What is a WhatsApp Chatbot and How to Create One in 8 Steps

Explore what a WhatsApp chatbot is and how they work! They offer 24/7 assistance, improve marketing and sales, integrate across channels, automate tasks, and make eCommerce better than ever.

What is a WhatsApp Chatbot and How to Create One in 8 Steps

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Ever wondered how some businesses seem to have superpowers, responding to messages at lightning speed? Well, that's where they are most likely making the most of a WhatsApp chatbot. They're like an extra line of your customer support team, ready to chat with your customers 24/7. In this guide, we'll dive into what these chatbots are and how you can set one up for your eCommerce and retail businesses.

Think of a WhatsApp chatbot as a friendly robot that lives in your WhatsApp Business environment. It talks to your customers, answers their questions, and helps them out, just like a real person, but without needing coffee breaks or sleep! For businesses that sell stuff online or in stores, these chatbots are game-changers. They keep your customers happy by chatting with them instantly, any time of the day. Plus, they can handle lots of chats at once, which means no more long waits for your customers.

So, if you're ready to give your business a boost and make both your customers' and team’s lives easier, let's jump into the world of WhatsApp chatbots together!

Understanding WhatsApp Chatbots

For businesses, WhatsApp chatbots can mean the world between being overwhelmed and having peace of mind. It means happier customers and fewer messages piling up. And for customers? They get quick, friendly help without waiting. It's a win-win!

What is a WhatsApp Chatbot?

A WhatsApp chatbot is a small ‘brain’ trained on your business information that can chat with people through WhatsApp. Some businesses are already quick with their support, but ever chatted with a business on WhatsApp and got a super-quick reply? That could be a chatbot at work, trained to represent the business! It's like having a customer support agent who's always ready to help your customers. These chatbots can answer questions, give updates about orders, and even help customers pick the right product. It's all about making conversations easy and helpful.

How WhatsApp Chatbots improve Customer Experience

Now, why are these chatbots so great for your business and your customers? First, they're always there. No more "We're closed" signs. Customers can get help even when it's late or on holidays. This is super for customer service. Also, chatbots can chat with lots of people at once. While one bot is helping a customer track their order, another can be giving product recommendations to someone else. It's like having a super team of helpers, all in your WhatsApp.

Note: Your WhatsApp Chatbot won't work without the WhatsApp Business API

Before you get started with your chatbot, there's something important you need - the WhatsApp Business API. This is the only way to connect a chatbot to WhatsApp, and is done with the help of a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider. So, which WhatsApp Business Solution would you need provided? Exactly: Hoola. 

We connect your chatbot to the WhatsApp Business API like a bridge and make sure your chatbot works. We connect it all, send and receive messages for your WhatsApp environment. This is the crucial step to create a successful chatbot for our clients. A job done well, is like sending order updates, answering FAQs, resolving entire customer cases, or even just saying "Hi!" to your customers.

But it's not just about sending messages. Hoola helps you with creating a chatbot that’s smart and personalized. The better it’s trained and structured, the more jobs it can do for you. It can remember what your customers like, their past orders, and even their names. This means your chatbot can have really friendly and helpful chats with each customer, making them feel special.

So, remember, the WhatsApp Business App won’t be enough for your WhatsApp bot and the WhatsApp API is a must-have to turn your chatbot into a team member of yours on WhatsApp!

Step-by-step guide to create a WhatsApp chatbot (with AI)

Let's build a chatbot for your business that's not just smart, but also friendly and safe. Follow these steps to create a no-code chatbot that's a perfect fit for your brand and your customers.

1. Planning your WhatsApp bot's tasks

First up, think about what your chatbot should do. Will it help with orders, answer FAQs, or recommend products? This is about setting clear goals to make your chatbot truly useful for your customers. It is best to pick one case first, and build from there around a single goal. Below, you can find more examples for chatbot tasks.

2. Choosing the best platform to create a WhatsApp bot

Next, we pick where to build your bot. You've got two choices: find a no-code platform somewhere that you can connect to your WhatsApp number or just go with Hoola and get it all set up by our team, and managed by yourself. In any case, remember that you’ll need the WhatsApp Business API. Choose what suits your business and tech comfort level best.

3. Training your chatbot on your own data

Now, it's time to train your chatbot using your own business data. You have to make sure that your chatbot does exactly what you want it to do. Not less, and certainly not more. This is all part of your prompt, so steps 3-5 will be about prompt engineering. All the data you give it about your business will help it understand your business, customers and products or services better. And the more instructions you give it, the more you make it ready for any conversation.

4. Defining the chatbot's writing style

Part of the prompt for a WhatsApp AI chatbot will be defining your expected output response. Your chatbot isn't just any chatbot – it's a reflection of your brand. Decide how it should talk. Should it be formal or casual? Friendly or professional? This step ensures your chatbot communicates in a way that feels right for your business. Pointers to think about: tone, vocabulary, sentence structure, linguistics/grammar.

5. Setting the guidelines and boundaries to respond

Make sure your chatbot knows its limits. Set clear guidelines on what it should and shouldn't say. This step is all about keeping conversations helpful, respectful, and safe. You may be okay with the chatbot coming up with extra scenarios around your product, but you want to give it a boundary to not make any false promises, fake facts or even worse, inappropriate or profaint messages.

6. Fully automating conversations with AI

Let AI take over the routine chats, such as basic FAQs, order returns, customer complaints and basic things that don’t need too much thinking, but cost a lot of time. This trains your WhatsApp AI chatbot to understand and respond to customer questions better. Imagine giving your chatbot a super-brain that learns and gets better every day. Going from 0% to 60% to 90%+ automation!

7. Personalizing conversations with a 360 customer profile

Time to make those chats personal. Use customer data to customize conversations. Your support conversations cover a lot of information about the customer that Hoola saves safely in their customer profile. Chatbots trained in your own environment can employ past chats, preferences, and customer names – making each customer feel special.

8. Double-testing your WhatsApp chatbot

Finally, test your chatbot thoroughly! With friends, family and your team. Try different types of chats to see how it responds. Make adjustments as needed. When it's ready and you're happy with it, let it loose to start helping your customers. And make sure: keep an eye out (in the beginning)!

Remember, a great chatbot is more than just a helper; it's a part of your team that represents your brand. Follow these steps, and you'll have a chatbot that's smart, safe, and totally on-brand!

WhatsApp Chatbot use cases and examples

Chatbots on WhatsApp can do a lot more than just send a "Hi there!" message. They're like multitasking wizards, helping with marketing, sales, support, and more. Let's explore how you can use these chatbots to give your business a boost.

WhatsApp chatbot marketing strategy

Imagine sending personalized offers and updates directly to your customers on WhatsApp. That's what a chatbot can do for your marketing. It can send out new product alerts, special deals, or even a birthday wish, making your customers feel like they're chatting with a friend who knows exactly what they like.

Example: A women's accessories retail store can use a WhatsApp chatbot to send personalized messages. Customers receive updates about new handbag arrivals tailored to their preferences, exclusive discount offers, and even personalized birthday wishes with special promo codes. This approach not only keeps customers engaged but also makes them feel valued, builds a relationship between customer and brand and simply improves the overall shopping experience.

WhatsApp AI chatbot support & sales strategy

Need a hand with customer support and sales? Your chatbot has got this. It can answer questions, help customers track their orders, or suggest products they might like. This is about making shopping easy and fun, and keeping your customers coming back for more.

Example: A beauty brand can use a WhatsApp AI chatbot to bring its customer support closer to the sale. Customers can inquire about skincare routines, get recommendations for makeup products based on their skin type, and track their orders right through WhatsApp. For instance, a customer might ask, "Which moisturizer is best for dry skin?" and the chatbot responds with tailored product suggestions. 

WhatsApp chatbot examples of support, sales and marketing.

Integrating a WhatsApp bot with other channels

Don't just stop at WhatsApp. Your chatbot can be part of a bigger team, working with other channels like email, social media, or your website. This means no matter where your customers are, your chatbot is there, ready to help. It's all about creating a smooth and connected experience for everyone.

Example: Think of an eyewear retail store, integrating a WhatsApp bot with other communication channels can create a more seamless customer experience from offline to online and vice versa. The chatbot can sync with the store's email system, social media, and website, offering consistent support across all platforms. For example, if a customer starts a query about prescription lenses on WhatsApp, they can continue the conversation via email or and eventually go to the physical store for an appointment.

A better bot with WhatsApp automation

Let's make your chatbot even better with some automation magic. Automated messages can handle things like confirming orders, sending delivery updates, or asking for feedback. It's like having a helpful assistant who's always on top of things.

Example: A massage therapy business can use a chatbot to automatically confirm massage appointment bookings, send reminders the day before appointments, and follow up with feedback requests after sessions. For instance, after a customer books a massage, the chatbot could send a message like, "Your relaxation session is booked! We'll see you on [date] at [time]." WhatsApp automation reduces administrative tasks and also builds client trust.

WhatsApp AI chatbot for eCommerce

For eCommerce businesses, a WhatsApp (AI) chatbot can be a game-changer. It can help customers find products, answer their questions, and even guide them through the checkout process. It's like having a personal shopper in their pocket, always ready to help out.

Example: For an eCommerce brand creating women's jewelry and fashion, a WhatsApp AI chatbot can be a virtual style advisor. Imagine a customer looking for the perfect necklace to match her evening dress; the chatbot can suggest options, show images, and even offer styling tips. It can answer queries about material, size, and availability, and guide customers through the checkout process, making it as easy as chatting with a friend. For instance, a customer might ask, "Do you have any chokers that would go well with a cocktail dress?" and the chatbot can respond with curated choices and complete the purchase seamlessly. 

Key takeaways of getting your WhatsApp chatbot

So, we've had quite the journey exploring the world of WhatsApp chatbots! From marketing wonders to customer support heroes, these chatbots are like Swiss Army knives for your business communication. In short:

  • Always-on personal assistants: Chatbots are available around the clock to assist your customers, simplifying their interactions with your business.
  • Improve marketing & sales: They excel in engaging customers personally, delivering personalized promotions and product recommendations based on customer preferences.
  • Multi-channel CX: These chatbots integrate smoothly with other platforms like email, social media, and websites, ensuring a better cross-channel customer experience.
  • Masters of automation: Chatbots efficiently handle routine tasks to automate WhatsApp such as sending updates and collecting customer feedback, keeping your operations streamlined.
  • Smooth eCommerce sailing: In the eCommerce world, chatbots act as personal shopping assistants, always on hand to help customers with their buying journey or even handle returns.

Time to build your chatbot with Hoola

Now's the moment to roll up your sleeves and start building your WhatsApp chatbot. And guess what? Hoola is here to help. We're not just about WhatsApp; we bring together all your support and marketing channels in one place. With Hoola, you get the whole picture, starting with WhatsApp. It's like having a command center for all your customer interactions. Ready to give your business a boost? Let's get that chatbot up and running!

Frequently asked questions

Can I build a WhatsApp chatbot without coding skills?

You can absolutely build a WhatsApp chatbot without coding skills! With platforms like Hoola and the WhatsApp Business API, you can create your chatbot using no-code tools. It's as easy as dragging and dropping what you need.

How do I get access to the WhatsApp Business API?

To access the WhatsApp Business API, you usually need to apply through a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider like Hoola.so. You can simply apply on the website or request a demo with the sales team. Using a BSP you get an entire UI and even a team to support your brand and strategy.

How can I use ChatGPT on WhatsApp?

To use ChatGPT on WhatsApp, you'd typically integrate it as part of your WhatsApp chatbot. This involves connecting ChatGPT's AI capabilities with your WhatsApp Business API. The setup can vary based on the tools and platforms you're using, but essentially, you're integrating your WhatsApp chatbot with OpenAI to chat with customers. For example, using Hoola’s customer engagement platform.