Using WhatsApp Messenger for your business and are thinking of making the switch to WhatsApp Business? Then this post is for you. We go into how you can switch your personal WhatsApp account to a business account that has plenty more useful features that can help grow your brand.
Prior to WhatsApp’s launch of the business version of its chat app in 2018, most companies were selling and marketing on more traditional platforms: email, social media, etc.
Only some, particularly solopreneurs, who started off promoting their products and services only to their inner circle of friends and family, may have been using WhatsApp to do so.
But the playing field changed once WhatsApp Business was launched. Today, five million businesses worldwide are using WhatsApp Business. Some may have downloaded the app directly, while others will have made the switch from WhatsApp Messenger to WhatsApp Business.
If you’re running and business and have been thinking about ramping up your WhatsApp efforts by switching to the WhatsApp Business app, read on.
Before we look at the technicalities of how to switch from WhatsApp to WhatsApp Business, let’s first set the stage.
What is the difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger?
What is the use of a WhatsApp Business account?
To answer these questions, we need to first understand the three different WhatsApp products:
In a nutshell, WhatsApp Messenger is the free chat app used by two billion people around the globe for personal use.
The WhatsApp Business app is a free-to-download app created by WhatsApp for – as its name suggests – business use.
The main difference between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp messenger is in its features. The WhatsApp Business App is catered to smaller businesses. With it, businesses can create a business profile, upload product images, and more.
There’s also the WhatsApp Business API, which is a better fit for large and/or growing enterprises as it offers much more advanced tools.
We won’t go into too much detail here as we have an entire post dedicated to the differences between WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Business App, and the WhatsApp Business API, which you should definitely check out if you need more clarity.
Before you begin your switch from WhatsApp Messenger to the WhatsApp Business app, there are several things to keep in mind.
First of all, using the WhatsApp Business app requires a telephone number to be associated with it.
You cannot use the same number for WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business.
This means that if you want to maintain your personal phone number for your WhatsApp Messenger account, you will need to register a separate number for WhatsApp Business.
You can, however, have both apps installed at the same time and use them simultaneously – but only if they’re registered under different numbers.
Switching to WhatsApp Business is a quick two-step process. Let’s take a look at how that’s done.
If you would like to have access to your chat history after having made the switch to WhatsApp Business, you need to first create a backup.
To do this, open WhatsApp Messenger and go to Settings → Chats → Chat backup → Back up.
Otherwise, proceed to step two straightaway.
Next, download WhatsApp Business. Whether you’re on iOS or Android doesn’t matter as the app is free to download on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, all you have to do is set up a WhatsApp Business account, which can be done in under ten minutes, and you’re done!
If, in any event, you’d like to stop using WhatsApp Business and switch your number back to be used with a regular WhatsApp Messenger account, this is possible.
However, know that there will be no option to migrate your chats from WhatsApp Messenger to WhatsApp Business. In other words, making the switch back to WhatsApp Messenger will mean losing all your chat history.
If the free WhatsApp Business app’s features aren’t enough for your business needs, then you should definitely consider switching to the WhatsApp Business API.
Making this switch isn’t as straightforward as it requires going through a WhatsApp Business Provider (BSP). Unlike the free WhatsApp Business app, there is a pricing component involved with the WhatsApp Business API.
However, the opportunities that this opens up for you are far-ranging and the advantages that it offers will outweigh any costs incurred.
WATI is an official WhatsApp BSP and can help you get set up. No pressure – if you’re not ready to dive into the deep end, we welcome you to start a free trial with us.
Even though it’s never a must for businesses to use WhatsApp Business or for solopreneurs or small businesses to switch to WhatsApp Business, there are absolutely no disadvantages in doing so.
In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
WhatsApp has specially designed its business app and API so that businesses can use it as a customer support channel to improve the business-customer relationship and communication.
Its features help to facilitate information swiftly, which helps to build brand trust. It also allows integrations with many other business software from CRMs to eCommerce platforms, which helps to streamline business operations.
These come in particularly handy for larger businesses as it does away with the need to switch back and forth between different software and platforms.
WhatsApp is also putting its pedal to the metal when it comes to developing new tools for WhatsApp Business. Most recently, it announced new changes that include hosting services and fancy new additions such as an in-app shopping option.
Furthermore, it has established one of its top priorities for the year to help businesses grow. In their own words,
“As we all thankfully leave 2020 behind, one of WhatsApp’s top priorities in 2021 is to leverage our platform to enable businesses of all sizes to scale their reach and distribution…”
With so much potential, businesses that fail to jump on the bandwagon and make the switch to WhatsApp Business will likely fall behind as the rest of the world reaps the rewards of using WhatsApp Business.
WATI is the product of Clare.AI, the AI tool that merges proprietary natural language processing technology with machine learning to create award-winning customer communication experiences. Clare.AI has already provided solutions for many multinational enterprises and Fortune 500 companies.