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WhatsApp automations: benefits and use cases

The complete guide for WhatsApp automation

Staying connected with customers and streamlining operations is critical to sustaining growth and profitability. WhatsApp automations are a tool that is becoming increasingly popular in the business world. With this article, we aim to demystify WhatsApp automated messages and solutions,and illustrate how leveraging WhatsApp Business API can bring significant advantages to your business in various aspects.

What is WhatsApp automation?

WhatsApp automations are essentially the technology utilized to automate routine tasks. The automated processes are to simplify and enhance interactions between businesses and their customers. 

This includes:

  • Automated replies: You can schedule welcome or away messages for your customers, and even automate WhatsaApp message to frequently asked questions

  • Chatbots for customer support: With an WhatsApp automation tool you can create chatbots for customer support, that can interact with your customers as if they were a virtual assistant

  • Automatic notifications: Send appointment reminders abandoned cart messages, product delivery status and more

  • Marketing and broadcast campaigns: Send bulk messages about promotions, events, discount coupons and any other type of marketing campaign

  • Leads tracking: With WhatsApp automation you can track your leads and have insights for your next actions

Automation enables companies to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide a better customer experience.

Benefits of WhatsApp automations for your business

WhatsApp is not just a messaging app anymore; it's a business tool with over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide. With an impressive 98% open rate, WhatsApp Business has proven itself to be a highly effective tool for engaging customers. 

The advent of WhatsApp Business API has opened up the realm of automation possibilities, which in turn increases operational efficiency and facilitates more personalized interactions with customers. 

Benefits of WhatsApp automations include:

  • Provide 24/7 customer service: Ensure prompt and consistent responses at any time. This improves customer satisfaction and loyalty by making clients feel valued and heard.

  • Scalability: WhatsApp automation scales with your business, managing increasing customer interactions without needing a larger support team. It efficiently handles repetitive tasks, answers FAQs, and schedules appointments, ensuring customers receive timely attention.

  • Cost effectiveness: WhatsApp automation reduces operational costs by saving time on routine tasks, minimizing errors, and cutting down manual efforts. This allows employees to concentrate on more complex, value-added activities.

  • Competitive advantage: WhatsApp automation streamlines operations and sets your business apart by showcasing your proactive use of modern technology to enhance customer experience. Quick responses to customer needs and market trends give you a distinct competitive advantage over those relying on traditional, manual processes.

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WhatsApp automation examples: 4 use cases for businesses 

WhatsApp Business, launched in 2018, has counted around 200 million monthly active users worldwide as of July 2023. It allows companies to initiate contact with users for marketing purposes and allows users to contact companies with a WhatsApp Business profile seamlessly from their regular WhatsApp interface. While the WhatsApp Business App is a free-to-use option available on the Play Store and App Store, it has only the basic automation features.

To go beyond the simple automation features, you can use the WhatsApp Business API) to implement WhatsApp automations. You can apply for the WhatsApp API through an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider and use the bot builder add-on to build a WhatsApp bot without coding. It provides an interface for developers and businesses to customize more advanced automation solutions, tailored to their specific needs.

In case you're new to the term WhatsApp Business API, check out this complete WhatsApp API guide before you continue. 

Let's delve into a few practical scenarios where WhatsApp automation has proven to be a boon:

1. WhatsApp automation for customer support

SleekFlow customer support

By using WhatsApp Business automated messages and personalized interactions, enterprises can cultivate a rich customer experience while significantly decreasing the manual workload on the team. 

Businesses will be able to set up a custom WhatsApp automated message flow that covers different conversation stages with WhatsApp API. It’s suitable for handling common inquiries and reducing manually addressed repetitive tasks. 

When there’s a complex issue that the WhatsApp chatbot is unable to resolve, it can be automatically handed over to human agents who are currently available to help.

Besides, by utilizing WhatsApp API to automate responses, businesses can craft personalized greeting messages, away messages, and quick replies, enhancing the interaction from the get-go. 

For instance, a warm automated greeting such as “Hi, [Nickname]! Welcome to SleekFlow! How can we help you?” can help build better customer relationships and make them feel more heard.

Users who receive a welcome or onboarding message are 33% more likely to engage with your business.

Similarly, away messages can also be customized to inform customers of the operational hours or when they can expect a reply, maintaining a professional demeanor even outside working hours.

Check out A Definitive Guide to WhatsApp Chatbot for Business [2023] to learn more about how to use a WhatsApp chatbot to handle a sea of customer inquiries.

2. WhatsApp Business automated messages for drip marketing 

WhatsApp for marketing WhatsApp Broadcast

Businesses can also broadcast personalized messages carefully designed to meet the unique preferences and requirements of each customer. By tailoring messages to resonate with different customer groups, WhatsApp Business can enhance a personal touch in communications. 

Moreover, the automation capabilities allow these messages to be scheduled to orchestrate drip campaigns that gently guide customers along their marketing journey. Over time, this continued engagement increases the likelihood of conversion.

For instance, you can design a template message like: 

Hi {Name}, we just launched our limited edition festive incense sticks. Enjoy up to 30% off on all products in our e-store and use the code INS30 at the time of checkout!” 

You can even add an interactive button “Shop now” to the message to direct people to your WhatsApp catalog or your website.

Besides, you can segment and label your audience based on different parameters such as interests, behavioral tendencies, or past purchase history for future retargeting campaigns. This targeted approach ultimately increases engagement and conversion rates, making marketing efforts more productive.

Abandoned cart

In abandoned cart scenarios (where a user fills a cart but leaves without completing a purchase), WhatsApp automation becomes a powerful tool for recovering abandoned carts, thereby boosting sales figures. Businesses can identify and engage with these customers by sending reminders or promotions to encourage them to proceed to check out.

3. WhatsApp automations for sales

Businesses can automate interactions across the sales funnel, and foster a more personalized and satisfying shopping experience. From collecting customer’s intent, displaying and sharing product catalogs, check-out carts, and even making payments in chat, they can all be done within WhatsApp without having to redirect to third-party applications.

  • WhatsApp product catalog

Businesses can effortlessly share product catalogs and details directly within the chat interface. Customers can browse through a wide range of products, view descriptions, and access pricing information, all without leaving the WhatsApp conversation.

Once customers have added products to the cart, a one-click checkout link can be automatically sent to them, and they can complete the payment in the chat without having to switch apps. This not only saves time but also simplifies the decision-making process for potential buyers.

  • Automated WhatsApp order confirmation

Furthermore, you can automate order confirmations and provide customers with instant acknowledgment of their purchases. The real-time updates on order processing, dispatch, and delivery can be sent directly to customers via WhatsApp to keep customers informed, minimize uncertainties, and strengthen their trust in your brand.

  • After-sales follow up

Lastly, WhatsApp Business automation allows businesses to send automated follow-up messages tailored to individual customer preferences and behavior. These follow-ups can encourage repeat business with personalized product recommendations, special offers, and relevant information based on the customer's previous interactions and purchases. 

4. WhatsApp auto messages for business operations

WhatsApp Business automation can be harnessed to manage order confirmations, delivery notifications, and appointment reminders. Healthcare and service-based sectors can particularly benefit from this approach. Automating these processes eliminates the scope for human errors, ensuring that customers receive timely and accurate information. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes to an exceptional customer experience. With timely updates and confirmations, customers are kept well-informed, leading to higher satisfaction levels.

Other than that, with WhatsApp API, businesses can integrate WhatsApp with CRM and e-commerce platforms such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Shopify. The ability to centralize and track customer conversations efficiently via integration eliminates the need for manually updating chats within the CRM, significantly saves time, and boosts data accuracy enhancement. This automation strategy empowers businesses to shift their focus towards more strategic endeavors, including nurturing customer relationships and providing superior service.

How to set up WhatsApp automations using a WhatsApp solution for business

1. Choose your platform

  • WhatsApp Business App: Tailored for small-medium businesses, WhatsApp Business App is free and available for all SMEs to easily engage their customers via a smartphone application.

  • WhatsApp Business API: Suitable for large businesses, which require a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) that offers API integration.

2. Get a WhatsApp Business number

You'll need to have a dedicated WhatsApp Business phone number. This can be a new number or an existing one that you convert into a WhatsApp Business number.

3. Set up auto reply on WhatsApp Business App:

  • Open the app and navigate to “Settings”.

  • Select “Business Settings” and choose the type of messages you wish to send: Away Messages, Greeting Messages, or Quick Replies.

  • Click on the + button to create new content for the selected feature.

  • Customize your message and save the settings​.

4. Set up automatic replies via WhatsApp Business API:

  • Choose a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) offering WhatsApp Business API integration.

  • Create a WhatsApp Business account and get your WhatsApp Business verified with a green tick to show customers they are communicating with a legitimate business.

  • Use the provided API documentation to configure auto reply messages that can be triggered by several types of actions, scenarios, and conditions. You can also automate messages with a message template or set up a chatbot for your business to handle customer inquiries automatically.

WhatsApp Business automated messages: limitations and things to know

Although the WhatsApp Business App is free, there are limitations to the features it offers. Because WhatsApp Business is designed to meet the needs of small businesses, it doesn't offer comprehensive automation, message templates, CRM integration, and other third-party apps.

For example, business owners can only set away messages during predefined off-duty hours, unlike the WhatsApp Business API which offers a 24-hour working chatbot.

Other than that, only WhatsApp Business API supports verified business profiles, making it more reliable and trustable for your customers. 

For a more detailed explanation, you can check out the differences between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API.

Why choose an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) for your WhatsApp Business automations?

Choosing an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) for your WhatsApp Business automations offers several advantages:

  • Official BSPs have WhatsApp's stamp of approval, ensuring that your business automations are reliable and compliant with WhatsApp's guidelines.

  • Access reliable support, seamless integration, and a trusted pathway to implement effective automations.

BSPs offer user-friendly tools that allow you to create automated messages and interactions without the need for coding.

SleekFlow oficial WhatsApp BSP WhatsApp Business API concepto

SleekFlow is a Meta-verified WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), a trusted platform that enables businesses to manage customer conversations in a secure, reliable way.  

SleekFlow provides a comprehensive solution by integrating all business communication channels in a unified interface. In turn, this enables your organization to engage and respond to customer inquiries from a single solution, regardless of the communication channel chosen.

The other benefits of SleekFlow as a WhatsApp BSP include:

  • Easy onboarding and support from SleekFlow.

  • User-friendly web and mobile versions.

  • 3-min speedy onboarding process for WhatsApp Cloud API.

  • Comprehensive omnichannel social commerce platform that includes many native integrations such as Shopify, Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Stripe, and more.

  • Offers free features such as auto replies for chats and comments on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook Lead Ads integration, and more.

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