If you're ready to take your business to the next level, but the thought of leaving behind your trusty WhatsApp messenger gives you the chills, fear not! WhatsApp has heard the cries of business owners and created a separate app and API specifically designed for business use, cleverly named WhatsApp Business.
In this blog, we'll be exploring how to change WhatsApp to business account, how easy it is to switch, and the advantages of using a WhatsApp Business Account.
Before we discuss how to change WhatsApp to business account, let's understand the differences between the three WhatsApp products currently in the market - WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Business App, and the WhatsApp Business API.
WhatsApp Messenger is a popular instant messaging platform used by individuals and businesses throughout the world. It was created as a free to download app by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009, and acquired by Facebook Inc. in 2014. The free to download instant messaging app is used by over 2 billion people for quick messaging, calls, and sharing files to stay densely connected with their families, friends, and colleagues.
Since its launch, WhatsApp has become a go-to business app among millions of users worldwide. With more companies using the end-to-end encryption platform to communicate with clients and teams, the popularity of WhatsApp is only growing stronger.
With small and micro businesses and entrepreneurs around the world looking for new channels to reach out to their customers, the WhatsApp Business app offers a viable solution. Small businesses download WhatsApp Business to create professional profiles, organize contacts with labels, and provide quick responses with automated messages.
Furthermore, businesses can also send out notifications when they launch campaigns and promotions to keep their audiences informed. Unlike WhatsApp Messenger, the WhatsApp Business app offers small business owners and entrepreneurs an effective way to manage communication with customers.
The WhatsApp Business API offers large and medium businesses the opportunity to scale their customer engagement and automate processes for a seamless customer experience. With BSPs (Business Solutions Providers) jumping on board to extend their services, this powerful application can be integrated with various other programs to provide personalized customer interactions through automated messages or two-way conversations.
If you have been using WhatsApp Messenger to talk to customers, ensure you do the following before proceeding to switch to the WhatsApp Business Account:
Take a local backup of your past and ongoing customer chat history in the WhatsApp Messenger app. To do this, Open WhatsApp Messenger > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Backup to Google Drive or Backup to iCloud. If you do not need chat history, you can ignore this step.
Make sure the app on your phone is updated to the latest version of WhatsApp Messenger since the switchover will not work if you are on an outdated version. Once done, proceed to convert WhatsApp to a Business Account with the instructions below.
Follow the steps mentioned below to convert your personal WhatsApp account to a Business Account:
Let’s look at some of the features available on the WhatsApp Business app below.
You can add contact details to your business profile such as business name, business category, address, profile picture, secondary business number, and website links.
You can showcase the products and services you offer in the form of catalogs and display them in your business profile.
You can add Labels to categorize different kinds of customers that you interact with such as new customers, existing customers, payment issues, troubleshooting, etc.
Greeting Message and Away Message
You can set up automatic messages to welcome new messages and to inform customers when you are away. On the regular WhatsApp account, however, you can only see the online and last seen status.
You can add up to 512 contacts in a Group and share updates, offers and announcements at one go. WhatsApp is also working on increasing the limit to 1024 shortly.
You can create click-to-chat links, QR Codes, and even short links which can be shared with prospects and customers to initiate new conversations.
The WhatsApp Business account comes with a bunch of benefits over WhatsApp Messenger. Let's see what these are below:
Improved Customer Communication
The app enables businesses to communicate with their customers more efficiently, resulting in better customer satisfaction.
The app provides end-to-end encryption, ensuring the privacy and security of customer communications.
WhatsApp Business is a cost-effective communication tool that can be used to reach a large number of customers without incurring any costs since the app is free to use.
Now that we have looked at the benefits, let's also see why the WhatsApp Business Account may not be the right fit for your business:
Limited multi-user login
The WhatsApp Business app can be simultaneously used across 5 devices only. This will be a major problem when your business scales and you begin receiving huge influx of customer queries.
Poor automation capabilities
The WhatsApp Business app only lets you set up away and greeting messages. Customized automations such as chatbots are not possible.
The WhatsApp Business app only allows you to send broadcasts to a maximum of 256 contacts per day. This will greatly affect your marketing strategy if you have a large and growing customer base.
While basic statistics on messages sent and received are available, it is not possible to see performance reports of any kind on the WhatsApp Business app.
If any of the limitations mentioned are a concern for your business, it means your business has outgrown the WhatsApp Business app. The WhatsApp Business API is a much better option for your business if you have a large and rapidly growing customer base. Ultimately, it is a matter of scale that lets you decide between the app and the API.
If you have hit the kind of scale that warrants an upgrade from the WhatsApp Business account, then the WhatsApp API is the best answer for you. See how you can move to the WhatsApp Business API below:
Meta works with a handful of solution providers across the globe that provide specialized solutions in the form of platforms or messaging tools that solve several business needs. Access to the API is available to these BSPs who build integrations on top of it, which is why it is recommended to make use of the API via a Meta-approved BSP such as Donut.cx.
Ensure you compare pricing, feature capabilities, third-party integrations, and customer support when deciding on a BSP. Note that you can only work with one BSP at a time, you cannot connect the same account to multiple BSPs.
Next, create a Facebook Business Manager for your business. If you have an existing presence on Facebook and Instagram and if you run Ads on these platforms, you likely already have a Facebook Business Manager. You then have to verify your Facebook Business Manager by submitting legal documentation to Meta, confirming that you are a legitimate business with permission to operate in your state, city, or country.
If you are unable to verify your Facebook Business Manager, Donut.cx can help you through the entire process and offer best practices to ensure your verification is successful.
Once you become a Facebook-verified business, proceed to apply for the WhatsApp Business API next with your BSP. Your BSP will create a WhatsApp Approved Business Account (WABA) on your behalf by using your Facebook Business Manager ID, Business Name, and Phone Number. This WABA will be reviewed by Meta to check if your business complies with their policies. BSPs like Donut.cx can help you complete the API approval process seamlessly since we have a direct line of communication with WhatsApp support if any issues should come up.
The WhatsApp commerce policy restricts businesses that sell certain products such as tobacco and alcohol from using their services. Any business that partakes in selling goods and services under the prohibited list will not be approved to use the WhatsApp Business API.
Finally, once all your approvals are in process, you can go ahead and integrate WhatsApp with your BSP's platform. For this, you need to ensure the following:
Once done, your BSP will help you complete the OTP verification step and backend configurations to set up your integration. You are then all set to begin communicating with your customers on their most preferred platform!
Donut.cx is an official Meta Business Partner and our platform integrates directly with the WhatsApp Business API. Here's what you can do with Donut.cx + WhatsApp Business API:
With Donut.cx's WhatsApp API integration, you can carry out customer service and business operations more effectively.
Enhance customer loyalty with Donut.cx