Last week WhatsApp launched another mobile app 'WhatsApp Business App', a new service which will "make it easier for businesses to connect with customers and more convenient for customers to chat with the businesses that matter to them."
Facebook and Twitter have already transformed the way businesses connect with customers, with customers now accustomed to instant messaging and expecting quick replies.
WhatsApp has 1.3 billion users around the world, so you could say it's surprising they haven't tapped into the business market before.
55 billion WhatsApp messages are sent per day, so giving customers the chance to connect with businesses through this popular service could be the next evolution in customer service.
What is the WhatsApp Business Mobile App?
WhatsApp Business App will initially be available only on Android for small businesses in the UK, Italy, Indonesia, USA, and Mexico, as the company trials the service in these regions.
Small businesses can download the app and register their company for free. WhatsApp will then verify the phone number and business profile before it is made available to customers. This is so customers know they are talking to the verified business.
Customers won't need to download the app, they'll be able to find business profiles through their existing WhatsApp messaging service (provided they are one of the 1.3 billion existing users of course!).
Features of the new app will include:
- WhatsApp messaging on your desktop
- Business profile to help customers find information quickly
- Quick answers to F.A.Q's
- Message analytics - see how many messages have been read, answered
- 'Away messages' to help customers see when a business is unavailable to answer
WhatsApp says the app will enable businesses to:
- "Build trust with a business profile"
- "Provide customers with a more personal service"
- "Always stay in touch using away messages"
It is thought WhatsApp will aim to trial the app by providing it for free to small businesses on Google Play for Android, with the aim of charging larger companies for the service once it has been tried and tested and releasing it on Apple. You can download the app and set up your small businesses profile using this link.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp.w4b&hl=en