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How to use WhatsApp to boost your business in Hong Kong

With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp Messenger is still one of the most popular personal messaging platforms in Hong Kong despite its recent controversy.

Its business messaging platform is not lagging behind either. Released in 2018, WhatsApp Business in Hong Kong is growing in popularity daily. More than 175 million people are messaging a WhatsApp Business account every day, according to a  statement released by WhatsApp.

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is mainly an app for businesses and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong to interact better with their customers by providing more information, updates, and automated replies— completely free of charge.

WhatsApp Business can also help medium and large businesses provide customer support and deliver important notifications to customers, elevating the level of services provided.

If you have separate business and personal phone numbers, you can still run both WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business on the same phone. However, each app must have its own unique phone numbers.

Features of WhatsApp Business

Basically, WhatsApp Business is built with the features of WhatsApp Messenger, but with new functions specifically created to make doing business a breeze. Some features of WhatsApp Business include the following:

  • Business Profile where customers find information like website, location, and contact information at a glance.
  • Automated Responses for owners to create Greeting, Quick Replies, and Away messages to streamline the business process.
  • Landline/Fixed Number Support where customers can message sellers.
  • Labels for owners to easily organise contacts and chats.
  • Catalogue Feature for customers to browse through the products and services provided.
  • Statistics for owners tomonitor their interactions.

 

Other WhatsApp Business features (that are also on WhatsApp Messenger)

  • Free calls to call or video-call friends and family even when they’re overseas, with no extra charges to call them internationally.
  • Group chat to stay in touch with multiple people all at once.
  • WhatsApp Web to send and receive WhatsApp messages from the computer’s browser.
  • Document sharing to receive PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps.

If you’re not on WhatsApp Business, it’s time to start your account now. Here are six tips to get the most out of your WhatsApp Business account to boost your business in Hong Kong.

6 Steps to Make Use of WhatsApp Business to Boost Your Business

  1. Get a separate business number

WhatsApp only allows one mobile number to be linked to one WhatsApp account. The good thing is, your business number doesn’t have to be a mobile phone number. It can also be your landline or fixed number.

Some business owners may opt to transfer their WhatsApp Messenger account’s chat history to their WhatsApp Business account. Why do we not recommend that?

That’s because if you decide to stop using your Business account one day, your chat history cannot be transferred. It’s also always better to keep your personal chats and work chats separate, for a clear delineation between working and personal hours.

  1. Fill up your business profile

Upload your business logo, choose the nature of your company’s business, and enter your company’s contacts, address, description, e-mail address, website, as well as the opening hours.

Filling up your business profile may seem like a small step, but it can make your business in Hong Kong more visible, accessible, and credible. Customers can easily find out additional information about your store such as your website, contact information, and location in Hong Kong at a glance. They don’t need to waste time searching for a mobile number or an email address on the internet.

  1. Make use of the catalogue

According to WhatsApp, more than 40 million people worldwide view a business’s catalogue each month.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

To grab your audience’s attention, select eye-catching images for your mobile storefront to show off your products and services. You should also include their descriptions and price for consumers to have a better idea of your products and services.

  1. Set up your Greeting, Quick Replies, and Away messages

In this inter-connected day and age, consumers are used to instant messaging and rapid communication. Fortunately, WhatsApp Business has Greeting, Quick Replies, and Away messages to keep your audience engaged, save yourself some much-needed time, and provide better customer service round-the-clock.

Want to provide a more instant and personalised touch? Greeting messages can be automatically sent to customers when they first message you, or after 14 days of inactivity in their chat with you.

Happen to receive the same questions again and again? Quick Replies create ready-made answers based on the most frequently asked questions and answer queries efficiently and quickly.

Not available on your phone 24/7? Away messages respond to all incoming messages that you’re not available at certain periods.

  1. Label your chats

Sort your chats into different labels like the following:

  • New customers
  • New orders
  • Pending payment
  • Complete

This ensures that messages do not fall through the cracks. Your chats are also more organised so you can easily find them again, simplifying your entire business process.

  1. Track your interactions

Under the Settings menu, study the number of messages sent and delivered, the actual readings, the number of messages received, and the number of users who blocked your account.

The most important statistics to take note of is the number of messages sent, which affects your business’s messaging tier.

There are a total of 3 tiers.

  • Tier 1: Business can send messages to 1,000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period
  • Tier 2: Business can send messages to 10,000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period
  • Tier 3: Business can send messages to 100,000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period

A WhatsApp Business’s account will be upgraded to the next tier if the cumulative amount of users it sends notifications to adds up to twice its current messaging limit within a 7-day period and if the business maintain its quality rating between Medium to High.

Use these statistics to refine and create a solid marketing strategy for your business in Hong Kong.

(Extra) 6. Get an Official WhatsApp Business account

In Hong Kong, a majority of the accounts on WhatsApp Business is a regular business account. Only certain business accounts are listed as an Official Business Account which come with a Green Tick badge next to the business contact’s name. The name of your business will also be visible even if the user hasn’t added the business to his/her address book.

Listing a business as an Official Business Account is not easy and based on a variety of factors. You must first apply for WhatsApp API access through a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP). Reach out to your BSP to apply for Green Tick once your WhatsApp Business API access is approved.

However, WhatsApp only grants the green tick badge to a select few businesses with the following criteria, according to a BSP’s experience:

  • Is a business (individuals are not allowed)
  • Top 10% of the businesses
  • Using WhatsApp Approved Business Account
  • 2-Step Authentication is enabled
  • Facebook Business Manager is verified by Facebook
  • Tier 2 or above messaging level

If your application is rejected by WhatsApp, you can re-apply only after 3 months and no option to appeal.

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