The quality of customer service is becoming a must for users when it comes to deciding whether to buy online or in a physical store, making it essential to use new channels of communication with customers to get close to them.
A growing channel that you can use to build a marketing strategy based on immediacy and intimacy is WhatsApp Business, the version of WhatsApp Messenger for business. Among its many functions, the app lets you create a business profile and respond to customers’ queries, automate messaging, add your catalogue and view metrics.
Depending on the size of your business and the daily messages that you need to handle, you have two options: the free version of WhatsApp Busines, perfect for businesses that get 50-500 messages. On the other hand, if you mean to work at scale, you should think about moving to the paid option, WhatsApp Business API, connected to a cloud Help Desk. That’s a subject for another post.
In this post, we are going to look at how to build a marketing strategy with the free version of WhatsApp Business. This option works through a number linked to your business smartphone when you download the app, which is available for Android and iOS. Do you want to learn how to start your WhatsApp adventure? We’re going to give you a complete guide to master this growing channel.
First steps on your journey with WhatsApp Business
Download the app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and enter your phone number. If you already have a WhatsApp Messenger account you can transfer you data to the Business account – bear in mind that you can’t have both apps at the same time, so that if you install them both on the same phone you will only be able to use one linked to your phone number. On the other hand, if you don’t already have a WhatsApp account, you will need to verify your number to create your profile.
Once your number has been verified, you have to add the name of your business, category (clothing and accessories, food, etc.) and a profile picture. We suggest using your logo as your profile picture, that way your users will be able to pick out your messages more easily and you will be positioning your brand. With your profile created, you will see a screen very similar to the WhatsApp Messenger, with chats, statuses and calls. The next step is to complete your business profile to provide more information to customers.
The business profile lets you enter a description of the business, a short introduction and anything you think is important to share with customers, such as your products or services. Similarly, there are sections for the address of the business, opening hours, website, contact email and social media profiles. How can you edit your business profile? Tap More options or Settings depending on whether you’re suing Android or iOS. After you’ve configured the basic options, it’s time to set up your automated messages
Automated messages in WhatsApp Business
The first time someone contacts you, you have the option to set up an initial message that will automatically be sent to people who write to you for the first time to welcome them and explaining how you use the communication channel, whether that’s publicising offers and promotions, new products or other important information. You can tell them your hours of opening for customers or whether you are there 24/7.
How do we do that? Go to Tools > tools for business > welcome message and edit the message and when you’ve done that you can select whether you want the message to be sent to everybody who messages you outside business hours, to people who aren’t in your contacts or select specific contacts.
Another greater feature of the Business version is being able to set an automatic reply to customers who message when you can’t reply or outside normal hours. You can program those messages to be sent at the times you set, whether as a normal message after you’ve started a conversation with a customer, at specific hours for that customer or whether you set working hours on your business profile and the message is sent outside those hours.
- Quick Replies
Perfect for saving time replying to the most common questions, like the opening times of your physical shop, what service or products do you sell, etc.
To set them up, you need to go to Quick Replies and add however many you need, you can write something or add a multimedia file and set the key bind that you need to use to send the reply.
When you reply to a customer with a Quick Reply, you only need to type “/” plus your key word(s) to invoke the bind, and that will bring up the message and you can change it for the particular customer or just send it as it is.
Tip: You can create up to 50 Quick Replies and order them alphabetically or by how often they are used. If a customer’s question includes any key word from your keyboard binds, when you type “/”, you will see the first reply that matches that key word.
Create and share your catalogue via WhatsApp
What better way to position your brand than with WhatsApp, where your product or service catalogue can always be accessed from your profile? With WhatsApp Business you can include images of your products, prices and description of each one. Let us explain how to create one.
First, go to Catalogue in Settings for Business and go to Add a product or image to pick the product images that you want to show, the name of the product or service, its price, a description for customers. You can add a link to the product to take them directly to the listing on your website and include a reference number to make it easier to search for on your site. You can do that as many times as you like and when you need to show a product to a customer, you can do it in the chat, in the Catalogue section that will show up in the lower part of the screen.
Share your WhatsApp with future customers
Now that you’ve set up your business profile, automated messages and your catalogue, you can begin to deal directly with customers. But: How will they know about your WhatsApp? You can create marketing campaigns to announce in ads that from now on people can contact you via WhatsApp and give the link or QR code that WhatsApp gives you. Here’s how:
Under Tools for business, you should go to “Direct Link” and then you be able to access the link and the QR code to share your WhatsApp directly with contacts or in online marketing campaigns, or putting your QR on your products and displaying it in your physical store. You can also personalise the message for when they use the link or the QR code, and so give your customers extra information about how to become a member of your WhatsApp community.
Final tips to help manage WhatsApp every day
Everything’s up and running for you to start a new life of communication with your customers! You start to receive queries about products, handle reservations, delivery status queries, returns and you start to send out promotions to your contacts. How can you manage all this so you don’t miss anything? Here are two extra tips to manage WhatsApp Business on a daily basis:
- You can label chats by subject! All those messages with different queries can be labelled for the subject that is most convenient for you, so when you are searching for a messae on a specific subject, it will be easier to find it. You can also create labels to work the other way round, find contacts by subject to a specific distribution list.
- Analyse the impact of your messages! WhatsApp Business provides metrics so you can analyse the effectiveness of your messages, how many you’ve sent, how many you’ve received, how many have been received and opened.
Now you’re ready to start your WhatsApp Business adventure! At Trilogi – The Ecommerce Agency we are specialists in innovative digital marketing strategies to take your business to the next level.
Contact us to help drive your business!