Starting its journey in 2013 at a ripe 200 million active users, global messaging app WhatsApp has grown substantially, serving more than 2 billion users worldwide today.
Catering to an international market, it comes as no surprise that the messaging behemoth, segued from a leisure messaging app to a fortified business tool.
And, with more and more businesses opting for WhatsApp for Business it becomes critical to master.
However, offering WhatsApp without harnessing its full potential isn’t enough to create loyal and engaged customers. As many businesses come to utilize the app, it becomes more about creating a memorable and unique identity while meeting customer demands.
If you’re a business looking to integrate WhatsApp or already offering this channel, this blog will be an ideal read for you as we share 5 ways to engage customers using WhatsApp.
Be Available On The Customers’ Terms
Over 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day. In addition, WhatsApp recently reported; out of all communication mediums, customers prefer messaging to “get help” and are more likely to make a purchase when they can do so.
Simply offering WhatsApp is a recipe for more engaged customers. It gives them access to your business, on a channel they prefer. Keeping in mind, as previously stated, there are over 2 billion people currently using it to chat with their friends, family, and colleagues – which makes it accessible and convenient for the customer.
What’s more, it’s a global channel serving over 180 countries, so you’re not alienating people based on location. You can meet your customers at various touchpoints within their journey, and expand your reach to consistently engage.
Tip: When communicating with customers on WhatsApp, make sure you’re monitoring response times. Having WhatsApp is a great first step in communicating with your customers but make sure you’re following best practices with the app. Customers should be read and responded to anywhere between 5-10 minutes from their initial outreach. For employees, set a standard time to serve, and if it sounds daunting, set up an automated greeting to ensure customers are greeted in a timely manner.
Optimize Messages With Links and Attachments
With WhatsApp, the capabilities to streamline customer conversations are virtually endless. You can send PDF receipts, add an images requested, collect payments via a link, send scheduled appointment reminders, or link to your website for opening hours.
WhatsApp reduces redirects and keeps customers engaged on the channel they reached out to you on. As an example; If a customer reaches out to collect a receipt they forgot to ask for, you can simply send a PDF via WhatsApp that they can reference whenever they choose. It avoids messy situations like sending an email and it ending up in Spam or asking them to come in and collect it. It keeps the customer engaged and is simple to navigate for the employee.
Utilize WhatsApp Business Features
With the latest enhancement of WhatsApp for Business, beneficial features such as a business profile, quick replies, address location, descriptions, and more become available.
In order to boost customer engagement, we highly suggest optimizing your business profile to ensure customers can easily identify your business and communicate. Think about your logo, phone number, website, and description. If hours of operation are applicable to you, use this section – it’ll deter customers from reaching out with the same inquiry.
In addition, quick replies are a favourable feature that allows employees to address redundant queries with pre-populated answers. This saves employees valuable time, but it also continues to engage the customer with quick response times.
Tip: Quick replies, commonly referred to as “templated messages”, must be approved by WhatsApp before they can be forwarded to your customers.
When responding to customer queries remember that this channel wasn’t designed to be formal. The majority of consumers who leverage WhatsApp are already using it to communicate with friends and family day-to-day.
Consider the tone of voice you use when you communicate on your personal WhatsApp and then find a happy medium between, casual and business professional. For WhatsApp, we recommend personalization tactics such as referencing the customer’s name, adding emojis (if it follows brand standard), addressing product/service purchased, and more.
By humanizing the conversation, you engage them by playing into they already use the app.
When it comes to creating an engaging messaging experience – consistency is key.
Start by ensuring your experience on WhatsApp is similar to communication on other channels. Does your business profile mirror that of your social channels or website? In terms of communication are you considering your brand standards? The verbiage you consistently use? As well as time to respond? Earlier we mentioned that 5-10 minutes should be a standard response time for your WhatsApp channel, but are you also keeping that top of mind for Facebook Messenger and Twitter DM?
By creating a level of consistency, you develop a strong brand identity that becomes recognizable to customers and keeps them engaged.
How Loop Makes Communicating On WhatsApp Effortless
With more and more businesses vying to integrate WhatsApp into their business model, considerations for the management of multiple channels should be top of mind.
Consider for a minute, how many channels you currently run, channels you’re interested in adopting, and where WhatsApp fits in.
We know, it can be daunting.
However, with the Loop Experience Platform, you can integrate all of your channels into a single inbox for a consolidated view of customer communication. Reducing employee effort and improving customer experience. Further, all your messaging occurs in real-time, regardless of where a customer is or what channel they write in from, you can immediately respond, and recover if necessary.
It makes for a quick and seamless experience.
In addition, employees can view queries and respond wherever they choose. Whether on the go with their phones or at their desk, Loop is flexible and reduces the likelihood of missed messages.
Lastly, the Loop Platform provides businesses with the data needed to improve the experience and propel their product/service. Although WhatsApp houses robust capabilities, one shortcoming arises in the data needed to improve customer conversations.
At a glance, with Loop you can view:
- Customer sentiment in conversation
- Number of messages received via WhatsApp, with the option to compare against date ranges and locations
- Trends in customer conversation including keywords used frequently by customers
- Popular messaging dates and times to determine rush hours
- Data segmented by touchpoint and location
Using these analytics, you not only obtain the tools to better converse with customers, but you also can enhance the experience as a whole.