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Advantages and Disadvantages of Whatsapp for Business
Business owners always need to try and look ahead to stay on top or have a clear upwards trajectory. For over a decade, getting VoIP has been an easy way for businesses to accomplish just that by streamlining communications and adding tons of computing power behind customer communications. The world never stops though, and while VoIP is still a key tool in the workplace, the next decade will see copious add-ons and ways to strengthen and take the technology further.
One of the most likely ways that will happen is through the reemphasis on messaging, to reflect how much more likely people are nowadays to text someone rather than call. This year, in 2019, VoIP took the first steps toward making that happen, as the world’s most popular messaging application, Whatsapp, introduced Whatsapp Business. Still free and incredibly easy to use, Whatsapp Business is a readymade and perfect companion for VoIP. That doesn’t mean it will be all smooth sailing for every business that tries to use the combo, but there’s a lot to like. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Whatsapp for Business.
Where to begin—the benefits of using Whatsapp for Business are numerous.
First however, we’ll start by outlining one of the factors that distinguished Whatsapp and led to its rapid rise to the top of the messaging world: security. Every message, document, picture—every interaction you have on Whatsapp is encrypted end-to-end, meaning only you and the person you are directly communicating with have the ability to see the information.
That means that no one—not the Whatsapp founders, not your telecom provider, not the company that made your phone and not even hackers—can use your personal information against you in any way whatsoever. Likewise, Whatsapp operates two-factor identification, a security procedure that has time and again proven itself safer than mere passwords. And those factors together and you get the trust of every person using Whatsapp.
Now that businesses are entering the fray, these security measures will only grow in importance, as the company seeks to ensure neither businesses nor customers get played by the other. In these first few months of Whatsapp Business, they are even taking steps against that happening by slowly and thoroughly incorporating business profiles only for companies they have vetted and approved. That may mean a slow transition time if you want your business to start using Whatsapp tomorrow, but in the long run it will protect the sanctity of the app’s secure communication that made it famous.
2. User Interface
Another major benefit is how easy it is to use. The App’s User Interface and operations are so smooth and simply. Rarely can you find a person who downloads Whatsapp and gets confused about what to do next. It is intuitive, well designed and all in all, idiot-proof.
A significant aspect of its ease of use is the read receipt for messages and media. With more traditional methods of communication like email and basic messenger services, you are left wondering whether people actually saw your message or not. With Whatsapp, everything is immediately clear. One gray checkmark indicates a sent message, two grey checkmarks indicates a received message, and when the checkmarks turn blue, you know the other person read the message. Having that certainty is a big boost, especially in business when you should know when to push and when to back off from a potential customer.
The third game-changing advantage? Whatsapp is free and widespread across the globe. It has long been more than a niche app, which makes its free access all the more surprising when you consider how insidious other free services have been in turning a profit. Whatsapp was so successful in the first part of the decade that Facebook bought the company for $19 billion—even though Whatsapp wasn’t exactly printing money at the time.
In the years since Facebook took over, Whatsapp has continued to spread in popularity and expand its features. Nowadays, you can send pictures, videos, documents, pdfs and even voice recordings through Whatsapp. Video calling is supported, the app clearly shows you which of your contacts are already using Whatsapp too, and calls are free over Wi-Fi. All of these perks, for free.
4. Can be used with a virtual number
These benefits don’t exist in a vacuum either; using Whatsapp Business to supplement a virtual phone number is a perfect way to make your customer service more personable, faster and more flexible (think of the creative and practical possibilities of being able to send pictures, documents and voice recordings to customers straight from your phone, within seconds).
Learn how to connect your MightyCall business number to WhatsApp Business here.
A free, easy-to-use and secure messaging app aligns with most of what VoIP stands for. With both technologies you can make free calls around the world using Wi-Fi; Whatsapp encryption protects your privacy from hackers, while VoIP’s features protects your personal number and blocks spam and robocalls; the only discernible difference is how complicated VoIP is under the hood, but most customers never need to look there and most providers have figured out how to simplify the system enough for the industry to become widespread.
The disadvantages of using Whatsapp Business don’t balance out the advantages, but some do exist.
- For starters, you can only have one business account, and that account can only be active on one device at a time, which limits the outreach ability of larger companies.
- Secondly, Whatsapp Business lets businesses send out lots more messages directly to customers, which could become annoying, especially if you are constantly getting marketing material. There is a fine line between needing and wanting to contact a business.
- Lastly, the elephant in the room: Facebook.
Public trust and confidence in the social media monolith are at all-time lows, and rightfully so with how the company operates and intentionally deceives its users. While the tech giant has largely kept Whatsapp as is since purchasing it, they are still the decision makers for where the app goes; that is all the more apparent with a recent update that now informs you that Whatsapp is brought to you by Facebook every time you open it.
Laying out the advantages and disadvantages of Whatsapp for business paints a clear picture: using it is easy and helpful. If your business has VoIP, there is no reason to avoid or wait on getting Whatsapp to make your customer communications even stronger. Some disadvantages exist, but there are so many advantages of Whatsapp Business—and since its free, there is little risk to trying it—that it will likely revolutionize customer service over the next half decade. Don’t wait for your customers to tell you what they expect—anticipate it and download Whatsapp Business to show them you’re ahead of the curve and worth their time and attention.