on the format and delivery chances are higher.
This doesn’t mean that you should spam your customers with WhatsApp messages. Ideally you should use WhatsApp to connect with existing loyal customers rather than trying to reach new users. Everyone hates messages coming from unknown numbers.
If you really want to get a good response, you will need to come up with the creative ways to promote your business using WhatsApp. For example, Colgate invited people to send selfies of their smile via WhatsApp, to a phone number displayed on the toothpaste pack.
The open rate for WhatsApp messages is 70 percent. So instead of calling customers for feedback, you can create questions for your group that will deliver answers that are relevant to your business. This is marketing research at its best, and it is free.
With the feedback you receive from your customers, you can respond to their requests and improve the products and services you provide. By developing creative and entertaining questionnaires, you can interact with your customers in a way that is not intrusive. And their input can be of great value, which can be rewarded with special offers and coupons to encourage future engagement, brand loyalty and long term customer retention.
Of course, as with all marketing channels, you need to be strategic. Understand how the platform works and what people’s expectations are before you dive in. But once you have a good feel for how it works, you can use these best practices as a roadmap for success and avoid the most common mistakes. That said, give it a try. You’ll engage your followers in a whole new way.