WhatsApp for Veterinary Teams: The Pros and Cons

WhatsApp for Veterinary Teams: The Pros and Cons

With data privacy concerns over the use of sensitive information collected via WhatsApp many veterinary teams are reassessing the pros and cons. A recent article published by Beekeeper.io at the end of 2023 highlighted that WhatsApp’s data privacy record has faced high scrutiny, raising concerns about data sharing and security on the platform. Stating that this should especially worry any businesses using WhatsApp to handle sensitive client information, as it could compromise data privacy and overall security of a business and its stakeholders. It is also publicly known that as recently as 2022, Meta (Owner of WhatsApp) was fined $1.3 billion for violating EU data privacy rules. So, if you’re already using or considering WhatsApp for your Veterinary teams, here’s a list of the pros and cons you should be considering.

The WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp business alternative is designed for very small companies and comes with a few, basic business features. You can set up a company profile, add your business hours, and have one-on-one conversations with customers. However, you can only send out broadcasts to a maximum of 256 recipients per run, and only if they have your number saved in their contacts. The WhatsApp Business App is also limited to a maximum of five users per business profile. Not great for your standard veterinary practice. WhatsApp, rightly blocks any businesses that violate these rules. But staying on top of what is and isn’t compliant in order to not get blocked from your pet owners can be a full time job in itself.

Why Use WhatsApp?

Socially, WhatsApp is a widely used messaging application with over 2 billion users globally. Its popularity stems from its user-friendly interface and ease of communication especially amongst friends and family. However, when it comes to professional use, especially in client interactions and financial transactions there are several concerns that arise when using this Meta owned platform. There are several, huge risks and challenges when it comes to maintaining a high level of compliance, cyber security and client safety via WhatsApp. Which is why, while WhatsApp is free for personal use, using the free version for commercial communication actually violates the terms of usage outlined by WhatsApp.

Who Owns Your Data?

While WhatsApp boasts end-to-end encryption for messages, it does not necessarily provide the same level of security for other features, such as payment transactions. This leaves sensitive client information vulnerable to potential breaches and scams such as phishing. In fact users of WhatsApp sharing sensitive and personal data are extremely vulnerable to falling victim to fraudulent activities, which can lead to great financial losses and compromised data including the maldistribution of sensitive pet owner information and cross usage/ inappropriate use of the business app.

“WhatsApp's integration capabilities might not match those of dedicated business communication tools, leading to inefficiencies in workflow and collaboration.” Jeroen J.V Lebon

With veterinary team members using the same device and app to communicate with their friends and family as they would clients it is extremely easy for information to be miss shared. It is for this reason that many key opinion leaders across the tech community are advising businesses to consider using dedicated communication platforms designed specially for professional use. Doing so provides a more secure and compliant channel for client interactions.

“While WhatsApp excels in personal communication, its limitations and potential drawbacks make it less than ideal for official company messages. For businesses, investing in a dedicated communication platform designed with the specific needs of organizations in mind could lead to more streamlined, professional, and secure communication practices.” Jeroen J.V Lebon

WhatsApp for Healthcare

Widespread media coverage of recent scams across WhatsApp including tricksters creating counterfeit business records to dupe clients, has made many pet owners reluctant to engage with anyone outside their close knit friends and family circle. So much so that Meta recently had to release its new blocker feature, allowing message recipients to block and delete a message without even reading it first. Not so great if you’re a veterinary team trying to advocate for your pet owners with an un-openable dental reminders campaign.

“That does not feel right for high quality communication with your veterinary clinic” Nis Peter Lorentzen, Senior pet care executive and head of partnerships at PetsApp

Cyber Essentials Plus, certified PetsApp is relied on by pet owners and vets alike as it champions a safer, more hybrid clicks and bricks approach to pet care. Leading the way for other digital service providers, the Appstore 5 star rated PetsApp aims to stand as a beacon of trust and reliability. Thus ensuring that the veterinary community benefits from modern technology without compromising the security of their businesses, teams or pet owners.

What Pet Owners Say About PetsApp

Reading the more than 30,000 reviews currently in the Apple app store, it is easy to understand why PetsApp is a 5 star veterinary communication app, considered second to none by its clients.

WhatsApp for Veterinary Teams: The Pros and Cons

Awesome app: Petsapp makes it more convenient to contact my vet and it’s been especially useful during lockdown. I’ve been able to communicate with my practice in real time with the convenience of using just my phone. I really like that I can pay via Apple pay at the touch of a button and then go to collect food and medicines without going in to the practice. There’s a bit of work I would like the developers to do behind the scenes, for example, it would be good if the app notified me using sounds and haptics when the vet is trying to contact me, but overall this app is user friendly and very useful.” -5* Rosiematosie, 11/08/2020

Really good service: First time using the app today, as I had to get some foster kittens seen by the vet, due to the current situation I was unable to take physical to the vets so I registered them onto the app and paid the consultation fee through the app it’s was quick and easy they booked us to Receive a video, they called and we talked through what was happening and he was able to prescribe me some medication I then paid again through the app for the medication and they will then ring for me to collect from vets. It’s was really easy and effective to use, would definitely use this again in the future.” -5* Llly111, 23/04/2020

Very useful: I’ve been using this app since my vet surgery started promoting it as a way to get in touch with them. So far I use it every few months to reorder flea and working tablets for my dog, thankfully I haven’t needed the vet for anything else. It’s so much quicker and easier to send a text requesting the tablets than it is to ring and sit on hold or go into the practice itself. I can only hope when I need them for something else it stays as simple! Thoroughly recommend this app.” -5* Pet owner

Just Brilliant: From day one this app has been just brilliant. I can leave messages using PetsApp and have them answered by the Veterinary Clinic, I can order all my pets medication and have it delivered if necessary and if I need to speak to a vet about any pet concerns, this can also be done via the app. There is a consultation charge to speak with a vet, which you pay over the phone, but it means that I don’t always have to take my fur babies to the clinic in person which I know they greatly appreciate. I can’t rate this app highly enough👍🏻” -5* Pet owner

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