April 14, 2020
“In some countries, WhatsApp is like oxygen.”Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp
In January 2018, Facebook launched WhatsApp Business with the aim of connecting millions of small enterprises with their potential customers at a minimal cost. Since then, the product has become popular among micro enterprises, from logistics companies to online fish vendors. While dentists have gone to Google, Facebook, and even Instagram to advertise themselves, WhatsApp Business has not been actively used to gain or maintain business. In this article, we explain why you should consider using WhatsApp Business to engage your patients.
Easy to communicate
“If you get a WhatsApp message, you’re probably going to open it. That’s the interesting thing.”Harper Reed
Patients may sometimes be unable to take your calls because of their own work commitments, or your availability. Messages, reminders, or notifications on WhatsApp give them the option to check and respond to your messages with minimal intrusion. You can also track the message status, and when it has been received or read, just like the WhatsApp app.
Separate messaging app
WhatsApp Business is a separate app in your phone. So there is minimal intrusion with your personal WhatsApp account. All you need is a separate SIM card, and you will be able to send unlimited messages to any number of contacts, free of cost.
P.S.: Do not confuse the WhatsApp Business app with WhatsApp Business API, which is meant for larger businesses and charges users for replying to messages older than 24 hours. It also does not allow promotional messages, unlike the WhatsApp Business app.
Easy to manage by receptionist or assistant
Since the user interface is similar to WhatsApp, your receptionist or assistant can easily respond to messages and send notifications, reminders, or offers to concerned patients in case you are busy with other patients. They can even access the app through the clinic’s laptop.
WhatsApp Business offers some unique features that are not available on the WhatsApp app.
Business profile: The app allows you to create a business profile, where you can add information about your clinic and also create a catalog to illustrate different procedures performed at your clinic, or showcase past cases.
Greeting messages: You can set up greeting messages for people messaging you for the first time.
Quick replies: Quick replies are replies to frequently asked queries by patients which can be saved and used again. (e.g., your address or operating hours).
Away messages: If you are busy and unable to respond to a message immediately, you can send an automated message letting the patient know that you’re busy and will get back to their query.
Chat list filtering: This feature can help organize chats into categories such as unread messages, groups, or broadcast lists. One can send broadcasts up to 256 contacts in a single go with any content.
Labels: This feature helps you to organize contacts and chats per your convenience.
We hope this article motivates you to give the app a shot. After downloading the app, you need to create your business profile by filling up details such as address, email address, website, working hours, and description of your clinic.
You can also provide a link to your WhatsApp Business or personal account on your clinic’s website. We’re sure the ubiquitous green icon will be hard to miss. To add the link, just hyperlink the object/text with the following address:
If you need help in setting up your clinic’s website, feel free to reach out to us.
About the author
Dr. Shilpy Bhandari is a Hyderabad-based Periodontist and the founder of Dentistry Insider. She has worked extensively across dental clinics of all sizes — from large corporate chains to small, independent setups.
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