WhatsApp Business is the big bet of Facebook to monetize the billions of conversations taking place on the platform every day between customers and companies all over the world.
It is in fact an alternative version of the personal app designed especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses. That’s why both versions are quite similar and have lots of things in common. However the differences of WhatsApp Business are evident when we take a closer look at the options (Android) or the settings (iPhone)
In the business tools we find all the functions that make the business version an almost mandatory alternative to a standard WhatsApp account, which lacks these functions.
Are you currently using your personal WhatsApp for your company, but consider switching to WhatsApp Business to better take advantage of your efforts on WhatsApp? The extensive article we’ve written about the differences between a Personal WhatsApp and a Business WhatsApp may be of interest. [LINK].
Next we will explain how to create an account and the steps you need to follow to configure WhatsApp Business for your company.
8. Other tools
How to create a WhatsApp Business account
Registering for a WhatsApp Business account is simple: First, you have to download the app through one of the official stores and accept the conditions of use.
During installation you have to grant certain permissions, for example to access the images and videos on the mobile phone, or the contact list. These permissions are required in order to be able to send files in the conversations with your clients.
To verify the phone number associated with the account, it is important to bear in mind that by default this is done with an SMS. If you have associated a landline to your WhatsApp Business you will have to select the call verification option. This option is also useful in case you do not receive the confirmation code by SMS.
In this article we want to focus on how to configure a WhatsApp Business account and not so much on the process of installing the app. For more information on how to create a Whatsapp Business account we recommend you to read the following article in . . . . . .
How to set up the account
The main differences between a personal account and the WhatsApp Business app are obvious in the settings. You can configure the information of your company with the Business Tools. As we have written before this is exclusive of the business version, because the normal app lacks these tools.
In the business tools we find all the functionalities we need to carry out conversations with our clients. With these tools we can create a complete profile of our company, or a catalog of products and services that we offer.
Others will help us manage conversations more effectively. There are also tools that replicate the functions of a CRM and help us to classify customers by using colored labels. And finally, we can check the statistics to have a clearer vision of the number and type of conversations we’ve dealt with on WhatsApp.
We will discuss each of the options in detail below.
The business profile
The company profile in WhatsApp Business consists of several elements. Some of these are essential for any kind of company and others are relevant only depending on the type of company:
Picture: It is the image that represents your company. You can change it by clicking on the current profile picture.
Description: Choose a text that clearly describes what your company does and/or what products and services it offers.
Business address: the address of the company. You have the option to activate the location on the map hence it is important to specify the address correctly.
Category: Choose the most representative category of your company from the list.
Business hours: You can choose between specific hours, always open, or by appointment.
Email: Indicate the email address that customers can use to contact your company.
Website: Add the URL of your company website. You can add up to 2 different websites
Create a catalog
Creating a catalog in WhatsApp Business is a useful feature to show the customers of your company all the available products and services.
Click on the symbol (+) to add a product or service to the catalog and select an image from the image gallery on the mobile phone. You can add up to 10 images for each product in the catalog. If you cannot find a suitable image in the gallery you can take an image with the camera instead.
Next we write the name of the product. There is a maximum of 150 characters, so use this space well.
Optionally we can specify the price of the item, although this field is not mandatory.
In the description we can add any information that may be useful to our users
We can also include a link to the product, e.g. to our ecommerce platform such as Shopify, Woocommerce or Prestashop
Finally we can add an article code that will help us to identify it more easily.
Save and repeat the process for each product that you want to add to the company’s catalog on WhatsApp.
You can share a product from our catalog in the same way that we usually share an image, a document, or a contact. Furthermore, our clients also have access to the catalog to order the products and services offered by our company.
Although the WhatsApp Business catalog may not meet the needs of any company, the messaging tools that we discuss below are very practical to manage our conversations in a much more efficient way than with a personal WhatsApp account.
The business account offers three different message automations: the welcome message, the away message and the quick replies.
Welcome and away messages
Programming a default welcome message is very useful for any business that uses WhatsApp in conversations with its customers. It is a message that will be sent automatically when someone writes us for the first time, or when an existing customer contacts us again after 14 days since the last interaction with our company.
The welcome message can have a maximum of 200 characters. The use of the standard WhatsApp format is allowed which means that we can apply bold, italics, or add emoticons to the text of the message.
If we want to take advantage of the full potential offered by a WhatsApp welcome message we can specify the recipients to whom the predefined message is directed. We can choose between 4 different options: all, not in the contacts, all except, or send only to. With the last two options we can only specify users registered in the contacts of our device.
In the same way we can configure an away message to answer users who contact us outside of business hours. The character limit is identical, but in this case we have the option to choose when the message is going to be sent. We can choose between three options: always, outside of business hours, or custom hours in which case the message will only be sent during the specified hours.
Welcome and away messages are only sent when the device has an internet connection. If your phone is switched off, or if it is out of network coverage there is a possibility that the people who contact us do not receive it.
The quick replies of WhatsApp Business are one of the most interesting features of the application, which will save us a lot of time when responding to customers. These are predefined messages that can be configured as keyboard shortcuts. Quick replies are activated by the slash, that is the «/» symbol plus a word that identifies it, although you can also use alphanumeric characters if you prefer to have your message templates organized in a more structured way.
Before sending a quick reply template there is the possibility to edit it. This is a good option if your answers are identical and only differ by a couple of words, e.g. the name of the customer, the date, or the article code.
With the labels in WhatsApp Business we can assign a category to the conversations with our clients to organize them in the most useful way for the company. By default you already have some labels installed, e.g. new customer, new order, or pending payment. In case the predefined labels do not meet the needs of your company, you can click on the option ‘add new label’ to add the categories that best suit your business. You can create up to 20 different labels.
How to use the WhatsApp Business labels? Let’s imagine that we have an online store and that one of our clients places an order by WhatsApp.
If our device is an iPhone and we are in the main window that shows the different conversations, we simply slide the desired chat slightly to the left and click on ‘More …’. From the list of available options we select the option ‘Label chat’. Once the labels window opens we select the ‘new order’ label and return to the previous window. We can add as many labels as we want to the same customer, even create a different one if we can’t find the right label.
On the other hand if we’ve opened the conversation with the client we only have to press and hold the message to open the options menu. We select the option ‘More …’ and then ‘Label’. From here the process is the same; select the corresponding label and return to the previous window after the conversation has been tagged.
If our device runs on Android we press and hold the chat in question to get access to the different options. Several icons appear at the top, e.g. to mute conversations (loudspeaker), to delete a conversation (trash can), or to pin a chat on the list (pin). The icon used to tag a conversation is a label. When we select it, the labels menu opens and we can select one of the options that appear by default, or we can create a new label if we cannot find a suitable category to tag the conversation.
Another useful feature of the labels is that we can add them to an entire chat or tag specific messages within the conversation.
It is also possible to create broadcast lists from labels. The broadcast list message will be sent individually to each user tagged with that label. And if we want to find labeled content, we just have to write the # symbol in the search window followed by the name of the label.
WhatsApp Business Statistics
With the statistics we can obtain information on the number of messages sent, the messages delivered, the messages read and the messages received.
It should be noted that the number of messages sent is not the same as the number of messages delivered, because the latter only counts messages confirmed as received by the recipient.
Perhaps it is not the most useful feature that the business app offers, in fact it seems that Facebook has removed this option from the latest version for iOS. But if our account has statistics, they can give us a pretty good idea about the evolution of the number of conversations that we are dealing with on WhatsApp.
Opening new communication channels and new ways of interacting with your customers is a great way to look for new business opportunities for your company. Implementing WhatsApp Business in your commercial strategy can help to improve communications with your customers. How much easier it is to communicate with your company