People are highly impressed with the way the government has been communicating with the nation through its WhatsApp number (+27 60 012 3456), providing updates on the coronavirus measures put in place recently.
When people send an initial message with the word, “Hi”, to its WhatsApp Business number, they receive a reply-message advising them, that they could use keywords in the reply-message, to get further information on what to do in terms of containing the spread of the virus.
This official support service of the National Department of Health, to provide up-to-date information on COVID-19, is a smart move on the part of the government, having been advised that most people with cell phones in the country, uses WhatsApp to communicate.
In the first week alone, more than 1.5 million people used the service to access up-to-date information on government’s measures to contain the spread of the virus and overall more than 15 million messages were sent through this WhatsApp Business number.
However, most businesses are not aware of the free WhatsApp Business, of which one of its main features, allow you to create catalogues “to showcase your products and services”.
Once you’ve designed a catalogue and loaded it onto WhatsApp Business, you can send it when people request more information on your products and services.
It also has a feature, which is known as “Quick Replies”, that allows you to “Save and reuse”, without having to re-type the same information, as and when requested by people looking for more details on your business, products, and services.
WhatsApp Business, unlike the standard version, which most people are using, also allows you to create a “Business Profile” featuring key details about your business inclusive of your “address, business description, email address and website”, etc.
The most dynamic feature of WhatsApp Business is that it also allows you to automate messages, wherein you could create an “Away Message”, similar to that of an answering service when you are not connected to the platform.
The reply-message could include details as to when you will be online again as well as advising people of your contact details and other social media channels.
These are exactly the exciting features, which the government is exploiting on WhatsApp Business with its Covid-19 support service.
WhatsApp Business also ties in very well with the QR Code, which is making a serious come-back, in that you could produce one containing your number and once people have “scanned* the Code, it will automatically open their own WhatsApp to send you a message requesting details on your business, products, services and special offers.
The biggest advantage of using a QR Code for WhatsApp Business is that people don’t have to add your number to their address book and you could even load the Code with a pre-designed message and they also don’t have to type anything but just press the send button.
Best of all is that businesses will have the contact details of people who’ve inquired about their products and services, which they could now add to their own marketing list and send these people regular updates on specials and news items.