Want to set up WhatsApp auto reply for your business? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain what auto reply WhatsApp is and how to set up auto replies on WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API.
What are Auto Replies on WhatsApp
Auto reply in WhatsApp is a feature that enables businesses to send automated messages when they are not available to respond to incoming WhatsApp messages.
There are two common types of auto reply messages for WhatsApp:
- Greeting messages: Welcome messages that businesses send when customers initiate a conversation for the first time or after 14 days
- Away messages: Messages that automatically respond to customers outside of business hours
As a business owner, auto reply messages are a handy feature. In the next section, we’ll explain how it benefits your business.
Why Use Auto Reply WhatsApp?
People expect communication via instant messaging to be immediate, no matter the time of day. However, this isn’t always possible due to limited operating hours, shortage of manpower, long waiting queues and more.
WhatsApp has rolled out a solution in the form of auto replies. Not only can businesses inform customers of their availability, but they can also improve response times and thus, increase customer satisfaction.
There are many upsides to using auto replies for WhatsApp, including:
- Set response time expectations by informing customers about your availability
- Make a strong first impression on new customers with a warm welcome message
- Collect customer information with a pre-chat survey for agents to follow up on the conversation
Now that we’ve laid down the benefits of using auto reply for WhatsApp, let’s take a look at how to set up auto reply on WhatsApp.
How to Set Up Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business Solutions
Auto replies are created for businesses to assure customers that they’re not neglected by managing response time expectations and improving the customer experience, it’s only available for WhatsApp Business solutions.
Businesses can set up auto replies for inbound messages on WhatsApp via:
Next, we’ll walk you through the steps required to set up auto reply in WhatsApp. Let’s start with WhatsApp Business App.
How to Set Up Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business App
In this section, we’ll take you through the process of how to set up auto replies on WhatsApp Business App.
To set a greeting message, go to Business Tools, select Greeting Message, craft your message and save the changes. You can also choose who receives your greeting messages by including or excluding certain recipients.
To set an away message, go to Business Tools, select Away Message, write your message and save the changes.
There are three types of schedules you can set for away messages: Always send, on a custom schedule or outside your business hours. If you don’t know which to pick, we’d recommend starting with Outside of Business Hours – anytime a customer messages you after business hours, the away messages will be triggered and sent.
This feature has helped businesses increase customer engagement by offering reassurance that their messages have been received and you will eventually respond. Nevertheless, auto reply for WhatsApp Business App comes with a few drawbacks, including:
- The inability to customize auto replies for different groups of recipients
- Away message only works during predefined outside-of-business hours
- The inability to support third-party software integration to provide further automation
At the end of the day, there’s only so much WhatsApp Business App can do. Its auto reply feature can only welcome a new customer and announce that your business is closed and when to expect a reply.
This is sufficient if you’re running a small business. But as your business grows, you’ll soon realize WhatsApp Business API is the way forward.
How to Create Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business API on respond.io
For larger businesses, you need a platform that offers advanced features to help with message automation – this is where WhatsApp Business API comes in.
With WhatsApp Business API, businesses can automate responses based on customers’ inquiries, capture customers’ information and automate sales and customer support, which in turn increases customer engagement and satisfaction.
Before you set up auto reply in WhatsApp Business API with respond.io’s Workflows Module, you’ll need a WhatsApp API Account connected to respond.io.
Now, follow the step-by-step on how to set up auto reply in WhatsApp Business API.
1. Search for Workflows on the side navigation menu and click on Add Workflow.
2. Set the Workflow Trigger to Conversation Opened.
3. Add the Date & Time Step to set your business hours.
Messages that are sent during business hours will fall into the Success Branch, while messages that are sent after business hours will go into the Failure Branch.
4. Click on the + button under the Success and Failure Branches to add Send a Message. Make sure you select WhatsApp as your channel. Finally, draft your greeting and away messages under Text.
To help you with your setup process, we’ve compiled a list of the best WhatsApp auto-reply message samples for your business.
5. Add the Ask a Question step to get hold of customers’ information so you can contact them at a later time.
The responses can be saved as Variables, Contact Fields or Tags to be used in other parts of the Workflow. Once you’ve set up your Workflow, save and publish it.
Now that we’ve demonstrated how to set auto reply in WhatsApp, you can start sending WhatsApp auto reply messages with respond.io. Sign up for a respond.io account and connect your WhatsApp API account to get started today.
Interested to find out more about how WhatsApp can benefit your business? Check out these articles below: