Getting started with WhatsApp Business: A complete guide

Getting started with WhatsApp Business: A complete guide

WhatsApp

24 Oct 2023

Getting started with WhatsApp Business
Getting started with WhatsApp Business
Getting started with WhatsApp Business

According to PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, and the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay. With an average open rate of 98%, this means that out of every 100 messages sent, 98 are read by your customers, so it’s important to always provide exceptional customer service, even on WhatsApp. 

With this complete guide, you will learn how to set up a WhatsApp Business account, create chatbots, and integrate APIs to improve your customer service efforts. This guide will also help you discover how to engage with your customers in real-time, provide personalised support, and build stronger relationships with your target audience. 

Whether you're a beginner or already familiar with WhatsApp Business, this guide will equip you with the tools and techniques to optimise your business communications and drive growth.

Why Businesses Should Use WhatsApp

WhatsApp is rapidly growing as a preferred customer service channel for businesses. Here's why:

  1. Large user base: WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide - this means that the likelihood of your customers engaging with you on WhatsApp is pretty high.

  2. Accessibility: Most customers are already familiar with WhatsApp, making it an easily accessible platform for customer inquiries. It's a channel that customers prefer and trust.

  3. Real-time communication: WhatsApp allows real-time, instant communication. You can engage with customers promptly, improving their overall experience.

  4. Media: WhatsApp allows you to send images, videos, documents, and even location details, making it convenient for customers to share information and receive assistance.

  5. Personalisation: WhatsApp lets you create a personal connection with your customers. You can provide tailored responses, track customer interactions, and understand their preferences more intimately.

  6. Integrations: You can integrate multiple customer service channels like live chat, chatbots, and broadcasts into WhatsApp, providing customers with multiple ways to connect with your business.

Using WhatsApp as your primary customer service channel improves customer interaction, streamlines support, and ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Understanding WhatsApp Business solutions

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two types of WhatsApp solutions that businesses can use. These are the WhatsApp Business Mobile App for small businesses and the WhatsApp Business platform for medium to large businesses. Understanding which one suits your business needs is essential.

WhatsApp Business mobile app: Perfect for small businesses

The WhatsApp Business mobile app is a mobile app that you can install on up to 4 devices. This lets you chat with customers conveniently from a mobile device. You can download WhatsApp Business for iOS from the Apple App Store and WhatsApp Business for Android from the Google Play Store.

WhatsApp Business platform: For medium to large businesses

The WhatsApp Business Platform is a solution for medium to large businesses. However, it requires integration with the WhatsApp Business API, which not all businesses have the time or resources to do and so they often end up using WhatsApp solution providers like Cue to help them build chatbots, offer live chat and send out broadcasts on WhatsApp. 

Getting started with the WhatsApp Business platform

As simple as it may be to get started with WhatsApp Business, setting up your account requires attention to detail. Many businesses find it beneficial to work with a trusted WhatsApp Business Solution Provider to navigate the complications involved. These providers offer valuable guidance throughout the process, ensuring you meet all the necessary requirements.

Step 1: Submit your WhatsApp Business application

When applying for a WhatsApp Business number, there's a specific checklist of steps and information you need to ensure a smooth and successful application process. First, make sure that the name of your company aligns with your WhatsApp brand; consistency is key. You'll also need a Facebook business ID to link your WhatsApp presence to your Facebook account. Additionally, prepare your brand logo. Cue can help you with this entire process to ensure no mistakes are made.

Next, ensure that your Facebook and website links are functional and up-to-date, as these are essential for verifying your business. It's crucial to specify the region for your solution, as WhatsApp Business numbers are region-specific.

Pay close attention to character limits: the 'About' and 'Description' sections should contain text between 135 and 200 characters. Keeping these steps and requirements in mind will help streamline your WhatsApp Business application process. 

Step 2: Set up your first chatbot

Once your WhatsApp Business account is set up and approved, the next logical step would be to create a welcoming user experience with a WhatsApp chatbot. This automated assistant can greet users, provide essential information, answer common questions quickly, collect user details, schedule appointments, and even track orders for e-commerce businesses. Customise the chatbot's responses to meet your unique business needs, and regularly test and optimise its performance to ensure a smooth user experience.

Step 3: Promote your WhatsApp Business number

Once you've set up your WhatsApp Business account, it's crucial to make it easy for people to connect with you. Here are some effective ways to promote your WhatsApp number:

WhatsApp broadcast

Send out a WhatsApp broadcast to your existing contacts and customers to let them know you're now available on WhatsApp for quick and convenient communication. This is a great way to inform your audience about your presence.

WhatsApp link

Create a customised WhatsApp link using the format https://wa.me/<yournumber>. Share this link on your website, social media profiles, email signatures, and other communication channels. When users click the link, it will open a chat with your WhatsApp number, simplifying the process of starting a conversation.

QR code

Generate a QR code containing your WhatsApp number. You can display this QR code in your physical store, on marketing materials, or on your website. When scanned, it will automatically open a chat with your business on WhatsApp, making it effortless for customers to connect.

Facebook integration

Consider adding a WhatsApp button to your Facebook business page. This allows users to easily start a chat with your business directly from your Facebook page. It's a convenient way to leverage your social media presence for WhatsApp engagement.

Web widget

Embed a WhatsApp widget on your website, making it easy for visitors to start a chat with you.

Social media posts

Share engaging posts on your social media platforms, inviting your followers to connect with you on WhatsApp for exclusive offers and faster support.

Social media buttons

Add WhatsApp buttons to your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles, enabling direct messaging from these platforms.

Website CTA buttons

Incorporate WhatsApp call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your website, encouraging visitors to reach out for inquiries or support.

Print / in-store marketing

Promote your WhatsApp number through printed materials and in-store signage to encourage in-person customers to engage with you.

Email push and email signatures

Include WhatsApp contact details in your email marketing campaigns and signatures to provide customers with an additional channel for communication.

Step 4: Measure and improve

After setting up your WhatsApp Business account and deploying a chatbot to handle customer interactions, it's essential to continuously measure and improve your engagement. 

Consider integrating features like live chat, order tracking, appointment scheduling, and more. Tailor these services to meet the specific needs of your industry and customers.

For instance, as an insurance business, you can use WhatsApp for claim processing, while in retail, it can be used for order status updates. 

Key WhatsApp Business platform features

WhatsApp Business makes it easier for businesses in different industries to service customers. From sending important notifications to creating smooth commerce experiences and delivering exceptional customer care. Here are a few ways that our clients are using WhatsApp Business:

Notifications

Share important updates and information with your customers in real-time. Retail businesses can notify customers of new arrivals, flash sales, or restocked products, whereas logistics businesses can send order tracking updates and delivery notifications.

Promotions

Make promotional offers and discounts more engaging and appealing with WhatsApp Business. As an insurance business, you can offer discounted premiums or referral bonuses to policyholders. Affinity Health reduced customer service costs by 73%, while over 88% of surveyed members responded positively to communicating on WhatsApp.

Commerce

Create a smoother, faster buying experience by enabling transactions in WhatsApp. Retail businesses can allow customers to browse products, place orders, and make payments. Automotive businesses can schedule vehicle servicing, book test drives, and process payments. Since switching to Cue, AutoZone reduced email and call engagements by 40% in their first month while growing overall engagement by 13%.

Customer care

Improve customer support by offering quick and convenient assistance. Insurance businesses can offer policy information, claims assistance, and premium inquiries. While education providers can assist students with enrollment, course-related queries, and tech support. Richfield increased response rates by 7x and conversion rates by 65% after switching to Cue to boost their customer service efforts.

WhatsApp Business frequently asked questions

Navigating the world of WhatsApp Business doesn't have to be complex. We're here to provide straightforward answers to some of the most common questions you might have. Whether you're curious about pricing, promotional messages, or its integration with your CRM system, we've got you covered. Let's dive into these bite-sized FAQs and shed light on the essentials of the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Can I use the WhatsApp Business platform for free?

The WhatsApp Business Platform is not free. However, the exact pricing details will depend on various factors, such as your location, message volume, and the services provided by your customer service software provider.

Can I send promotional messages using the WhatsApp Business Platform?

Yes, you can send promotional messages using the WhatsApp Business Platform. However, all messages need to be within a pre-approved template. 

Can I use the WhatsApp Business Platform for customer support?

Absolutely! The WhatsApp Business Platform offers powerful features for customer support. These include automated responses, two-way communication, and notifications. Making proper use of these features can significantly improve your customer support capabilities.

Can I integrate WhatsApp Business Platform with my existing CRM system?

Yes, the WhatsApp Business Platform can be integrated with your existing CRM system. This integration enables centralised customer data, streamlined workflows, and personalised support.

Is the WhatsApp Business Platform secure?

Absolutely. WhatsApp places a high emphasis on security. Communication via the API is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of your messages.

Do I need to ask my customers for consent?

A customer gives you consent once they initiate a conversation on WhatsApp. There is no need for a consent form.

Can I use my own WhatsApp number or do I need to get a new one?

You’re more than welcome to use your own number. However, your preferred service provider can also create and assign a number for you to use on WhatsApp Business. It’s important to note that using your own WhatsApp number means you will need to deregister and delete your WhatsApp account, losing access to any data. 

Do I need to have a Facebook / Meta page to use WhatsApp Business?

In order to make use of the WhatsApp Business Platform and all of its benefits, yes, you are required to have a Facebook page and Facebook Business Manager account.

What are the WhatsApp Business verification steps?

In order to use the WhatsApp Business Platform and make full use of the solution, you are required to verify your business on Meta Business Manager. Here’s how to verify your business.

What happens if I don’t verify my business with Meta?

You will still be able to use the WhatsApp Business Platform features but with limitations. One key limitation is the number of messages you are allowed to send in a day. This will be capped at 250.

Start talking to customers on WhatsApp

The potential of the WhatsApp Business Platform goes beyond automated responses and rich media sharing. It allows you to create real-time connections and provide tailored support that resonates with each customer. From live chat, to chat widgets and creating and sending broadcasts.

If you have questions or ideas about what you're looking to do with WhatsApp Business, then book a demo to chat with someone from our team.


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