Before you can message your customers with Twilio WhatsApp API, you need to connect it to a messaging inbox. In this article, we’ll show you why you should use respond.io as your Twilio WhatsApp Inbox. We’ll discuss how Twilio WhatsApp integration works with respond.io. You’ll learn how to answer WhatsApp messages from the mobile app, import WhatsApp contacts, run WhatsApp Click-to-Chat Ads, reach out to prospects, assign Contacts to Agents and send proactive notifications.
Why Use respond.io as a Twilio WhatsApp Inbox
WhatsApp API is a powerful tool for medium to large enterprises that need multiuser functionality and advanced features to handle a high volume of conversations over WhatsApp.
Because the API is just a pipe that transmits information to and from WhatsApp's network, it does not come with a messaging interface. This means there is no place to easily answer WhatsApp messages unless you connect your WhatsApp API account to a messaging inbox.
Ideally, you’d acquire WhatsApp API access through a WhatsApp partner that comes with a native messaging inbox — like respond.io does!
As an official WhatsApp partner, respond.io allows you to apply for WhatsApp API directly from Meta and then manage your WhatsApp Business Account, Message Templates, conversation charges and all conversations from a single platform.
Why You Need a Twilio WhatsApp Inbox
If you acquired WhatsApp API from Twilio, you may be inclined to connect your Twilio WhatsApp API account to your company CRM just like you would with email. While conventional CRMs like Hubspot or Salesforce are great for managing customer information, they lack proper messaging features.
Because of that, most agents prefer to send and receive emails directly from Gmail or Outlook, even though their emails are connected to a CRM.
Unlike CRMs, a Twilio WhatsApp Inbox like respond.io is designed to help you manage messaging conversations. Respond.io comes with full-fledged messaging features such as Comments and Snippets, allowing agents to collaborate and respond faster.
A Twilio WhatsApp inbox is great for messaging customers via WhatsApp, but what about other channels?
Delight Customers with Multichannel Capability
Going multichannel gives customers the flexibility to contact you however they want, which builds customer loyalty. Here are some examples of how the omnichannel approach makes things easier for your customers.
Some channels work better in certain settings. For instance, your customers may prefer to contact you by email over WhatsApp at work. By offering email as an alternative contact channel, you are well on your way to gaining loyal customers!
Here’s another instance where multichannel capabilities come in handy. In addition to a WhatsApp widget for those who prefer chatting on the app, you could offer web chat too via an omnichannel widget too for customers who prefer chatting via desktop and aren’t comfortable using WhatsApp web.
Going multichannel makes your customers' lives easier, but increases the workload of agents and salespeople. They have to juggle different platforms, such as responding to customers on one platform while checking for incoming messages on another platform.
The multichannel approach has another drawback. When someone contacts you on two different platforms, it's hard to understand the customer’s context because the conversations are siloed on each channel.
Imagine this scenario: A salesperson had a long conversation with a customer on WhatsApp and promised him a special deal. But when the customer comes in on web chat, this looks like a new chat to the support agent who knows nothing about the deal.
Respond.io helps overcome these challenges, letting you adopt omnichannel the easy way and understand customer context better with Contact Merge.
Make Agents Lives Easier With Omnichannel Capability
Looking to use multiple channels but don't want to burden your sales and support teams?Respond.io is the perfect omnichannel solution for you. It allows managing conversations from different channels in one unified platform.
Respond.io supports all popular channels, including mainstream apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. It also supports niche messaging apps such as Telegram, Viber, WeChat and LINE, which are popular in certain countries.
And did we mention, respond.io supports email and web chat too. You can manage email and web chat conversations on respond.io along with messaging apps as part of the omnichannel strategy.
To help you go truly omnichannel, respond.io allows you to merge chats with the same customer across different channels, giving you a clearer picture of what's going on. Let’s look into this in more detail.
Break Down Silos and Understand Customer Context With Contact Merge
By providing context to conversations, the Contact Merge feature empowers your support team to respond more empathetically to customers. Agents can simply scroll up to review conversations that took place on different channels.
With Contact Merge, the support agent in the previous example can easily find out the promise made to the customer by the salesperson over WhatsApp and deliver the right response.
Merging Contacts on respond.io is simple, you can merge chats with a Contact from different Channels into one unified profile and conversation with just a few clicks. Connect your Twilio WhatsApp API to respond.io to experience the power of Contact Merge. To get started, create a free respond.io account.
Twilio WhatsApp Integration: Connect Twilio WhatsApp API to respond.io
Once your respond.io account is created, it's time to connect your Twilio WhatsApp API to respond.io.
1. Navigate to Settings > Channels. Then, click Add Channel.
2. Select Twilio and click Next.
3. Select WhatsApp and click Next.
4. Fill in Account SID and Auth Token.
You can find your Account SID and Auth Token on the Twilio dashboard. Once completed, click Next.
5. Add a WhatsApp Enabled Number.
To access your WhatsApp Enabled Number, go to the Twilio dashboard and click More Products & Service on the left panel. Then, navigate to Programmable Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp Senders > Configure.
6. Copy the URLs from the platform and add them to their respective fields. Click configure when done.
Finally, press Done on our platform to complete the setup. You are now ready to use respond.io with Twilio WhatsApp integration! Now, let’s see what benefits you get with this integration.
Respond.io with Twilio WhatsApp Integration: 6 Quick Wins To Get You Started
Respond.io with Twilio WhatsApp integration works for all use cases and Workflows. However, we will start with six quick things you can do to get the best out of your Twilio WhatsApp Inbox.
1. Import or Sync WhatsApp Contacts To respond.io with Twilio WhatsApp Integration
Whether you want to reach out to a prospect or send proactive notifications to your customers, the first step to using a Twilio WhatsApp Inbox is always importing contacts.
Importing Contacts to respond.io is a breeze because you can bulk import Contacts and details like their phone numbers, Tags and more by uploading a CSV file. Once done, you are ready to connect with your Contacts. If you want to connect with more customers, consider Click-to-WhatsApp Ads.
2. Run a WhatsApp Marketing Campaign With Click-to-WhatsApp Ads
Click-to-WhatsApp ads let you connect with leads without having to request their contact information. When clicked, Click-to-WhatsApp ads take leads right to the WhatsApp conversation. You can message them back if they send the first message.
WhatsApp campaigns will inevitably increase the incoming message traffic and it will be challenging to handle a high volume of messages in an organized manner. This is where Contact Assignment comes in.
3. Route Contacts and Assign Them to an Available Agent
Chat routing and assignment help your sales and support teams stay organized, even with a high volume of incoming messages.
You can choose your preferred routing and assignment logic, such as routing by language or shift, or assigning conversations round-robin or to agents with the fewest conversations for speedier responses.
If you have a lot of website visitors, you can set up a contact form and use Twilio WhatsApp inbox to reach out to them.
4. Reach Out to Prospects Who Filled Out a Contact Form
WhatsApp is an effective way of reaching out to prospects who submitted a contact form. They are more likely to respond because they’ve expressed their interest first by filling up their details. You can start a WhatsApp chat by sending a Template Message.
But first, you need to create a Template Message on Twilio. Once approved, import the Template Message to respond.io and you are ready to send the first message to prospects. This is where using respond.io’s own WhatsApp API comes in handy — your WhatsApp templates are on the same platform for easy access and use!
So that’s how you initiate conversations with customers. What about handling their responses? Agents may not be able to respond right away because they aren’t always deskbound. We’ve created a mobile app for your teams to answer messages on the go.
5. Respond to Inbound Messages from the Mobile App
The respond.io mobile app lets you respond to incoming messages on the go. It's complete with Dashboard, Contacts, Messages & Settings modules which makes it easy to answer messages and add teammates from the app.
You’ll receive a new notification every time a new message comes in. With push notifications, agents won't miss any message even when they are away from the desk. Download the Android & iOS apps from Google Play Store & Apple App Store.
Other than having 1:1 conversations, a Twilio WhatsApp inbox also lets you send messages en masse. This is useful for sending important updates like a scheduled maintenance announcement.
6. Send Proactive Notifications with Twilio WhatsApp Inbox
WhatsApp notifications are more likely to be read because they trigger push notifications that are hard to ignore. Respond.io lets you schedule a broadcast notification and even tailor the audience to send notifications to.
Before sending WhatsApp Notifications, you should collect opt-in from your customers. Customers may block you if you spam them with unwanted messages, which affect your Quality Rating.
And that’s all you need to know about WhatsApp API with Twilio! Alternatively, if you’re interested in quicker WhatsApp API access directly from Meta and managing your WhatsApp account and conversations all from one place, sign up for respond.io and apply for a WhatsApp API account in minutes.
And that’s how you use respond.io with Twilio WhatsApp Integration. If you’re interested to learn how other companies are doing WhatsApp Sales, Support and Marketing, we recommend you read these three articles.