As a business owner, you want to engage with your customers. And you want to engage with them where they are. The reality is that your customers are using their cell phones and want to communicate with businesses using messaging at whatever stage they are in their path to purchase.
Research has found that customers prefer to interact with businesses using this form of communication. They don’t want to receive emails and they don’t want (the horror!) to be phoned. This is especially true of the millennial generation. And millennials make up, by far, the biggest portion of the workforce. This generation, born between about 1980 and 2000, give or take a few years, are climbing up the career ladder and quickly becoming their workplace’s decision-makers. These are the people you want your business to be in contact with.
In addition to your customers finding this form of communication more convenient, they actually are more likely to trust businesses which they’re able to message. Think about it, your customers are used to using messaging tools. They’re already messaging their friends and family members. Messaging is comfortable and familiar. And that means that decisions which require a certain level of trust, for instance, financial choices, will feel more secure over messaging. It makes sense that they want to use it to do business. Because if your customers can message an instruction to start a new investment or take out new insurance, they would prefer to do that than have to come into an office. Whether your company is a performance marketing agency in Johannesburg or a financial institution based in Cape Town, messaging customers could be the client contact solution you’ve been waiting for.
The good news is that WhatsApp has recently launched a business solution. That’s right, the chat application that you and your customers are already using daily is now the ideal option for conducting business. So, here are some of the ways WhatsApp Business can assist with your service offering.
Personalised profile: A massive benefit of WhatsApp Business is that it allows you to create a customised and personalised profile. This gives your customers an insight into your business. Far more so than communicating with a staff member’s profile which might include awkward weekend photos and angsty status updates. A professional business profile, on the other hand, will include information about the company, including a description of your offerings, contact information and website URL. This information adds a layer of legitimacy to your business, inspiring that trust discussed previously.
Clearly defined office hours: When communicating with anyone, including businesses, it can be easy to think everyone is always available. And every business owner knows that’s a mistake that’s too easy to make. Some time off is necessary. WhatsApp Business makes this possible by making office hours known and by allowing the creation of “away” messages. In this way, your clients will know when you’ll be available to respond. This sets clear expectations on both sides and allows your customers to feel heard. Another feature is that you’re able to set automatic responses to some of your most frequently asked questions.
Better labelling: For every business, it can be tough to keep track of every client. With WhatsApp Business, it’s simple. You’ll easily be able to categorise your clients according to their status within the business as they change from “new business” to “retainer client”.
And, as Accounts Director, this is an incredibly important issue for me. Rogerwilco is an organic search agency, a marketing company based in both Johannesburg and Cape Town with a wide range of clients, in many different industries, across the world. I want to see those clients using the most appropriate methods to communicate with their clients. And right now, that method is very likely in the palm of their hand.
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