A Step-By-Step Guide To Create WhatsApp Chatbot For Business
WhatsApp helps over 1.5 billion users keep in touch with their friends and close ones. This messenger is handy for being secure, fast, and easy to use. Now, WhatsApp offers its platform as a new model for businesses to engage with customers all over the world.
Today, most of the interactions happen in social networks and messengers. The business is not an exception. With the rise of FB chatbots, people realized the benefits of using messaging apps to connect with brands.
Can you imagine that every day, 55 billion messages are being sent using WhatsApp? WhatsApp is a perfect tool for companies trying to reach many users most naturally–by chatting. Using WhatsApp, brands become more accessible to a larger group of people. They connect customers on a platform they already use and trust.
So, what is WhatsApp chatbot?
A WhatsApp chatbot is a service powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence that runs on a WhatsApp platform. Users communicate with a chatbot via the chat interface, like how they would talk to a real person.
In 2018 WhatsApp announced the official launch of their platform made for business. Now companies can communicate with clients using WhatsApp for Business that helps to automate, sort, and respond to messages.
The main business features are:
- Business Profile
- Quick Replies
- Setting Automatic Greeting and Away messages
- Label Contacts
- Access Message Statistics
Business accounts help brands to gain a user’s loyalty. A business profile gives the company a familiar “face” and identity. To have a “Verified” badge next to your company name, WhatsApp has to confirm first that this is a verified business account.
Steps to add details about your business: Go to WhatsApp Business app – Open Settings > Business settings > Profile.
Another useful feature is quick replies. Quick replies allow saving and re-sending messages to user FAQs for quickly answering them. You can create quick replies to send messages such as a thank you message, ordering instruction, information about payments or discounts and many more.
Steps to add quick replies: Go to Settings > Business settings > Quick replies.
Setting up a greeting message
WhatsApp for business enables you to create a greeting message that users will receive when they start a dialog with your company or after 14 days of inactivity. By sending an instant message, you welcome and introduce a company to a new potential customer with no delays and waiting time.
Steps to set up a greeting message: Settings > Business settings > Greeting message. From here you can create a new greeting message or edit an existing one.
Setting an away message
Away messages are like greeting messages. They send a custom message to people who are trying to connect the company after your working hours. You can write a custom message or send your working hours. You can set up for them to activate at the chosen time.
Steps to set up an away message: Settings > Business settings > Away message > “Activate away message”.
You can also edit your away message from here and schedule when you want to send this message. You can choose from Always send, Custom schedule or after your work hours.
Businesses can organize their contacts and categorize them with labels for easy access. This way, you can easily search through your contacts and keep them grouped and organized.
Steps to add a label to a new contact: Click the menu button on the client’s chat page > choose a label and then save.
Steps to add a new label: Click the menu button on the client’s chat page > click “ New label” > click save.
WhatsApp for Business lets you access key metrics like how many of your messages were sent, delivered, and read.
Steps to access statistics: Tap the Menu button > Settings > Business Settings > Statistics.
WhatsApp Business API
For now, companies can communicate with people who have interacted with them first or have shared their phone number with a business. WhatsApp mentioned that users could block a brand and have full control of their Inbox and what messages they allow to receive. And to send outbound messages to clients companies will have to follow a set of requirements and guidelines created by WhatsApp.
In the beginning, WhatsApp’s Business API will be available for just 90 companies. Those include companies like Uber, Booking.com, KLM Airlines, Sales Stock. Later it will become accessible to a larger group of business.
WhatsApp doesn’t want to become another platform for advertising. So, the platform puts users in charge of their Inbox. It enables people to exclude spam and increase the level of trust to branded messages that a person receives. Also, WhatsApp commits to trust and safety of users personal space and data. All messages that people send through API will be end-to-end encrypted.
WhatsApp and Twilio
To start the development process for WhatsApp for Business, have your business account verified first. The verification process can take a while, and while you are waiting, you can start your development.
There you will have to fill out information like company name, website URL, your full name, address, and phone number. And keep in mind, it takes time to get approved.
For those who don’t want to sit and wait for more than a month Twilio has launched API for WhatsApp in early access. Twilio has taken up on this problem and launched its new Sandbox. It allows you to prototype without waiting for approval from WhatsApp.
Note: You have to know how to code or have a developer to build WhatsApp chatbot using Twilio.
How to get started with Twilio:
3. You’ll have to verify your identity next. All you need to do is to provide your phone number.
5. Here, you will need to set up your sandbox.
You will see there your new WhatsApp mobile number and a sandbox joining code. Complete the instructions to set up your testing sandbox
6. Run through the quickstart to send your first message. There are seven quickstarts that show a simple WhatsApp integration using six popular web languages and cURL. These quickstarts contain general steps and guidelines that will help you to start faster.
- You can only message users who have joined your sandbox. Messaging other users will fail.
- Twilio restricts Sandbox numbers to 1 message per second
Sandbox numbers are branded as Twilio numbers
- You can only use pre-registered templates with the sandbox for outbound messages sent outside a WhatsApp session.
When you are done with your development and want to launch your product in production, you need to enable your Twilio numbers for WhatsApp. You’ll have to fill out a simple form, and then you will get updates about your access.
WhatsApp is a platform that connects billions of users every day and is now granting businesses endless possibilities for reaching and engaging with its massive audience. With WhatsApp for business, companies are now able to interact with customers on the platform that they love and already use.
Now, when WhatsApp is opening for business, it will quickly become one of the most powerful and useful tool for business to reach customers.