If you’re based in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll already have heard of WhatsApp. The hugely popular instant messaging app has already taken the country by storm – after all, it’s free to communicate with family and friends, provided you have a data connection!
But did you know that you can communicate with customers and clients via WhatsApp, too?
For customers who need quick, snappy answers to questions regarding your services and products, it’s a great way to keep people in the loop.
And that’s where Planet Numbers comes in. We can offer you a business number to associate with a WhatsApp account, meaning you don’t need to use your own private mobile to speak with end users.
But how do you really make the most out of using WhatsApp for customer service? Here are six fantastic ideas you’ll want to put into action.
1. Shout it from the rooftops!
Chances are, there are plenty of people out there who don’t even realise they can contact businesses through WhatsApp. Given that millions of us already have the app set up on our devices, there’s no need to set up any extra tech!
Therefore, be sure to let your customer base know all about your new communication channel as much as possible. It’s a really quick and easy way for people who already have WhatsApp to reach you without waiting in call queues.
Why not share your WhatsApp number alongside your default helpline, across social media and even on your business cards?
2. Take time to tailor your business profile
If you’ve ever used WhatsApp before, you’ll know that you can create a profile in your settings to show off your personality. Why not take the opportunity to splash some of your branding across your profile to engage with customers?
You can even use status updates, similar to those you can share on Facebook and Twitter, to show off the latest deals and news about your business.
The more obvious your business profile and branding are, the easier customers will find you in their contacts list. Don’t neglect the superficial, even though you should never judge a book by its cover!
3. Get your team up to speed on WhatsApp
There’s a pretty good chance any marketing crew you have with you in-house or elsewhere already know their way around an IM or two. However, it’s still good to make sure everyone’s up to speed on how to use the app, and how you expect them to use it in line with service standards.
Therefore, always take the time to ‘integrate’ WhatsApp as part of your broader digital marketing strategy. Ensure your marketers and customer service reps have devices (in-house or otherwise) they can log into. You can log into WhatsApp accounts from multiple devices, so getting a few agents to work remotely shouldn’t be an issue.
However, a word of caution – you can only use four devices at any one time, associated with the same account. If you need more as you scale up, you may have to set up two business telephone numbers!
4. Keep your customers in the know
One of the best ways you can really personalise the customer service experience on WhatsApp is by sending notifications to keep them up to date on orders, offers and more. After all, we all want to be kept in the loop when we deal with our favourite businesses!
Therefore, if any customers or clients ‘add you’ to their contacts lists, you can reach out to them directly with the latest news. This is a great idea if you run a smaller team or business, as it’ll be easier for you to supply direct, human responses.
5. Share more than just messages
WhatsApp is proving to be a fantastic customer service tool for its multimedia capabilities, too. While many of us use the app to send quick messages, emoji, photos and GIFs, you can also send attachments through the service, such as PDFs.
This can be an asset if you need a customer to send proof of ID or a delivery receipt, for example. Or, if you need to send a customer a document of your own that you’d otherwise need to post, you can simply scan and attach via WhatsApp.
This way, you can make sure that everyone’s on the same page, without worrying about who has access to which documents. It’s a quick, easy way to resolve cases and to get your customers back on track again.
6. Get direct feedback from your customers
Anyone running a business knows that feedback is golden. It’s not only great to know that your customers are happy, but the more positive feedback you receive, the more positive a reputation you can build.
Through WhatsApp, you can ask customers directly for their opinions on your service and can share questions they can answer with scoring between one and five. Again, it’s a fast, easy way to engage with your customers without expecting them to hang on the other end of the line for hours on end.
For all using WhatsApp for business can seem like a dream come true, if you’re an everyday user of the chat app, it might seem easy to drift back into casual conversations.
Therefore, do always remember to try and separate yourself from your business. Keep conversations professional yet helpful at all times – don’t be afraid to add a little personality, but maybe hold back on sharing those memes if they don’t exactly fit your branding!
Here at Planet Numbers, we think WhatsApp is a brilliant tool for connecting with customers and resolving queries. That’s why we encourage our customers to set up business numbers with us so they can manage their conversations through specific accounts and lines without blurring with personal mobiles.
Why not set up your own business line or two and connect them to WhatsApp accounts? Who knows – it might just change your customer outreach for the better.