How to create a WhatsApp chatbot using WhatsApp Business API
People love to chat and today most of the interactions happen on messenger, be it talking to friends or getting support from a business. With Facebook Messenger Chatbots going mainstream, businesses have started to realize that messaging is an important channel for business to connect with people.
With over 1.5 Billion users, WhatsApp has emerged as one of the most used messaging apps around the globe and with the recent announcements of Business Profiles and Business Accounts, it opens up a new space for businesses to engage with people around the world.
What is a WhatsApp Chatbot
A WhatsApp Chatbot or a WhatsApp Bot is simply an automated chat system connected to a WhatsApp phone number associated with your BUsiness. It is like a Facebook Messenger Chatbot but on WhatsApp.
The Big Announcement
WhatsApp dropped in an announcement in September 2017 that it is planning to open up its app for Businesses and will be releasing a separate app for Businesses. This followed with the release of WhatsApp Business APIs last year. But there was a catch, the APIS were not open and WhatsApp controlled who can get access and what can they do using the APIs.
The situation remains more or less the same till date and WhatsApp Business APIs have limited availability.
Here's how a WhatsApp Bot looks like
How to get access to the API?
WhatsApp collaborated with other companies to provide access to their APIs and monitor the quality and use-cases of businesses. So if you want to build a chatbot on WhatsApp for your business, you need to submit an early access form with a provider like Morph.ai
Morph.ai and WhatsApp Business API access
After you submit the API early access form, Morph.ai will submit you WhatsApp Business API access request to WhatsApp for approval. Our strong track record and a direct communication channel ensures you will get the API permissions in the minimum possible time.
How to start with WhatsApp Chatbots?
The next step is to build the chat flow, host it and connect it with WhatsApp APIs. Now because WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, it is a very complicated and resource-intensive process to host the APIs and run automated chatbots through it. You will probably want to go with a chatbot building service (like Morph.ai) which gives you a drag and drop chatbot builder and supports WhatsApp as a channel