Without a doubt WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app worldwide. The app has got more monthly active users than similar ones such as Facebook Messenger, or Telegram. In February 2020 WhatsApp announced that it already had more than 2 billion users. In other words, one in four people in the world has the app installed on their mobile phone.
Despite being the most popular app worldwide, there are still markets where other instant messaging applications dominate such as Facebook Messenger in the United States, or Wechat, the most popular application in China.
But today we want to talk about WhatsApp, which comes in two similar versions that can coexist on the same mobile phone, although they cannot share the same number.
Both versions are very similar in appearance, but WhatsApp Business has some special options and useful tools, which the personal version does not offer.
Below you will find the differences between WhatsApp Business and a WhatsApp personal account and the main advantages and disadvantages of each version
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is a version which is specially designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners. Like the standard app you can install it for free and it allows you to send all kinds of content such as text, images, videos or voice notes.
You can also create groups and broadcast lists, send locations, or make video and audio calls. In short, everything you can do with your personal WhatsApp account can be done with WhatsApp Business in a similar way.
The WhatsApp Business interface is very similar to the personal version, but there are differences when you create your profile, because it allows you to put a description of your business.
That makes it easy for users to obtain detailed information about the company. In addition in the profile we can indicate other useful details for our clients such as the company address, the website, the contact email, or the opening hours.
You can also link the WhatsApp Business profile with your business page on Facebook and create direct links so that users can contact your company in a simple way without having to save your contact in their phone book.
What advantages does WhatsApp Business offer your business?
With WhatsApp Business we can create a catalog of products and services offered by our company. In this way, customers can find out the prices of our products and purchase them directly from WhatsApp. The process is similar to creating a company page on Facebook, something that is not possible with a personal page.
This is no surprise, because Facebook is also the owner of WhatsApp and one of its goals is to monetize the traffic generated around the commercial transactions taking place on WhatsApp.
Another difference is that in WhatsApp Business we can tag users and conversations for a personalized follow-up. By default we already have a series of labels, e.g. to mark a new customer or a new order, but we can add new labels that fit the needs of our own business.
With these labels we can group conversations, or send a message to all clients with the same label. Although somewhat rudimentary, it is a CRM. At the moment the processing of your data is still somewhat complicated, since WhatsApp Business does not have a tool to export this data in a structured way. The lack of such a tool is one of the main complaints and obstacles for the use of WhatsApp on an enterprise level. The only solution available to date is copy and paste 🙁
Another big differences between the two versions of WhatsApp and perhaps one of the most important can be found in the messaging tools section. In this section WhatsApp Business offers the possibility to create welcome and away messages, two very useful options when we cannot answer the mobile phone at certain times of the working day.
In this same section we also find the quick answers. These are keyboard shortcuts with predefined messages that help us to easily answer frequently asked questions from our customers without having to type the same message over and over again.
In addition to being able to link the WhatsApp Business account to our company’s profile on Facebook, we can also create direct links that we can share, or publish on social networks or company brochures and catalogs so that customers can easily start a conversation. We can even get this direct link in QR code format, which can be scanned with any modern smartphone to start the conversation without having to use the keyboard.
What is better WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business?
There is no doubt that Whatapp Business offers important advantages for any company that is already having conversations with its users on WhatsApp, or wants to provide a quality service to existing and potential customers.
One of the main advantages is that our clients prefer to communicate by WhatsApp because they use it every day to talk with their family and friends. It is an informal space where salespeople can speak in the language of the client instead of following a standard and impersonal protocol. In addition, WhatsApp messages are not lost in the spam tray like emails.
It is true that WhatsApp also has some drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages is that a WhatsApp account is associated with a single phone number. In other words, if the person who attends this number is not available, no one else could serve the customer at this time.
For a business it is very impractical to have personalized conversations with dozens or hundreds of clients from a single account. One realizes quickly that there is no way to classify customers, or to answer their questions in an agile way. In short, we lose control over the channel and our company’s operations.
How to migrate from WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is specially designed for small businesses. They can take advantage of the specific functions and tools available to offer the best service to their customers.
If you are using your personal WhatsApp to run your business, but you want to take advantage of the WhatsApp Business functionalities, you have no choice but to migrate to the WhatsApp Business app. The reason is, that each account has to be installed with a different phone number. There are basically two ways to start using WhatsApp Business.
The first and easiest way is to install WhatsApp Business with a different number. The landline of your company could be a good solution, because a WhatsApp Business account can be associated with the number of a landline. Associating another mobile number of your company to the account is also a valid solution, you can even consider taking a new number. The downside of both solutions is that all your company contacts have to be transferred manually from one account to another.
The second way is to transfer your personal whatsapp account to a business account, including all your contacts and all your conversations. Basically you would have a copy of your personal account, but this time in the WhatsApp Business app with all the advantages offered by the associated tools and functionalities.
In the ‘How To’ section you will find a guide on how to migrate to WhatsApp Business, whether you have an Android phone or an iOs.
TIP: once you decide to migrate your personal Whatsapp account and convert it into a business account, it is not possible to return to the personal version. The process is final, there is way to get back to the previous version.
How to install whatsapp business and whatsapp on the same phone?
In the previous section we have already explained that it is possible to have a personal WhatsApp and a business version on the same phone. If your smartphone comes with a dual SIM card, the process is very easy, because you simply associate each phone number with the corresponding WhatsApp account.
And as we have explained before, another solution is to associate the Business account with a landline of your company. In case we decide to associate the account to a fixed line its verification would have to be by voice call instead of SMS.
But what happens if we don’t have a fixed number, or if we don’t want to spend € 15/month on a landline exclusively for our WhatsApp Business account?
In this case we can use services like Twilio where we can contract a landline number that can be associated with our WhatsApp Business account for a very modest rate.
The price of this service depends on the country to which the contracted phone number belongs, but in many cases we can get a number for as little as €1 per month.
The possibilities that WhatsApp Business offers us are many, but it is recommendable to avoid certain ‘bad practices’ such as sending mass messages to your clients, sending messages to people who have not previously contacted us, or not completing the details of our company’s profile . But if you make good use of it, the app is an excellent tool that can make the difference between your company and your competitors.