If Viber holds a significant presence among your customer base, you’ve likely been contemplating how to harness the power of Viber for business purposes. The question that naturally arises is how to obtain a Viber business account and grasp the nuances of Viber business pricing. Additionally, understanding the distinctions between Viber Business Messages and Viber Chatbots is vital. This comprehensive guide endeavors to address these questions and elucidate the most effective ways to leverage Viber for business.
What is Viber?
Viber, a pioneer among messaging apps, debuted in 2010, even preceding LINE and Messenger. It offers free communication services, with a pronounced emphasis on voice calling through its VoIP feature called Viber Out, which we’ll delve into later.
The Viber App Interface
The Viber app comprises three primary tabs:
1. Chats: This tab houses conversations with contacts, Viber Business Accounts, and Viber Communities. Periodically, advertisements make an appearance in the chat list.
2. Calls: Here, users can access their contacts and recent call history. This is also the gateway for adding new contacts and inviting friends to Viber. Viber Out, the feature enabling calls to both mobile and landline numbers, is accessible here.
3. More: The “More” tab encompasses various settings and serves as a promotional hub for Viber Out and the Sticker Market. While Viber’s Sticker Market may not rival LINE’s extensive collection, its sticker packs tend to be relatively pricey.
Viber’s Unique Features
Viber boasts a couple of distinctive features that set it apart from other messaging apps. Two of the most notable features are Viber Communities and Viber Out.
Long-standing Viber users are likely acquainted with Viber Communities, which function as oversized chat rooms frequently utilized as fan pages by celebrities and businesses. Users can follow Viber Communities and engage with businesses by posing questions in the public group chat or participating in polls. These communities essentially resemble large group chats, providing a channel for companies and public figures to utilize Viber for business purposes. It’s important to note that Viber Communities are not searchable by default, but businesses can request inclusion in the search list. However, Viber indexes only those Communities with over 1,000 participants.
Viber Communities of Brands and Public Figures
Viber Out, the flagship VoIP feature, permits users to make calls to mobile and landline numbers, functioning similarly to Skype. Users can acquire credits or opt for monthly subscriptions for making calls. Viber Out has been attracting users who typically use Skype for their calling needs. Notably, Viber Out offers competitive rates, positioning itself as a compelling alternative to Skype, particularly for users calling regions like the Philippines and Tajikistan. For instance, a monthly Viber plan for the Philippines with 120 minutes costs a mere $9.99, while a similar Skype plan comes at $15.59. This VoIP feature has been a catalyst for Viber’s user growth in Eastern Europe and Asia, where a substantial number of Filipinos and Tajiks abroad rely on Viber for making calls.
Viber Out offers competitive rates compared to Skype
Where is Viber Popular?
Viber’s reach extends across the globe, with over a billion users, but it predominantly concentrates its user base in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. To gauge Viber’s popularity more precisely, examining its Monthly Active Users (MAUs) proves insightful. As of 2021, Viber reported a remarkable 820 million active users, marking a substantial increase from the 260 million reported just two years earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated user growth as people increasingly turned to online groups for socializing and information-sharing. Viber capitalized on this trend with initiatives such as COVID-19 chatbots and e-commerce support, cementing its strong app usage in key markets.
Regions where Viber is most popular (2021)
The most concentrated user group is in Ukraine, with a staggering 97% of Android users having the Viber app on their phones as of September 2021. Other regions where Viber has attained remarkable popularity include the Philippines and Myanmar, where it has outpaced local competitors like WeChat and LINE. If your target audience aligns with these regions where Viber dominates, leveraging Viber for business is an enticing prospect.
Types of Viber Business Accounts
Viber’s approach to business accounts has undergone transformations, driven by new policies and pricing plans implemented in September 2022. Currently, there are two primary business account options: Viber Business Messages and Viber Chatbots. In the following sections, we will briefly delineate each and discuss their applications as Viber business accounts.
Viber for Business: Viber Business Messages
A Viber Business Messages account empowers businesses to communicate with customers through their phone numbers. This feature is commonly employed by large companies to send a high volume of transactional messages, including user authentications and status alerts. However, it’s not limited solely to transactional messages; businesses can employ it for promotional and conversational messages within a 24-hour session window. One noteworthy advantage of Viber Business Messages is its use of SMS as a fallback when an internet connection is unavailable, ensuring message delivery. Nevertheless, this convenience is accompanied by messaging fees that vary by region. The setup and verification process can be somewhat protracted, and subscribing to a Viber partner further adds to the costs. For small to medium-sized businesses, Viber Chatbot is a more cost-effective option, allowing the sending of up to 10,000 messages per month for free.
Viber Business Messages allows businesses to send transactional, promotional, and conversational messages.
Viber for Business: Viber Chatbot
A Viber Chatbot serves as a business account that facilitates customer interaction. As the name implies, Viber Chatbot accounts support automated messaging, but they also offer the option to connect to a messaging platform for manual or automated interactions through workflows. When used judiciously without inundating customers, Chatbot accounts can send transactional, promotional, and conversational messages. Viber Chatbots are akin to other messaging app business accounts, but they possess a unique feature – a customizable keyboard. In-app developer tools grant businesses the ability to customize the keyboard visible to users when they interact with the chatbot.
Viber Business Accounts for Business
Viber Chatbot Pricing
In the past, Viber Chatbot accounts were entirely free, devoid of limitations on messaging or the number of contacts. However, this changed with the introduction of the new Commercial plan in September 2022. Under this plan, a 24-hour messaging window commences as soon as a customer initiates a conversation. Referred to as chatbot-session messages, exchanging messages within this window remains free. However, once the session expires, businesses need to restart the conversation with chatbot-initiated messages. Each business is allotted up to 10,000 free chatbot-initiated messages for each chatbot. Sending messages beyond this limit necessitates agreeing to the Viber Commercial Bot plan terms, paying a deposit, and incurring charges for exceeding the message limit, the costs of which vary by country.
How to Create a Viber Business Account
To establish a Viber Business Account, you’ll require a Viber Chatbot. The process of creating a Viber Chatbot is straightforward. It entails using a personal Viber account and navigating to the Viber Admin Panel. Here are the steps:
1. Log in to the Viber Admin Panel: Enter the phone number associated with your personal Viber account.
How to Create Viber Business Account: Start with the Viber Admin Panel
2. Add your business details: Include a picture and basic information about your business. This information can be modified later through the app. A map is provided to select your business’s country, although the search bar is nonfunctional. Instead, manually move the pin on the map to set the business location, and the country field will adjust accordingly. Additionally, there is an option to mark the chatbot as containing adult content, restricting access for users who are not adults.
Creating a Viber Business Account
3. Press “create”: Once you’ve filled out the necessary information, select the “create” button at the bottom of the form. Once your Viber Business Account is generated, you’ll receive a token.
Viber Business Account Token
Managing Messages with Viber Chatbots
It’s worth noting that Viber does not provide an interface for sending or receiving messages. To engage with customers, you’ll need to create an account on Leadshouse and integrate your Viber Chatbot.
Finding Your Customers on Viber
Viber assigns User IDs based on phone numbers, but importing contacts from a CRM isn’t a direct option due to a deliberate limitation by Viber to prevent spam marketing. To engage with your customers using a Viber Bot, you must encourage them to initiate the conversation.
Methods to initiate a chat
To prompt customers to message you first, consider employing various techniques. These include sending chat links and QR codes to existing customers or using Viber advertising to attract new ones.
Starting a chat with customers
Utilizing Chat Links and QR Codes
Within the Viber Admin Panel, you can generate QR codes that customers can scan to initiate a conversation with your Viber Chatbot. However, it’s essential to connect your account to an inbox using the provided token to enable this feature.
Generate a QR code for customers to scan with the Viber app
QR codes serve as powerful tools, converting offline traffic, such as foot traffic in a store, into valuable Viber contacts. These codes can also be integrated into your website or emails. It’s important to note that the QR code functionality is limited to mobile devices with the Viber app installed and cannot be used on the desktop version.
Additionally, you can create shareable click-to-chat links, which allow contacts to reach you on either desktop or mobile platforms. It’s important to keep in mind that all chat links function exclusively if users have the Viber app installed.
Implementing Viber Web Chat Widget
Another effective method to encourage customers to initiate a conversation is by incorporating a Viber web chat widget on your website. This widget appears as a pop-up box, enabling visitors to message you with a simple click on the Viber icon or by scanning a QR code.
To set up this feature, you must have your Viber Chatbot connected to Leadshouse. Like QR code links, the chat widget exclusively caters to users who have the Viber app installed.
Leveraging Viber Advertising for Outreach
Promoting your Viber Chatbot through Viber advertising can significantly amplify your reach. Various ad formats are available, including desktop ads, post-call ads, ad banners, and promotional stickers. Each of these formats directs users to your Viber business account profile.
Viber Sticker Post-Download Ad
Notably, Viber stickers present an intriguing format. When users download branded sticker packs, they automatically subscribe to the Viber Chatbot. It’s important to mention that Viber advertising primarily targets larger companies, and an application process is in place.
Messaging Strategies Using a Viber Chatbot
Once customers have initiated contact on Viber, it opens the door for effective messaging strategies. This section will explore three key approaches: 1-to-1 messaging, broadcast messaging, and group messaging.
1-to-1 Messaging on Viber
Unlike many messaging app business accounts, Viber Chatbots offer a more flexible approach. They allow a limited number of messages outside the conventional messaging window and provide crucial read receipts.
This means you’ll be aware of the delivery status of your messages, ensuring a higher level of communication efficiency. Additionally, messages from a Viber business account are marked as delivered but not seen, eliminating the pressure for an immediate response.
Leveraging Broadcast Messaging
Once you’ve mastered 1-to-1 messaging, you can explore mass messaging using Viber’s broadcast functionality. It’s crucial to ensure that your connected business messaging platform supports this feature.
Viber Broadcast Messaging
While Viber doesn’t impose limitations on content or the number of broadcasts, it’s important to note that messaging is only permitted to contacts who have initiated communication. Exceeding your monthly limit may result in additional charges.
However, caution must be exercised with broadcasts to avoid potential spamming, as Viber contacts can opt to block your bot.
Group Messaging for Interactive Engagement
In addition to broadcasts, interactive group discussions are a valuable tool for sharing information and gathering feedback. Viber offers three distinct group messaging options: Groups, Channels, and Communities.
Groups accommodate up to 250 members, and while Viber bots can’t participate, they can be initiated with a personal Viber account under your business name. This option is ideal for micro-businesses or smaller customer groups.
Viber Chatbots cannot join Viber Groups
Channels offer one-way group communication and can have an unlimited number of members. Admins have posting privileges, but members can engage through polls or quizzes. As Channels grow, they may transition into public Channels, providing increased visibility.
Communities are akin to Channels but allow two-way communication, fostering deeper interaction. While they support an unlimited number of members, active moderation is necessary.
Maximizing Viber for Business: Support, Sales, and Marketing
Now that you’ve gained insights into acquiring contacts and initiating conversations, let’s delve into the myriad applications of Viber Chatbots connected to Leadshouse. Discover how Viber can be a powerful tool for marketing, sales, and support use cases.
Harnessing Viber for Marketing
Viber’s lenient policies on promotional messages make it an ideal platform for marketing endeavors. Even with recent changes, the cost-effectiveness of using Viber for marketing remains evident. By connecting your Viber account to Leadshouse, you can effortlessly broadcast promotional messages, informing contacts about new products and exclusive deals.
Engaging with members in Viber Communities through activities like contests and giveaways can foster brand loyalty and advocacy. Encourage community members to share your brand through customized promotional stickers.
Empowering Sales with Viber
Sales teams benefit greatly from reaching leads where they are most engaged. If a substantial portion of your leads are on Viber, it represents a prime opportunity for outreach. A Viber Chatbot integrated with Leadshouse facilitates automation for rapid responses and lead qualification. Moreover, seamless integration with CRM and data enrichment software streamlines sales processes.
Delivering Exceptional Support via Viber
For customers who frequently use Viber, your Viber business account serves as a vital channel for support. Since customers typically initiate support requests, responding within the messaging session is free of charge. By leveraging Leadshouse, you can enhance support with automated messages, gain comprehensive insights into chat history, and even conduct customer satisfaction surveys.
Embark on Your Viber Business Journey
With these best practices and strategies, you’re equipped to make the most of Viber for your business. Sign up for a free trial with Leadshouse and seamlessly integrate your Viber Chatbot account today to unlock a world of communication possibilities. Elevate your customer engagement and drive business success with Viber.
This comprehensive guide aims to equip businesses with a comprehensive understanding of how to utilize Viber for business purposes. By exploring the intricacies of Viber’s features, its popularity across regions, and the different types of Viber business accounts, companies can make informed decisions about their messaging strategies. Whether through Viber Business Messages or Viber Chatbots, businesses can leverage Viber’s expansive user base and unique functionalities to forge stronger connections with their customers. Remember, a thoughtful and strategic approach to messaging on Viber can yield significant benefits for businesses operating in the regions where Viber holds sway. Visit our website today!