When Prakriti Herbals claimed that it was drawing a lot of repeat orders through WhatsApp, it seemed like an awesome thing to do. The owner Neeta Adappa was going where here customers were. But as is rightly pointed out in a number of follow up articles, it may not be the best thing to do for someone running a bigger or more complicated business. Not every product can be sold on facebook. Not many businesses can miss the importance of emotions, intent and urgency generated by direct calls. But first, here is why it worked for Neeta:
- She created a marketing funnel for her business with robust customer service. Her leads would come from facebook and new product release would be advertised through whatsapp.
- It ensured that no customer would be lost because her phone was busy. She received EVERY message and responded back.
- She created a reputation for her number. People trusted her and added her number in their cell phones.
But sufficient number of businesses have learned or realized that atleast in its present form; whatsapp is not the best way to build credibility.
- Not every business can afford to explain entire customer issues through whatsapp API. The details, for example for a real estate business, would include complex specifications and negotiations. A better way would be to handle them on a customer service call.
- The response time on WhatsApp can be very high. On average, MyOperator a leading cloud call center software users handle 500 minutes of customer calls every day. Translating it into answering through text that too by a single user is not practicable.
- Expecting businesses to save a number and wishing they would text you when a problem arises sounds unrealistic. They will instead call you right away and get it over with. A better deal would be to have a number on which people can call and reach out instantly. Still better would be to give them a virtual toll free number so that multiple calls can run at the same time on the same number.
- If your customer has your number, that is your opportunity to show a professional face. Mostly, customers opt for IVRs because they simply greet the caller professionally. While there are multiple measurable benefits that a virtual IVR service provides, professionalism speaks the loudest.
When we talk to businesses, they are marketing through a number of channels. With multiple places where you have invested your money, you need to re-imagine how to optimize the lead funnel. With over 80% business happening over phone, businesses do not even realize that they might be missing on interested customers. This means, for all the accountability in the business and set processes, you are still losing on a lot of worth you have created from your campaigns.
As a business you need to look at achieving just what Neeta did.
-Create your marketing funnel and waterproof it by recording every incoming call.
-Ensure that you opt for a virtual number so that multiple people can connect to same number at the same time.
-Even if your number is busy, have a track of every one who tried to connect to you.
-And last but not the least; create a reputation for your number. Build your brand with a professional customer helpline number.