How do I use WhatsApp Business with multiple users? Or can WhatsApp Business be used on multiple devices? 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.
How To Use WhatsApp Business with Multiple Users
Using WhatsApp Business with multiple users or on multiple devices 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.
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.
So how do we 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 WhatsApp Business on two devices 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.
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.
But once WhatsApp releases the multiple user features for the app, small businesses can finally open WhatsApp Web on up to four devices simultaneously and use WhatsApp Business for teams.
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 extra 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. However, this method is not user-friendly, as you’ll need to zoom in and out to respond to messages.
Genuinely, we recommend using WhatsApp Web on a computer rather than using this method. However, once you need to use WhatsApp Business with multiple users or more than two users you’ll need to upgrade to using WhatsApp API for your company.
WhatsApp Business Multiple Users: Teams of Users
WhatsApp API solves the WhatsApp Business Multiple Users problem by allowing larger companies to use WhatsApp Business on multiple devices at the same time.
To get WhatsApp API, 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 Inbox like respond.io. Once you’ve connected WhatsApp API to an Inbox, you can then add multiple agents on WhatsApp for business.
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
After connecting your WhatsApp API account to respond.io, adding Users is simple. To start, go to Settings > Users > Add Users. You can then assign roles including Owners, Managers & Agents.
Owners have full control to manage any settings, while Managers have access to most features except mission-critical functions. While Agents only have access to answering messages.
Once done, your group of Agents can now send and reply to WhatsApp messages with just one number. No more sharing or passing phones around, and you don’t have to worry about being disconnected or logged out from WhatsApp Web.
For convenience, each User can also answer messages either from the desktop or use the respond.io Android and iOS app. This solves the WhatsApp Business on multiple devices issue for those who are on the go or are currently away from their desktops.
After adding multiple 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.
Once the Agent is done with the Contact, they can Mark them Done. In the future, if the same Contact messages again, they’ll be marked as Pending and the process will start all over.
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.
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 Devices. If you have any questions about what we’ve written here, don’t hesitate to contact us.
WhatsApp for Business Multiple Users: Infographic
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