Customer needs have changed in the last decade.
They want to simplify interaction with businesses as much as they can.
One such need is to completely do away with calling hotlines, waiting for automated messages, and entering specified numbers to get what they want, which could be to register a complaint or get in touch with a human to resolve their issues (or even track orders).
WhatsApp Business solves these challenges, and, interestingly, the solution is simple for businesses: be on the same platform that customers are on. And companies that don’t use the Business version of the app are missing out on a lot.
Let's take a quick glance at differences between WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp Business API.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a messaging application used by over 2 billion people worldwide daily. During its rise, it effectively phased out communication via SMS, where users had to subscribe for or pay for each SMS sent separately.
It requires an internet connection and a smartphone; users can either directly communicate with somebody (regardless of location or device) or set up groups and communicate within them.
Apart from basic communication, users can record and send voice messages, place voice or video calls, share images and documents, and even make payments!
Over the years, users have also started using WhatsApp on desktops and browsers. These are extensions of the original account used on the phone, the messages you send and receive are seamlessly synced between the computer and the phone, allowing you to see your messages on both devices.
WhatsApp vs. WhatsApp Business
As mentioned above, WhatsApp’s massive adoption has led to the creation of WhatsApp Business. This separate application helps business owners interact with customers quickly and respond to and resolve queries.
The main difference between business WhatsApp and normal WhatsApp is that the regular version is used for personal purposes and allows easy connectivity with friends, relatives, or even colleagues. Business owners use WhatsApp for Business to create catalogs and set up automated messages.
Both applications are free to download and use as well.
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is a version of the popular user communication platform that helps businesses of all sizes serve customers better. Businesses use this app version the same way the regular version is used. It’s super easy to get started with an account, as well!
Some ways that companies use this tool are:
- Provide business details. Companies can list their address, email, phone number, and website as well.
- Organize WhatsApp. Add labels to organize and locate WhatsApp chats easily.
- Give faster response. Quickly reach out or respond to customers, be it updates on orders or help resolve queries.
- Share updates. Provide updates or content with customers just like you do on regular WhatsApp.
- Launch marketing campaigns. Companies can develop and launch creative marketing campaigns.
- Link ads to WhatsApp. Businesses can easily leverage Facebook or Instagram ads that lead to WhatsApp to initiate customer conversations quickly.
- Setting up automatic away messages. If companies are not available round the clock, they can set up and trigger away messages for different scenarios, such as messages received outside business hours and even holidays. This helps massively improve customer experience.
WhatsApp Business features
WhatsApp Business considerably enhances business-to-customer communication. Below are some of its key features.
- Business profile: You can create a dedicated business profile with your business name, address, description, email address, and website. This will enable your customers to locate and connect with your business quickly.
- Messaging capability: You will have access to tools such as quick replies, greeting messages, and away messages that can help you streamline your communication and provide better customer service.
- Labels and filters: You can organize your chats with labels and filters, making finding and responding to important customer messages easier.
- WhatsApp Web: You can access WhatsApp for Business on your desktop using the WhatsApp Web interface. This will be useful when you multitask or type long messages.
- Catalog: You can create a product catalog within the app to showcase your products or services to your customers. Your customers can browse through the catalog and place orders directly on WhatsApp.
- Payment: In some countries, WhatsApp for Business supports payment transactions directly within the app. This will enable you to accept customer payments without redirecting them to another platform.
WhatsApp Business benefits
WhatsApp Business has some killer benefits that make it a must-have for small to medium-sized businesses to boost customer satisfaction.
- Improved communication: Businesses can easily communicate with prospects and customers to boost loyalty and trust.
- Enhanced customer service: The solution’s automated messaging capability helps quick responses to queries and requests. This helps provide better customer service and improves satisfaction.
- Cost-friendly: As we said before, it’s a free-to-use solution. You don’t have to pay extra to use it to communicate with your customers.
- Easy showcase: WhatsApp Business provides a quick, easy, and convenient way to showcase a company’s offerings. This makes it easy for customers to sift through products, place orders, and get in touch.
- Improved organization: This is one of the key differences between business WhatsApp and normal WhatsApp. The former supports labels and filters that help companies organize their chats. This makes it easy to find and respond to critical messages from customers.
- Global reach: With over 2 billion active users worldwide, WhatsApp Business offers businesses a chance to reach a global audience, making it a powerful tool for businesses looking to grow and expand their reach.
Why do WhatsApp Business users need Cooby?
Even though WhatsApp Business comes with various features for modern SMBs and startups. However, several possibilities exist to make WhatsApp Business more efficient and effective for companies and professionals.
WhatsApp Business, while a great tool by itself, lacks key features such as:
- Inbox customizability
- Reminders and alerts to tend to important messages
- Getting full context from conversations
- Easy integration with CRM software
- Sending messages to unsaved contacts
Cooby helps you unlock these possibilities and delivers a powerful WhatsApp inbox with a highly-organized view of chats. It provides helpful features like WhatsApp reminders, templates, broadcasts, CRM integrations, and more to empower businesses to provide delightful and satisfactory customer experiences.
Cooby solves these challenges by letting you customize your inbox, the way you want it to be. You can easily group messages into different tabs, label them and set workflows in a few seconds, set alerts to ensure you never miss essential follow-ups, and take notes for every conversation to ensure full context.
Apart from this, Cooby helps integrate WhatsApp with your CRM, such as HubSpot and Salesforce, Google Drive, and more, to ensure there’s no consistent switching between the tools you use daily.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp Business API enables businesses to communicate with their customers on WhatsApp at scale. Businesses can use this to send notifications, automate messages, and manage customer conversations. Additionally, the API provides access to rich media features like images and video, which can enhance the customer experience.
Larger businesses can use the API but need a third-party solution provider to integrate it into their existing systems.
WhatsApp Business API features
WhatsApp Business API provides businesses with several features for communicating with their customers at scale.
- Businesses can send notifications, set up automated messages, and manage customer conversations. For example, companies can automatically send important updates such as order confirmations and shipment updates. Companies can also share their availability for appointments and other reminders seamlessly.
- Additionally, the API offers rich media features, such as images and video, to enhance the customer experience. An actual use case for this is setting up a catalog within WhatsApp to make it easy for customers to go through all offerings and even place an order within the application.
- Businesses can integrate API with existing systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, to provide a seamless customer experience. This helps optimize support costs and increase efficiency.
- The API provides analytics and reporting tools to help businesses measure the effectiveness of their communication and optimize their strategy.
- Companies can enable account access and passwords support through multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify accounts and users.
Generally, WhatsApp Business API is meant for larger businesses. The first 1000 conversations are free for WhatsApp API users every month. Then, WhatsApp charges separately for user-initiated and business-initiated messages.
Challenges of WhatsApp Business APIs
The use of the WhatsApp Business API comes with some challenges that businesses should be aware of.
These challenges include
- The need to use a third-party provider to integrate the API into their systems, which can add costs and complexity to the integration process.
- Additionally, businesses must go through an approval process to use the API, which can take time and requires meeting certain criteria.
- The WhatsApp Business API has certain messaging restrictions, including limitations on promotional messages and customer reach. Businesses must comply with various regulations and policies, including data protection laws and WhatsApp's policies.
- Businesses must address customer privacy concerns, as some customers may hesitate to receive messages from businesses and want their data handled appropriately.
While the WhatsApp Business APIs are useful, these challenges must be considered and addressed before companies implement them.
How SMBs can use Cooby instead of WhatsApp API to stay more effective and efficient
Time is key.
While WhatsApp APIs are effective, it takes a lot of time to set up and execute, time that you can spend focusing on customers.
All businesses are not the same. WhatsApp APIs are more suitable for large businesses and enterprises. However, startups and small businesses need solutions that are customized to their specific needs. Cooby provides such solutions with its feature-rich chrome extension to make people’s lives easier, especially those who use individual WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business WhatsApp at work.
All you need to do is subscribe, and Cooby takes care of everything for you, including
- Organizing inbox
- Creating notes
- Setting up reminders
- Performing CRM tasks
- Reaching inbox zero
How to choose the best WhatsApp solution for your business
Different businesses to have different needs.
If you’re a startup, Cooby-powered WhatsApp/WhatsApp Business (free version) would be a reliable option to cater to your needs, like reaching out to customers in time, or having the clarity and focus you need to attend to several work conversations on WhatsApp.
On the other hand, if you’re a small to medium-sized business, the normal WhatsApp for Business (free version) or WhatsApp Business (premium version) would be a good choice. Equipping it with Cooby will let you be more organized, productive, and efficient. It will sync chats, contacts, and deals or opportunities to your CRM without any manual work.
When you’re a larger business (or even enterprise), you would have different needs that simply cannot be satisfied with a basic tool like WhatsApp for Business, for which you would have to use something like a WhatsApp Business API to get more functionality.
Go back to the basics
Evaluate your needs and choose the right tool to help solve your goals. While WhatsApp Business and API are helpful, the element of increasing productivity and efficiency of users still stands far from these applications. Cooby allows you to bridge that gap, and make your WhatsApp ready to support a multitude of customer interactions.
With Cooby, you can take control of your inbox right from the moment you subscribe.
Start with installing Cooby’s Chrome extension and let it take care of your WhatsApp, just like it deserves.