whatsapp for business – a quick take

a boon for budding businesses & home enterprises

how we talk, respond and manage customers is rapidly changing. first it was emails, then came social media. zooooooop! what’s app made it easier, faster and almost in real time.

what’s app business launched in india today. 100k downloads already in place!

personal chat space and has made it extremely seamless and easy to contact people across the world with the touch of a button. in just 9 years into its existence, whatsapp has come up with whatsapp for business, in an attempt to personalise the communication between brands and their customers & other stakeholders.

end of an era for central customer care teams.

now your neighborhood bank branch, your tiffin centre, chai shop, restaurant, why even vegetable vendors, milkmen, newspaper wallah, everyone of them have an opportunity to make a difference in the way they treat their customers. faster, swifter and in real time.

the question is not whether this will happen. the real question is by when do we foresee this transformation to become reality.

keyword is personalisation.

whatsapp for business offers a never before level of personalisation for brands to communicate at a one on one level, making it easier, more honest and real than a boring IVRS or a not-so-well-trained customer care rep.

when the concept of whatsapp for business was beta tested in our own country, it was met with acute cynicism about infringement of personal space and we thought why should we have brands on our existing list of 500-600 contacts? we were privy to this cynicism too!

now, let’s wait and watch how this pans out for others. we have managed to get our hands on the app briefly. we have come up some plus-es and minus-es in a quick span to help you gauge this medium for your businesses or brands that you may represent.

let’s go!

the pros

  1. automate your responses – with the quick reply feature, even if you are out of the office on an emergency, you will be able to respond with your customer/prospect with a predefined message so that the conversation is taken forward.  
  2. analytics– with whatsapp for business, you can track how many messages were successfully sent, read and replied to. this will go a long way in understanding how a customer feels about your brand.
  3. easy migration– if YOU are your brand, using whatsapp for business from the same number might be cumbersome, you think? nope. whatsapp for business offers a migration feature where you can migrate the same number to a whatsapp for business account. so, during business hours, you can work on whatsapp for business and once you are back home, you can switch to your personal account.

whatsapp for business, was created keeping in mind small business owners who cannot splurge on facebook or google to communicate with their prospects.

what are the cons?

  1. a new add on SIM. you cant use your same sim as you have attached your what’s app now. time for that empty sim2 slot to be filled up. with telcos offering aggressive plans, this will be easy. for less than Rs. 400, you can get a sim with a 30 day 1GB per day kind of bandwidth to get started.
  2. only on Android. it has been released only as an android app and is not yet available for the iphone users. an iPhone user is deemed elite.
  3. training required. growing business owners must train their teams to get accustomed to this new way of dealing with the world.
  4. language quality. good brands communicate. great brands communicate with clarity. their levels of language is above average. it is beyond “we will get back to you!”. it is about really making customers feel like royals. this comes with some thinking and good language skills.

we hope this quick piece helps you in getting started!


team firebrand labs

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2 thoughts on “whatsapp for business – a quick take”

  1. Hey Arvind,

    Great share. Whatsapp for business – How cool is that.
    I was actualy talking to my business friend the other day and shared with him how we do business through whatsapp these days.

    Good to see your post on latest technology updates. Looking forward to get more and more updates from your team.

    Off to share this post now.

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