Think about it, in days gone by when you were the only business with a website and a great product, you could afford to have a 48-hour communication turnaround.
Today, however, the bar is not only a lot higher but in some cases unattainable without the latest technical assistance.
So the question arises at this point, is your business using a WhatsApp QR code?
The QR Code Case
QR codes are the next evolution of bar codes; squares within a square aligned in columns and rows and readable by machines and, thankfully, our phone cameras.
Whereas standard barcodes can represent up to 25 characters, QR codes take this to another level holding up to 3Kb of data. Maxing out at 177 rows and 177 columns, these digital squares can potentially hold over 31,000 modules (squares).
QR codes become more valuable to businesses as they enter mainstream consciousness. Whether it is to make a payment or to get more information on a company or product, consumers have become accustomed to scanning a code.
WhatsApp and QR Codes
2020 was the year of the QR code, no doubt about it. Both Apple and Android users now have a QR scanner built into their phones which negates the need to install a separate QR scanning app.
In mid-2020 WhatsApp introduced the QR code feature for their business users.
“In its official statement, WhatsApp claimed, “QR codes are a digital front door that makes opening a chat with a business as easy as possible. Previously when people came across an interesting business, they had to add its WhatsApp number to their contacts, one number at a time. Now, people simply can scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging or receipt to initiate a chat." (Source)
Tech babble aside, how can QR codes, coupled with WhatsApp, help to grow a healthy contact list for your business?
Creating a Digital Front Door
QR codes can be displayed anywhere, and contain any information that you prefer. From your website to printed catalogues, receipts, packaging, and even on your storefront window. What will your message be?
- Pre-Filled Messages
When a curious customer scans a WhatsApp QR code, you can automatically start a conversation with a prefilled message.
For example, a real estate agent may use a QR code on a For Sale sign outside a property. An interested buyer snaps the code which instantly opens a message such as “Hi there, please send me more information on this property XYZ” which they can send along to the agent.
The agent now has a number and the property information and can add this buyer to their contact list. They can keep the conversation going by suggesting similar properties or arranging a pre-approval for a bond as long as a valid opt-in is obtained.
Catalogues and Menus
“Do you like camping? Scan this code for special offers on camping gear”
We don’t always have the time or inclination to write down or remember products or businesses that catch our interest. We also get interrupted when we’re trying to conduct a little retail therapy online - which makes messages like these such a great idea.
They serve to move a person from a browser to contact by offering them more information about the things that they are interested in. Quickly.
Feedback and Surveys
Encourage your customers to give you feedback on your products by including a QR code in their delivery notes. Scanning the code opens up a chat that allows them to rate your service or review a product, for example, by offering pre-filled options. This is also an excellent way to nip problems in the bud and reach out to customers who are not thrilled with their product or unhappy with the service.
- Click to Call
Hands up those who enjoy being put on hold when trying to resolve an issue? Get rid of this frustration for your customers by offering a QR code that links them directly to a customer support agent. Whether it opens a WhatsApp chat or calls a number directly, it saves your customers the headache of finding contact details when they’re already unhappy.
- Encourage Email
In much the same way, a QR code can be used to initiate an email conversation between you and your customers. If this is the preferred method of communication for them, then it’s worth supporting it. Also, you’ll have an email address to add to your CRM tool for a more comprehensive customer database.
- Download Your App
Apps are such a great tool for consumers. If they regularly interact with your brand online, then having all their account information, past purchases, and payment details under one umbrella make their communications with you so much easier.
Using a QR code to direct them to the right app saves them scanning through the App store. Snap. Connect. Download. Done.
Who Has Got it Right?
QR codes are far from a static redirect. Coca-Cola had some fun with their "Scan. Enter. Win" campaign, including QR codes on Coca-Cola bottles. They encouraged consumers to scan the code to enter competitions and win dozens of prizes in a weekly draw. It’s incredibly well done and a lot of fun.
QR codes have also been used by Starbucks to enhance their marketing efforts. Their print and outdoor ads were augmented with QR codes, often providing discounts or promotions to customers through the app. When it was first introduced in 2016, they also used QR codes to accept cashless mobile payments in their store.
The Flexibility of QR Codes
The WhatsApp Business API has made it easy to set up and use QR codes. One key area that businesses love is that their QR code can be reconfigured from the dashboard without having to recreate and disseminate a new code.
For instance, a QR code relating to Kids Clothes will always offer the correct and most current information, no matter when the code itself was generated.
Whether your customer support email has changed, your store has new opening hours, your menu has been updated, or the price on that property has been reduced, there is no need to reprint dozens of QR codes.
Get Started with a WhatsApp QR Code
WhatsApp QR codes have gone a long way towards helping small businesses grow their online presence. While some are still afraid to mingle in busy malls, and others in self-isolation, it has become necessary to pivot to e-commerce and make use of every available communication channel to reach customers.
Considering the economic challenges left in the wake of COVID, we need all the help we can get, and this smart tool checks all the boxes.
The success of your foray into QR codes on WhatsApp will depend largely on the business partner that you choose to work with. To that end, we’d like to extend an invitation for you to chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members who will be happy to answer all your questions.