Instant messaging company WhatsApp just launched its WhatsApp Business app for small businesses.
On Friday, WhatsApp officially launched its WhatsApp Business app, a separate application that will allow startups and small businesses to connect with their customers. A plan to introduce a tool specifically for small companies was first announced in September last year by the company. For now, the app is free to download in Google Play in selected countries only, including the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Indonesia, and Italy.
The new WhatsApp tool will enable companies to respond to their customers in a timely manner or provide “away” messages to inform patrons that they are busy. Aside from that, the app will also allow businesses to review simple metrics like the number of sent messages that have been read by their customers.
Regular WhatsApp users don’t have to download the app, and can just use their personal accounts to communicate with companies. The only difference now is that WhatsApp users will know that they are being contacted by a company since a WhatsApp Business app user will be listed as a business account holder.
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WhatsApp Business App Features
According to a blog published by WhatsApp, the new WhatsApp Bussiness app was specifically built to improve the business experience of people.
“People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages, and creating an official presence,” the company wrote.
Furthermore, the tool will provide convenient communication between companies and customers through the following features:
- Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
- Messaging Tools: Save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.
- Messaging Statistics: Review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working.
- WhatsApp Web: Send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop.
- Account Type: People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
The business account can be set up by using either a mobile or landline number. For verification purposes, the landline-registered business account can just choose the “call me” option. Over time, businesses accounts that registered their business phone numbers may obtain Confirmed Accounts status, eventually earning them a green badge that will be displayed next to their name.
While the WhatsApp Business app is only available in specific countries, for now, the instant messaging company said that the tool would be rolled out worldwide in the weeks to come.