File picture: IANS
File picture: IANS

How WhatsApp can be an effective communication tool for SA businesses

By IOL TECH reporter Time of article published Jun 9, 2020

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As firms battle for customer attention, revenue and engagement, it has become increasingly important for organisations to make connections with their customers. The challenge is finding the right channels and ensuring that those channels are validated, secure and relevant.

And what is more perfect than WhatsApp to tackle this challenge?

“WhatsApp provides the ability to infuse brand personality into B2C communication, enabling businesses to engage with their customers on a more personal level,” said Matt Grobler, Presales Engineer at INOVO. “This channel has more potential than email or SMS to increase trust and brand loyalty because it’s accessible, popular and relevant to the South African consumer.”

WhatsApp has become the most popular mobile messenger app in the world with more than two billion monthly active users in more than 180 countries. 

Of those two billion users, South Africans make up around 38 million. According to Digital 2020: South Africa, a report developed by HootSuite, 62% of the South African population is on the internet, 94% of those are engaged on social media, and most of them use WhatsApp.

“If you compare these numbers to email, it rapidly shows how relevant WhatsApp has become as a method of communication for the business,” said Grobler. “Many people in South Africa don’t have access to, or are not active on, email, which makes WhatsApp a far more accessible and relevant choice.”

South African customers want seamless self-service channels, better information, and someone to help them when they got stuck. They also want on-demand support that’s relevant to their needs and don't expect them to wait for hours, listen to bad music or get transferred around the call centre.  

“There is an ever-growing number of business use cases for introducing self-service options via WhatsApp. People think about chatbots in isolation, but they can be leveraged through a channel like WhatsApp to field repetitive customer queries, such as opening times or product availability. This provides a win-win situation for everyone – customers are able to quickly get the answers they need when they need them, while contact centres are improving their CX, reducing the cost of service, and freeing up their agents to handle more complex queries.”

While WhatsApp can be used to send updates on applications, deliveries or other important information through notifications, it also provides an opportunity for enhanced real-time engagement and on-the-spot resolution. 

Ultimately WhatsApp plays a significant role in creating customer communications that are relevant, accessible and targeted. If incorporated into your entire customer communications strategy, this messenger app allows for deeper control over customer engagement.


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