Platform Release

November 2021 Release: Workflows Module and Send WhatsApp Message Templates via Messages API

Serene Tan
Content Lead, Respond.io
November 16, 2021

It’s nearly the end of 2021! It’s that time of the year where things are gradually slowing down and many are going away for the holidays. Meanwhile, businesses are still expected to run optimally with fewer resources. The solution? Automate processes with the new Workflows Module. Raise your automation game to the next level and meet even more business needs with less effort. Plus, you can now send WhatsApp Message Templates via Messages API. Ready to meet Workflows? Let’s dive in. 🚀

The Workflows Module is Here!

You voted, you provided extremely valuable feedback and we delivered. Finally, the brand new Workflows Module is here! As our customers' needs become increasingly sophisticated, we needed to enable automation that's more flexible and powerful.

We couldn't really do this with the existing rules-based automation system, so we created a drag and drop Workflows Builder. Now, you can use Triggers and Steps to achieve branching multi-step workflows.

Workflows Builder: Customizable Triggers and Steps

Keep in mind this is just the first release related to Workflows and more are coming. Although it enables many uses from sending automated messages to managing Contact Details - this release is focused on enabling Inbound Conversation Workflows.

Before we go deep into Inbound Conversation Workflows, this module does have some limits. Your organization will be limited to 1, 3 & 15 Workflows for the Free, Pro & Business Plans respectively. While Enterprise plans have unlimited Workflows.

Introducing Inbound Conversation Workflows

Often companies switch to respond.io because they simply cannot handle the number of inbound chats they are getting with their current tools. And since we’ve started, our customers have grown from handling hundreds of chats daily to thousands.

This first version of Workflows comes with the essential set of Triggers and Steps required to build Workflows. However, we’ve focused deeply on inbound conversation handling. When a Contact starts a conversation with you with Workflows, you can:

  • Perform Chat Onboarding: welcome the Contact, ask questions & collect answers
  • Route Conversations: use those answers and other Contact Details to route the Contact to the right team based on the purpose of their conversation
  • Team Assignment: automatically assign Contacts to users in teams using assignment logic configured based on that team's function
  • Send Away Messages: notify Contacts when a company, a team, or a user is away based on business hours and other circumstances

Linked above are detailed blogs outlining methods and best practices for achieving each goal. And don’t hesitate to engage your CSM to put together a customized Workflow for your needs. Now let’s take a look at the Workflows Module itself.

Intro to the Workflows Module

The Workflows Module provides an overview of the Workflows in your Space. From here, you can perform a few key actions like:

  • Creating a new Workflow
  • Publishing a Workflow
  • Stopping a Workflow
  • & more
Workflows Overview

Once you’ve pressed ADD WORKFLOW you’ll enter the Workflow Builder. This is where you can configure your Trigger and add the Steps. For a detailed overview of these, check out our documentation for Triggers and Steps.

Example of a Chat Routing Workflow using the Workflows Builder

Once you have completed setting up the Workflow, click Publish to run. To edit the Workflow, you will need to stop it before you can make changes. Please note that all Contacts currently in the Workflow will be ejected when the Workflow is stopped.

Alternatively, you can make changes to an existing Workflow by cloning it. Edit as needed and then publish the new version. We know this method of editing is a little bit of a hassle, so this is something we will be working on very soon.

What’s Next with Workflows?

We’ve already got a ton of ideas on improving Workflows, here are some big ones. Workflows Versioning allows you to edit Workflows without stopping them. While Workflows Analytics provides you with a log of Steps performed and enables you to find your most popular Workflow Branches.

We’re also going to be adding a bunch of Steps and Triggers including the WhatsApp Ads Trigger, Google Sheet Row Step, HTTP Request Step. The way we make our way through these features and others depends on your votes. So get voting!

We also have a plan to deprecate some of the existing Modules and functions Workflows are replacing. Here is what we are thinking:

Need help moving to Workflows? Talk to your CSM today! Feel free to leave us your feedback and don't forget to drop us suggestions for further improvements on our Feature Request Board.

Send WhatsApp Message Templates via Messages API

In this new release, businesses can now send WhatsApp Message Templates via Messages API for all WhatsApp API users on respond.io. Previously our clients had to send messages directly to WhatsApp API. When you use Messages API instead of the WhatsApp API directly, agents will be able to see the notifications you send.

Sending WhatsApp Message Template with Header

All types of WhatsApp Message Templates are supported across all WhatsApp API Partners including interactive and multimedia templates. Twilio WhatsApp & Messagebird WhatsApp are limited in that headers and footers are not supported.

To know more about the setup prerequisites and how to send a Message Template to a Contact using Messages API via respond.io, check out the full details in our documentation.

What Can You Expect to Come Next?

We’ll continue making improvements to this feature in Messages API 2.0 like enabling sending Facebook Tagged Messages over Messages API. In the meantime, do let us know if you have any feedback or feel free to upvote further feature requests here.

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