Using WhatsApp for business
WhatsApp business mobile App. The benefits and why it is a great business tool. Dan informs why he is using Whatsapp for business and why it is the chosen method of communication for workflow and increasing efficiency.
Have you tried using Whatsapp for business? Here’s why I’m using it for my business and why I love it.
I’ve used WhatsApp for many years as a way to communicate with family and friends. The mobile app is easy to use, visually pleasing and perfectly functional as a messaging application.
Why use WhatsApp for business?
I first started using Whatsapp for business when I managed a team of engineers as a method of communication. We could send videos and photos to each other easily.
It was only when I started up my coaching business I saw the amazing potential WhatsApp has to offer.
I started travelling the world with my family (find out more about me here) and as I moved through various countries, I discovered that using data to communicate is far more cost effective and functional than typical phone calls and text messages. The benefit of data is that you aren’t just limited to calls and texts as you can Google, use apps, plus make calls and send messages in other ways.
All I need is a phone, a camera, a laptop and data
I started my business coaching as a digital nomad working remotely. For my business, I need a phone, a camera, a laptop and data. I create social media content on my YouTube channel Dans the Engineer and LinkedIn and I business coach my clients one on one.
All coaching sessions are via WhatsApp call and video wherever I may be in the world.
When I was researching WhatApp as a choice of business communication, I discovered the WhatsApp business app. It’s like the normal WhatsApp except it has a few additional features which I cover further down.
What works better for me is that you can use the business app with a different mobile number. I have the normal WhatsApp and business WhatsApp on my phone with different numbers. It separates personal and business correspondence with is great for that all important work life balance.
The business version has the number I have which isn’t in any phone. You can’t call it normally or text the number because I won’t respond, I purely have the number for WhatsApp.
Choosing one main method of communication to increase efficiency
The reason I have limited how someone can contact me is because in my previous role and owning a business that I sold, I found that the multiple methods of communication really made my workflow inefficient. I was constantly distracted by phone calls and the habit of checking all my apps to ensure I didn’t miss anything which could be business critical.
These days in my new business I make it clear to my clients that WhatsApp is the method of communication. You can email me, but I honestly rarely check my emails anymore. Of course, email has its place, but it isn’t my first choice off communicating with my clients.
The benefits of using WhatsApp for business
- You can tell when the recipient receives the message and when they read the message.
- It is easy to send media messages including documents.
- You can link the app to your desktop so you can send files directly from your PC (download WhatsApp for MAC or Desktop here).
- You can make voice and video calls as well as chat.
- Can custom label chats to distinguish between chats such as; clients, suppliers, enquiries and more.
- Low data usage.
- Automatic replies.
- Increased engagement with contacts – stories and broadcast messages.
- Backup chats.
- Create group chats.
- WhatsApp etiquette is very casual oppose to formal emails.
I find when I WhatsApp my clients, I do so in a way that I would talk to them face to face. When emailing, the etiquette is to correspond in a manner which isn’t very authentic. I am a huge believer in treating people like humans and not robots and talking in my normal manner is far more personal. In fact, my bespoke service is one of my companies selling points.
How much data do WhatsApp calls use?
WhatsApp doesn’t use much data. I use Wi-Fi whenever possible but when I have to use mobile data, it doesn’t tear through my data allowance costing me hefty bills.
Below shows how much data a 1 hour WhatsApp call uses.
Using WhatsApp effectively for sales
My sales technique is rather simple. I post social media content and blog posts which drives traffic to my website. Once on my website you can browse my services and is an icon permanently active which allows you to WhatsApp me. Potential clients WhatsApp me, we have a chat and if they want to proceed, I send them a link to sign up with my coaching or to purchase a course. It is effective, quick, easy and efficient.
The WhatsApp business App has a function where you can label chats. I co-ordinate the labels so I can easily see paying clients who have priority, potential clients or general business chats.
You can create groups like normal WhatsApp to include chats amongst multiple users, but you can also create Broadcast messages. I do this when I want to send out a message to multiple contacts but don’t want to message each contact individually. It might be a link to a new video I think they might find useful. A broadcast message is sent to multiple contacts, but the recipients cannot see who else it has gone to.
The app has a number of automatic responses. If someone messages you for the first time or hasn’t chatted with you for over 14 days, an automatic response can pop up. You can also set short codes for quick replies. I use this when someone is asking about my services. Instead of typing the same thing multiple times, I press a couple of buttons and it sends them a pre-written message. This saves me time.
Backup your chats
A very important feature is the ability to backup your chats. I am able to backup the chats to my Google Drive over WI-Fi which I do regularly. You are also able to screenshot any conversations which might be useful if you want to save the screenshot image as evidence of quote approval or similar.
Is WhatsApp the best method of communication?
Although I have other apps for methods of communication, WhatsApp is my go-to platform. I rarely check traditional text messages and I only schedule calls so calling me is pointless. This is to manage my workflow. I am not ignoring my clients or potential clients at all. I am simply in control of my time. Anybody who wants to make an enquiry has all the information required on my website and my automatic replies let’s them know I am there, and I will respond when I can. There is a photo of me so people can put a face to a name, and I post WhatsApp status updates. These are similar to Insta and Facebook stories to let your audience know what you are up to – or subtle promotions of your services.
I have been talking to a financial advisor recently and originally, we were communicating via email which was very formal. I asked if he had WhatsApp which he did and before you know it we were sending emojis and photos. The chat was casual and although it is all business related, I feel like our relationship improves due to personal nature of WhatsApp. I believe you can remain professional by talking in manner which is personal and casual.
Is WhatsApp the future?
WhatsApp also appears to be developing their platform which allows 3rd party integration which will be interesting. I am all for efficient work processes, so I look forward to seeing what is released.
As I travelled through Asia, WhatsApp seems to be the normal method of communication on a personal level and business. It makes sense because it removes the need to purchase additional sim cards whilst abroad if you don’t need to. You just need data. You can also keep your WhatsApp number on your mobile and replace the sim card but keep your original WhatsApp number. I constantly change sim cards due to being in different countries, so this is ideal.
Do I recommend WhatsApp for business?
Do I recommend it for other businesses? I think it would be foolish to not explore it. My business is very different to other businesses and WhatsApp works very VERY well for me. It might not be ideal for the main method of communication for your business, but it still can have a place.
I am always happy to chat more about my experience using it and making it part of my business process. WhatsApp me and we can have a chat!
Written by Dan Jackson AKA Dans the Engineer in Bali, Indonesia.