Last Updated on December 12, 2022

According to Statista, 3 billion people rely on phone-based messaging apps to connect and communicate with one another. Surveys also confirm that WhatsApp leads the global smartphone messenger war with 44 percent market share (1mtb).

Put these two statistics together, and it is evident that WhatsApp, as a business communication channel, will reap dividends for businesses. Until recently, email, phone, website, live chat, and social media messengers have been the primary means of communicating with customers. The introduction of WhatsApp bots into the mix provides a simple, direct, and real-time means of communication.

What is a WhatsApp Bot?

A WhatsApp chatbot is an automated system that can converse with customers through WhatsApp. The WhatsApp number would be your business number. The chatbot can provide quick replies, take customer queries, and offer canned responses or customer account information. The chatbot functions based on the user’s input through phrases or keypad presses programmed in its backend.

How to Create a Whatsapp bot – Step By Step Process

Prerequisites

Before introducing an official WhatsApp chatbot to your audience, You need it to get your

  1. WhatsApp business API
  2. Building whatsApp Bot

How to get WhatsApp API?

WhatsApp is currently in limited public preview and encourages businesses to consider using business service providers. Currently, there are only about 46 global providers dedicated to WhatsApp business, and 360 Dialog is one of the top providers.

There are 4 steps in getting a WhatsApp API Account.

Step 1: Port or Buy a phone number

You need a phone number to set up your WhatsApp Business API account. Partners such as Dialog 360 allow you to port an existing phone number, as long as you can receive calls or SMS. You have to make sure that the number is not connected to another WhatsApp Business account or WhatsApp API account, to avoid any conflict.

Step 2: Verify the Business name and meet WhatsApp Commerce Policy

WhatsApp has a Commerce policy, which you will need to adhere to before you apply for a WhatsApp API. WhatsApp will review your application, as well as your Display Name, which should ideally match the legal name under which your business is registered.

360 Dialog Form

To get the 360 Dialog form on your email, Fill out this form WhatsApp API Request

Step 3: Verify Facebook Business and Number

This step is different from the Facebook Page Verification. Here, you need to provide a few documents and complete your Business verification in the Facebook Business Manager. This process usually takes a few working days.

Once it has been approved. Please share the following details with us on support@kommunicate.io or start a chat with us:

Step 4: Generating an API key

In your 360Dialog account, go to WhatsApp account. Once all of the steps from the process are successfully completed, you can generate an API Key. When the phone number has the status “DONE” the “Generate API Key” button will be enabled. If you click on the button, you can generate an API Key which will be displayed in the browser.

How to Build a Bot For Whatsapp

Step 1: Building a chatbot  

Next, log in to your Kommunicate dashboard and navigate to the Bot Integration section. Locate the Kompose section and click on Integrate Bot.

If you want to build a bot from scratch, select a blank template and go to the Set up your bot section. Select the name of your Bot, your bot’s Avatar, and your bot’s default language and click “Save and Proceed”.

You are now done creating your bot and all you have to worry about now is to “Enable bot to human transfer” when the bot encounters a query it does not understand. Enable this feature and click “Finish Bot Setup.”

From the next page, you can choose if this bot will handle all the incoming conversations. Click on “Let this bot handle all the conversations” and you are good to go.

🚀  Bonus: If you want a pre-built chatbot? Here’s where to find a bunch of them!

Step 2: Configuring Whatsapp

And then Go to integrations > WhatsApp and then Click on Setting on your Kommunicate Dashboard.

Whatsapp Integrations

Step 3: Integrating WhatsApp with Kommunicate

First, you must log into your Kommunicate dashboard. If you do not have a Kommunicate account, you can sign up for free. Then, Go to Integrations > WhatsApp>and then click on the Go Live.

  • Firstly, to connect your whatsapp number with Whatsapp Business API you need to create a free account on our partner 360Dialog page. Click here to create an account
  • After signing up on 360Dialog fill the below details.
  • Whatsapp Number: Enter the number that you’ve used with your 360Dialog account
  • API Key: In your 360Dialog account, go to Whatsapp account and generate API Key
  • Namespace: In your 360Dialog account, go to Whatsapp account section and click on Show Details. In the details tab scroll down to Whatsapp Business Account section to find Namespace.

Now Kommunicate is successfully integrated with the WhatsApp account, try sending messages to the number linked to the account. These messages will be sent to Kommunicate chat as well. If the chatbot is already integrated, the bot will start replying to your WhatsApp chat queries.

This is how the conversations will look like in the Kommunicate dashboard.

Limitations

  1. You can only send and receive specific media files. See more info here.
  2. If more than 24 hours have passed since the last user message, only template messages will be allowed.
  3. WhatsApp does not support rich message responses from the bot, so they will not be received by the end-user.
  • Bots can offer canned responses

A human agent cannot handle your business communication 24/7/365. But, a WhatsApp bot can. It can provide canned responses — template-based responses to questions that are repetitive in nature or are frequently asked by customers. 

  • Bots can provide product and service catalogs

For prospects who want quick information about the business and its offerings, It offer product and service catalogs. Catalogs are a handy way of presenting information using images, video links, long-form text descriptions along with price details. This helps the prospect make a quick choice and proceed to make a buying decision.

  • Customers do not need an extra app

WhatsApp is an app that users rely on for their personal communication on daily. Businesses can join this app bandwagon to communicate with customers without requiring them to install another app. This creates a win-win situation for both sides. Hence, with a WhatsApp bot, businesses can get one step closer to their customers. 

  • Chat, call, and video conferencing bundled into one

Versatility. This is the prime reason why WhatsApp is considered to be superior to most chat apps and video conferencing apps. Customers can send texts, get on a voice call for detailed discussion, or even initiate a video call to discuss the product working in detail. 

Whatsapp chatbot CTA
Learn more about Whatsapp Chatbot

Differences between WhatsApp messenger, WhatsApp for Business and WhatsApp API

WhatsApp Messenger is meant for private use. It is best suited for individual conversations, group messaging, and real-time communication. However, WhatsApp for business and WhatsApp API go beyond these features and enable businesses to develop state-of-the-art communication features built on the WhatsApp platform. It uses the simplicity of WhatsApp to build a more robust and powerful real-time communication tool.

Among the three, WhatsApp messenger offers the least enterprise-grade features. As we go up the scale, WhatsApp for business and WhatsApp API provide more features that will empower businesses to drive customer communication at scale. In the process, they also open up countless use cases for marketing, sales, and customer service. 

The table below lists down how WhatsApp Messenger is used by users, WhatsApp for Businesses used by businesses, and WhatsApp API for building WhatsApp Chatbots differ from each other. 

FeatureWhatsApp messengerWhatsApp for BusinessWhatsApp API
Real-time messaging
Voice notes
Voice calling
Video calling
Chat organization
Labelled transactions
Data protection
Business profile
Quick replies
Security
Third-party integrations
Customer support
Transaction notifications
Reminders

Suggested Read: How to Build a Line Chatbot Without Any Coding

5 Reasons why you should choose Kommunicate

  1. Kommunicate’s no-code Chatbot builder: Using Kommunicate’s Kompose chatbot builder, anyone can build a chatbot in a matter of a few clicks and then train the bot to give answers to simple queries. Building a bot, is thus, a simple task. 
  2. Create a bot in a matter of minutes: Kommunicate lets you build a bot in 3 simple steps and then integrate it to WhatsApp business in just 5 minutes, all using methods that can be easily followed.
  3. Easy interactions: Komunicate lets you interact with your customers who are reaching out to you via WhatsApp easily via the Kommunicate dashboard. This dashboard is interactive and gives you all the vital details at your fingertips.
  4. All your conversations in one place: The Kommunicate Dashboard also lets you access all your current and previous conversations with a particular customer in an easy-to-digest format, meaning you are well-informed all the time.
  5. Transparent pricing: No hidden costs, no charging for add ons that you didn’t order. With Kommunicate, the pricing is always clear and we make sure you get what you pay for.

We hope that we have answered your question, “How to build a WhatsApp bot?” Now, what are you waiting for? Go build your WhatsApp bot today, with Kommunicate.

FAQ

You can configure a bot for your WhatsApp number with the help of a WhatsApp API from a provider like Twilio or 360 Dialog. Once you have the API, you can build the bot conversational capabilities with the help of a bot building tool like Kommunicate Kompose.

No. WhatsApp offers WhatsApp for business which is an advanced version of the messenger. It has business-friendly features like quick replies, labels, product catalog, and so on. However, chatbot capabilities are not provided by WhatsApp for business. You need a WhatsApp API to integrate a bot into your WhatsApp messenger. 

You can use a third-party solution such as kommunicate to build a no-code chatbot with 30 days free trial. But WhatsApp Business API is not free and you need to pay for it. You cannot build a WhatsApp chatbot without using WhatsApp APIs. No. Since the APIs for WhatsApp chatbots are provided by third-parties like Kommunicate’s Kompose, they come for a price. However, your customers would not be asked to pay for anything. They can continue using the app like any other messaging tool. 

You need a WhatsApp API to program the chatbot. The API’s backend has editors where you can program questions, provide options for responses, or if required, transfer the conversation to a human agent. 

Yes. Like any other capable chatbot, a WhatsApp chatbot can take orders, provide order updates, and also take delivery instructions from customers and pass them onto a CRM or the delivery personnel. 

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