Consider how to use Whatsapp for business.
Whatsapp launched in 2010 as an alternative to paid-for text messaging. Initially users simply shared their status: Available, Busy, At school, At the movies, At work, At the gym – and the one that made us smile ‘Battery about to die’.
As Whatsapp reached its eighth birthday this feature has been reintroduced.
Main features of Whatsapp
Today it offers much more than free text messaging, as users can exchange photos, videos and documents. You can also share your location and use like Skype or Facetime with voice calls. The key differences with Whatsapp are
- It is free to use
- Messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption
- It’s easy to create groups
- There is (currently) no advertising
- It’s also available on the desktop
Security is a big feature of Whatsapp and it claims no one can listen to your calls or read your messages, but security firms have made claims that it’s not as secure as it thinks it is.
1. WhatsApp for team communication
One of the great aspects of WhatsApp is that employees don’t need to be trained on how to use it. Most people with a smartphone now use the app for personal reasons, therefore are already tuned in on how to use it. By adding a WhatsApp group chat for all employees to join, they will more likely see messages and respond quicker, than through emails for example.
We’ve seen examples where this has been used by people working remotely or in different countries and they have a group Whatsapp account. It’s a quick way to keep everyone in the loop and because there isn’t too much space in the text area, messages tend to be shorter.
2. WhatsApp for customer communication
Most customers hate having a random number call their phone and the majority of the time, they refuse to answer it. Customers are more likely to communicate with businesses via WhatsApp as they can see who is contacting as it is also more informal. This form of communication may be much more effective for small businesses who have long-term client relationships, otherwise it may appear too intrusive – it’s all about finding the right balance.
The key here is to seek permission and ask customers to permit this form of contact. We’ve seen examples where a store has taken a customer’s mobile, to let them know when an item is back in stock and an enterprising store assistant has contacted the customer about a completely different matter, as shown here in this example.
3. WhatsApp for sending files
One of the major changes is the ability to send files in many formats; PDFs, documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. WhatsApp allows you to send documents up to 100 MB. File sharing can be useful for clients as well as team members and if you’re working with an agency, a great way to share photos and videos of new products!
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