WhatsApp has been used by companies to communicate with customers for some time now. However, what many people do not know: If you use the conventional WhatsApp Messenger app for business purposes, this is only legal to a limited extent. If you want to represent your company via the messenger, you first have to get WhatsApp's consent. In most cases, data protection regulations are also violated, as the US company can generally access contact data - and thus customer data. Furthermore, there are restrictions if you want to send advertising to your customers via Messenger. To get around all these problems, a separate app was designed for businesses - the WhatsApp Business App.
The WhatsApp Business App makes it easy and legal for businesses to communicate. The app is free of charge and easy to use for anyone who also uses the messenger privately. All you need is a company number to use for the account and you're ready to go.
Everything that involves customer support can now be communicated quickly and easily via this app - whether it's billing enquiries, information about a specific product or service, changes to personal customer data or even the classic individual problem. Push messages for certain events are also possible. For example, registration confirmations, payment confirmations, a current delivery status or a reminder of an upcoming appointment can be forwarded directly to the customer's smartphone.
The basis is a company profile with all important information:
In addition, one can also create a catalogue that presents the company's products and services and is visible to all contacts. Other functions include saved quick responses (e.g. a standard greeting) and labels that can be added to your chats. This can be used, for example, to distinguish between a new customer, a pending payment or a completed order.
In general, the business app is intended for all companies that offer active customer support. Service providers can manage appointments via WhatsApp, delivery services can manage orders, telephone providers can renew prepaid contracts. As soon as a company is in active exchange with end customers, the WhatsApp solution makes sense.
By synchronising contact data, WhatsApp can also access customer data via the business app. So it is somewhat complicated to set up the app in a data protection-compliant way. However, there are several ways to get around this. In the smartphone or app settings, you can deny synchronisation and thus access to smartphone contacts. This means that you have to create each WhatsApp contact manually, but data protection is guaranteed. WhatsApp itself has published several articles on this.
Although ads on WhatsApp were announced for 1 January 2020, the messenger service will probably remain ad-free for the time being. It was planned that ads would be displayed in the status section of WhatsApp, similar to the model of Instagram and Facebook. In the short term, however, it was decided not to implement the plan. However, it can be assumed that this could change quickly at any time, as the changeover would be quick and easy due to the close link between WhatsApp and the Facebook Business Manager.
WhatsApp is not only a channel for private communication, but thanks to the company profiles, it is now also becoming highly relevant as a business channel. Customer support is very easy and possible almost in real time. It should be kept in mind not to assign only one employee with the support of the business account, so that a quick response is always guaranteed. Thanks to this new communication channel, it will be even easier for consumers to get in touch with companies and service providers in the future. The only question is when the first ads will actually appear.
As a digital agency, we are happy to help you with questions about the Whatsapp Business App!