When it comes to instant messaging or IM apps, people have their own taste, some of them prefer Facebook’s Messenger, other’s go for Skype, while there are many who would rather stick to WhatsApp – a subsidiary of Facebook. But it’s not just everyday users who enjoy these platforms, many businesses also rely heavily on IM solutions in order to streamline communication.
For many years when it came to business IM platforms, most people thought of Skype for Business. However, companies have started to discover WhatsApp as well, which is on a promising path to become a worthy ally in achieving more effective business communications.
The Benefits of Businesses Implementing WhatsApp
However you might feel about Facebook and its scandalous handling of data collected from the main site and its apps, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that WhatsApp is still a fast, reliable and, most importantly, free IM solution that is trusted by over 1.5 billion users worldwide.
In fact, this impressive number of users is one of the many reasons why WhatsApp is more than ideal for businesses as well. Since it’s likely that most people are already using the app for personal communications, it only takes the creation of a group containing colleagues and employees to allow for faster and more efficient chatting and file sharing. In addition to that, WhatsApp as a platform is better suited to brief messages, which are more likely to be opened immediately than the email that most businesses still rely on.
But this isn’t the only reason that WhatsApp is beneficial for businesses. It’s also a great tool for establishing better, more personal customer communication, providing additional, instant customer support, and even advertising the company to loyal clients.
WhatsApp Business: The Competitor to Skype for Business?
Even though the standard version of WhatsApp is ideal as a simple and straightforward business communications platform, in 2018 the company launched WhatsApp Business, providing everything that the personal WhatsApp does and adding in new features that cater for businesses. One such feature includes the option to set up a business profile complete with open hours, a business description, and contact information. However, users can also make use of quick replies to reduce response time, automated messages based on various criteria, labels to organize chats and contacts in a more logical manner, and even messaging analytics.
As a matter of fact, none of these features are present in its primary competitor, Skype for Business, which in ideal circumstances would mean that WhatsApp Business is the better choice. But, sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. For one thing, WhatsApp Business is currently exclusive to Android – with the iOS version still being in development – but it has also retained many of the disadvantages present in the standard version, such as limiting audio and video calls to only two participants and the need to associate a phone number of a valid phone service provider.
When compared to that, Skype for Business is a behemoth, able to provide conferencing for up to 250 people, full integration with Microsoft Office 365, and even call recording. And unlike WhatsApp, Skype is a valid VoIP solution, meaning that not only are you given the option to port your phone number to the company but you also enjoy all the advanced features that are associated with such a service.
WhatsApp and VoIP
In its current state WhatsApp has a long way to go before being considered an alternative to Skype for Business, let alone any known VoIP solutions. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud phone service users can’t benefit from WhatsApp; in fact, it’s perfect for serving as a complementary solution to VoIP, especially when it comes to text-based communication.
Admittedly, most VoIP services also provide business texting or entire messaging platforms, ultimately making the addition of WhatsApp to be something of a third wheel. However, in many cases the business SMS feature of cloud phone systems is subject to an extra monthly fee, whereas WhatsApp, on the other hand, offers the same service – or its advanced version, to be precise – entirely free of charge.
This is in addition to group messaging and quick file sharing. And if that’s not enough, each landline number belonging to one VoIP subscription can be associated with a WhatsApp account, meaning that your business phone numbers can be used for reaching out to new contacts via WhatsApp, too.
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