Sunday, April 21, 2024

WhatsApp Bot: What Is It and How to Create It?

If WhatsApp has a central role in your business, then it means you interact with many customers on WhatsApp daily and respond to their queries. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming, or you may not be able to reply on time. This is where WhatsApp bot comes into action.

A WhatsApp bot is like a virtual assistant that can handle customer queries autonomously for multiple customers at once. Feel interested!

Let’s dive deep into WhatsApp chatbot, covering its working principle, benefits, and how to create one for your business. So, if you want to create a WhatsApp bot yourself right now, then this guide is your ultimate answer. Let’s get started!

  1. What is a WhatsApp Bot?
  2. How Does a WhatsApp Bot Work?
  3. Example of a Working WhatsApp Bot
  4. Why Use a WhatsApp Chatbot?
  5. How to Create a WhatsApp Bot? Step-by-Step Process
  6. Pros and Cons of WhatsApp Bot
  7. Leverage AI in WhatsApp Chatbot
  8. Conclusion

What is a WhatsApp Bot?

A WhatsApp bot is a program that replies to messages on WhatsApp itself. It has a predefined conversational flow that it follows when the customer sends a message. For example, if the customer sends a message “Hi”, then the WhatsApp bot will look for the predefined response and reply accordingly.

WhatsApp bot is capable of handling conversations with multiple customers at a time. This way, all customers will get timely/instant replies, which will increase customer satisfaction and sales.

How Does a WhatsApp Bot Work?

A WhatsApp bot intends to operate just like a human brain. When it receives a message, it looks for specific keywords that match its knowledge base and then responds accordingly.

When you create a WhatsApp chatbot, you are basically creating a conversational flow to train the bot on how to continue the discussion. So, there are three main elements involved in designing the conversational flow:

  1. Trigger: It tells the bot when to start talking.
  2. Condition: It evaluates the conditions in the person’s message (if this) and then guides the bot on how to respond.
  3. Action: It tells the bot what response it should give.

To better understand the above points, let’s take an example. If you send a message “Hey” to the Chatimize WhatsApp bot, it will give the following response:

In the background, the conversational flow will be like this:

The bot works in the following way:

  1. If the bot receives a message with Hey, Hello, or Hi, it will reply with the above flow (the trigger).
  2. Before replying, the bot confirms if it’s a new customer or returning one (the condition).
  3. If the conditions show that it’s a new customer, then it replies with the first message; otherwise, it replies with the second message (the action).

This way, a combination of triggers, conditions, and actions makes the WhatsApp bot respond to customers’ queries effectively.

Example of a Working WhatsApp Bot

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the world’s biggest airlines, with up to 145 travel destinations and 30,000+ employees. It was also one of the first airlines to create a WhatsApp chatbot.

You can use the KLM WhatsApp bot to get the following:

  1. Booking information
  2. Boarding passes
  3. Check-in notifications
  4. Flight updates

Moreover, it is capable of responding to customers’ queries in 10 languages.

Why Use a WhatsApp Bot?

Now that we have cleared the basics of WhatsApp bot, the next question is, why use a WhatsApp bot? Some of the benefits of the chatbot are evident from the above discussion, but let’s quickly summarize them below:

  1. Instant Replies to Customers: It helps reply instantly whenever customers send a message. There are no delays, and replies are clear and to the point.
  2. 24/7 Availability: It works 24/7. No matter whether it’s day or night, WhatsApp bot can assist customers at any time.
  3. Multiple Conversations Simultaneously: It can interact with multiple customers at the same time and ensure timely responses to all.

In short, WhatsApp bot is a perfect way to handle customer service autonomously and efficiently.

How to Create a WhatsApp Bot? Step-by-Step Process

Now comes the main and interesting part of the guide. Looking at the above use cases of the WhatsApp bot, it looks quite complicated to build it. But it’s actually very simple to build a bot.

It depends on which chatbot builder you use. Mostly, a visual chatbot builder is preferred, as it makes it much easier to build the chatbot. We will use ManyChat because it offers an intuitive visual chatbot builder and a simple click-based approach to build a powerful WhatsApp bot.

So, let’s now dive deep into all the step-by-step approaches you have to follow to create a full-fledged WhatsApp bot for your business:

Step 1. Purchase a Number

For WhatsApp bot, you need to purchase a new phone number. Even if you already have a WhatsApp Business number, purchasing a new phone number for a WhatsApp bot is preferred.

Step 2. Pick the Chatbot Builder Platform

You have to choose the chatbot builder platform with which you will create the chatbot. There are many code-based and no-code platforms to choose from. However, we will recommend choosing a no-code platform, as it is easy to use and requires a minimal learning curve.

For today’s guide, we will use the ManyChat no-code platform. So, go to its website and click “Get Started Free“.

Select “WhatsApp“.

Connect with your Facebook account to create a ManyChat account automatically.

Step 3. Connect ManyChat with your Phone Number

Now, you have to connect your ManyChat account with your phone number. So, click Settings > WhatsApp > Connect.

Click “Connect My Own Number“.

From the pop-up window, click Continue > Get started.

Complete the business information required and click “Next“.

Select the WhatsApp Business Account and set up a new WhatsApp business profile.

Complete the WhatsApp Business profile information required and click “Next“.

Lastly, verify your phone number.

After this, your WhatsApp phone number and ManyChat account are linked.

Step 4. Create Your First Auto Reply

Now, it’s time to bring the WhatsApp bot into action. So, let’s create a first conversational flow in which we will auto-reply to the person about their query about payment if the message contains the word “payment”.

From the ManyChat, go to the “Automation” tab and click “New Flow“.

In the visual chatbot builder interface, click “Add Trigger“.

Choose “WhatsApp” and select the “WhatsApp Keyword” option.

Specify the keywords for which you want to send the specific auto-reply message, then click “Create“.

Enter the message you want to send to the customer automatically.

After the message is sent, you may want to ask if the customer query is resolved or not. So, you can add two buttons beneath your message as shown in the below pic:

If the customer presses the “Yes” button, you can send a final message. However, if the customer presses the “No” button, you can ask if he wants to talk with the support agent.

If the customer opts to connect to the support agent, you should send another message to confirm that we are connecting to our support agent.

Afterward, you have to create an action to send an alert to the support agent. So, click “Actions” from the list of options.

Click the “Live Chat” tab from the left sidebar and select “Mark conversation as Open“.

Afterward, select “Assign conversation” to assign the conversation to one of the support agents.

Pick the agent’s name from the list.

From the Actions window, now select the “Notify Assignees” option to let the agent get the notification about the support ticket.

That’s it! This way, you have successfully created your first WhatsApp bot flow. Now, you can follow the above steps to create more conversational flows for other queries.

Pros and Cons of WhatsApp Bot

Pros

  1. 24/7 instant responses
  2. Less manpower required
  3. Save operation costs
  4. Boost sales
  5. Increase customer satisfaction
  6. Improve decision-making
  7. Multiple chats at once

Cons

  1. Time-consuming process to create multiple conversational flows
  2. Limited responses in the form of text and basic media only
  3. Requires some technical expertise
  4. Building complex conversational flow may lead to errors

Leverage AI in WhatsApp Chatbot

If the WhatsApp bot becomes a successful initiative for you, you should not stop here. You should also leverage AI capabilities in the WhatsApp bot, as it helps to have more real conversations with customers based on their needs. Moreover, it keeps learning from past interactions and optimizes its responses, even if it has to respond to completely new questions.

VOC AI Chatbot is one ideal platform for building an AI-powered chatbot for websites, WhatsApp, Amazon, and other platforms. It allows you to simply upload all the knowledge base and let it craft NLP-powered responses for queries. This saves significant time in creating conversational flows and also optimizes the responses. So, check out VOC AI chatbot capabilities in detail and see how it fits with your business model.

Conclusion

Considering the growing competition and technological advancements, WhatsApp bots can let businesses elevate their technological posture and improve customer engagement. Therefore, if a lot of customers interact with you on WhatsApp, it’s time that you build your first WhatsApp chatbot. So, follow the above steps and start the journey today.