In 2021, the stats are ever more convincing showing WhatsApp's MAU reaching an incredible 2 billion which is significantly more than any other messaging app on the market. The promising WhatsApp statistics have been hard to ignore even before the messaging app opened for business.
Still, even though WhatsApp did open its doors to businesses, the API integrations is not up for grabs just for anyone.
WhatsApp Business API requires businesses to pass through an application process prioritizes medium, large and enterprise-size businesses in selected industries. Before you can grace your audiences with an official WhatsApp chatbot, you need to:
- Ensure you match the criteria and apply for WhatsApp Business API
- Activate your WhatsApp numbers
- Set up your WhatsApp message templates (proactive branded notifications)
Without completing these steps, launching your chatbot won’t be possible whether you are doing it solo or using a chatbot solution like TruVISIBILITY.
Table of Contents
- What Is a WhatsApp Bot?
- Why Create a WhatsApp Chatbot
- Steps to Build a WhatsApp Chatbot
- Why Choose TruVISIBILITY to Create All Your Chatbots?
- What's Next?
WhatsApp chatbots allow you to deal with incoming messages in real-time.
Thanks to smart solutions, learning how to create a WhatsApp bot doesn’t have to be rocket science nor does it have to involve artificial intelligence to be useful business-wise.
The visual editor and builder even allow you to master formerly coder-only skills such as integrating webhooks! Webhooks is an HTTP-based callback function that allows lightweight, event-driven communication between 2 application programming interfaces (APIs). Webhooks are used by a wide variety of web apps to receive small amounts of data from other apps.
If you are tired of relying on WhatsApp web for business, check out our solution features or sign up and start shaping the future of chatbots with your own assistant today.
It's time to leave the programmable SMS in the past and revolutionize business-customer communication.
A WhatsApp chatbot allows you to not just communicate with a potential or current customer, but it's also going to prove as an extra avenue to see revenue. Whether it's for the holidays, such as Black Friday, where you advertise deals and help automate customer needs or need regular customer service, WhatsApp is becoming a newer option for businesses to alleviate the work of their team.
A WhatsApp chatbot can do as much as a regular chatbot you deploy on your site, for example. Jobs like:
- Helping customers with orders
- Confirming shipping information
- Gathering contact information
- Directing audiences to links on your site, and more.
Other than the fact that you can make a chatbot work specifically for your business and brand, you can develop WhatsApp chatbots to fit your brand and messages as well. These chatbots may more commonly be made for ecommerce businesses, but any type of service can benefit from it. It doesn't hurt that the WhatsApp business solution is easy to set up as well.
So, what can you get out of using WhatsApp and building a WhatsApp bot?
WhatsApp is great for human interaction across all countries. This is a common international platform people use to communicate with each other. For example, a person in Canada may want to message a friend in Brazil, and WhatsApp is the best free way to not incur extra costs that often come with messaging outside one's phone service ability.
Reduce Respond Time
The average First Response Time (FRT) for a live chat in all industries is 1 minute and 36 seconds. A low response rate creates more satisfied customers who tend to stick with a brand longer than usual and spend 14% more. Response time on WhatsApp can be reduced by using automated messages.
In the WhatsApp business app, these automated messages are available only in the form of “Greeting Messages” where a business can just set up an automated greeting message for the first customer interaction.
But with WhatsApp chatbot and APIs, businesses can set up custom flows for different conversation stages, create custom messages, reduce the response time, and can answer most commonly asked questions without human intervention.
Automate Commonly Asked Questions
As more people are moving towards online shopping and bookings, the number of queries related to order confirmation, tracking, cancellation, and the refund has seen a huge spike. These queries, if not automated, can take a considerable amount of the agent’s time. Hence it’s very important for businesses to automate these FAQs to reduce the burden on the agent side and help them focus on selling.
Without bots, some of these queries can be handled using “Quick Replies”, but again, these messages have to be sent manually by an agent. Also, queries like sending the order details or tracking information can’t be addressed by “Quick Replies” and have to be handled manually.
Whereas with the help of WhatsApp chatbot FAQs, order tracking information, cancellation request, all can be handled automatically. This automation not only provides quick responses but can also work 24/7.
Give Product Suggestions
When it comes to selling and cross-selling, businesses really don’t need any fancy solutions. The user is already there conversing with the WhatsApp bot, businesses just need to ask them their choices, show the suggestions, and help them checkout.
With the native WhatsApp business app, this is possible with the catalog feature. But the issue with this catalog feature is one has to manually send these catalogs to the customers and this flow can’t be automated.
But, with the WhatsApp chatbot, the complete cross-selling flow can be automated and will not require any human help. A bot can ask about the customer’s interest, show them the desired products, help them select the color and size, and finally help the user check-out.
Reduce Abandoned Cart Instances
The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57 %. One way to address this is via emails but the open rate of emails is just 13.9%. The open rates to an SMS are as high as 98% and WhatsApp being the most popular messaging app can see even better open rates and can reduce the cart abandonment rate considerably.
WhatsApp bots can track items added to the cart and encourage customers to checkout by giving some discounts.
Well, WhatsApp is the uncontested most popular messaging app. In 2020, the app surmounted its own record of monthly active users, which grew from 1.5 billion in December 2017 to 2 billion in April 2020. Currently, WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in 133 countries worldwide:
Image credit: Landbot.io
Ultimately, you have the potential to reach all of these countries if your business reaches that far. Even if, for example, you have a building or factory that sells and ships out products to only the U.S. and Canada, WhatsApp can still be useful when you implement a WhatsApp chatbot to quickly give customer service to Canadian audiences.
Anyone part of a business can try to set up a business account with WhatsApp. To ensure precisely the latter, WhatsApp currently limits the number of businesses on WhatsApp Business API. So we’ve put together a clear guide to applying for WhatsApp Business API, which takes you through the process step by step and helps to up your chances by making the right choices along the way.
Someone with a tech background is not necessary when creating WhatsApp chatbot for a business.
Let's next go over how you can build a WhatsApp Chatbot step by step since WhatsApp does limit the number of businesses using their business platform.
Steps to build a WhatsApp chatbot depend on the program you use to create and deploy the bot. We'll cover the basics of what WhatsApp requires of all businesses and what to expect before making the WhatsApp bot go live.
Currently, WhatsApp is in limited public preview and encourages businesses to consider using a business service provider. What is an API?
An API is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. Communication between APIs is sometimes referred to as a contract between an information user and an information provider, establishing the content required from the consumer (the call) and the content required by the producer who gives the response.
When a client API requests data from a server API, it’s calling to see if a certain event has occurred—in other words, whether the server’s data has changed in a way that might be useful to the client. In this process, the client sends an HTTP request at regular intervals until the server’s API sends the relevant data.
Here are the steps you should follow to apply for WhatsApp API and set up your dedicated WhatsApp Business number.
Step 1: Sign up for WhatsApp business API. Once you sign up, you’ll receive an email explaining the next steps to follow to get your application approved.
Step2: Next, you need to provide details like the Facebook Business Manager ID, phone number, and name. Follow the below image to access Facebook Business Manager ID.
Step 3: If you choose to partner with TruVISIBILITY as your business service provider, you will then have to verify that by going to ‘business settings’ and approving the request from TruVISIBILITY.
Step 4: Finally, you will have to provide basic details like their profile icon and name for your WhatsApp business account. Your WhatsNumber will be authenticated using an SMS or voice call.
When you decide to apply through a business solution provider, you’ll need to submit basic information about your company and intentions you have with WhatsApp services:
- Company name
- Region(s) where you plan to provide the WhatsApp Service
- Country of company headquarters
- Intended use case
- Volume predictions (messages/day)
- Time to market (when do you intend to launch the service).
Once your brand is approved, you will need to provide further information to activate your phone number. You can add up to 25 phone numbers to WhatsApp.
You may use a new number or an already existing one. However, if your business is new, you must first register the number with WhatsApp Business App. To proceed with the activation process, you will have to further provide:
- Customer Facebook Business Manager ID
- The (main or first) phone number associated with your WhatsApp Business account
- Name associated with the number
- The region for your app (US or EU)
Once your phone number is activated, all the communication is hosted on a virtual server (docker). This means you’ll no longer have access to user incoming messages via your phone, but instead, you’ll manage them via a dashboard.
Let's briefly go over how to build a chatbot that can apply to any bot-building service you choose that can work with WhatsApp.
You will be required to design Highly Structured Message (HSM) templates. WhatsApp messaging templates are proactive messages sent to users after they opted-in to receive WhatsApp notifications, such as shipping information or purchase confirmation.
HSM messages are the only way WhatsApp Business monetizes its API service and has strict rules about both the form and content of these messages. You require WhatsApp’s approval to be able to put them into practice. Template messages must be:
- Text-based (no images, videos, or GIFs but contextually relevant emojis are allowed)
- Service-oriented (providing clear value to the customer).
Whether you have a common question your audience asks or you want more avenues to help and interact with your leads and customers, TruVISIBILITY makes it easy to integrate your bots to WhatsApp.
The all-in-one suite offered is free for as long as you have an account. You only pay as your business, contact list, or need grows. You can skip the complicated integration of your automated email messages with a chatbot by choosing the all-in-one platform, saving you time while building a new chatbot for WhatsApp.
Check out the other ways you can skip a step in automated digital marketing here.
You could block the way for extra leads and customers to easily interact with your business by not investing time to create WhatsApp chatbot. The WhatsApp API process can be an extra annoying step, but it's simply a means to an end and is necessary to integrate anything - trust us, anything - to WhatsApp. No other platform can make it simpler.
TruVISIBILITY limits the need to click a ton of buttons to create a chatbot. You can simply drag responses to multiple questions, for example, to streamline the bot building experience.
To learn more about building chatbots, check out our slew of helpful guides here or discover another application, such as the Messaging app for sending automated email marketing campaigns.
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