How WhatsApp can get small businesses closer to their customers during COVID-19 crisis

Jay, 2020-07-02

In any business, one of the key drivers of success is how well the business understands its target customers and how closely do the target customers identify with what the business sells as a solution to their needs.

In any business, one of the key drivers of success is how well the business understands its target customers and how closely do the target customers identify with what the business sells as a solution to their needs. In general, all sound business plans are based on the former and most aspects of a marketing plan pertain to the latter. And COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in both by making it difficult for businesses to engage with customers using most offline modes. And therefore, enterprises are compelled to drive customer engagement for the most part through online channels. For small businesses with a limited budget, WhatsApp can be one of the most effective tools that could be leveraged to further customer reach. The following are different business requirements that could be met by intelligently utilizing WhatsApp features:

Market Research

Do college-going girls prefer red tops over pink ones? Do school-kids prefer using pens of a certain brand and ink colour? Is the demand for torn jeans expected to rise more than faded jeans in the coming future? A big company would not have much problems in figuring such small details that could later go on to shape its plans. But small businesses are constrained by budget and team size, and cannot invest much in market research. However, what the latter can do is use the WhatsApp Poll feature to generate polls, which its target customers could respond to via the same chat-app.

There are two benefits of conducting WhatsApp Polls:

  • A greater percentage of people would take them because they are to be taken conveniently over a smartphone
  • Since it is an impersonal interaction, their responses are bound to be more genuine and honest.

Also, remember during the ongoing lockdown, even big businesses would not be able to conduct offline market research through their sales representatives. Therefore, this is the ideal time for you as a small business owner to up your game and build your market research capabilities.

E-store: The need of the age

With a growing percentage of purchases happening over digital channels, big brands are rushing to set up their own digital stores on their websites. But creating and managing an e-store comes with its own technical challenges and costs. However, WhatsApp allows small businesses to have e-stores of their own. Even a business owner with limited technical ability would be able to create and manage a WhatsApp E-Store which would allow customers to place and cancel orders and make payments.

If you use a tool like Vepaar CRM, you would also be able to create customer profiles, maintain transaction records, and create a business page. In addition, since you are now aware of the individual pain-points and desires of your customers, you could create advertise appropriate products and combo-offers which could be marketed in a personalized manner.

Given that offline marketing is almost impossible in the current crisis scenario, it makes a lot of sense for a business owner to go all-in with digital marketing. And as a small business owner, WhatsApp-based marketing is ideal to engage in, given its cost-effectiveness and engagement potential.

Customer Chat Support

As a small business owner, you would not be able to have your own tele-calling team that would dedicatedly focus on calling up customers for their product feedback. Guess what? Even the big companies that do have such extensive tele-calling happening end up causing a lot of irritation to customers who receive calls at random hours. WhatsApp allows you to communicate with the customer a lot more non-intrusively. Using WhatsApp, you could provide tech support, ask for feedback, and may even recommend products based on the customer’s past purchases and requirements. And all of this could be handled by a team of one.

If you are a small enterprise, the challenge of shaping up to meet the hurdles that the pandemic has created in running your business will test your mettle and character as an entrepreneur. The crisis would be the best time to ring in the evolution of your business and be poised to take it to the next level. Tapping into the potential of WhatsApp could go a long way in aiding you to achieve this transformation.

Want to learn more? Request a demo with us.

During the demo, we’ll focus on evaluating your current business process, problems and goals, show you how Vepaar could help you get better results, and get you set up with a free trial.