WhatsApp Business is aimed at craft businesses and small businesses. But what advantages does the app offer compared to the known version? And do companies have to pay for it?
From Private To Business App
Since the beginning of 2018, there has also been a business version of the messenger. This allows customers to quickly and directly contact a company. Because it is often easier for customers to chat with a company than to make a call or send an email, but above all vice versa, the app should make it easier for companies to contact their customers actively – and keep track of them.
A distinction must now be made between two applications :
- WhatsApp business app and
- WhatsApp Business API
While the former is intended for small businesses and is free, the Business API addresses medium and large companies that offer even more functions – and is paid for.
What Can The WhatsApp Business App Do?
The business version of WhatsApp offers small businesses some features that the “normal” app for private users does not have. These are, for example:
Company Profile: You can create a page with a company description, email address, phone number, and website. Important information can be found at a glance.
Standard replies: Frequently sent messages can be saved, and to be able to reply to questions that are asked again and again quickly.
Automated Messages: These are designed to greet customers by default or notify them of absences.
Statistics: Statistics can be read, i.e., how many users reach their messages and how many read them. This is particularly interesting if, for example, you send an “offer of the week” or something similar to many customers.
Chat label: Depending on the chat, different colored labels can be assigned, such as identifying a new customer or “paid.” Five of these labels are preconfigured, but you can create your labels as you wish.
As with the standard version, contacts can also be blocked and chats marked as spam. The business app can also receive and send images, voice messages, and files.
Can I Use The Private And Business Versions At The Same Time?
The WhatsApp Business App is designed to separate your professional contacts from your private ones. To use both versions on one smartphone simultaneously, you need a dual SIM smartphone, i.e., two phone numbers.
What About Privacy?
According to WhatsApp, the messages are end-to-end encrypted. However, the chat histories, images, and videos are still stored on non-EU servers, so there are the well-known data protection risks that the private version of WhatsApp also brought with it.
What Else Should I Consider?
WhatsApp Business is (still) only available as an Android version. When and if there will be an iOS version is not certain. In addition, groups in the app are limited to a maximum of 256 members—the provider endeavors to prevent fake profiles by verifying the telephone number provided. Then the company receives a green seal in the profile.
What Can The WhatsApp Business API Do?
The WhatsApp Business API is a service for medium-sized and large companies. For example, the airlines KLM and Singapore Airlines and the travel portal Booking.com use the service. There are still chats, for example, for customer service.
In addition, however, the API offers the possibility of actively contacting customers. WhatsApp lets you pay for these messages. However, customers must agree to this communication, as stipulated by the data protection rules.
A new pricing model will apply to WhatsApp Business API from February 2022:
- Whether companies or private users start the conversation, the costs are different in each case.
- Companies no longer pay per message but for a 24-hour window in a chat. There is only one cost for such a window.
- The costs also vary depending on the country code of the recipient’s phone number.
- 1,000 free conversations per month (both customer and company initiated)
Also Read: Cyber Risks: The Human Factor