WhatsApp Automation: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Paras Kela

Senior Writer:

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green tickPublished : July 24, 2023

WhatsApp remains the most preferred platform for businesses to communicate instantly with customers. With over 2 billion WhatsApp users, Whatsapp remains one of the leading messenger applications used by people across the world. And the launch of the WhatsApp Business platform was a breakthrough as its features and functionalities blurred all the barriers in communication between businesses and customers.

WhatsApp automation is a notable feature of WhatsApp Business API, and connecting it to a CRM or WhatsApp marketing software helps automate repetitive tasks and processes in customer communication.

This blog has curated all the essential details about WhatsApp automation. We have also provided a step-by-step guide to help you automate customer sales and support conversations using the Whatsapp Business App and WhatsApp API.

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Expert Advice

"When you compare WhatsApp to other marketing channels, the RoI is extremely high and remains the most preferred among businesses. WhatsApp automation helps businesses save more costs and enhance their operational efficiency. You must identify a robust WhatsApp marketing software and leverage its features to automate sales, marketing, and customer support conversations."

What Is WhatsApp Automation?

WhatsApp automation refers to using API or AI tools to automate the customer support and sales conversations businesses take up over WhatsApp.

The tool can be programmed to send WhatsApp messages and replies without human intervention. It can also be configured to automatically respond to FAQs and raise tickets for queries that require agent intervention.

Businesses use WhatsApp to send the following:

WhatsApp business automation helps automate the repetitive tasks involved in the above processes. Doing so helps save time and costs for businesses and customer support teams, which they can invest in performing other crucial business operations.

Beyond that, WhatsApp automation also improves the quality of customer support and reduces customer response time, eventually leading to higher customer satisfaction. You can set up WhatsApp automation using WhastApp Business App or WhatsApp Business API

 
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WhatsApp Automation: How Can It Benefit Your Business?

WhatsApp remains the cheapest way for businesses to reach their customers. When you leverage the features and functionalities of WhatsApp business automation, you are in an advantageous position in the industry. Following are the advantages when you fully leverage the features of WhatsApp business automation.  

Advantages of using whatsapp business automation

  • When you send automated WhatsApp messages, you resolve customer queries faster than other businesses. Doing so puts you ahead of your counterparts in the industry.
  • Automating WhatsApp messages and replies helps businesses save costs and enhance their productivity. They can invest the savings into other business areas, increasing their revenue and profits.
  • Through automated WhatsApp messages, you can save considerable time for agents, which they can invest in performing other crucial business operations and challenging tasks.
  • Using the analytics and data gathered through WhatsApp business API, you can target customers and design customized marketing campaigns.
  • Using WhatsApp Business API, you can configure the bot to guide customers down the sales funnel. Doing so helps identify quality leads and increases the chance of conversion.
  • When you automate customer replies using the WhatsApp Business App or API, you can offer 24/7 replies to your customers so that you can respond to customer queries beyond standard business hours.
  • You can integrate the WhatsApp business automation suite with other CRM tools and streamline end-to-end customer communication and relationship management.

Given the above benefits, let us move ahead to understand how to create and send automated messages using WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API.

Recommended: Optimize customer experience via the robust capabilities of ControlHippo’s WhatsApp Automation feature.

How to Setup WhatsApp Automation with a Business App?

The WhatsApp Business App allows you to automate greetings messages and away messages.

1. Automate Greeting Messages

A WhatsApp greeting message is the first message businesses share with customers after they opt-in or initiate a conversation from marketing campaigns and advertisements. With WhatsApp Business App, you can customize the entire greeting message. Businesses use greeting messages when customers do the following.

  • Customers make a purchase and opt-in to receive further communication from your business
  • Customers try to get in touch with you after seeing a promotional campaign or advertisement of your business
  • Customers scan the QR code attached to your business
  • Customers opt-in to receive newsletters and other product information from your business
  • Customers click on the WhatsApp link of your business account across social media channels and messaging platforms

The overall idea is to make customers feel warm and connected to the business when they approach you for the first time. Your greeting message should encompass the details of your product and service offerings. When a customer messages you for the first time or post 14 days of not being in touch with you, the app automatically sends the greeting message. 

2. Automate Away Messages

With WhatsApp Business App, you can send away or out-of-office messages when a customer approaches you beyond business hours. Doing so is a sign of acknowledgment to the customer that you have received their message and will reply when you return.

This way, customers feel heard and attended to instantly. You can set office hours on your WhatsApp Business App, and the app will send automated messages when a customer initiates a conversation beyond the office hours you have set.

Steps to create WhatsApp Automation: Business App  

Do the following to create and send automated WhatsApp messages using the WhatsApp Business App.

  1. Open the WhatsApp Business App.
  2. After opening the app, tap on the three dots at the right corner on the top of the App.
  3. Click business tools and then greeting/ away message.
  4. Turn on the option to send a greeting/ away message.
  5. When you turn on the option, The default greeting or away message appears. You can change the message as per your requirement.
  6. While setting the greetings and away messages, you can choose if you want to share the message with
    • Everyone who messages you,
    • Everyone who approaches you and is not in your existing contact list,
    • Everyone except the selected set of contacts,
    • Selected customers.
  7. While setting away messages using the WhatsApp Business App, you can choose the schedule message option and set one of the following.
    • Always send the away WhatsApp message,
    • Send the away message only during the specified period,
    • Send the away message when customers approach beyond the standard working hours and holidays. To set this, you must specify the business hours in your profile.

Though WhatsApp Business App lets you create and customize greetings and away messages, it must be noted that you cannot automate other functions. So it is inappropriate to automate WhatsApp conversations of large-scale businesses.

You May Also Read: How to Set Up a WhatsApp Auto Reply?

How to Setup WhatsApp Automation with Business API?

WhatsApp Business App has basic automation features and can only send greetings and away messages. WhatsApp Business API has far more features and advantages when compared to the WhatsApp Business App. 

How To Create WhatsApp Automation? WhatsApp API Automation

Using WhatsApp Business API, you can automate greetings and away messages, answer frequently asked questions, set up live chat and payment reminders, send delivery updates, discounts, offers, collect feedback, etc. 

1. Automate Greeting Messages

By subscribing to a reliable WhatsApp Team Inbox solution, you can automatically send greeting messages when a customer approaches your business for the first time.

Using WhatsApp API, you can add dynamic variables like the customer’s first name to the greeting message. Doing so will help build a sense of attachment and trust in the customer’s mind.  

2. Automate Replies to FAQs

Customers seek quick answers to their questions and rapidly resolve their problems. Using WhatsApp Business API, you can set up quick replies to questions that customers ask frequently. Doing so would save a lot of agents the time and effort they ought to invest in answering repetitive questions. You can create responses and edit them whenever you wish to, using WhatsApp Business API.

3. Automate WhatsApp Notifications

You can send notifications about appointments, payment dues, service requests, invoice information, delivery status, and order-related status updates using WhatsApp Business API. Doing so helps businesses enhance customer experience. Studies show that customers tend to open and read WhatsApp messages more quickly than they do so with emails. So, sending status updates through WhatsApp will help them stay updated.

Automating the process of notifications and alerts reduces customer questions about order and status updates. Doing so frees up the burden on customer care agents. Sending proactive notifications also enhances customer experience and satisfaction. 

4. Live Chat Using Chatbots

Live chat delivers the highest customer satisfaction (73%) compared to emails and other channels. Robust business solution providers help you build chatbots using which you can automate first-hand, human-like responses to sales and customer queries. Using chatbots, you can offer 24/7/365, round-the-clock customer support.

You can use the chatbots to answer customer questions, collect feedback, send personalized product recommendations, sales queries, etc. On the one hand, using chatbots increases customer satisfaction, and on the other, it enhances agents’ productivity.

5. Automate Promotional Messages

You can seamlessly share discounts, offers, and other promotional messages using WhatsApp Business API. Doing so helps keep customers up-to-date and easily loop in your active and inactive customers.

6. Automate Sales Process

With WhatsApp API, you can build bots and automate the entire sales process and flow. You can display the product catalog, assist the customer in picking the required products, and provide quick checkout.  

7. Set Away Messages

Similar to the WhatsApp Business App, you can use the WhatsApp Business API to set away messages when a customer approaches your business beyond official working hours. You can customize the message to include dynamic variables like name and intimate the customers about when you will be available to respond to their query. 

You May Also Read: How to Send 1000 WhatsApp Messages at Once?

Steps to create WhatsApp Automation: Business API

To get started with WhatsApp Business API, do the following:

  1. You can apply to the WhatsApp Business API or choose a WhatsApp business solution provider who can do the process on your behalf.
  2. Connect WhatsApp API to the business solution application. 
  3. If you require chatbot features, choose the application to build a Chatbot for your business.
  4. Configure auto-replies, notification settings, out-of-office message settings, and Whatsapp template messages.  
  5. Set up WhatsApp API campaigns to create and send automated notifications regarding payments, delivery status, product updates, etc. 

Conclusion

WhatsApp messages have a 90% open rate against emails, with just 21.33%.  WhatsApp is one of the quickest ways to reach existing customers and generate more leads. WhatsApp business automation helps save business costs, enhance agent productivity, promote customer satisfaction, improve the quality of customer support, and generate qualified leads. 

You must choose a reliable WhatsApp marketing software provider to leverage the fullest benefits of WhatsApp Business API and stay ahead of your competitors in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can automate WhatsApp messages using.

  • WhatsApp Business App if you own a small business
  • WhatsApp Business API if you run a medium or large-scale business.

WhatsApp Business App is free to download, and you can automate greetings and away messages. However, suppose you would want to automate other sales, marketing, and customer support conversations and include dynamic variables in the marketing message. In that case, you must sign up with a WhatsApp business solution provider and integrate with WhatsApp Business API. Most offer subscription-based pricing, and you must check for their plans before you pick one.

WhatsApp Business API does not have limitations on the number of users, unlike WhatsApp Business App, which limits the number of users to 5- one phone and four desktop users.

 

Updated : February 20, 2024

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