How to Build a WhatsApp ChatBot For Your Business in 2024
| 15 min
As of January 2024, two billion users had monthly access to WhatsApp. The app has a substantial user reach and is among the most popular mobile social apps globally.
Given the growing need for immediate communication and 24/7 customer service, implementing a WhatsApp Chat Bot for your business has become an absolute necessity.
In this article, we will guide you on how to employ chatbot technology in the most efficient and effective way for your business.
Why Building Your Own WhatsApp Chatbot?
Using a chatbot for WhatsApp transforms how you can interact with customers by automating conversations and reducing workload. It's not just a time-saving tool but also aids in effectively generating leads and guiding customers through the marketing funnel.
The result? More breathing space for tasks that truly matter and a more efficient customer communication process.
💡 Learn Everything About AI Chatbots
What is a WhatsApp Bot?
A WhatsApp Bot, integrated with WhatsApp, is an automated communication system that uses AI to conduct real-time conversations, generate responses and answer customer service inquiries. When your business has a WhatsApp chatbot, customers can easily reach out via WhatsApp and receive an automated reply, just like when they send a message via the website chatbot.
It's more than just a customer service tool; it's software that makes you accessible on WhatsApp and can be deployed to bolster your team, engage in more conversations or support other business goals.
How much does a WhatsApp chatbot cost?
Downloading the WhatsApp Business app is free for both iOS and Android devices. Creating a business account on WhatsApp is easy, but note, it is not possible to use one number for both a private and a business account.
Note: Conversations initiated by users are also recognized as service conversations. There are no costs associated with this type of conversation if your business does not respond to the users.
Subsequently, the costs for each type of dialogue depend on the country where your business is located, the following rates apply for the Netherlands, in Euro (EUR):
Marketing: 0.184 (initiated by the company)
Utility: 0.092 (initiated by the company)
Authentication: 0.083 (initiated by the company)
Service: 0.103 (initiated by the user)
For the United Kingdom, the following rates apply, in Pounds (GBP):
If you do not want to use your private number, you can consider purchasing another device with a new SIM card or using the WhatsApp Business API. Although the app is free, it does have some limitations; some functionalities are not accessible.
For full access to all WhatsApp Business features, the API is a good option. However, the costs for using the WhatsApp Business API can vary. Connection fees can go up to €1000 with some providers, while providers like Watermelon.ai do not charge connection fees.
As of February 2022, WhatsApp has formally implemented a dialogue model for the official WhatsApp Business API. Both Template messages and Session messages are now billed based on the number of dialogues, depending on whether the message is initiated by the business or the user. Primarily, the initial 1000 conversations started by users are free!
How to create a WhatsApp chatbot?
Building WhatsApp chatbots can be a technical endeavor, but there are various platforms and tools available to simplify the process. Here is a general guideline in several steps to get you started:
Sign Up for WhatsApp Business: Register on the WhatsApp Business platform. This is essential for conducting business communication on WhatsApp. You can apply directly through WhatsApp or through an approved Business Solution Provider, such as Watermelon, to increase the chances of approval.
Objectives and Audience: Consider what you aim to achieve with your chatbot and who your target audience is. Are you looking to improve customer service, take orders, or something else? Identifying your objectives and audience will assist in developing an effective chatbot.
Design the Conversation: Plan your bot’s conversation flow. This includes defining the questions your bot will ask and the responses it will give. You can gather information from frequently asked questions and general information available on your website.
Switch to Live Agent: Program your chatbot to connect the customer to a live agent when needed. This is crucial for addressing questions or issues that the bot cannot resolve independently.
Testing and Implementation: Before launching your WhatsApp bots, thoroughly test all features to ensure everything operates correctly. After testing, implement the chatbot and monitor its performance to make any necessary adjustments.
Continuous Improvement: Analyze the bot’s interactions with users and regularly update to enhance performance and user experience.
Remember, various tools and platforms, such as Watermelon, Twilio and many others, can assist you in building your WhatsApp chatbot. Each platform has its features and benefits, so research which one best meets your needs.
Building a Chatbot through Watermelon.ai
Step 1: Log in to your Watermelon account and go to the 'Pulse' tab in the left menu bar (between 'Conversations' and 'Contacts').Log in to your Watermelon account and navigate to the 'Pulse' tab in the top menu bar (between 'Chatbot' and 'Settings').
Step 2: Click on 'Create New GPT-4 Chatbot', which prompts a pop-up on your screen.
Step 3: Name your chatbot; this name will also be used externally.
Step 4: Choose the channels where you want the chatbot to be active via the options in the pop-up.
Step 5: Select an avatar for your chatbot.
Step 6: Also pick a banner for your chatbot.
Step 7: After adding all settings, click 'Create chatbot'.
Construct your chatbot within minutes! Just enter your website URL and our AI takes care of the rest. Add manual input for pertinent details and it learns from your help center.
Configure WhatsApp to build a bot
To configure WhatsApp to build a bot, it is necessary to start by linking it to Facebook Business. This process requires several steps in order to properly configure the WhatsApp Business account. Firstly, it is important to back up any data that is currently being used in conjunction with the chosen phone number that will be linked to the WhatsApp Business API. Conversations, contacts, and other collected data will not be transferred to the new link, so they must be saved prior to beginning the process.
Backing up your data: Are you currently using WhatsApp Business with the phone number you want to link? Make sure you have first backed up your current conversations. Previous conversations and saved contacts will not be transferred to the new WhatsApp Business API link.
Create a Facebook Business manager account: In order to make the account linkable, a Facebook Business Manager account must be created. This account will support the request for verification, as WhatsApp is part of Facebook. The number will need to registered and connected to the new Facebook Business Manager. Additionally, the appropriate settings will need to be configured in order to establish a functional bot. Generally, bots require code, keywords, and specific programming parameters to interpret and respond to user queries. After the bot is established, it can be easily added to the Watermelon platform. With this step-by-step guide, anyone can quickly learn how to build a WhatsApp chatbot.
Who Can Build WhatsApp Bots?
Implementing a WhatsApp chatbots can be approached in several ways and the best choice depends on your specific needs, your budget and the technical capacity of your company.
For companies with an internal development team experienced in chatbot technology, a custom solution is readily available. This team can develop a chatbot that seamlessly meets the unique requirements of the organization.
Additionally, specialized agencies can also offer a solution. These agencies are experts in creating chatbots and can deliver a product that aligns precisely with your company's goals.
For organizations with more limited technical resources or knowledge, various user-friendly chatbot platforms are available, such as Watermelon, ManyChat, and MobileMonkey, making the construction of a chatbot more accessible.
Regardless of the approach chosen, it is crucial to carefully consider the technical requirements, budget and desired functionalities. It is also advisable to thoroughly check customer stories and reviews when engaging external parties to ensure the quality and reliability of the services provided.
Requirements for deploying chatbots on WhatsApp
Before starting to create a WhatsApp bot, there are certain prerequisites that you must meet. These requirements ensure compliance with WhatsApp's terms and set the stage for a smooth integration process.
Official access to WhatsApp Business API
To gain access to the WhatsApp Business API, your business needs approval through WhatsApp. This involves providing essential details about your company, including its name, website URL and representative information.
Compliance with WhatsApp policy
Companies must adhere to WhatsApp's policy and guidelines to guarantee a positive user experience for customers. This includes refraining from sending spam or unsolicited messages and respecting the 24-hour customer service window.
Register as Business or Solution Provider
WhatsApp requires companies to register either as a Business or Solution Provider to access the API. This registration process confirms the company's legitimacy and its intention to use the API for genuine business purposes.
Once these conditions are met, you can proceed with developing and deploying their WhatsApp bot.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
The WhatsApp Business API is a set of tools that you can utilize to communicate with customers through WhatsApp. This encompasses the ability to send automated messages and responses, and much more. This enables you to create a professional customer service experience that is available 24/7.
How do I access WhatsApp Business API?
Step 1: Sign up for the WhatsApp Business API.
Step 2: In the next step, you are expected to share critical data, such as your Facebook Business Manager ID, phone number and name. For clarification, we have added an image below illustrating the procedure to access your Facebook Business Manager ID.
Step 3: If you choose to collaborate with Watermelon, we ask you to confirm this partnership. Simply go to "business settings" and approve Watermelon's request.
Step 4: Lastly, you need to enter additional information, such as a profile picture and a name for your WhatsApp Business account. We verify your WhatsApp number via SMS or a voice call. Once these steps are completed, you're all set to use the WhatsApp integration in Pulse.
Implement your WhatsApp bot
After you have completed the verification process and ensured your conversation flow is ready, it's time to deploy your WhatsApp bot. By linking it to your WhatsApp number, your bot becomes accessible to your customers, providing seamless interactions and valuable support.
Features of Watermelon's WhatsApp bot
Our Chatbot Pulse is an AI chatbot powered by GPT-4. Pulse solves complex problems and provides more accurate answers than any other AI bot in the world.
Real conversations with natural language
Get ready for real conversations with Pulse! No annoying flows or endless loops. It's all about valuable interactions with natural language. And hey, if things get a bit unclear, Pulse asks clarifying questions to keep the conversation flowing smoothly.
Seamless transition to a human
Switch effortlessly to human mode with Pulse! You decide the timing and when it's time, the chatbot seamlessly hands over the conversation to a human representative. No separate chats needed. Everything takes place in one smooth conversation.
Drastic reduction of workload
Significantly reduce your workload with Pulse! Our advanced AI technology provides secure and accurate answers, resolving customer inquiries in a snap. Say goodbye to being overwhelmed and let Pulse handle the job like a champion.
Add images and GIFs
With Watermelon's WhatsApp bot, you can effortlessly receive photos from customers. This provides them with extra information to give personal responses. Customers also have the option to reply with GIFs.
Chatbot and Live Chat with WhatsApp Bot
Our live chat enables you to communicate directly with your website visitors and quickly and efficiently answer their questions. Personalize it for your brand by easily customizing the chat.
The live chat features an advanced AI chatbot that empowers you to automate anything you want, from answering frequently asked questions to redirecting visitors to specific pages on your website.
Our live chat is available 24/7. When your staff isn't available, our advanced AI chatbot takes over to ensure your customers always get the help they need.
Appointments with WhatsApp bot
With Watermelon's WhatsApp bot, you can easily schedule and manage appointments without the need for human intervention. By allowing your customers the ability to book appointments directly through WhatsApp, you can increase efficiency and make the process smoother for everyone of the primary benefits of WhatsApp chatbots is their ability to automate processes and be in touch with customers 24/7.
By immediately answering questions, guiding users through the sales funnel and facilitating smooth transactions, chatbot automation can significantly increase conversions and revenue.
Increase your conversions with chatbot automation!
One of the primary benefits of WhatsApp chatbots is their ability to automate processes and be in touch with customers 24/7. By immediately answering questions, guiding users through the sales funnel and facilitating smooth transactions, chatbot automation can significantly increase conversions and revenue.
Boost your customer engagement with a WhatsApp chatbot!
By connecting with customers on WhatsApp via a chatbot, a personalized and interactive experience is created. By understanding the preferences and needs of the customer, the WhatsApp bot can deliver tailored answers, enhance customer engagement and build brand loyalty.
Build your own no-code chatbot today!
Pulse is transforming the way chatbots are created. Thanks to our no-code chatbot development platform, coding expertise is no longer necessary. With a user-friendly interface, you can build and deploy your chatbot on platforms like your website, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in just a few minutes.
Our tools enable your business to create custom chatbots that perfectly align with your unique needs, offering endless opportunities for automation and customer interaction.
What are WhatsApp message templates?
With WhatsApp message templates, businesses can send personalized messages to customers with relevant information, appointment confirmations, order updates and more. These templates streamline communication with customers and ensure businesses comply with WhatsApp's messaging policy.
Examples of powerful WhatsApp chatbots
Read here the success stories of our customers and their chatbots. Real experiences and extremely satisfied responses. Let yourself be inspired by their stories and discover what our WhatsApp Chatbot can also mean for your business.
WhatsApp Chatbot for Customer Service
How Erdee Media B.V. automated 50% of their conversations
Erdee Media B.V. has been a satisfied Watermelon customer for almost two years. Recently, they redesigned their chatbot to launch it on WhatsApp. They communicated and celebrated this occasion with the whole organization.
A chatbot as an additional communication channel
The idea to implement a chatbot emerged as an additional communication channel for their target audience who are also working during office hours. Many of their subscribers are older, but they felt it was essential to be able to assist the younger target group at all times too. They decided to create a chatbot that could report any question or problem directly to the department where Nadine and Marc work, so they could address it immediately. Initially, the chatbot was primarily intended for subscribers, but later they added a flow regarding the delivery.
The number of conversations continues to grow and the chatbot is delivering more and more. Now the main goal is to grow the number of WhatsApp conversations even more. About 900 conversations per month are now coming in, of which more than a third are via WhatsApp and the remaining via the website widget. Half of the conversations are handled by chatbot Julia without the intervention of a human employee and more than half of the conversations take place outside office hours. This reduces mailbox traffic and frees up time for other things. It's hard to say exactly how much time this amounts to because time easily fills up, but it's estimated to be about an hour per day per person!
Read more: Click here
WhatsApp Chatbot for E-Commerce
The story of Kitcentrum.nl
“We made it possible for our customer service team to work more effectively and have more fun,” says Felix, e-commerce manager at Kitcentrum. This is all thanks to their chatbot: Kittie. The chatbot has been live for just a few months, but has already answered or referred thousands of customer questions. “We’re not spending our precious time answering FAQ all day, our phone lines aren’t ringing off the hook.
We knew it was time for a chatbot
“Before we had Kittie the chatbot, we answered every customer question manually,” says Felix, the e-commerce manager. “Since we grew so tremendously quickly, naturally the number of incoming questions grew with us. While we were busy processing orders, we also needed to answer all the incoming questions coming in from everywhere. Every morning we’d arrive to find our inbox full of questions; every day we spent time providing the same answer to many of those questions. It was basically a full time job. When you have to give the same answer to the same question thirty times a day, at some point you think ‘There has to be a better way’.”
Statistics, live chats and tags
There are a number of features in the Watermelon platform that help Kitcentrum automate their customer service. “I already named the website widget for live chat, and the powerful statistics - but we also work with a number of human agents in the platform. We can transfer conversations from the customer service team to our team of technical advisors. We also are big fans of the tag function, to keep track of things like how many times advice has been given, the nature of the advice, how many complaints have come in… we get a load of valuable information from the tags.”
Read more: Click here
More benefits of using a Whatsapp Chatbot for your business
As the name suggests, Marketing conversations are conversations initiated by companies to promote a product or service to customers. You can send your registered customers relevant offers, good deals, or information about products being back in stock.
Under the Utility category are initiated by companies and often relate to transactions. This includes information about purchases, confirmations, post-purchase notifications, and periodic invoice summaries for customers who have registered for this.
With Authentication conversations, security is essential. Thanks to authentication templates, it is possible to verify users with one-time passwords at various times during login or verification procedures, such as when creating an account, account recovery, and other situations where identity confirmation is necessary.
Important to know: Every conversation started by companies that do not fall under Authentication or Utility is categorized as a Marketing conversation.
All conversations that are initiated by users, often to resolve a customer inquiry.
What are WhatsApp message templates?
WhatsApp message templates are predefined messages that businesses can send to customers using the WhatsApp Business API. These templates are used for notifications such as order confirmations, delivery updates, and appointment reminders.
What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp Business API is a platform provided by WhatsApp that allows medium and large businesses to interact with their customers in a secure and scalable manner. It enables automated and personalized communication through WhatsApp, such as sending notifications, responding to queries and providing customer support.
How do I get access to WhatsApp Business API?
To get access to WhatsApp Business API, you need to apply through the WhatsApp Business API website. The application involves providing business details, agreeing to terms and conditions, and undergoing a review process. Once approved, you will receive access credentials and can start integrating the API into your business systems.
What is the cost of WhatsApp chatbot?
The cost of a WhatsApp chatbot can vary depending on the complexity, features, and the development platform used. Some providers offer subscription-based pricing, while others may charge based on usage or the number of messages sent. Additionally, WhatsApp charges businesses for sending template messages through the API.
How long does it take to build a WhatsApp chatbot?
The time to build a WhatsApp chatbot can vary widely depending on the complexity of the bot and the features required. Simple bots can be developed in a few days to weeks, while more complex solutions may take several months. Factors such as defining the scope, developing and testing the bot and integrating the WhatsApp Chatbot with existing systems can all impact the timeline.