By Evelyn Spada

In the second half of January, WhatsApp announced a new service for micro- and small businesses. The novelty WhatsApp Business facilitates communication with clients through resources such as sending automatic messages and the possibility to put information about the company on its profile.

With the aim to facilitate the lives of its 1.3 billion users, the new WhatsApp service enables companies to reply to inquiries and to receive complaints in an automated manner, any time of the day.

As WhatsApp many times makes the private- and professional lives of its users blend together, the business version allows for automatic messages to be sent, which helps in dealing with contacts that occur outside of office hours, for example.

Apart from the messages, another possibility that the version offers in order to facilitate the management of the business is the access to metrics of the use of the service, such as the number of read or replied messages. Moreover, the company can publish company information, such as email and address, on their profile page.

We talked to media relations professional Bruno Uehara, and he sees the novelty as part of a series of updates of Facebook (owner of WhatsApp and Instagram): “WhatsApp Business is an alternative which facilitates the communication between companies and clients, even more so after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will prioritize posts from friends on the newsfeed”, says Uehara.

Initially, the service will be available for users in five countries: USA, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico and UK.

Main new functions that WhatsApp business offers:
  • Commercial Profile:

It is possible to create a commercial account with useful information such as: name of the company, office hours with landline telephone number, official site, business sector, company description, address and telephone.

  • Quick replies:

The tool offers the option of Quick Replies, or, in other words, it is possible to save messages that are sent frequently and reuse them to reply without delay to the most common questions that the company receives.   

  • Sending of automatic messages:

To make the customer service more agile, with WhatsApp Business enables the creation of automatic responses to reply to the user instantly. Be it a greeting or a message informing the opening/office hours.

  • Message statistics

Last but not least, it is possible to access important metrics of the interactions with clients, such as numbers of successfully sent, delivered and read messages.