By Maxine Hess
Writer | WhatsApp marketer | Creative
Updated on September 29, 2023
Digital may be in our DNA, but actually we want to cut the time people spend looking at screens. For simpler lives, calmer minds, greater connection with the world. Here's how we're doing this for brands, customers and our team alike.
In 2023, many of us are feeling the negative effects of too much screen time – on our lives, our brains, even our work. Many of us are working to reduce it. Especially in January.
We may make software that increases the use of WhatsApp, but we're not a company that wants people to spend more time on their phones. In fact we want to reduce this time.
Our phones should be for fun, for friends, for family, for cat videos. Or not used at all.
... stress runs higher among people who constantly check their email, texts and social media.
... the highest stress levels were among employed individuals who check their work email on their day off.
In this article, you'll find out how a business WhatsApp channel and charles' software help reduce your customers' reliance on digital devices – and your ecommerce teams. Plus we've shared some some digital detox tips from the charles team.
How WhatsApp reduces customer screen time
A perhaps unexpected benefit of having a WhatsApp channel for your business: you reduce the time your customers need to spend trying to get in touch with you and digest your messages.
🦢 Fewer marketing communications
Once you know your audience well, you can be more targeted. Your campaigns will work be higher converting so you won't need to send so many messages. Plus you risk being blocked if you do.
Our strong recommendation is to send no more than 1-2 WhatsApp marketing campaigns per month.
😌 Quicker-to-read messages
WhatsApp messages are quick and easy to read. Especially when compared to email. One point per message, no subject, pre-header, often not even an image. In, out, done, back to walking the dog.
🧘♀️ Quicker buyer's journey
Online, there are often many steps slowing down a customer who's trying to buy something. Often, they give up.
In WhatsApp with the charles platform, you can a) integrate with your online shop to keep the buyer journey in WhatsApp and b) use our "Chatout" functionality. With this, your agents create a pre-filled cart then simply send the link to a customer on WhatsApp. If a customer's logged in to your shop, they can buy all the products they want in just one click.
One of our clients uses his WhatsApp channel to guide older customers through the buying process. He says they often get lost in the online buying process, but with WhatsApp they can get instant guidance.
🕊 Quicker answers to queries
WhatsApp is immediate. Customers can message you and get quick answers. They don't have to send emails into the void. Or spend time checking emails for a reply. Or send a message to a bot on your website – who may or may not understand their issue.
And if you don't have chat agents available, you can show your opening hours in your WhatsApp chat bubble or send an automated reply. You can even set up an automated conversational flow so customers can help themselves. Then they can put their phone down and do something else.
How WhatsApp reduces brands' screen time
Similarly for brands serving customers, WhatsApp can save you time stuck to screens in your working lives.
✌️ Simplified sales, marketing and support
WhatsApp brings the often complex channels of marketing, sales and support into one place. And with a WhatsApp Business platform like charles on top, it's easy to manage, analyze and automate.
And from a customer point of view, they just see one WhatsApp thread, so they it's easy to search through their interactions with your business.
☺️ Less time setting up marketing campaigns
You just need to write a message, add an image (or not) and send it. No subject lines, pre-headers or footers. This could save you hiring a copywriter. Many of our clients, especially during the early stages of WhatsApp, write the messages themselves.
Clients tell us they typically spend 1-2 hours per month creating and sending marketing campaigns – and with excellent returns.
🍃 Less time explaining your products
WhatsApp reduces sales cycles dramatically (furniture company, Woodboom, went from 4 weeks to 4 days with charles). A quick conversation with a product expert on WhatsApp can help customers understand the product better and discuss any customizations very quickly.
Then when they want to buy, they know where to find you.
🦋 Easier chat management
We've heard of companies with 20 phones stuck to the wall to manage their growing WhatsApp channel. With a web-based user interface (UI), you get the ease of a beautifully designed software and the comfort of a laptop/computer screen.
No squinting at small screens, no different phone numbers, everything in one place – including different chat agent profiles, customer threads, analytics and even your online shop information.
People are addicted to people, not to devices
How charles is reducing screen time in 2023
Something extra: here are some digital detox tips shared across Slack from the charles team:
🧩 More puzzles, less screen
- Doing a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of the northern lights in the evening instead of watching Netflix and scrolling
- Buying less worthy books with more gripping stories (I may not expand my mind but actually feel like picking them up instead of my phone)
- Delete apps like Slack from phone
- I have a blocker for Chrome tabs that only lets me open 20 at a time. This helps quieten the noise at work massively.
Maxine, Studios (me)
🌊 Gentle blocking with One Sec app
I use an app called One Sec for social media on my phone. It is really helpful.
When you try to open Instagram for example, the app will pop up, ask you to take a deep breath (length of time is adjustable) and then asks you if you still wanna proceed to the app or quit again.You have to set it up yourself in the beginning but it works quite well.
🌻 Social media ban
I'm not using any social media platform anymore. It's helped me a lot to be more non-digital. Offline is the new luxury
🌈 Less hum, more ummmm
Reading and pilates instead of Netflix or senseless scrolling.
🌵 Seconding One Sec
I use One Sec for my Twitter account.
🐕 Canine therapy
- Airplane mode as soon as I call it a day work-wise
- Having dogs that look at you with big eyes wanting to go outside
- No TikTok, Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn after work etc => its peaceful 🙂
✨ Rewarding good behavior
If you're into gamification, the app Focus Plant works great for blocking your phone. The simple missing out on in-game rewards for breaking the block was rewarding enough for my brain to not touch my phone.
How can we help you dial down the digital?
Want to cut the time you spend setting up marketing campaigns, analyzing results, making sales, responding to queries? Give us a shout (yes, sorry, using a screen 😬).