WhatsApp has over 2 billion, monthly active users. What if your customers can interact with your business on WhatsApp?
They can contact support, buy products and share feedback from WhatsApp?
All of these are possible with WhatsApp Chatbots. In this guide, I will show how to create WhatsApp Chatbots without any coding.
What is a WhatsApp Bot?
A WhatsApp bot is an automated messaging system that can interact with customers via the WhatsApp messaging app.
A bot is programmed to respond to specific keywords or commands to provide information and answer questions.
WhatsApp chatbots can be used in many industries, such as e-commerce, marketing, food, healthcare, finance, and more.
The Benefits of WhatsApp Chatbots?
There are a few key benefits of WhatsApp Chatbots:
1. Smooth interaction. Customers can effortlessly interact with your bots on WhatsApp. And people use WhatsApp daily for personal purposes.
2. Faster support. Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, improving response time and increasing customer satisfaction.
3. Higher reach. The messages you send on WhatsApp are actually seen by the users. Unlike emails, you get 30% open rates normally. On WhatsApp, you can expect 70% – 80% open rates if you’re sending bulk messages.
4. No technical skills are required to create WhatsApp Chatbots. There are hundreds of no-code tools that you can build unlimited WhatsApp chatbots and use them to grow your business.
Tools Required to Create WhatsApp Chatbots
This will allow you to build WhatsApp Chatbots or send broadcast messages on WhatsApp. If you don’t have a Chatrace account? You can create one. Chatrace offers a free plan with some limitations.
2. 360 Dialog/WhatsApp API
You can use business solution providers like 360 Dialog to get access to WhatsApp API.
Or you can directly get WhatsApp API access from Meta (Facebook).
3. A verified Business Manager
To get WhatsApp API, you must have a verified WhatsApp business manager. Then only you’ll get API access.
This video explains how to verify your Facebook Business Manager.
4. Google sheets or mind mapping tool
You can use anything. I personally like to use a Mind mapping tool called MindMeister to write the copy for my chatbots.
That’s all you need to build WhatsApp Chatbots
Build Your 1st WhatsApp Chatbot in 5 Steps
Step 1: Define your goal
Before you build any chatbot, you must know why you’re building this chatbot.
Whether you want to promote your product/services?
Or do you want to engage with existing prospects or customers?
Have a clear idea of why you’re building the chatbot.
For example, I created a chatbot that promotes courses. So according to that, I can plan the chatbot flow.
I would recommend before you launch your promotional chatbot, you must nurture your audience first.
- Offer them something valuable for FREE.
- Engage with them.
- Solve their doubts.
That will create trust. Mostly I create sales or nurture chatbots. But depending on your use case, you can create other types of chatbots, such as, chatbot for support, another for onboarding new customers, etc.
Step 2: Prepare the copy
I want to create a sales chatbot, so I’ll put together all the marketing materials in a doc. And let’s prepare a messaging copy for the chatbot.
You can use a mind map to visualize the flow of your chatbot.
Here’s how I will do it:
As you can see, the mind map of how I planned the chatbot steps. You can do the same.
A mind map makes it super easy to build chatbots. Planning the steps, writing the copy, and conditions, adding tags are important.
Once you have figured out these things, you can build a chatbot in 10 minutes or less.
Step 3: Connect WhatsApp API to Chatrace
I hope you have WhatsApp API access and a Chatrace account. We will connect WhatsApp API with Chatrace so we can send messages.
How to connect WhatsApp API with Chatrace?
- Login to your Chatrace account
- Go to “Settings” > Channels
- Click on WhatsApp
You will see two options to connect WhatsApp API:
1. Directly connect with WhatsApp API
2. Connect it through 360 Dialog
So I have a 360 Dialog account, I will connect through 360 Dialog. It asks for the API keys and enters it and WhatsApp API is connected with Chatrace.
As you know, WhatsApp charges you per 24-hour conversation. Once the 24-hour window ends, you can’t initiate the message. You’ll have to use a template message.
Upload your template message in the WhatsApp manager.
Go to your 360 Dialog account, synchronize the template message with Facebook (Meta).
Now, sync the template message with Chatrace.
Go to Settings > Channels and Click on WhatsApp.
You’ll see an option “WhatsApp Template Messages” click that. On the next page, you will see the Sync option.
Now we’re ready to build the chatbot.
Step 4: Build a Chatbot Flow
Go to flow. Name your flow and choose the start message. Your first message will be a template message.
And if the prospects interact with your flow, in the next 24 hours, you can send unlimited messages. Then again, you have to use a WhatsApp template message to initiate the conversation.
You can start designing the chatbot flow according to the mind map.
It’s easy. For the first time, you might face some difficulty, but as you build more and more chatbots, you’ll get used to the chatbot builder.
Step 5: Test Your Chatbot and Launch
Once you have mapped out all the chatbot steps. It’s time to test your flow.
You can send the flow on your WhatsApp number and interact with your bot. If everything works fine.
Launch your chatbot.
Cost of Building a WhatsApp Chatbot
If you’re using no-code tools like Chatrace, they will charge you a monthly fee.
For example, Chatrace basic plan starts at $14/month for 500 contacts. The more subscribers you have, the more you’ll have to pay.
If you have 15,000 subscribers, you’ll pay $89/month.
Plus, WhatsApp charges. WhatsApp charges per conversation. The more conversations you have, the higher your bills will be.
In short, WhatsApp API charges + Chatrace.
And if you’re hiring someone to build your chatbots, they will also charge their fee.
Despite the cost, if you know how to get a return on investment, you can keep on using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp will give you maximum reach, and it’s your job to convert prospects into customers.
Examples of WhatsApp Chatbots
A lot of businesses have successfully implemented WhatsApp chatbots to improve their customer experience.
Nowadays, you’ll see big corporations like Kotak Mahindra bank, Housing.com, ICICI bank, and Flipkart leveraging WhatsApp chatbots.
1. Kotak Mahindra Bank
I am a customer of Kotak Mahindra Bank. Therefore, I am giving Kotak Bank as an example.
Through WhatsApp, you can see,
- the A/C balance,
- recent transactions,
- and A/C statements.
Let’s say you want to see the recent transactions. Send Hi, and the bot will give you some options.
Choose the “Recent Transactions” option, and you’ll get an OPT on your registered mobile number and enter the OTP.
You’ll see the recent transactions on your WhatsApp.
And from time to time, Kotak Bank promotes its services through WhatsApp.
You can’t talk to the support team on WhatsApp, but this is the beginning. Who knows, in the future, you can talk to customer reps of your favorite company.
JioMart allows you to shop on WhatsApp. And I tried it, my shopping experience was good.
And JioMart is encouraging people to shop on WhatsApp by giving additional discounts.
You can effortlessly browse the JioMart catalog. Set the pin code, and you’re good to shop.
Simply add the product to your cart and pay using WhatsApp Pay.
Things are changing rapidly, and businesses have started using WhatsApp to provide the best possible customer experience.
I tried shopping on Flipkart through WhatsApp. You can choose the category, and you’ll receive a link to that category.
Then it will take you on the Flipkart website.
So partially, you can shop on WhatsApp, but to complete the payment, you will have to visit Flipkart.
You can also opt for offers and special discount messages on WhatsApp.
So if there is a sale going on your favorite product, you’ll get the notification on WhatsApp.
Additionally, airlines such as KLM and Aeromexico use chatbots to provide customers flight information, check-in, and boarding passes.
WhatsApp Chatbot FAQs
In this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions about WhatsApp chatbots.
Is Chatbot a Good Business?
Yes, Chatbot is a good business if you know your craft. If you can build sales-producing chatbots for businesses, you can charge a decent amount of money.
Is WhatsApp Chatbot Free?
No. If you’re using no-code tools to build WhatsApp chatbots, then they will charge you, and WhatsApp API charges you based on conversations.
You have to be careful when deploying WhatsApp chatbots on a large scale.
WhatsApp Chatbot API
You can either get WhatsApp API access through Meta to build WhatsApp chatbots WhatsApp or use third-party WhatsApp Business solution providers (BSP) to access WhatsApp API. Both ways will work.
Final Thoughts on WhatsApp Chatbot
WhatsApp is a perfect platform for businesses to connect with their customers.
You can automate some aspects through WhatsApp chatbots, saving you time.
For example, if you sell online courses, you can send course access on WhatsApp. As a result, it can boost your course engagement rate.
Create unlimited chatbots with a no-code tool like Chatrace.
Related articles on WhatsApp:
No-code WhatsApp Marketing Tools