WhatsApp business is going to mess things up, literally.
WhatsApp has been the go to app for communication for quite a few years now. Hearing the phrase ‘yaar WhatsApp kar dena’ is all too common these days.
I mean literally, everyone is on WhatsApp, up to and including my electrician, the manager of my ‘kirane Ki Dukan’, my local vegetable and fruits seller, and even the ‘kabadi wala’. The ubiquity is just baffling. As a matter of fact, Indians sent over 1.4 billion messages through WhatsApp last year.
Not only that, it offers such a rich chatting experience. You can send anything and everything you want, you can express in a multitude of ways, you can talk, video chat and share GIFs, oh my god GIFs!
And the best part is that it’s free. No money spent (except mobile data). Well, earlier there used to be a $1 fee after a year of usage but they have long since scrapped it.
Just think about it, how much of your life is on WhatsApp. From your personal to work life everything is there. When you get a new phone, WhatsApp is either pre-installed or is one of the first things you install.
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The caveat that comes with it being free is that the company does not make money, since WhatsApp is an ad free platform, no annoying ads or pop ups are displayed at all, making it a lot more attractive to users.
So, then how does the company make money? How does it survive?
Either they can start charging the customers again, or they can come up with a whole different model, which they have.
WhatsApp tried last year to make businesses a part of its platform, by allowing them to send messages to customers, but that didn’t work out.
Now they have come up with a different version of that – WhatsApp Business. This feature will allow verified business to message you directly on WhatsApp.
Let me give you an example, right now when you order something online, you get a confirmation message, a dispatch message, an out for the delivery message and a delivery confirmation message. All of that could move to WhatsApp.
All of this is similar to how Facebook implemented chatbots of companies like Skyscanner n its Messenger platform or how Weibo has cab bookings and payments from within the Weibo Chat app itself.
The messages sent by businesses would be in yellow chat bubbles and cannot be deleted. There will also be a green check sign against the contact names.
What WhatsApp for business will allow, is businesses to interact in new ways with their customers. Customer service can be easily streamlined. There will be no need for long queues on call and wait for 10 minutes only to be transferred to another guy.
You can just get a text on WhatsApp and reply there. Simple. Easy. Real time.
As of now, only BookMyShow has signed up and is in testing. Other companies are expected to join soon.
WhatsApp for business will bring about a huge change in the way you communicate with businesses and how they communicate with you. WhatsApp is using its expanded customer base to utilize the potential and monetize as much as they can.
This will make WhatsApp for business a very useful tool for both customers and businesses. It will consolidate WhatsApp into the app for people and blow other apps out of the water.
Image Credits: Google Images
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