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WhatsApp auto reply message: the complete guide for 2024

A complete guide to WhatsApp auto reply bot

53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. - Google 

The above research well illustrates that people nowadays are too spoiled to wait. When it comes to customer service, customers are particularly eager for your reply. 61% of customers would not come back if they had a terrible experience. 

What is WhatsApp auto reply?

WhatsApp auto reply allows you to set up auto-triggered messages to lessen the workload and save costs. For example, creating away messages to inform your customers instantly that you're OOO and let them know when you can get back to them.

With WhatsApp Business API, you can do much more with auto reply. On top of creating template messages, you can also define the scenarios or keywords according to the situation. You can have pre-set template messages, also called autoresponders, automatically triggered. These relevant automated messages on WhatsApp can create value for your customers beyond office hours.

WhatsApp Business automated messages can be a great additional tool for your marketing, sales, or support team. No matter if it's for chat routing or lead qualification, you can guide customers through the automated flows.

Not sure what how WhatsApp Business can help? Here's everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business.

If you don't have the budget right now, there is an auto reply built-in function you can leverage on the free WhatsApp Business account. It is free of charge, so there's no harm for you to try! 

How to set up away message on WhatsApp for business?

You can set automated away messages when you are busy, out of the office, or away from your phone. A default message will be generated and delivered automatically to all or some of your contacts. You can also schedule away notifications at a particular time, such as during non-business hours.

To set away message:

  1. Go to More options > Business tools > Away Message.

  2. Turn on Send Away Message.

  3. Under Away message, select the message to edit it, then tap OK.

Options for scheduling message:

Tap Schedule to set a time for your away message. Choose from the following options:

  • Always send: send an automated message any time.

  • Custom schedule: send an automated message only at a specific time.

  • Outside of business hours: send an automated message only during non-business hours. You have to set up in business profile first. 

Options for target recipients:

Tap Recipients to filter contacts who should receive your away message. Choose from the following options:

  • Everyone

  • Exclude my contact: send away messages to contacts outside the address book.

  • Everyone except not to send away messages to some selected contacts.

  • Only send to: only send away messages to selected contacts.

Do be aware that away messages can only be sent when there is an internet connection.

How to set up WhatsApp Business greeting messages?

WhatsApp Greeting Message example

You can set up an automated greeting message on WhatsApp for your first-time customers so that you can engage with them without being awkward.

Apart from sending automated replies when your customer approaches you, you can also utilize this function to contact customers who have not been in touch with you over the past 14 days to reheat the leads. These automated messages on WhatsApp can have a better opening rate compared to email marketing campaigns.

To set greeting messages:

  1. Go to More options > Business tools > Away message.

  2. Turn on Greeting message.

  3. Stat editing by tapping the message under MESSAGE.

Options for target recipients:

  • Everyone

  • Exclude my contact: send away messages to contacts outside the address book.

  • Everyone except not to send away messages to some selected contacts.

  • Only send to: only send away messages to selected contacts.

Remember to save all options you selected before leaving the settings page of the greeting message.

64% of people across generations said that they prefer messaging to a call or email. 

Hubspot Marketing Statistics

WhatsApp auto reply & messages best practices

Keyword Auto Reply

Setting up an automated reply function on WhatsApp is not rocket science, but what takes you great strength is crafting the content, as the message itself is a brand touchpoint.  While a lengthy statement is not a common practice in social messaging, you have to precisely convey your ideas and information using a short number of lines for WhatsApp auto reply messages.

Let’s dive right into some practical tricks:

The first rule: be specific.

Don’t say, “We will reply to you as soon as possible.”
Say, “We will be replying within 12 hours.”

Second, set your messaging style guide.

Unifying the language tone and message structure will strengthen your brand image and allow your customers to relate the content to your business immediately.

  • Use appropriate wordings

  • Avoid using industry jargon

  • Apply a friendly tone throughout the whole message

  • Use straightforward and understandable language

Learn to enhance your response using SleekFlow AI.

Third, tell customers your next step.

Telling your customers the “what's next” option will enhance customers’ confidence in your business and, hence, a higher retention rate. For instance, you can send a report to your customers within three days after the complaint is lodged. This can convince your consumers your company is well-prepared. Their opinions are heard, and actions will be taken.  

It’s become common for our customers to commend our service. They like responding to the automated questions and commend our efficiency.



Co-Founder, Momo Lifestyle

Fourth, personalize your automated message on WhatsApp.

Maintaining a friendly relationship with your customers is vital for your company’s success. Creating an excellent client experience can encourage word-of-mouth promotion and expand your customer base through your customers!

You can personalize your automated message with no sweat by simply adding your customer’s name to it using variables. This can already wield a massive impact on making your customer feel good.

SleekFlow personalized broadcast messages examples

Personalization is key to engaging conversations. Read our WhatsApp Flows article to see how you can elevate personalized communication and make every customer feel special.

Fifth, provide an alternative contact method.

Instances are store locations and phone numbers. You can also use an integrated omnichannel inbox to allow customers to reach out to your brand via various social messaging channels like Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, Telegram, and more.

Sixth, integrate visual elements. 

55% of B2C (Business to Customer) content creators indicated that visual elements should be prioritized. Indeed, most people prefer looking at photos more than an enormous paragraph of wording.

Attach images or posters to your WhatsApp auto reply messages to improve the performance, boost open rates, and increase engagement rates.

SleekFlow WhatsApp Broadcast for personalized messaging

Bonus template for you to use for your auto reply: 

Hey{Name}! I am your dedicated helper! Please enter the number to select your language. 

 [1] 中文
 [2] English
[3] Español

WhatsApp auto reply & message limitations

While the WhatsApp Business App is free, there are limitations to the features provided. Comprehensive automation, message templates, integration of CRM, and other third-party applications are not available as WhatsApp Business is designed to cater to local small businesses.

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

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

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

Solution: WhatsApp Business chatbot

What are the upsides of WhatsApp chatbot?

Target audience/userBenefits of WhatsApp chatbot
CustomersFastest reply ever. Always get acknowledged. A genuine 24/7 customer support. Ensuring that you are talking to an official account if the companies are using Official WhatsApp Business API
EnterpriseWhatsApp is suitable for a wide range of businesses regardless of the company size. Reduce human resources for 24/7 customer support. Convenient broadcast message function. Support multimedia content, e.g., photos.
MarketersUtilize the WhatsApp Chatbot Broadcast function or market automation could significantly reduce Marketers’ workload. WhatsApp is a proven effective means to reach potential customers. The automated message can be customized—for example, a follow-up message for clients two days after purchase. Support multimedia content, e.g., photos, to make your message more appealing.
Customer serviceChatbot FAQ can enhance the efficiency of customer service. The chatbot can first handle those more straightforward questions with preset replies. Chatbot reply could be practical resources like addresses, phone numbers, or even location pins. Chatbots can be used to conduct surveys.
SalesLeads the customers down the sales funnel. The WhatsApp Status can be used as a 24-hour promotion banner. The chatbot could suggest related products and up-sell effectively.

However, don’t be over-excited about what a chatbot can do on the free WhatsApp Business App. As mentioned, there are only two types of built-in auto reply templates, and it is not always easy to access WhatsApp's customer support directly in case anything goes wrong. 

That’s why you need a third-party expert platform like SleekFlow. With a visual Flow Builder, you can easily create automated WhatsApp chat flows and guide customers through the shopping journey.

When you integrate WhatsApp Business API with an all-in-one omnichannel messaging solution powered by SleekFlow, the official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP), you can also access these powerful WhatsApp marketing tools:

  • Interactive messages: list messages, reply buttons

  • WhatsApp Broadcast

  • Multiple logins

  • Chatbots with WhatsApp autoresponder

  • Automated messaging rules and workflows with webhook calls

  • Lead generation tools

  • In-chat product catalog

  • Payment links

  • Integrations

Want to outcompete your peers with SleekFlow's help?

Book your personalized demo with SleekFlow today and unlock the potential of seamless communication

How to set up the WhatsApp chatbot via SleekFlow

flow builder faq

Other than setting “leaving message” and “greeting message,” you can explore more. On the SleekFlow platform, you could set up a template message to greet first-time customers.

You can also have your own automation tab in WhatsApp via SleekFlow and plan all the automated messages you want.

You can refer to the template below: 

Hi, I am your dedicated assistant. 🤖💪 It’s so lovely to meet you here!

⚡️ We would like to handle your inquiry as soon as possible. Please select the services below by entering the number. You can come back to the main page by typing [0] anytime. 

1. General inquiry
2. Address of stores 
3. Product information and pricing
4. 24-hour aftersale support
5. Other suggestions 

- Instagram

- Official Website

Using the above example, when the customer enters [3], your auto reply message could be your WhatsApp product catalog or a YouTube link to a product introduction video.

On the other hand, if someone replies with [5], the autoreply message could be directing your clients to file suggestions to a particular channel: 

Hi, please send the information below to We will process your email in 3-5 working days. We are so excited to hear from you! 

Contact Number: 
Related issue: Customer service/ Products/ Others 

With auto replies, you could streamline the process and reply to your customers timely and effectively! 

9 WhatsApp Business auto reply messages examples

Are you scratching your heads thinking about what to write for the away and greeting messages? If you’re using WhatsApp Business, these are probably some best WhatsApp automated messages samples for you!

After-hour message examples

Sample 1

Hi there! Thank you for reaching out to [your business name].

Our office hours are from [your operating hours], but we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Sample 2

Thank you for getting in touch with [your business name]!

However, we are currently closed from [your operating hours]. Please leave us a message, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding, and have a nice week ahead!

Holiday out-of-office message examples

Sample 3 

Happy [holiday name]! [Your business name] is currently on a break till [resume date].

You may browse through our online catalog for now, and we’ll get back to you soon!

Sample 4

Wishing you a happy [holiday name]. Your inquiry has been received, and someone will reach out to you soon. For urgent assistance, please call [your business contact number].

Thank you, and enjoy your holiday!

Service outage notification examples

Sample 5 

Thank you for your message, [customer name].

For your information, [your business name]’s website is currently under construction until [end date]. Please drop us a message or contact us through [your business contact number] for this period of time.

Your patience and support are very much appreciated. Have a great day!

Sample 6

Hi [customer name], thank you for reaching out.

We would like to inform you that there might be some delay in our product delivery as [your business name] is having logistic upgrades to better serve our customers.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and thank you so much for your understanding.

Greetings message examples

Sample 7

Hello [customer name]! Thank you for your message.

We are currently having a high volume of inquiries, but we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Meanwhile, you can visit our website for related information: [your company website]

Thank you for your kind patience!

Sample 8

Hi [customer name]! Thank you for contacting [your business name].

May I know how we can assist you?

Sample 9

Good day, [customer name]!

Thank you for your interest in [your business name]. Our customer service assistants will reach out to you within the next 24 hours.

To find out more about our products and services, check out our website at [your company website].

Talk to you soon!

Why use WhatsApp auto reply?

The essence of WhatsApp auto reply is acknowledgment. For instance, if your customer service officers are offline or the line is busy, and customers are expecting immediate replies. WhatsApp auto reply messages will ensure that the customer is attended to.

The customer’s perception is your reality.

Kate Zabriskie

WhatsApp auto reply can also be used for the aftersale follow-up. After the inquiry is processed, the chatbot can continue the conversation with customers to show that your company values them. 

What are the purposes of WhatsApp auto reply?

Automated MarketingAutomated SaleAutomated Customer Service
A customized message, as simple as addressing the customers’ names or specified messages for the different customer journeys. The right message delivered at the right timing could sustain a top-of-mind. Through automation, the sales team could follow up with a more significant amount of leads more efficiently.Building trust and reputation through outstanding customer service. The message crafted is not for promotion but rather for education or information.
Examples: Time-limited birthday discount Product updates Latest articles or tips sharing Applying for promotion: “reply [1] to apply.” Examples: Automated confirmation of meetings reminder Products updates Automatic reminders for the remaining goods in the shopping cart Automated bills or receiptsExamples: Welcoming message for new customers Order confirmation Out of business hours notice Survey invitation Overdue reminders

To summarize, the virtue of WhatsApp auto reply is to be “fast.” It enables enterprises to support consumers’ requests or inquiries quickly.

It also forms a part of the customer service escalation process. When some queries require elaboration and discussion, the conversation can be routed to a live agent.

Consumers will be notified if their ticket is in progress or finished. The process will be more transparent. Enterprises can continue to communicate with customers to boost their satisfaction and convert more sales opportunities.

Curious to see how the official WhatsApp Business API can interact between merchants and customers? Talk to our team.

Discover the power of WhatsApp with SleekFlow!

Unleash your full potential with WhatsApp Business API. Your customers are waiting!

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