Practical Guide

WhatsApp CRM: Message Customers with a CRM WhatsApp Integration [Jan 2024]

Gabriella
April 18, 2023

Are you looking for a CRM that supports WhatsApp integration? Or, do you want to integrate WhatsApp with your current CRM? We'll answer all your questions as we’ve personally tested WhatsApp integration across various popular CRMs. We’ll start by understanding what a WhatsApp CRM is and what you need to know about CRM WhatsApp integration.

We’ll also explain how to use an AI-powered customer conversation management software like respond.io for WhatsApp marketing, sales and support.

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What is WhatsApp CRM?

WhatsApp CRM is the integration between WhatsApp API, also known as WhatsApp Business Platform and a CRM. Businesses usually want a WhatsApp CRM to receive and reply to WhatsApp messages within their CRM.

Most CRMs, originally focused on email communication, hence lacking native WhatsApp support, often reliance on third-party integrations.

Regardless, how you integrate a CRM with WhatsApp depends entirely on your business needs and your current CRM. Below, we’ll discuss why integrating WhatsApp with CRM is useful to your business.

Benefits of Using WhatsApp CRMs

There are many benefits of using a WhatsApp Business CRM. Depending on the solution of your choice, you can:

And the list doesn’t end here. You can achieve so much more if you use an AI-powered customer conversation management software like respond.io.

Having discussed WhatsApp CRM benefits, let's explore key considerations before investing in one.

Getting a WhatsApp CRM Integration: What You Need to Know

To integrate WhatsApp business with CRM, you need to understand the types of WhatsApp Business Accounts and integrations supported by CRMs.

WhatsApp Businesses Accounts

Businesses can choose one of three WhatsApp business products: The WhatsApp Business App, a WhatsApp Business account in Meta Inbox or WhatsApp Business API.

Whatsapp business api CRM: There are two types of WhatsApp Business Accounts - WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API. The WhatsApp Business App is designed for small businesses, while WhatsApp Business API was created for SMEs and enterprises. To use CRM WhatsApp Business, you must integrate a WhatsApp Business API account with a CRM. Read this blog to know more about whatsapp api for CRM.
CRM WhatsApp Integration: WhatsApp Business APP vs WhatsApp API

The first two choices are designed for small businesses, while the WhatsApp API was created for SMEs and enterprises that want to use WhatsApp Business with multiple users. So, which account is required for WhatsApp CRM integration? Let’s look at the answer below.

WhatsApp CRM Requirements

If you want to integrate WhatsApp with a CRM, you’ll need a WhatsApp API account. However, since an API does not have a user interface, it must be connected to a CRM like Hubspot or a customer conversation management software like respond.io to send and receive messages.

Note that what you can do with the WhatsApp API integration depends heavily on the software you've connected it to. That said, let's look at the WhatsApp integrations that CRMs support.

CRM WhatsApp: Integrating WhatsApp with Your CRM

Although some CRMs support native WhatsApp integration, they cannot support certain WhatsApp messaging features because they were originally built for email instead of messaging. Through our comprehensive testing, we discovered these critical limitations firsthand.

For instance, Zendesk's native WhatsApp integration has limitations like the inability to preview videos and listen to voice notes from the messaging inbox itself. Agents have to download them to know the content.

This slows agents down because they have to go back and forth between Zendesk and their downloads folder while tending to multiple customers at the same time. They might also open the wrong file, forcing them to re-download the content or search for it in their downloads.

If you’re looking for a CRM for WhatsApp or the best CRM with WhatsApp integration, you need to understand that CRMs were built with email as the main communication channel in mind. Therefore,  not all CRM support native CRM integration with WhatsApp and the majority of them rely on third-party integrations and extensions. If you want the best whatsapp CRM to use WhatsApp to its full potential and integrate multiple CRMs to a WhatsApp API, you’ll need a business messaging inbox built specifically for messaging, like respond.io. Try respond.io’s whatsapp crm free trial for 14 days now. Check out the blog to learn more about topics like best crm with whatsapp integration, best crm with whatsapp integration, best crm with whatsapp integration, best crm with whatsapp integration, whatsapp crm free, free whatsapp crm, and whatsapp web crm.
Integrating WhatsApp with CRM: Types of WhatsApp API integration with CRM

Not just that, the native integration provided by CRMs limits the WhatsApp API integration to a single CRM. If a business has more than one CRM and wants to exchange WhatsApp information with all its CRMs, it won’t be able to do so.

Thankfully, most CRMs, even those with native WhatsApp integration, offer third-party integrations to let their customers select the best software that supports WhatsApp integration with their CRM.

CRM Apps Integrated with WhatsApp: Third-party Integrations

Wonder what is the best CRM for WhatsApp? Here’s a list of CRMs that offer third-party integrations with WhatsApp:

While there are many solution providers for you to choose from, we recommend using WhatsApp with respond.io and integrating them with your CRM. We’ll discuss the whys and hows below.

Flexible WhatsApp Business CRM Integration with respond.io

Respond.io is a versatile AI-powered customer conversation management software specially designed for messaging. Compared to other WhatsApp CRMs mentioned above, respond.io has the best platform reliability and customer support availability. This ensures smooth, consistent business operations and access to excellent assistance whenever you need it.

Respond.io also lets you connect WhatsApp with multiple CRMs to exchange information between them, allowing you to use WhatsApp to its full potential.

How respond.io works
How it works: Integrate WhatsApp with multiple CRMs

Plus, respond.io offers an omnichannel inbox that aggregates messages from messaging apps like WhatsApp along with traditional messaging channels like email and webchat. By contrast, WhatsApp CRMs like WATI don’t support other popular channels, leaving customers constrained to a single channel to reach you.

Respond.io also supports WhatsApp features like sending broadcastspush notifications, setting up interactive messages and more. Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with almost any type of CRM. Let’s look at how integrating a CRM with respond.io works.

How to Integrate Your CRM with respond.io to Use WhatsApp

First, create a respond.io WhatsApp Business API account. Then, create a new Workflow automation and add the HTTP Request Step to connect your CRM and respond.io.

CRM with WhatsApp Integration: Integrate your CRM with respond.io via HTTP Request Step on your Workflows

This way, you can exchange information with your existing CRM automatically while messaging customers on respond.io, without having to go back and forth between your CRM and respond.io to reply to WhatsApp messages.

Businesses can qualify sales leads, retrieve updated contact profiles or create deals and tickets in external CRMs from the platform. Want to know what else you can do by integrating WhatsApp with respond.io? Read on to find out!

Benefits of Using respond.io for Different Use Cases

Respond.io is a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider and a badged Meta Business Partner. The former means that you can get official WhatsApp API access, while the latter means that Meta has vetted and recognized the company for its expertise.

In this section, we’ll explore how you can use the respond.io customer conversation management software for WhatsApp marketing, WhatsApp sales and WhatsApp customer service. We’ll also discuss how to use the platform for WhatsApp teams and WhatsApp managers. Let’s explore how below.

Marketing: Funnel Inbound Leads and Send Promotional Messages

To encourage inbound conversations, businesses can use a click-to-chat link, QR code, chat widget and WhatsApp web chat. They can paste the QR code on fliers and business cards or at their physical store and embed the chat link in a range of digital mediums.

Once a lead starts a conversation, collect basic information to determine whether the lead is new or an existing Contact that has previously messaged you on another channel.

If they are an existing Contact, merge their Contact details and conversation history into a unified profile for a comprehensive view of a Contact. You can also exchange and retrieve their contact information on your CRM.

If a lead is new, you will automatically capture their details and add them as a Contact. Then, segment them into different audiences. This will help when sending targeted promotional broadcast messages via the respond.io Broadcast Module.

Want to send promotional WhatsApp broadcasts or set up WhatsApp drip campaigns with a WhatsApp integration with CRM? Now you can by using respond.io as a WhatsApp marketing CRM! With respond.io's WhatsApp API CRM broadcast feature, Contacts don’t have to add you to their contact list to receive a broadcast. You can also send messages to a much larger number of Contacts, import contact lists, use interactive message templates and schedule and send broadcasts. With Workflows, you can set up a WhatsApp drip campaign to send a sequence of customized promotional messages to your leads. This way, you can encourage Contacts to purchase your products or to repeat service use. Looking to send WhatsApp Notifications via whatsapp for business integration with CRM? You can now send it via Messages API through a Zapier integration.
Best CRM with WhatsApp integration: Using respond.io for marketing

Respond.io’s broadcast feature allows you to schedule and send broadcasts to your contacts once they’ve opted in, import contact lists and use interactive message templates for your broadcasts.

You can also use respond.io Workflows to set up a WhatsApp drip campaign to send a sequence of customized promotional messages to your leads. This way, you can encourage Contacts to purchase your products or to repeat service use.

If you’re looking to send WhatsApp notifications in response to specified trigger events, like when Contacts create a new account or complete a purchase, you’ll be able to do it via Messages API through a Zapier integration.

Sales: Shorten Sales Cycle

Integrating your sales CRM with respond.io allows you to exchange data between both platforms to qualify leads and create deals with a click of a button. Agents can carry out sales-related tasks while talking to customers without switching platforms.

Businesses can automate sales tasks like qualifying leadsrouting them to the right sales team based on the funnel they fall into and auto-assign them to a sales agent accordingly. They can even have an AI Agent to serve as the initial responder to handle routine lead inquiries.

whatsapp integrated CRM: Funnel inbound leads to WhatsApp conversations with a click-to-chat link, QR code, chat widget and WhatsApp web chat. Once a lead sends a message, use Workflows to send qualifying questions to determine the sales funnel they fall into. Then, implement a routing logic that routes leads by priority access, deal size, region or more, and auto-assign them to a sales agent accordingly. Need a whatsapp crm tool for sales? Try respond.io’s free whatsapp CRM integration for 14 days. integrate whatsapp with CRM: After you integrate whatsapp business with CRM on respond.io via the HTTP Request Step, you’ll be able to work in conjunction with your sales CRM and seamlessly exchange information between both platforms. You can use the Shortcut Button in the Messages Module to qualify leads on data activation platforms like Clearbit and create deals on a free crm with whatsapp integration or sales CRM like Hubspot or Salesforce. This useful tool saves agents the trouble of switching back and forth between respond.io and other platforms, allowing them to carry out sales-related tasks while conversing with a customer.
CRM WhatsApp Integration: Using respond.io for sales

The highly customizable nature of respond.io’s Workflows gives managers the freedom to implement their routing logic, like routing leads by priority access, deal size, region or more. Plus, they can ensure equal lead distribution among the sales team and assign existing customers to their dedicated salesperson automatically.

As Agents will have to communicate with customers from different backgrounds, they can use AI Prompts to refine messages for clarity, translate them to overcome language barriers and more so their message is communicated effectively. You can also use this feature for WhatsApp customer support.

Support: Improve Customer Support Quality

Respond.io enables businesses to improve their customer support efficiency through automation. They can set up automated FAQs and send multiple-choice questions with pre-determined answers to help customers communicate what they want clearly.

Based on what they’re looking for, the automation will route and assign them to the right team and agent. Similar to the AI Agent’s capabilities mentioned in the sales use case above, businesses can use AI to handle routine inquiries and escalate complex or sensitive issues to human agents.

Businesses can use Workflows to set up an FAQ menu to provide answers to commonly asked questions.
CRM WhatsApp Integration: Using respond.io for support

This way, agents are saved from performing repetitive tasks and can focus their time on critical issues. To ease agents' workload further, tools like AI Assist provide agents with quick access to relevant information from knowledge bases or existing resources.

This allows them to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries, enhancing response times and contributing to a more satisfying customer experience.

Furthermore, agents may create support tickets on external CRM platforms such as Zendesk with just a click of a button. After a conversation ends, businesses can send a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey to measure the success and quality of their customer support.

Teams: Simplify Team Collaboration

Respond.io makes it easy for team members to collaborate in a team inbox. Through internal comments, agents can provide background information about a Contact for more follow-ups.

Agents can also tag their teammates to discuss the best way to help a customer or escalate complex cases whenever necessary. Best of all, agents can easily collaborate, chat with customers and manage their tasks anywhere with the respond.io mobile app.

Managers: Track Team Performance Effortlessly

Through respond.io’s advanced Reports and Analytics Module, managers can easily track individual or team performance. Additionally, managers may filter and review high-value conversations using a custom inbox. This ensures the best possible customer experience and helps increase customer loyalty.

Now, let's get a quick recap of what we’ve discussed in the blog.

WhatsApp CRM: Key Takeaways

By now, you should know that the best way to integrate WhatsApp business with CRM is by using WhatsApp API on a customer conversation management software built specifically for messaging and connecting it to your CRM.

This integration approach has proven highly effective in various industries, including food and beverages (F&B), hospitality, healthcare, education, real estate and retail. Check out our customer stories to learn how companies in different industries have benefitted from integrating WhatsApp with CRM.

Frequently Asked Question

Do I need WhatsApp Business API to to use WhatsApp CRM?

Yes, to use WhatsApp CRM, you need a WhatsApp Business API account, as it enables the necessary functionality for sending and receiving messages when connected to a CRM system.

Is WhatsApp Business API free?

No, it’s not. These are the costs you can expect: A phone number, a messaging inbox to receive and send messages and WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing charges.

What is the cheapest WhatsApp API Partner?

There are multiple partners in the market, and the count keeps going up. To avoid incurring unnecessary costs, we suggest you work with a business service provider (BSP) that doesn’t add markups per message sent or received. Also, avoid BSPs with account setup or maintenance fees.

Is it hard to get a WhatsApp API account?

Fortunately, it is getting easier and easier. If you apply for an account through respond.io, it should only take you a few minutes. Should you face any blockers, our support team is here to help.

How many agents can share a WhatsApp API account?

This depends on your BSP’s plan. If you are a respond.io user, you can choose between three types of plans and pay only for what you need.

Can I use chatbots with WhatsApp API?

Indeed! Respond.io users have access to Respond AI, a conversational AI feature with several tools to reply to WhatsApp messages without effort. Besides, you can integrate all your favorite automation softwares like Dialogflow.

Now that you know the essentials of WhatsApp CRM, get ready to apply your newfound knowledge and take your WhatsApp messaging to the next level and sign up for respond.io WhatsApp Business API today!

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Further Reading

Need a more in-depth article to kickstart your marketing, sales and support journey with respond.io? Here are some blogs that might help you.

Gabriella
Content Writer
Gabriella is a Content Writer at respond.io, specializing as the team’s go-to authority for WhatsApp since 2022. Her profound knowledge of messaging apps, the SaaS industry and customer behavior makes her articles indispensable guides for tech-savvy businesses.
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