WhatsApp business: the benefits of a business account
WhatsApp is the world's most popular messaging channel with more than 2 billion active users. People use the app to communicate with friends, family and also increasingly with businesses. To make business use of WhatsApp easier, in 2018 the WhatsApp Business app and theWhatsApp Business API were launched.
But what exactly are some of the benefits of a WhatsApp business account? And do you now need the WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API for your business? You will learn it all in this article.
What is a WhatsApp business account?
A business WhatsApp account can be used by companies to communicate with customers. Think about providing customer service, sending marketing messages and more. With a business account, you can make use of useful functionalities like message sorting, responding to queries in teams, creating a business profile and automating repetitive actions.
For small businesses, the WhatsApp Business app was created. For SMEs and larger businesses, the WhatsApp Business API was launched. We discuss both options below.
WhatsApp vs WhatsApp zakelijk: what's the difference?
De WhatsApp Business app: pros, installation and restrictions
The WhatsApp Business app is built specifically for small businesses with relatively little customer communication via WhatsApp. Below, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the app.
The benefits of the WhatsApp Business app
The app comes with all the basic functionalities. If you have a small team and few incoming messages from customers, this is more than enough to provide professional service via WhatsApp. The app is easy to use and free to download for iOS and Android.
You can create a business profile in the WhatsApp Business app that gives (potential) customers a clear picture of what you stand for. For example, you can add a description of your business, a website and opening hours.
When you receive messages, you can easily organise them using labels. And if you receive many of the same questions, you can answer them quickly with quick replies.
With broadcast messages, you can send a message to a large group of customers with one press of a button. Think, for example, of sending a newsletter or an invitation to an event.
In a product catalogue, you can display your own products. This way, customers can shop directly on WhatsApp.
How much does WhatsApp business cost?
As mentioned earlier, the WhatsApp Business app is basically free to use. But soon a subscription WhatsApp business account will also be available: WhatsApp Premium. This is a paid upgrade that allows you to unlock more features for the WhatsApp Business app. The cost for this is not yet known, as WhatsApp Premium is currently in the beta phase.
Setting WhatsApp for business on your phone
Follow these steps to set up WhatsApp Business app on your phone:
- Download the app on your iPhone or Android from the AppStore or Google play store.
- Read the terms and conditions carefully and click accept & continue.
- WhatsApp checks if the consumer app already uses the number on the device. If so, the chat history will be transferred to the WhatsApp Business app. Note: you cannot reverse this.
- Click use another number if you do not want to use the current number shown.
- Enter the number you do want to use. A confirmation code is then sent to the number entered. You can also dial a fixed telephone number. In this case you will receive a voice call with the confirmation code.
- Enter the name of your company. If the business name does not meet WhatsApp's requirements, you will be notified of this.Add a profile picture of the business.
Done! You are now ready to use the WhatsApp Business app.
Restrictions of the WhatsApp Business app
When you want to use WhatsApp for business, it is important to first consider how many users will need access. If you have a medium or large business, this will soon be more than four. But the WhatsApp Business app can be used with just four users on up to five devices.
In addition, the app offers too few features you need to provide professional customer service. For instance, the automation options are very limited (no rules, no workflows, no bots) and the statistics are very limited. The larger your organisation, the more these kinds of functionalities are indispensable.
For SMEs and large companies, WhatsApp has therefore created the WhatsApp Business API.
The WhatsApp API: WhatsApp Business for bigger companies
As mentioned earlier, SMEs and larger businesses do not have enough with the regular WhatsApp Business app. This is because it is built for businesses with few employees, customers and mostly incoming messages. The WhatsApp Business API was created to support larger businesses.
As the API does not come with its own interface, you can only use it through a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider such as Trengo.
Benefits of the WhatsApp Business API
With the WhatsApp API you can use WhatsApp Business with multiple users. This allows you to answer customer queries together with your team. You can assign incoming messages to a colleague and consult in the middle of a customer conversation by @tagging a colleague (see image below).
With the API you can offer a WhatsApp chat on thewebsite. This allows people to contact you directly via their favourite app while shopping online. A key advantage over a normal live chat is that you can continue a WhatsApp conversation even after the visitor has left your website.
When you integrate the API with your webshop software (Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed, and so on), you can send automatic updates via WhatsApp. Think of payment confirmations, status updates about a shipment and more. Broadcast messages also allow you to send messages to large groups of recipients. So you can also send newsletters and event invitations via WhatsApp business.
If you want to save time, the API also allows you to automate many time-consuming actions with rules, auto-replies, quick replies and no-code chatbots. These are all easy to set up yourself. You also get insight into your team's performance and customer satisfaction with statistics like resolution time, response time, number of calls and CSAT.
What does the WhatsApp Business API cost?
Unlike the app, the WhatsApp Business API does involve costs. You should consider the following possible cost items:
- Connection fee
- Monthly fee
- Cost per call
The cost always varies between providers. With Trengo, you pay no connection fee (these regularly run up to €1000 with other providers), just a monthly fee for your subscription and the fixed cost per call from WhatsApp. The first thousand calls each month are absolutely free.
Setting up the WhatsApp Business API
If you want to use the WhatsApp Business API through Trengo, you need to follow the following steps:
- Start a 14 day free Trengo trial.
- Navigate to Settings → WhatsApp Business.
- Click on "Connect your number".
- An overview with everything you need to get started will now appear. Read this carefully.
- Click 'Get started'.
- Confirm that you have a Facebook Business account and proceed to the next step. Don't have one yet? Then create one first.
- Now you will be presented with an overview that will give you information about your WhatsApp number. Read this carefully.
- Confirm that you have a number that meets the listed requirements. Don't have one? Then please contact Trengo customer service.
- Connect your Facebook account and create your WhatsApp Business account. Make sure you have the following details to hand:
- The name of your company
- The official company name
- The address of your company
- Click 'Continue with Facebook' to log in.
- Your account name and phone number will be filled in automatically. Check that this information is correct before continuing.
- Everything checked? Click 'Next' to continue.
Yes! 🎉 You have successfully activated your number in the WhatsApp Business API!
- navigate to https://business.facebook.com/ and log in with your Facebook account.
- Then go to 'Security centre' and click the 'Start Verification' button. If you don't see this button, your account may have already been verified.
The WhatsApp Business app vs de WhatsApp Business API: what do I need?
Still hesitating between the WhatsApp Business app and the API? Use the drop-down below to choose the option that best suits your situation.
Start a WhatsApp Business account today
WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging channel among Dutch consumers. With Trengo, you offer the best possible customer service through the WhatsApp Business API.
Trengo is an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, which means you will always be the first to get access to WhatsApp's latest features. In addition, we are a Dutch company, so you will always get Dutch service during Dutch opening hours.
Frequently asked questions about WhatsApp Business
How do you create a WhatsApp Business account?
You can convert your private WhatsApp to business. However, this means that you can no longer use this number for private purposes. You cannot reverse this at a later date either. For this reason, we recommend using a new number when getting started with WhatsApp Business.
If you do choose to use your private number, simply enter it when starting a WhatsApp business account.
Can you use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business at the same time?
You can use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business at the same time, as long as you have a different number for both. When you convert a private number to a WhatsApp Business number, you can no longer use this number for private purposes.