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WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: A How-To Guide (Jan 2021)

By September 21, 2020February 25th, 2021No Comments
WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: A How-To Guide (Jan 2021)

How do I use WhatsApp Business with multiple users? Seems like a fairly simple question right? Unfortunately, WhatsApp has made the answer complicated. In this article, we’ll explain the WhatsApp Business multiple users' problems, why it exists and the solution to using WhatsApp Business on multiple devices based on the type of company you operate.

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How To Use WhatsApp Business with Multiple Users

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: One to Two Users

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Teams of Users

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Infographic

How To Use WhatsApp Business with Multiple Users

To use WhatsApp Business with multiple users or on multiple devices, it depends on which WhatsApp product you’re using – the WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp Business API. Each platform has its own method of adding additional users and devices.

To use WhatsApp Business with multiple users or on multiple devices, it depends on which WhatsApp product you’re using. WhatsApp has two different products for business - the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API.
WhatsApp Business App & WhatsApp Business API

While WhatsApp Business App is easy to set up, WhatsApp did not initially design it for multiple users. On the other hand, WhatsApp Business API has an associated cost and you’ll need to connect it to a CRM like respond.io to start using it.

Regardless of whether you are using WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp Business API, we’re going to show you the best way to use WhatsApp Business for multiple users.

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: One to Two Users

When a business is small, the owner is usually the one talking to customers. This is something WhatsApp Business App is excellent for. In fact, small businesses from all over the world like Cozinha da Loli, a Brazilian bakery use the app to handle customers.

WhatsApp Business App was intended for one device and one user.
WhatsApp Business App Characteristics

Now you might be saying, tell me how to use WhatsApp Business for multiple users on the app. There are some workarounds, but nothing off the shelf yet. The app works on one device with one user, and you can’t have it on two phones at the same time.

However, it seems that WhatsApp will soon allow app users to log in with up to 4 devices with the same account at once. This new feature is still in Beta and it’s not publicly available yet. The release date is unknown, but we’ll update this space once it’s out.

Adding an Extra User Using WhatsApp Web

For now, while the WhatsApp Business App is intended for a single user it's still possible for multiple people to use it. One way is to pass your phone around, but this is cumbersome and will allow your employees to see your other messages.

Another way is to use WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp Desktop App. This is the same as using WhatsApp Web or Desktop App for your personal WhatsApp account, except you open the chat on one of your employee's computer. That’s right, only one PC is allowed.

One of the ways to get WhatsApp Business Multiple Users is to use WhatsApp Business App on the phone then open it on the other users computer using WhatsApp Web
WhatsApp Business Web and WhatsApp Business Desktop

Although not ideal, with this set-up you can have one employee answering messages from their computer while you monitor from the phone. For a growing small business, this is a cheap and practical solution to answering messages on WhatsApp Business.

But once WhatsApp releases the multiple user feature, small businesses can finally open WhatsApp Web on up to four devices simultaneously and manage their inbox as a team. Linked users can also archive, mute and delete messages from a companion device. For many small businesses, this is the breakthrough they’ve been waiting for.

Adding an Extra User on Another Phone

Although we don’t recommend it, technically there is a way you can use a second phone to add an additional user if you don’t have a computer handy. You can do so by opening WhatsApp Web in your phone browser.

To do so navigate to web.whatsapp.com on your second phone. Under browser settings, check Desktop Site. Now, Scan the QR code with your second phone. This method is quite difficult to use though, as you will need to zoom in and out to respond to messages.

It is possible to use WhatsApp Web on the phone to get WhatsApp Business for multiple users but the experience is lackluster.
Using WhatsApp on Two Phones: WhatsApp Business Web on Mobile

Genuinely, we recommend using WhatsApp Web on a computer rather than using this method. However, once you need even more users (or more than four users), you’ll need to upgrade to using WhatsApp Business API for your company.

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Teams of Users

Larger businesses need support for multiple users and devices, WhatsApp has created the WhatsApp Business API product for these companies. The product is offered through partners and has different pricing depending on the WhatsApp Partner you choose.

Unlike WhatsApp Business App, the API doesn’t have an interface. To use it, you’ll need to connect to a WhatsApp CRM like respond.io. Once you have it connected, you’ll be able to add multiple users and devices to WhatsApp.

To summarize, to use WhatsApp Business API with multiple users you’ll need:

Once you’ve got those ready, be sure to connect your WhatsApp API account.

Adding Users & Organizing Teams

Once you’ve connected your WhatsApp API account to respond.io, users can be added and deleted easily. Each user can also choose to answer WhatsApp questions either from the browser or using the Android and iOS app.

Things are straightforward once you’re connected to respond.io. You can easily add, manage and delete users with just a click of a button. If you have a new joiner, simply invite them to your team. This is how you add multiple users with WhatsApp API.
Selecting a Role for a New User

Users can be invited by role including Owners, Managers & Agents. Owners have full control to manage any settings, while Managers have access to all the but mission-critical functions. Agents only have access to answering messages.

With multiple teams under the same space, organize them by adding and deleting a team, change the name and description and add or remove users. If you have a long list of teams, there’s also a search teams function to help you navigate quickly.
WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Managing Teams

Once you’ve added many users to the platform you may want to Organize your users into teams. Teams will help when it comes to distributing incoming Contacts to the right users.

Contacts Assignment: Manual Assignment

For businesses with small teams answering WhatsApp messages, we recommend the Picking strategy. This strategy is simple, every WhatsApp Contact that needs answering will show up in the Pending list. Agents can either respond or assign to someone else.

By responding to the message, Contacts will be assigned to that agent automatically. Otherwise, the Contact can be assigned to a user easily using the Assignment dropdown as Users are organized by Team.

With respond.io, agents can either pick contacts or have a contact automatically assigned to them.
WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Working With Contacts

Once the Agent is done with the Contact, they can Mark them Done. In the future, if the same Contact messages again in the future, they’ll be marked as Pending and the process will start all over again.

Assigning WhatsApp Contacts: Auto-Assignment

Once you have a truly high volume of Contacts coming in, using the Picking strategy is no longer feasible as Contacts will be coming in faster than you can pick them. For large businesses like this Auto-Assignment should be used.

Large businesses with a high volume of inbox messages do not have the luxury to manually pick or assign contacts. In this case, it’s only feasible for contacts to be auto-assigned to the agents.
Enabling Automatic Assignment

There are two Auto-Assignment modes – Round Robin or Assign To User With Least Contacts. To ensure all inquiries are answered in a timely manner, select Assign to Online Users Only, and users who are offline or busy will not be assigned any contacts.

These are the basics of getting started with WhatsApp Business Multiple Users. If you have any questions about what we’ve written here, don’t hesitate to contact us.

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Infographic

This infographic shows us how to use WhatsApp with multiple users and on multiple devices.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article and you'd like to learn more about WhatsApp Business, please check out our articles on:

WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: A How-To Guide (Jan 2021)
Serene Tan

Serene Tan

Serene is the Content Lead at respond.io. She was an ex-teacher with stints in Australia, Singapore and Japan before returning home. She's also an MBA graduate from the University of Wales Trinity St David, UK and a certified social media marketer from Digital Marketing Institute.

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