Did you know 82% of businesses opt for AI-powered conversational marketing solutions to boost their sales? The solution we are talking about here is Chatbots.

You must come across Chatbots more times than you can count. If you’re a business owner, you would probably know of its numerous benefits too. Moreover, if you’re looking to grow your business or improve customer experience, chatbots can be your best friend.

Around 67% of customers worldwide prefer that businesses use texting as their primary communication channel. And, which is the best text messaging platform at present? You are right – it’s WhatsApp!

It might seem like a daunting task to launch a WhatsApp chatbot but there’s no reason to worry. We have got you covered! 

In this article, we have covered every aspect of what you need to know before launching a WhatsApp bot. Learn all about the WhatsApp Business App, WhatsApp API, policies and how to create a WhatsApp chatbot for free.

What is WhatsApp Business?

After the initial launch of WhatsApp in 2009, the WhatsApp Business app was launched. As the name itself implies, the WhatsApp Business App was meant for businesses. It is a free mobile application that SMEs can use.

What is WhatsApp Business l NeoDove

This app greatly benefitted small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in several ways. If you’re an SMB owner using the WhatsApp Business App, you would get the following benefits:

  • Connect with your customers more effectively. You can have one-on-one conversations with them in real time. This greatly enhances the relationship you have with your customers.
  • You can highlight your products in the product catalogue that is present in your profile. 
  • Since you can have one-on-one conversations with your customers, you can also answer their queries faster and offer great customer support.
  • Access special features on the WhatsApp Business App by which you can automate, sort and reply to customer requests.

Truly, the WhatsApp Business App is one of the best marketing tools you can use as a small business.

However, if you’re a medium or large business owner, you must be wondering what you can use. You can get rid of any worry since WhatsApp also launched the WhatsApp Business API.

What is WhatsApp API?

As mentioned above, if you own a medium or large business, you should be using WhatsApp API. With the WhatsApp API, you will be able to provide enhanced customer support. Moreover, you will also be able to send notifications to your customers.

What is WhatsApp API l NeoDove

It is important for you to know about WhatsApp API as WhatsApp bots are integrated with it. Using WhatsApp API, you can create a WhatsApp bot for your company to send and receive notifications from customers.

Before May 2022, SMEs had to get a Business Service Provider (BSP) to get access to WhatsApp API. After WhatsApp released the new cloud version of WhatsApp API, it’s become quite easy to access WhatsApp API.

The process for getting access also takes way less time. Earlier, you might have had to wait for months. Now, the process takes only a few minutes. 

Consider this your cue to get WhatsApp API today and make use of special features like chatbots and more!

What is a WhatsApp chatbot?

Now that you know all about the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API, let’s examine WhatsApp chatbots. A WhatsApp chatbot is a real-time automated conversational solution that helps you enhance customer service.

What is a WhatsApp chatbot l NeoDove

Customers can chat with your brand directly on the messaging app and this is possible via WhatsApp API integration. There are two types of WhatsApp bots that you can create for your brand. Chatbots can either be NLP-based or rule-based. 

NLP-based Chatbots use natural language processing to provide the effect of human conversations. Whereas, rule-based chatbots are based on decision trees that give a structured experience. 

Regardless of the type of WhatsApp bots you choose to have, they can help your business. Here are some of the major advantages of using WhatsApp bots:

  • WhatsApp chatbots help you answer customer queries quickly and asynchronously. That means you can have a one-on-one, real time conversation with every individual customer.
  • WhatsApp is an app that your customers use every day. So, your customers won’t have to go out of their comfort zone to get their queries answered.
  • Since the WhatsApp bot is integrated with WhatsApp API, it gives you accurate user history and data about each customer. This helps you provide better customer service according to the needs of every customer.

Why does your business need a WhatsApp bot?

As you would have understood by now, WhatsApp chatbots greatly help with customer service. But did you know WhatsApp bots can help in sales and lead generation?

A WhatsApp bot boosts sales and generates more leads. Not only this, it also helps with product promotions, recommendations, customer engagement and feedback and more.

If you have recently launched your business, you might have several questions about a WhatsApp chatbot. One question that you might often ask yourself is if your business even needs a WhatsApp bot. We are here to help you out with that dilemma.

WhatsApp Business API was first launched in 2018. Though many businesses were excited about it, many were skeptical too. However, the monthly active users (MAU) of WhatsApp reached 1.6 billion. Finally, this got more people on board with WhatsApp Business API.

If your business belongs to any of the following industries, it would benefit greatly from a free WhatsApp chatbot. These industries include real estate, education, finance, travel and hospitality, online retail, etc. If your business is subscription-based, it would also benefit from a whatsapp chatbot.

A Complete Guide To Create Free WhatsApp Chatbot l NeoDove

Steps To Complete Before Creating A Free WhatsApp Chatbot

There are three basic steps that you need to complete before you can start creating a WhatsApp chatbot.

Step 1 – Meeting WhatsApp API’s limitations

Before you start making a chatbot, there are 3 factors that WhatsApp will consider. They are:

  • Industry

We have listed the industries which get easy access to WhatsApp API. To grant access, WhatsApp will first consider the industry to which your business belongs. 

For example, if your business belongs to the following industries, you might find it difficult to get access. Government, arms, alcohol, political organizations, healthcare, independent software vendors, supplements, etc.

  • Purpose of the Chatbot

The most critical limitation to getting access to WhatsApp API is the purpose of your chatbot. WhatsApp does not allow businesses to use chatbots for promotional or marketing purposes. 

It would be best if you only stuck to using chatbots for customer support or any non-promotional purpose. In such cases, you would be most likely to get access to WhatsApp API.

  • Compliance with WhatsApp policies

It is very important for you to follow the WhatsApp Business Solution Terms. You must also follow the WhatsApp Business Solution Policies.

Before opting for access to WhatsApp Business API, carefully read through the policies. Furthermore, you must ensure that your company is complying with all of the policies mentioned.

Step 2 – Getting the WhatsApp Business App

After you have carefully gone through all of WhatsApp’s limitations, you have to make sure that you are eligible. Once you have done that, you need to register your business in the WhatsApp business App. 

Step 3 – Getting access to WhatsApp API

The last and most crucial step is creating a request for access to WhatsApp API. Earlier, you had to partner up with Business Solution providers to get your request considered. 

However, at present, you can put in a request to get access to WhatsApp Business API by yourself.

Bonus Step – WhatsApp Business Pricing 

After setting up WhatsApp Business API, you will need to consider the pricing. 

From February 2022, WhatsApp API works on a conversation-based model. This means that regardless of whether a conversation was initiated by the user or you, you’ll be charged some amount.

How To Create A Free WhatsApp Chatbot

Here are the steps that you need to follow to make a WhatsApp chatbot:

1) Sign Up on Google Dialogflow

2) Set up a Profile and Agent Name. 

Your agent name can be anything. You can name it according to your business or the name of the Whatsapp bot.

3) Begin the process of creating your chatbot

Go to the Import and Export section in the agent profile to use a pre-made chatbot template. With this, you will be creating your WhatsApp chatbot.

4) Choose and download a template

Among the many templates available, you need to choose and download one. Then, you need to upload this template to Google Dialogflow.

5) Add purpose/ intent to your WhatsApp chatbot

You can add multiple intents according to the user’s purpose in each conversation. You can add a Default welcome intent and Queries and their respective answers.

6) Add a Default Fallback Intent

You will also need to add a default fallback intent. This response will be triggered when the chatbot doesn’t understand the user’s expression. For example, a fallback response could be – “‘I didn’t get that. Could you repeat it?”

7) Create your service account

After these steps, you need to go to the Agent settings. Click on the Project ID button, tap the three dots on the top left corner and select “I am Admin”. This way, you can create your Service Account.

8) Download the JSON key

After adding Service Account ID, press ‘Continue’. In roles, you need to select ‘Dialogflow API client’ and press ‘done’. Under actions, click on ‘Manage Keys’. Click on ‘New Key’ and select ‘JSON’. 

If all the steps have been performed correctly, the JSON key will be downloaded to your device.

9) Activate your WhatsApp chatbot

Finally, you can upload your JSON key to a dashboard such as AiSensy and activate your WhatsApp chatbot. You can also test it by adding your number and putting in a query.

Wrap Up

As you have understood by now, a WhatsApp chatbot is a huge blessing for your business. 

From boosting sales to improving customer service, a WhatsApp bot can do it all. To automate your marketing and sales processes and improve customer support, a WhatsApp chatbot may be exactly what you need.

Thus, with this article, you now know how to make a WhatsApp bot for your own business and reap immense benefits!

Last modified on December 14, 2022