7 ways to use WhatsApp for Business for customer contact

WhatsApp is not only great for communicating with family, friends or colleagues, it is also perfectly suited as a contact channel for businesses.

Door Christa Lokkerbol

7.5 min read

21 February 2022

WhatsApp Business to get in touch with customers via WhatsApp

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With more than 2 billion daily users in 180 countries, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular mobile contact channel. The tool is most often used to stay in touch with friends and family.

Yet WhatsApp is not only great for communicating with family, friends or colleagues, it is also perfectly suited as a contact channel for businesses. As a customer, how easy is it to just call and ask for some product information?

However, WhatsApp wants to prevent the platform from being abused for commercial purposes. That is why Whatsapp for business was developed. It is an excellent solution for companies to enable messaging through WhatsApp with customers and potential customers.

WhatsApp Business offers companies all the possibilities of the consumer WhatsApp version, such as voice messages, video calls and sharing photos, videos and documents. In addition, WhatsApp Business offers additional features that make the solution even more interesting for businesses.

What is WhatsApp for Business?

WhatsApp is a messaging app from Facebook where users can send text or voice messages and make voice and video calls. Although it is primarily a mobile app, it can also be used on a desktop. Starting in 2018, WhatsApp released WhatsApp for Business to allow businesses to communicate with customers who are on the app.

WhatsApp Business App vs. WhatsApp API

For business use, WhatsApp has two flavours depending on the size of the business.

The WhatsApp Business App is for small businesses. It is available for free for Android and iPhone and comes with basic support features such as quick replies, tags, and a business profile.

The downside is that it only offers one seat per account. And it is not feasible to share one mobile device. Therefore, it is not ideal for large, professional service teams.

The WhatsApp Business API is built for larger companies with professional customer communication teams.

Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, the WhatsApp Business API does not have its own front-end interface, but can connect to customer communication solutions such as Steam-connect.

WhatsApp Business vs. WhatsApp API

What is the functionality of WhatsApp for Business?

Currently, WhatsApp for Business offers the following features:

  • Company profile to include important information, such as the company’s address, email address and website.
  • Labels to organise your chats and messages, so you can find them easily.
  • Message tools to reply to customers quickly.

1. Create a business profile

In your business profile you can set up a logo, add your company name and important information. Put in your website, address and email address.

2. Opening hours.

A great thing about the business profile is that you can set your opening hours. You want to be able to respond 24/7, but not 24/7 behind your screen. If you add your opening hours, customers know where they stand and you can set up automatic notifications when you are not there.

3. Set up auto-replies.

WhatsApp Business lets you set up automatic responses, such as absence messages, quick replies and welcome messages.

4. Track statistics.

WhatsApp Business allows you to monitor your statistics, such as messages sent and received. This will help you optimize your performance!

8 facts & figures about WhatsApp that you may not have heard

If we haven’t convinced you that using WhatsApp Business for customer contact is a good idea, here are some more facts and figures:

  • 2 billion people worldwide use WhatsApp at least once a month. After WhatsApp come Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
  • WhatsApp is the number one choice for people all over the world.
  • 58% percent of users use the app multiple times a day.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the number of active users increased by 450 million.
  • In Brazil, the United Kingdom, India and Mexico, WhatsApp was the most downloaded in 2022.
  • 27% of WhatsApp users are between 26 and 35.
  • On New Year’s Eve 2020, a record 1.4 billion video calls were made.

Is WhatsApp for Business suitable as a customer contact channel?

As a business, it is important that you are where your audience is.

Since WhatsApp is the most popular chat app worldwide, you can use it to get in touch with customers from all over the world.

In fact, there are only 25 countries where WhatsApp is not the market leader.

WhatsApp gebruiken voor klantcontact 1


WhatsApp is hugely popular, which means you can use it for marketing, sales and customer service.

There are a number of reasons why using WhatsApp for Business for customer contact is a good idea:

1. WhatsApp is a valuable communication channel

As a customer service organisation, there are many channels through which your customers can reach you: e-mail, live chat, social media and by phone.

Serving multiple channels is important for your customers. In fact, research shows that 35% of customers expect a company to have a omnichannel strategy.

WhatsApp allows your agents to connect with customers around the world on a platform where they are anyway. You bring your livechat directly to the customer, without them having to go to your site.

In addition, it is a secure channel and all company profiles on WhatsApp are verified, so it feels familiar to customers.

This way, you can really build a relationship with your customer.

By the way, did you know that 9 out of 10 customers prefer to communicate with a company via messages?

2. You can use chatbots

Just like live chat, WhatsApp also has the possibility of deploying chatbots. For example, you can answer frequently asked questions with a chatbot, leaving your customer service team more time for important matters.

You can also automate greetings or thank you messages to keep your response time low.

But: don’t leave all communication to your bot. You still need people for personal customer contact.

3. You can integrate it with your other channels

It can be difficult to offer multiple contact channels if you have to maintain them all separately.

WhatsApp can be integrated with software systems such as Steam-connect, so you can see all incoming messages in one interface.

You can also put a button on your social channels or website that takes visitors directly to your WhatsApp.

4. You can create mailing groups to calculate NPS

Collecting feedback is one of the most important roles of customer service.

When you want to collect feedback, you can create a mailing group in WhatsApp. This will make it easier to send out surveys and measure your NPS. You can send a link to hundreds of people at once.

People also respond faster to chats than emails.

5. You can enrich your message

As a customer service team, you may need to send photos, videos or PDFs to your customers.

WhatsApp lets you send all that in one thread. That’s how you enrich your conversations considerably.

Customer contact via WhatsApp tips & tricks

WhatsApp is a customer service channel for more and more companies. Since the majority of people use it as their main communication channel, it’s a very natural way to interact with companies.

Here are our tips to make your customer contact via WhatsApp a success:

1. Always respond within 24 hours

This may sound obvious, but quick answers are a cornerstone of successful customer contact via WhatsApp. In fact, 42% of people expect a response from a company within an hour. It also turns out that the faster you respond, the more people want to pay you.

2. Use different content forms

We mentioned it above: WhatsApp lets you send media and documents. For example, you can send tutorials or how-to videos to your customers.

Also, using some GIFs to give your customer service a fun, smooth vibe (though not if you’re a funeral director).

3. Adapt your communication style to the platform

WhatsApp is used by everyone all the time, so it requires you to adopt a more personal and informal tone in your customer interactions. Customers today want to have real conversations and not just respond to one-way traffic.

This way, you can also further express your brand personality.

4. Add a chat widget to your website

The WhatsApp Business API allows you to add a chat widget to your website.

This way, you can keep the conversation on WhatsApp instead of moving to phone or email. This ensures greater customer satisfaction.

5. Handle contacts in a software tool

Answering dozens of messages on your phone is not realistic. It takes a lot of time and is not scalable, not to mention how sore your thumbs will be.

Luckily, we’ve integrated WhatsApp for Business into Steam-connect. That way, all your messages arrive in one interface, which you can then distribute to agents or customer service staff.

The great thing about this solution is that all other customer contact also enters Steam Connect, so that it makes no difference to customers if they switch channels in between. You have all information in the same place.

How do I get started with WhatsApp Business?

Especially for our customers, we have an application form that allows you to quickly integrate WhatsApp for Business into Steam-connect. Please contact sales. Not a Steam user yet, but now you’re curious how this omnichannel platform works? Request a free demo.

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