WhatsApp Business is now official, is available in Spain and other countries and you can finally create an account. Until now, the only way to test it was by registering as a beta-tester on WhatsApp, a restriction that has now been lifted.
So, we have finally been able to test it and we will tell you what we think, what’s so special and how it differs from the WhatsApp of a lifetime. Keep in mind, of course, that it is a first version, and without a doubt it will improve over time.
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What is WhatsApp Business?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is WhatsApp Business? The name itself says it: it is a special version of WhatsApp designed to be used companies to communicate with their customers. Specifically, small and medium-sized companies, since those with too large a volume of queries probably need their own bots or systems.
WhatsApp Business is currently available only on Android (You can download it here on Google Play) and at a first glance it doesn’t differ too much from normal WhatsApp. It is built on the latter, to which it adds a modest amount of useful tools for companies.
The record, unchanged
Registering an account in WhatsApp Business hardly differs from doing it in normal WhatsApp. You need verify your phone number using a code, and if that account already belongs to a normal WhatsApp account, you will be asked to choose where you want to use it: or WhatsApp Business or normal WhatsApp.
The only noticeable changes are visible after verifying the phone number, when you should choose the name of the company. Unlike the names in WhatsApp, this one is fixed and you won’t be able to change it later without deleting the account and re-creating it again.
A profile for your company
While in WhatsApp for ordinary people you can only choose a name, photo and text status, in WhatsApp Business you have a small company profile “a la Facebook”, or Google Maps.
In the profile you can add the direction, schedule business, category, description, address of email Y Web page of your business. All fields are optional, so it is up to each company if they want to add more or less details.
Those who chat with this account will see this new profile, but only if they enter the user profile. In fact, if you already have this phone number in your address book, you will see the name with which they have saved it and not the name of your company. It would make sense for this to change in the future.
Otherwise, there is no callsign in the contact list Of course, you are talking to a company account instead of a personal account. We’ve seen verified profile “badges” in the past, so companies may have the option to verify the account, in which case they could be distinguished. In the chat itself there is a notice that you are chatting with a profile that could be from a company.
Chat with customers, just like with people
Talking to clients on WhatsApp Business is pretty much the same as how WhatsApp chats work. You receive a notification, you can see the chats in the chat list and within the chat you have exactly the same options to communicate: send documents, photos, audio, contacts and location.
WhatsApp Business does not have any type of profile for clients as it does exist in Facebook Messenger, which allows you to add notes for later inquiries from that same person. For now, the WhatsApp Business chat is identical to the WhatsApp chat … if we exclude what comes next.
We start with the main differences between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business: automatic messages. From WhatsApp Business settings – Business settings you can configure two types of automatic messages: absence messages and the welcome messages.
The Welcome message, optional, it is sent to anyone who contacts your company profile for the first time, or who has not done so within a period of 14 days. One small downside: it is your mobile that sends it, so it needs to be turned on and connected to the network.
The absence message It is an automatic reply to notify customers that the message has been received, but you cannot reply at the moment. You have the option of always sending it, at a custom interval or outside business hours (which you must specify in your company profile). As in the case of the welcome message, it is only sent if your mobile is switched on and connected to the Internet.
One WhatsApp Business feature that you will want to have on your lifelong WhatsApp is quick responses. Is about prerecorded phrases that you can assign to a shortcut, useful for phrases that you must repeat over and over again. For example, you can make /bye be it a polite farewell or / nostock be “We’re so sorry, we are out of stock at this time.” The possibilities are many.
There is no button to include them, but you must write the / bar for WhatsApp to suggest the ones you have configured. A positive point is that they are not simply sent when you choose them from the list, but are included in the reply box so that you can edit and customize them before sending them.
Statistics, for now, very basic
Another exclusive section of WhatsApp Business that is not in the normal version is Statistics. However, today it seems to be half cooked and the only thing that shows you is how many messages you have sent, how many have been received, how many have been read and how many have been received.
It is quite reminiscent of the statistics that have already been present for a long time in WhatsApp, although the data is slightly different and the figure of messages read and delivered. Honestly, I can’t think of an important reason why a company would need to know this data, although I suspect that this section of statistics will end up evolving into a somewhat more complete control panel. For now, it is wildly basic.
In short, WhatsApp with additions
WhatsApp Business is an idea that wrote itself and it is surprising that it took so long to appear. It is a first version, so you should not wait too long. If you have a company, and you communicate by WhatsApp (or would you like to) is an opportunity that you cannot miss.
The truth is that the differences with respect to normal WhatsApp are minimal, and could be considered more like a WhatsApp that has been put on top of a series of useful functions for companies. After such a long development period, the truth is that I was expecting something more complete and different.
The first time WhatsApp publicly mentioned its interest in enhancing communication with businesses was in August 2016. More than a year has passed and what we have is a user profile, two automatic messages and pre-recorded messages. Everything helps, of course, but it seems that WhatsApp continues to err on the side of caution in the development of its applications.
In any case, something had to start. Today’s WhatsApp Business includes a few tricks up its sleeve to make communication for small and medium-sized businesses easier, and we hope it continues to evolve in the future, at a good pace.
WhatsApp Business (WhatsApp for Business)
- Android version: from 4.0.3
- Developer: WhatsApp Inc.
- Download it at: Google play
- Price: Free
- Category: Communication
In Engadget Basics | How to create an account in WhatsApp Business