Looking to boost your business or improve customer support experience using Chatbots? Well, you’re not alone.
82% of companies that use AI-powered conversational marketing solutions (or chatbots) find it to be a valuable asset to their sales and marketing efforts.
WhatsApp is a market leader with messaging channels. The opportunity to communicate seamlessly for sales and marketing using Chatbots is limitless.
Now that you’re aware of what you’re looking for. Let’s get started on how to build a chatbot.
Looking for anything in particular? Jump straight to that section using the table of contents.
Table of Contents
What is a WhatsApp chatbot?
WhatsApp Chatbot automates your sales and customer service. It engages with your audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without human intervention.
It’ll feel like you’re speaking with a real person. Still, in reality, your audience will be conversing with a machine that will respond with a series of automatic responses.
For example, using a WhatsApp chatbot, an eCommerce company can:
– Answer queries about its products and services.
– Send payment, delivery, and refund notifications.
– Distribute marketing information to increase sales.
Now let’s explore why would your business need a WhatsApp Chatbot.
Why does your business need a WhatsApp chatbot?
It’s easier to manage queries when you have a small base of customers. But as your business grows with more customers, you must have a chatbot that can engage with leads and customers 24/7.
Without a chatbot, it can be challenging to reply faster to any business or customer enquiries, and it’s not something your audience will like.
On the brighter side, here’s what you can expect by setting a WhatsApp chatbot in place.
- Improve the sales efforts.
- Offer better support and experience in clearing customer queries.
- Setup automated replies outside business hours
- Save money and time
- Gather lead details
- Integrate your chatbots with your existing CRMs like Hubspot, Shopify or Zoho.
- Recommend new products and services
- Unlike humans, your chatbot can handle many queries at the same time.
In short, if you want to scale your business on WhatsApp, you need to provide the experience of your website or store on WhatsApp. For that, you will need a WhatsApp chatbot.
Now that you have learnt about the WhatsApp chatbot and its need let’s check out the key things you should be aware of before creating a WhatsApp chatbot.
WhatsApp chatbot: Guidelines to comply with
If you already use WhatsApp for your business, you may be familiar with it. But it’s never a bad idea to recheck it, as the repercussions of non-compliance can be as severe as being banned from using WhatsApp’s services.
- WhatsApp Business messages are via opt-in. This means that messages sent can only be to people who have agreed to receive messages from you.
- You may respond to messages freely (in terms of content and cost) within 24 hours after receiving them. After this, you may only send out pre-approved message templates and will be charged a fee.
- Chatbots and messaging automation can be used in this 24-hour window. But the messaging must provide alternative ways for users to reach a live human agent.
- WhatsApp pays attention to the kind of sectors that want permission to use their APIs to establish a chatbot. It will be easy to gain API access if your firm fits under one of these industries.
– Real estate
If your company falls under the sector of industries listed below, you would find it challenging to gain WhatsApp API access.
– Adult entertainment
– Political parties
– Arms and support weapons
But what if you are using a regular WhatsApp service and not WhatsApp Business? Well, you will need WhatsApp Business to set up a chatbot. Here’s how it works.
What is WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business is a solution developed by Facebook to help businesses build their presence on WhatsApp.
Being the best alternative to old SMS services, WhatsApp for businesses enables businesses to interact with their customers with chats, reminders, and confirmation texts on WhatsApp Itself.
There are two WhatsApp Business Solutions:
- WhatsApp Business App
- WhatsApp Business API
WhatsApp Business includes capabilities that can help a small business meet its needs. On the flip side, it has limitations for a medium or large enterprise.
This is where the WhatsApp Business API may help you scale your marketing and sales operations.
What is an API?
Application programming interface (API) allows your product or service to exchange information with other products or services. This can help firms save time and money by avoiding the need to develop complex, expensive software.
Here’s an example. Let’s imagine you’re planning a vacation and need to book a hotel room. You’re looking for hotel rooms on a well-known hotel room aggregator website, such as Trivago. You’ve decided where you want to look for rooms.
The room aggregator programme uses an API to check the database of all the hotels in the chosen location and present all of the rooms that are available. The API acts as a middleman, assisting the room aggregator website in locating rooms from various databases.
Similar to the example, your business can use WhatsApp Business API to create chatbots, send broadcast messages, offer access to numerous agents, and use a few other functions not available in the WhatsApp Business app.
Now if you think a WhatsApp Business API is the ideal fit for your business (which we also think it is) since it will help you set up a chatbot. Let’s look into how to get a WhatsApp Business API to set up your chatbot.
Getting WhatsApp chatbot with WhatsApp Business API
No ordinary WhatsApp Number can have a chatbot enabled on it. WhatsApp doesn’t allow us to do that. The concept of the WhatsApp bot came into existence when Facebook launched WhatsApp Business API for businesses in 2018.
WhatsApp Business API enables businesses to have their presence on WhatsApp and get a verified WhatsApp Business account.
With WhatsApp APIs, you can integrate your systems like WhatsApp bot, CRM, chat agents dashboard, etc., to automate sales and customer support.
If you want a WhatsApp chatbot, you must first get a WhatsApp Business API.
Now that we are clear with the prerequisites for creating a chatbot let’s quickly move on to what you came looking for.
How To Create A WhatsApp Chatbot For Free?
Getting a WhatsApp chatbot up and running will depend on whether you’re using the free WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API.
While free and relatively easy to configure, the app has its limitations. Building a WhatsApp bot with the business API opens up plenty more customer service, sales, and marketing opportunities, not to mention the possibility to customise your bots.
There are two ways to approach building a WhatsApp Chatbot.
- Code the Chatbot manually
- Use a chatbot solution like WATI that doesn’t require any coding knowledge
Coding the chatbot manually requires technical knowledge (obviously!!), which may be challenging to manoeuvre if you don’t have an in-house developer.
Whereas with WATI, we help you build a no-code WhatsApp chatbot that you can customise according to your messaging and business needs in under 5 minutes.
Now, if you’d like to take the easy and quick route of creating a WhatsApp chatbot for your business, you must get a WhatsApp API-enabled business number with Wati. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to build a chatbot.
To get your WhatsApp business API, click here.
With WhatsApp API-enabled business number with WATI, you get an entire dashboard with cool features like Contact Management, Chatbot Builder, API integrations, and much more.
Next, follow all the steps explained by our expert in this video.
With WATI’s no-code chatbot builder, you can quickly build a chatbot to automate your support. You can also attach rich media and documents with your chatbot’s WhatsApp messages.
Advantages of building a WhatsApp chatbot with WATI
- The main advantage of WATI is that you don’t need to be a programmer to build a WhatsApp Chatbot. You can directly create conversational blocks.
- You get important features like Default Action, Pre-made conversational flows to choose from.
- WATI is an official WhatsApp APIs provider, so you’ll get all the latest features as early as possible.
Now that you learnt how to create a WhatsApp Chatbot for your business (new achievement unlocked), here’s something you should keep in mind to keep the conversation going seamless and smooth between your chatbot and audience.
Designing your WhatsApp Chatbot’s Conversation
When you build a WhatsApp bot for your WhatsApp Business account, it works as the first interactive face of your business. So, it is crucial to consider the most critical aspect, i.e. conversation design.
Conversation Design: Conversation design is a process where you’ll build all the possible conversations your customer can have with your WhatsApp Bot. It is the core of your WhatsApp automation.
Conversation design will help you identify the need of your customers and their ways of asking a single question.
It is essential to know that users get frustrated when a Chatbot fails to deliver the correct answer. Therefore, the conversational design will help you boost UX and increase the percentage of queries your WhatsApp bot can answer successfully.
Build Multiple Chatbot Flows: You’ve to consider that there will be multiple conversational flows to get the users to your end goals which would be to complete a purchase or fill the sign-up details page. With multiple chatbot flows, you can make your Conversational Design highly efficient to meet your end goal.
Add Useful Fallbacks: No chatbot can answer 100% of the queries. Therefore, there would be moments when your WhatsApp chatbot will fail to resolve a question. This is called a Chatbot failure or Fallback.
While designing a conversation, avoid using a very common fallback reply like ‘sorry! I can’t answer this for now.’ Try to make it more interactive. You can also show the main menu or sub-menu so the users can navigate to the desired thing.
Be The Support, Not A Salesperson: While designing the conversation, ensure that the chatbot is polite and sounds like an assistant. Please don’t over-market or brag too much about your products. Instead, show only helpful things to your customers when asked.
Avoid Long texts: How often would you read a long text on WhatsApp? The same things happen with your users. So keep your chatbot’s responses short and effective. If you wish to explain something in detail, attach a document or a media along with your short message.
Add Call To Action In The Closing Messages: We’ve been building a WhatsApp Chatbot for what? To get more business, to be precise. It is important to note that at the end of a conversation, the chatbot must ask the user to take action, such as ‘purchase now!’ or ‘Fill the details’.
Conversation design aims to improve the UX of your WhatsApp Chatbot. A good UX will also help you build your brand value on WhatsApp.
How can I get a green tick next to my business name on WhatsApp?
Companies that have access to WhatsApp Business APIs are only eligible for a green tick verification.
- Apply for WhatsApp Business API access through Whatsapp’s official partner like WATI.
- Once your request for API access is approved, WhatsApp business service providers like WATI can help you get the green ticket verification.
You can read more about it here.
So what all would I need to set up a WhatsApp chatbot?
- A verified business page on FaceBook
- WhatsApp business phone number
- Access to WhatsApp Business API (which WATI can help you get)
WhatsApp Chatbot in 2022: The conclusion
Your competition is in the race against you to be on WhatsApp to interact and acquire more and more customers. Every one of them will be using a WhatsApp Business solution.
A good WhatsApp Chatbot on your Business number will be a massive advantage for you. Your customers need not wait hours to get their questions answered. You’ll be more efficient, friendly, and interactive on WhatsApp and build your brand value.
When it comes to the WhatsApp Chatbot, User experience matters the most. With the right conversation design, you can build the complete experience that your customers want.
WATI is the platform committed to providing all the features combined to build a perfect no-code chatbot. So What are you waiting for?