This is PART THREE of our series on WhatsApp Commerce. Read PART ONE and PART TWO.
So your brand is now set up on WhatsApp Enterprise. Congratulations! You now have the power to reach out to potentially 2 billion people across the globe. You can offer your customer a seamless conversational experience, offer 24/7 support, and promote and sell your products.
But before you can get started with any of that, it’s important to first answer the crucial question – How do you start acquiring customers on WhatsApp?
A key point to note is that WhatsApp requires a brand to get an opt-in from a user before it can start engaging with him/her i.e. the user needs to consent to starting a conversation with your business.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the techniques you can use to begin your brand’s conversations with customers on the world’s largest messaging channel.
Website Deep Link
WhatsApp offers a Click to Chat feature, wherein a customer can simply click on a deep link on your website and immediately start a conversation with your brand.
The link needs to be easily discoverable on your website. As seen above, once the website visitor clicks on the link, a WhatsApp panel opens up, and a predefined message (usually “Hi” or “Hello”) is sent to the business. You can now start interacting with the user on WhatsApp.
Promotion over WhatsApp Groups
WhatsApp’s Click to Chat feature makes referral marketing a lot simpler. Typically, referral marketing on a mobile app requires a user to copy the referral code/offer from the app, and send it to their friends and family on a WhatsApp group. To avail of the offer, the other user would need to download the app (if they don’t already have it), go through the process of installing it and setting up an account, and only after all this is done can they start interacting with the brand.
If your brand is on WhatsApp however, all you need to do is encourage your customers to circulate a Click to Chat link among their WhatsApp Groups. Interested users simply need to click on the link to immediately start interacting with your brand and availing of the offers that you are promoting. Essentially, WhatsApp simplifies the process of community marketing to a single click!
Another whatsapp marketing strategy is to use your website to acquire customers is by getting them to opt-in through banners.
As pictured above, you can include banners on your website with offers, updates and new releases. The banner needs to provide your website visitors with context on why they should engage with you on WhatsApp.
If your banner content appeals to your users, or is relevant to them, they will ‘opt-in’ by clicking on the banner, thus allowing your business to start interacting with them over WhatsApp.
A fairly simple way to get an opt-in from a customer is through a contact form on your website. As pictured above, you can include an option on the form, asking for the user’s permission to start interacting with them on WhatsApp.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers through the use of voice and keypad ‘touch-tones’. An IVR system gives a customer prompts to navigate through what is essentially a telephonic menu (“For X, Press 1, for Y, Press 2”), and based on their input, direct them to the relevant customer care representative.
IVR is a very expensive medium for customer support, with a high cost per call for handling a query with human support agents. It also does not offer a good user experience, with long wait times and a lot of difficulties navigating the system.
However, you can significantly reduce your support costs, and enhance your customer experience, by deflecting IVR calls to WhatsApp. This can be done simply by including an option in the IVR message which says “Would you like to continue this conversation over WhatsApp?”. If the user accepts this conversation, the conversation is seamlessly transferred to WhatsApp, where resolving the customer query will cost a fraction of what it would over call.
WhatsApp requires a brand to get an opt-in from a user before it can start engaging with him/her i.e. the user needs to consent to start a conversation with your business. Businesses can include a deep link, banners, or a contact form on their website which can be used to submit details. It can also be done by deflecting IVR calls to WhatsApp. This can be done simply by including an option in the IVR message which says “Would you like to continue this conversation over WhatsApp?”
With WhatsApp Business Pro, we’re introducing “Missed Call” as another opt-in option. A user can simply give a missed call to your virtual number to get started!
To sum up
There are just a few of the many ways to get customers to your brand’s WhatsApp channel. E-mail signatures, online brochures, outdoor advertising, whatsapp social media marketing – there are a wide range of mediums for brands to place a link that will allow customers and prospects to begin conversations with them over WhatsApp.
With WhatsApp, an engaging and fruitful chat with your customers is literally always just a click away!