How do you set up a WhatsApp chatbot?

WhatsApp offers exciting solutions for companies. WhatsApp differentiates according to “WhatsApp for Business” and “WhatsApp Business API”. While “WhatsApp for Business” is free and especially for small businesses, the enterprise version “WhatsApp Business API” offers a professional and privacy-compliant solution for medium and large companies. You’ll learn everything about WhatsApp Business in this editorial: how it works, what it costs, what benefits WhatsApp has for companies and whether you need the WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp Business API more likely!

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In the post you will find out

1. The WhatsApp ecosystem:

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1.1 WhatsApp app

1.2 WhatsApp Business app

1.3 WhatsApp Business API

2. What is a WhatsApp Business Solution Partner?

3. How to get access to WhatsApp Business

API 4. What options does the WhatsApp Business API allow?

5. How can I use WhatsApp in the customer journey?

6. Can I also program a WhatsApp chatbot?

7. How do I get a WhatsApp account for companies?

8. How do I get verification/official company account (green hook) on WhatsApp?

9. What does WhatsApp Business have to consider regarding GDPR and data protection?

10. What are the benefits of WhatsApp Business for companies?

1) WhatsApp Enterprise Ecosystem: Business App vs. WhatsApp Business API

“WhatsApp for companies has enabled us to reach our customers quickly and effectively. This is a great example of how technology creates customer-centric experiences.

We all know the “WhatsApp app” from private communication. In the business and enterprise sector, there have also been official solutions from WhatsApp since 2018: an app and an API! “ Saujanya Shrivastava, Group Chief Marketing Officer at MakeMyTrip

The WhatsApp ecosystem: WhatsApp App, WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API

1.1) WhatsApp App: For Personal Use Only

✋⛔ This app is for private communication only. The WhatsApp Terms of Use exclude commercial use. GDPR and data protection are also not guaranteed here! Here, companies are threatening warnings from competitors and data protection authorities, as well as blocking WhatsApp and even Facebook accounts!

Reading tip: Attorney Dr. Carsten Ulbricht: GDPR and WhatsApp? Can I use WhatsApp Business for my company?

1.2) The WhatsApp Business App: The free app for small

WhatsApp Business is a free app designed specifically for small business ownerscompany . Use it to create a catalog to showcase your products and services. With tools to automate, sort, and respond quickly to messages, make communicating with customers a breeze.

The WhatsApp Business App offers these functions: verified WhatsApp account, WhatsApp account, text modules, product catalog, opening hours, etc.

👎 The disadvantages of WhatsApp Business App:

  • GDPR and data protection are not guaranteed!
  • Needs a smartphone — problematic if you want other colleagues to work with it
  • Cannot have multiple users in different locations
  • No automation possible, e.g. via chatbots

Conclusion WhatsApp Business App: The Free WhatsApp Business app is the (almost) perfect solution for small business owners such as cafes, florists, consultants or trainers. So if you have a maximum of 1 — 3 employees, doesn’t take the topic of data protection too closely and would like to use WhatsApp free of charge for companies, is in the right place!

1.3) WhatsApp Business API: the GDPR-compliant WhatsApp Enterprise solution

A business solution for larger companies has existed since August 2018, the official WhatsApp Business API. It is aimed at medium and large companies. Unlike the app, the API is not free and companies usually need so-called “WhatsApp Business Solution Providers” such as MessengerPeople to gain access to the API interface.

With the features of the WhatsApp Business API, we take our customer support to the next level. Thanks to MessengerPeople, the connection was easy and fast.

Albert Rösch, Head of Service Consulting BMW AG (for BMW Case study)

2) What is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider?

MessengerPeople is one of the selected circle of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers. WhatsApp Business Solution Partners (in English WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, BSPs for short) give companies access to the WhatsApp Business API or can use WhatsApp professionally and scalably for their corporate goals.

Tip: Free webinar: “Messenger communication for beginners”

3) How to get access to the WhatsApp API

There are three ways companies can access the WhatsApp API:

A) Direct access: Here you need a good connection directly to Facebook (good luck!). You also need your own IT infrastructure, your own servers, and then build the entire software or CRM integration yourself. Suitable for companies that have lots of developer resources and very have individual demands!

b) API provider interface . The interface is provided here by a WhatsApp business solution provider. Companies still need their own development team and IT resources. MessengerPeople’s Unified Messaging API is a single interface for multiple messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, GDPR compliant, of course. It costs from 79 euros a month.

c) Use professional software-as-a-service . If you want to use WhatsApp for your company quickly, directly, without IT resources but 100% data protection-compliant, MessengerPeople offers a ready-made software solution! With the Messenger Communication Platform, companies receive a software solution that is immediately ready for use for customer communication with its intuitive interface. This is worthwhile for all companies from around 10 employees.

We found MessengerPeople’s solution very clear, very easy to use, and the price-performance ratio was also right. This is why it was determined relatively quickly which provider we chose.

“ Stefan Gehrig, Head of Customer Service at Harz

4) What options does the WhatsApp API allow?

For a long time, the WhatsApp newsletter was very popular. In December 2019 it was banned by WhatsApp, since June 2021, the WhatsApp Newsletter has been back under slightly different terms and under the official term “business-initiated messages”!

WhatsApp today allows two different use cases: Customer Care/User Initiated Messages and Notifications/Business Initiated Messages .

  1. With customer care

    , the customer turns to the company (User Initiated Message). For example, this could be a case in the consultation (“I have a question about product XY”) or even after the purchase (“How can I use the product, how can I return the product? “) If the user logs in via WhatsApp, the company has 24 hours to respond! Chat is free for customers and companies!

    What happens if the dialogue lasts longer than 24 hours or I can’t respond on weekends?

    Every time the customer contacts you, you have 24 hours to respond. The dialogue is therefore not limited to 24 hours and could theoretically take a whole year. If the customer stops reporting, the window closes after 24 hours and you have no way to write. But sometimes you don’t have the answer until a few days later “the spare part is here now” or you had the weekend no time to answer .

    Then you can use a WhatsApp notification. With the template “ticket_responde_after_24h”, you can send a notification to the customer for a fee. If he replies, the 24 hour free conversation window is open again!

  2. WhatsApp Notification/Business-Initiated Messages:

    These are WhatsApp messages that you as a company can send to your customers on different occasions. Similar to a service SMS that you still know from online banking or flight bookings today. Since June 2021, a kind of WhatsApp newsletter via so-called business-initiated messages has been possible again. Using templates, companies can send customers messages with, for example, product recommendations, relevant offers or helpful information to a customer distributor via WhatsApp. However, customers have to give their opt-in have. WhatsApp notification costs vary from country to country. At the moment, a WhatsApp push notification in Germany costs 7 cents.

    Read more in our article: “WhatsApp Business: What are WhatsApp Notification?

5) How can I use WhatsApp in the customer journey?

The use of WhatsApp is possible for companies along the entire customer journey. From marketing at the beginning, through consulting, ordering, customer service, loyalty and advocacy, WhatsApp offers a whole host of options.

💡 Tip : Here you can read everything about using messengers along the customer journey.

6) Can I also program a WhatsApp chatbot?

You can only program chatbots on the WhatsApp API! WhatsApp Business doesn’t offer this feature!

Especially at the beginning of a sales or service call, the same Information requested from the customer. By using WhatsApp chatbots in first-level support — at the very beginning — customers get an initial response faster and companies save valuable resources.

❗️ Note: As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp announced that the company must ensure that customers are handed over to a human colleague through a WhatsApp bot. This is done by handing over to a human agent in chat, by providing a phone number or email, web support or support form. With MessengerPeople’s chatbot builder, you can easily and quickly create an efficient chatbot that ensures this handover to a human colleague.

WhatsApp chatbots can be extremely useful in communication:

  • They are available 24/7 and never sick or on vacation
  • You can learn to do it all the time and get better
  • become You’re very fast — but also patient when the customer doesn’t have time
  • They never forget — they remember certain data
  • They are low maintenance because unlike apps, they don’t need to be constantly updated to new operating systems

Here’s an example: The WhatsApp bot from the housing association Vonovia prequalifies the customer request first according to the topics of housing or parking space search and tenancy.

💡 Tip: In our article “What is a WhatsApp bot? “let’s explain how to quickly build your own first chatbot and which companies are already using chatbots on WhatsApp today.

7) How do I get a WhatsApp account for companies?

Each account that uses WhatsApp Business is automatically listed as a “company account”. So when you become a MessengerPeople customer, you get automatically a company account!

  1. The basic requirement for using the WhatsApp Business API is a verified WhatsApp company profile that is created via Facebook Business Manager.
  2. In the second step, companies need a telephone number that is stored on the WhatsApp customer service channel. Mobile and landline numbers are possible.
  3. On the Facebook Developer page, WhatsApp provides detailed explanations on the technical implementation. If companies decide to work with a WhatsApp business solution provider such as MessengerPeople , it takes over the complete technical connection and offers comprehensive support.

💡 Tip : You can find out everything about the topic in our article All information about the WhatsApp company account.

8) How do I get verification/official company account (green hook) on WhatsApp?

Companies can’t usually apply for or pay to convert a “company account” into an “official company account” — that is, getting the green check mark for verified company accounts!

“At this point, only certain company accounts are listed as “Official Company Account.” Listing a company as an “official company account” is based on a variety of factors, such as whether the brand is significant.

“ … officially says WhatsApp!

✔ BUT : MessengerPeople customers can apply for this verification from WhatsApp for their official company account through us and via a form.

9) What do you need to consider with WhatsApp Business regarding GDPR and data protection?

DSGVO /Data protection and WhatsApp is always an issue for companies, of course. As described above, the use of WhatsApp is problematic for companies on their own smartphones. This is why WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp (private) app are NOT suitable for GDPR-compliant use for companies. With the WhatsApp API, data protection is guaranteed by solution providers such as MessengerPeople.

💡 Tip : In the free webinar with lawyer and internet expert Dr. Carsten Ulbricht, you can find out everything about the latest topics related to messenger, WhatsApp, data protection, customer service and the GDPR.

10) Overview & Conclusion: What are the benefits of WhatsApp Business for companies?

  • Official and verified company profile
  • End-to-end encryption and GDPR-compliant communication
  • Many ways to get in touch with your customers (customer service, consulting, marketing)

benefits WhatsApp as a customer:

  • Availability: WhatsApp is my preferred communication channel anyway
  • Simple: I chat fast, direct & easy
  • Flexible: I communicate (without queues and forwarding horror) exactly when it suits me
  • Cross device: I start chatting on the desktop in the office and then taking it on the S-Bahn on my smartphone
  • Multimedia: I easily send videos, pictures or voice messages and can explain my problem better
  • Speed: I’m getting a quick and good answer
  • Binding: Should I have a question again later, both the contact and the dialogue are still available

Benefits WhatsApp for companies:

  • Reach: You’re using an app that already 90% of Germans have installed
  • Efficiency: You answer inquiries 60% faster than by phone or email (short and without much blah blah)
  • Automation: Automation saves you up to 80% effort again
  • Costs: You save the costs of expensive call centers and old CRM systems
  • Tonality: You enjoy customer communication without shitstorms, trolls and much more honest feedback
  • Employees: Your service employees are happy — because customer contact via WhatsApp is much more positive and motivating
  • Customer loyalty: As part of the WhatsApp contact list, you almost belong to the closest circle of your customers
  • Success: Your customers are happy, your net promoter score is rising and your company will be a great success!

💡 Tip : Here you can find the best examples of customer communication via WhatsApp in your industry. The success stories offer inspiring use cases as well as Tips & tricks from various industries: messenger communication & their success stories

💡 Tip: With our Messenger Communication Platform, we offer the first professional and privacy-compliant ticket system specifically for customer service via WhatsApp, Instagram Messenger direct messages, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Viber. You can get a first impression of our product here.

You can join free webinars over and over again. It will guide you live through the product and get tips all around content and strategy for your customer service via messenger. How about successfully implementing and using WhatsApp webinar?

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