The surf and sand are Alvaro Andrade’s two greatest loves.
In 2016, spotting the rise of a new water sport, he swapped his surfboard for a stand up paddle board and rode that wave to launch Stand Up Copacabana, his beachside business in Rio de Janeiro that offers rentals and lessons.
But in recent years, the tide has turned.
“There used to be 14 stand up paddle schools in Copacabana,” says Alvaro. “Now, including mine, there are six.”
To stay in business and stand out from his competition, Alvaro decided to employ a new, more personal strategy to attract — and keep — customers.
In September 2018, he turned to the WhatsApp Business app to professionalize the way he connects with his clients, which include 90 regular paddlers. Since adopting the new approach, Alvaro says customer interactions have increased by 50 percent. Now, he gets up to six new inquiries about classes daily, with most converting to sales.
With information about his business circulated by local tourism agencies, hotels and hostels, the WhatsApp Business app’s business profile feature is an important part of Alvaro’s customer outreach. Today, he says, stand up paddle beginners and enthusiasts can learn about his offerings instantly.
“I was walking by the beach, saw his WhatsApp number and messaged him,” says Nicolas Teruzzi, who took his first class at Stand Up Copacabana in April 2019. “Alvaro answered quickly and it all went well.”
Helping customers enjoy the beach is Alvaro’s number one priority. And with the WhatsApp Business app helping him to better navigate the tide, Alvaro can continue riding Brazil's stand up paddle board wave.