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WhatsApp, WhatsApp for Business

How Businesses Can Use WhatsApp to Engage with Their Customers

WhatsApp has become one of the world’s most popular messaging applications with over 2 billion active users worldwide. It allows people to communicate with each other through messages, photos, videos and voice notes. Now because of its immense popularity, it has opened up its platform to allow businesses to use it to communicate with their customers. 

Why has WhatsApp become important for businesses?

WhatsApp Business is now the simplest and fastest way for customers to communicate with your business. It allows brands to create a business profile and use it to engage with customers in the same way that users would normally communicate with their friends and family.

People have grown tired of traditional customer support channels like phone calls and email. Customers don’t want to waste time and money sitting on hold until someone answers their call. Neither do they want to send an email to a generic email address only to get a reply a few days later asking them for more information.

Instead, WhatsApp is far more convenient because it allows a customer to quickly send a message for free and be notified as soon as someone from your team is ready to chat with them. It also allows business to provide additional services beyond customer support that use minimal data compared to traditional websites and social media platforms.

Most brands have set up profiles on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, these platforms have become tools used mainly for one way broadcasting instead of personal communication. In the current age, having a way for customers to engage with your business using WhatsApp signals that you’re a modern business and that customers can expect a prompt and savvy experience when they need to get in touch.

How Can Your Business Use WhatsApp to Engage with Customers?

If you’re serving customers on a regional or a global level, then you should be looking at how you can use WhatsApp to put your customer experience ahead of the competition. Let’s look at some of the ways business are already using WhatsApp to engage with their customers.

Real-time customer support

One of the most common ways that businesses use WhatsApp is to provide real-time customer support. Customers find WhatsApp more convenient than traditional email or phone lines as it is faster and fits into their normal daily method of communication with others.

For example, if a customer has a query about their account they can simply send a message to your WhatsApp channel which can then be answered by the first available agent. While WhatsApp provides a mobile app for small businesses to manage their channel from a single phone, medium to large businesses with customer support teams should look at using a customer support solution like LiveChat to help them manage multiple conversations with customers.

Solutions like these provide a full overview and history of your customer communication in one place. You can also save notes about customers, tag them for easy searching and set up predefined message templates for responding to frequently asked questions.

Signing up new customers

WhatsApp Business is also an effective channel for acquiring new customers as it is a convenient way for them to ask questions and go through the account sign-up process with your staff.

Educational institutions like Richfield even let prospective students request a call-back via their WhatsApp channel. This creates a convenient way to call and convert prospective students who have shown an interest in their study programmes.

Product catalogs

Retailers like Save Hyper use WhatsApp to let customers see their latest products on offer and customers can subscribe to be notified of new offers. This method is far more cost effective and environmentally friendly than printing traditional pamphlets.

Similarly, Richfield also provides a catalog of their short-term and long-term courses with prices.

CRM & Loyalty

Many business today use CRM and loyalty systems as a way to reward customers with loyalty points that can be exchanged for discounts. They also want to ensure that their most loyal customers receive priority treatment.

However, building a loyalty system and website for customers can be a huge project and typically requires users to register and sign in every time they want to view their points balance and manage their account.

But retailers like Checkers have started using WhatsApp as an interface for their Xtra Savings rewards programme. This allows them to quickly deploy and manage a CRM programme in an way that is familiar to most of their customers.

When using a WhatsApp based CRM programme, if a customer has any questions or needs support then they can also be immediately redirected into a real-time customer support chat with your team.

WhatsApp Store Locator

Because WhatsApp allows users to share their location it’s possible to intelligently recommend the nearest store or pickup points to them. Customers can simply share their location and then receive a response with the details of the closest location.

Below is an example of how Health Systems Trust helps users to find their nearest pickup point for chronic medication.

This is a lot more convenient than having to try and use a website’s store locator, which is often built without consideration for how it displays on mobile phones. With just two taps, a customer can find their nearest store using WhatsApp, in less time and using less data than traditional websites.

Sharing photos, videos and documents

Another great way to interact with customers is by using WhatsApp’s rich media features to share photos, videos and documents.

This allows you to share product photos and videos, adverts, catalogues and other important documentation like customer agreements, terms and conditions, application forms, claims forms and more.

Because WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, customers can also share photos, videos and documents with your business securely. This opens up a whole set of potential use cases for streamlining business processes. For example, customers can return signed agreements, send videos or photographs for insurance claims, send photos of their ID or driver’s licenses. Because of WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption this content can be forwarded to your business systems securely.

These are just some of the ways that WhatsApp is being used by businesses to engage with customers. If you’re interested in more ideas you can take a look at some of the case studies we’ve done for Save Hyper and Richfield.

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