What is WeChat Work?
It is no secret that in China, WeChat plays a huge role in everyone’s life. With well over 1 billion active users, WeChat is a multi-purpose social platform that satisfies almost all any need from messaging, shopping, gaming, to hailing a taxi and more. This is not limited to one’s personal life: a research in 2017 shows that 80% of Chinese people perform professional tasks for their company on WeChat. These days, it is easy to spot employees having a work-related conversation in WeChat group chats with their team members or even clients on a daily basis. Although WeChat has been used for work purposes as an inevitable result of its mass adoption in China, this social platform was not actually built for that task.
To tap into this potential market and offer a more tailored solution, the team at WeChat has developed a dedicated app for work purposes, called WeChat Work (企业微信). WeChat Work is a separate app from the standard WeChat app, with more powerful communication tools for the enterprise, unified management of internal and external contacts, and specialized plugins to streamline business operations. It is free to download and comes with a few features and requires a one-time payment of 300 RMB (50 USD) per year to get your account verified by WeChat and have access to all the features and settings.
WeChat Work can be a powerful addition to the tools a business uses to streamline operations and communication at work. In this article, we will lay out 4 key benefits WeChat Work can bring to your business.
1. Have Better Control Over Internal Communication
First of all, compared to the normal WeChat app, the internal communication features of WeChat Work are far more advanced. WeChat Work can accommodate up to 2,000 users in a group chat, which is a good news for large companies. Other interesting features include the option to double-tap on a message to add a to-do list, to see whether a message has been read or not, and to mute some or all group members so they can’t send messages (only admin users can use this feature).
Given the large number of users that might be added to the platform, several features are available for effective user management: internal contacts can be segmented into different departments and be assigned different permission levels, and there is a separate group for external contacts to avoid wrong communication. Admin users can have access to exclusive company management features like adding or adjusting departments, setting user roles, checking the weekly summary of member usage, and more.
Users can create different departments and add contacts to each department. Company contacts and external contacts are separated.
Users can have a chat, make a video/voice call, send materials to their team members. They can also create a to-do list by tapping inside the chat.
2. Solve the Pain Point of Using Personal WeChat at Workplace
The second benefit brought by WeChat Work is the capability to help the users fully focus on work-related activities, thus separating the personal space from the workspace. It allows the users to exchange work-only-related-messages without accidentally exposing them to friends and family or any other contacts that are not related to the business.
Some interesting features to streamline the business operations include setting away messages, and automatically removing an employee that has left the company from multiple groups at the same time. Employees can also set a dedicated “take a break” or “get off work” status to avoid "being irritated" by work-related messages when being off-duty.
Accessing the Break and Get off work features by tapping on the (+) sign on the top right
3. Access Integrated Apps for Business Operations
Another remarkable advantage of WeChat Work over standard WeChat is the capability to offer a wide array of apps tailormade for business operations. Reports, approvals of business expenses, employees punch in/out, company-paid calls, enterprise emails are an integral part of WeChat Work, which can be accessed under the Workspace tab.
There are also a variety of third-party apps such as mobile office, CRM, human resources, reimbursements, company culture, training, workflow management, and so on. These apps can be added on your demand and will support your daily tasks with their unique features.
Another notice for admin users is that while the mobile app provides most of the settings, some additional features and settings can only be accessed by logging in to the admin back-end from your computer. This option can be found in Workspace > Manage Company > Log in to the Web admin platform.
Basic apps in the Workspace include Report, Punch in/out, Approvals, Company-paid calls, etc. Admin users can also have access to company management features.
There are a variety of third-party apps from collaboration to workflow management, including mobile office, CRM, human resources, and more.
Admin dashboard on a desktop computer
More settings for the desktop version (Admin)
4. Advanced Integration
As discussed previously, WeChat Work is mostly used for internal communication, but you can extend its benefits even further by having a seamless integration between your WeChat official account and WeChat Work platform.
After the integration has been activated, customers can access a “chat with us” feature inside the WeChat official account and send their inquiry to the sales agents. The sales agents can view these messages on their WeChat Work account and continue the conversation directly there.
The conversation between the sales agent and the client. The client has contacted the company via the WeChat Official Account
With a more streamlined communication system connecting the standard WeChat with WeChat Work via the official account, your sales and customer service teams can communicate more effectively with the clients or customers. The customers can also be connected to the right sales or customer service agent, having their needs attended better.
WeChat Work is a powerful app that can solve pain points many WeChat users suffer from, by providing enterprise-level management and collaboration tools. It can be fully integrated with your WeChat official account and effectively establish the connection between your business and your clients while offering advanced features all in one platform.
This might be revolutionary for brands who want to keep a constant contact with their customers since the 48-hour window of the classic WeChat Account does not allow them to get in touch with their followers.
WeChat and Tencent might have once again revolutionized our behavior from the workplace to the retail world. We will dig deeper into some applications very soon.
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