How to set up Auto-reply for WhatsApp: A Guide for 2019

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In previous posts, we’ve spoken about WhatsApp Chatbots; specific to why and how to build them. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to set up an auto-reply feature for WhatsApp.

In this post, we’ll help you understand the nitty-gritty of WhatsApp Chatbots. To start off with, let’s talk about how Auto-Reply for WhatsApp works.

There are two ways to set up auto-replies for your business – Using WhatsApp Business and Using WhatsApp’s Business API’s.

auto-reply using WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business is a platform meant for small and medium businesses. It allows you to set up “away messages” for when you’re not available or online.

In this article, we’ll talk about the process of deploying auto-reply away messages for your business.

Setting automated messages on WhatsApp

Most businesses work 8-12 hour days. So while you may only be available from nine-to-five, your customers will interact with businesses based on their convenience.

These customers are lost revenue-generating opportunities. A business that only interacts with its customers eight hours a day loses more than 2/3rds of its potential revenue.

An away message allows you to tell your customers that you’re away and encourages them to move within the funnel with more ease.

Template of an away message on WhatsApp

Using WhatsApp Business, you can set automated replies and schedule them as per your desired timings.

The first step to doing this is to decide who gets what away message. You can decide if a single away message is sent to all your customers or if it’s just being sent to specific customers.

The second step is to schedule the away message to function at a specific time. The recommended trigger time is during the hours that your business is closed.

If a customer reaches out to you during these “away” hours, messages will be sent out based on your preferences.

STEPS TO SET AUTO REPLY:

  1. Tap on the three vertical dots on the top right of your WhatsApp application. From there, click on Settings, followed by Business Settings and lastly on Away message.
  2. Now, turn on the “Send away message” toggle button.
  3. Next, enter the “away” message or tap on it to edit the message which will be sent to your customers accordingly.
  4.  After you edit your message, select the type of schedule for understanding when to program your messages to be deployed.
  5. Next, select the recipients to whom you want to send the message.

Scheduling of away messages :

  • Always schedule – Select this when you’re out of town and can’t talk to your customers for days on end.
  • Custom schedule: This is to be selected when you want to send the away messages only during a particular duration. Set a time duration and if a customer texts you in this timeframe, you’ll trigger an away message.
  • Outside of business hours: This feature is based on what you’ve specified as your business hours on your profile. Once set, away messages will be automatically sent if any reply is received outside the business hours.
Setting up an away message for WhatsApp

how to select the recipients

  • Everyone: Single template for all customers.
  • Everyone excluding a few:  All customers, except for a few.
  • A few out of the contacts: Only a few customers are sent the away message

It’s important to note two things.

  1. Save all of your changes.
  2. Keep in mind that your away messages will only be sent when you have an active internet connection.

 


 

There are certain disadvantages to using WhatsApp Business for Auto-Replying.

  1. WhatsApp Business is meant for small businesses.
  2. It cannot help you generate leads or provide support.
  3. WhatsApp Business can’t use different templates.
  4. It always needs an active internet connection.
  5. WhatsApp Business is not customizable.
  6. WhatsApp Business doesn’t give you a Verified Business tag.
  7. Only works during predefined off-hours.

For a more powerful Auto-reply for WhatsApp solution, you can use WhatsApp’s Business API’s.

This is a WhatsApp Chatbot. WhatsApp’s Business API’s power WhatsApp Chatbots.

SCHEDULING REPLIES using A WHATSAPP CHATBOT

A chatbot is an automated conversation platform. They replicate human interaction but use software instead of teeth and bones. They can help you support and sell to your customers, in real-time, around the clock.

Customers can visit your website, app or Facebook page at any time and talk to your chatbot, which can replicate your best salesperson.

WhatsApp Business can only tell an inquisitive customer that you’re not available at the moment. But using WhatsApp Business API’s you can answer that customer’s question.

For example, a customer texts you on WhatsApp telling you he’d like to buy a shirt but has questions about size. Using WhatsApp’s Business’ auto-reply, you can text him that your store is closed, but she can drop you a message in the morning.

But with a WhatsApp Chatbot powered by WhatsApp’s Business API’s, your customer can have a full conversation with a customer; answering queries and completing sales.

The Chatbot can handle a variety of low-level FAQs. In the event where you are available and the bot can’t handle a question, the chat can be transferred to a human agent.

A WhatsApp Chatbot allows customers in any corner of the world to communicate with your company, regardless of time-zone or availability. It is the ultimate auto-reply for WhatsApp.

How to automate your messages in WhatsApp chatbots

Say, “Hello!”

The first step to build a WhatsApp bot is to reach out to a company that can help you. To reach out to Verloop, simply hit the chat icon at the bottom right of the screen.

Other companies have long forms you have to fill out, you can find an example of one here.


Tell me about yourself.

A big determinant into the ease of acquiring WhatsApp’s API’s is whether your business has a WhatsApp Business License. Lots of providers only service companies that have an existing license.

Verloop is a one-stop solutions platform. We have partners that will get your Business Account rolling.

Businesses are asked several questions to determine API qualification during the application process. Applications for certain sectors are restricted – like porn, government entities, and healthcare.

Industry wide – the questions are largely standard.

Name
Company Name
Company URL
Country Location
Email ID
Use Case*

We’ll do the heavy lifting

After this, simply sit back and let us do all the difficult work. Once your application has been processed, the real work begins. Businesses using WhatsApp’s API’s follow strict guidelines. These cover everything from the content used by the bot to the use-case in question.

Failure to comply leads to a ban from the platform.

Verloop guides you through possible use-cases, assists you with compliance, and provides, proofreads and develops acceptable templates for your business. This way, we ensure that you not only have WhatsApp API’s but also that you continue to keep them.

Congratulations – you have a chatbot for WhatsApp!

Now that you’ve built the skeleton for what your WhatsApp bot, it’s time add the muscle and brains.

The features that you receive while building your Chatbot for WhatsApp depends on your provider. Verloop is an all-in-one solutions stack. From integrating your CRM to include WhatsApp queries, encrypting and decrypting messages and providing a single dashboard for all your customer touchpoints.

About the author

Anush Fernandes

Loves Canines, Conversational automation, and Curry. Stephen and otherwise.

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