how-to-create-whatsapp-bot

So… You are wondering how to create WhatsApp bot.

The good news is, you are in the right place!

Still, I feel like I should give you a heads up. The guide you will find here is significantly different from anything else you come across when you google “how to create WhatsApp bot.

We won’t:

  • Give you ridiculously vague advice like “Apply for API and find a chatbot maker…” 🤷‍♀️
  • Trick you by simply relabeling a post on how to create a chatbot conversation to “How to Create WhatsApp chatbot conversation” and call it news 👎
  • Drown you in technical gibberish and endless lines of code 😳

We understand the hype is swelling and the stakes are high but articles hastily patched together aren’t going to help anyone.


Who can build WhatsApp Bots?


Since the launch of WhatsApp Business API back in August 2018, the marketing world was shaken to its core. Even the remaining messaging and chatbot marketing non-believers finally converted seeing the 1.5 billion… no… 1.6 billion monthly users flash in front of their eyes!

Promising WhatsApp statistics were hard to ignore once the messaging app opened for business.

However, the API key is not up for grabs just for anyone.

The whole service is still just a beta program in its diapers that barely started to crawl. Hence, Whatsapp Business API still not open to the public and only vetted medium and large enterprise businesses make the cut.

In this sense, even the vaguest of WhatsApp articles are right. Before you can grace your audiences with an official WhatsApp chatbot, you need to:

Without completing these two steps launching your chatbot won’t be possible whether you are doing it solo or using a chatbot solution like Landbot.

HOWEVER!

There’s a way you can try out how to build WhatsApp bot BEFORE that process is complete!

(Just continue reading if you are interested in how.)

Or, if it doesn’t interest you much, click the button below to skip through it and go straight to bot building!


WhatsApp Business Manager VS WhatsApp Playground


Applying and managing your WhatsApp Business API gives you access to two kinds of dashboards.

One is a full-fledged manager, the other is a commitment-free playground where you get to experiment, gain an insight into how to build chatbots for WhatsApp and see how that interaction will feel to your users.

WhatsApp Business Manager


Businesses that successfully completed the application process gain access to Landbot’s WhatsApp Manager dashboard.

Under “GENERAL,” you will find:

  • Name of the WhatsApp Channel (BRAND Customer Service or BRAND Newsletter)
  • The phone number associated with this channel
  • List of HSM message templates approved for this channel

whats app bot manager

The following tab “GET SUBSCRIBERS” is dedicated to helping you create opt-in snippets without burdening you with coding.

Since opt-ins are crucial to growing your WhatsApp user list, strategically implementing opt-in messages is one of the main keys to success.

use whatsapp chatbot manager

Thanks to Landbot interface, all you need to do is name the snippet and create the message you want your prospects to see (e.g. Click to Receive Purchase Notifications on WhatsApp).

build whatsapp chatbot manager

The last “CAMPAIGNS” tab features a list of all users who subscribed to receive notification from this particular channel. From here you can launch and manage campaigns, contacting all subscribers at once or filtering specific groups based on subscription date, country of residence, etc.

landbot campaign manager

Plus, you will be able to manage all the WhatsApp conversations in the chat manager which houses all conversations coming through your landbot bots be it from website chatbot, Facebook Messenger Chatbot or WhatsApp chatbot…

conversation manager

WhatsApp Playground


However, if you simply want to try out the WhatsApp bot building experience before you choose Landbot as your provider, Landbot’s WhatsApp Playground is the place to do just that.

As part of the free trial, you can gain access to WhatsApp Playground upon request. Playground allows you to:

  • Create a “dummy” channel using any phone number active on WhatsApp
  • Build WhatsApp bot
  • Test the bot in action using the channel number

***

NOTE: Playground channel doesn’t allow you to send messages to any other number other than the channel number it was created for!

***

Once you request access to WhatsApp Playground, you need to submit a phone number and one of our team members will activate it for you.

whatsapp playground by landbot

You will see the dashboard of WhatsApp Business manager but won’t be able to set up message templates or access the Subscribers and Campaign tabs.

playground-vs-business-account

On the more positive note, this little treat will appear on your general chatbot builder dashboard:

playground test bot

And, you will receive a message on the designated phone number welcoming you to the Playground:

WA-playground-confirmation-message

So… are you ready to build and test your bot?


How to Create WhatsApp Bot without Coding


Let’s get down the creating WhatsApp bot with Landbot!

For Landbot rookies, Landbot app is a no-code chatbot builder that allows you to design and create simple as well as sophisticated bots for your website, Facebook Messanger and, most recently, WhatsApp.

Fisrt of all, once your WhatsApp Business API or Playground is active a new, different kind of chatbot will appear on your bot list in the main dashboard:

landbot-chatbot-dashboard

Click the box to access the Landbot builder.

playground-WhatsApp-bot-example

Don’t be set off to see a simple bot already in place. Nobody beat you to it 😅…

It’s just a simple sample bot for you to quickly test and realize the possibilities Landbot offers.

Actually, if you want, you can go straight ahead and test it! For instance, if you are working with the WhatsApp Playground access, your WhatsApp experience will look something like this:

Another thing you might notice is that the WhatsApp chatbot builder looks different from the builder you see when creating a bot for web (see below).

The reason behind this is that WhatsApp bots still use Landbot 2.0 while the rest of the platform has been updated to the new version 3.0 which allows for even more simplification fo bot creation. Landbot 3.0 will be available for creating WhatsApp bots shortly.

Until then you can use the previous version to build your bot OR cleverly trick your way into using the newer version. For the sake of looking into the future, we will be sticking with option number two 😉.

1. Jump to the New Builder


So, all you really need to do to make WhatsApp bot in the new builder is making a jump for it.

Literally.

  • Go back to the Home dashboard and click “Build New Bot”
  • Give it an easily identifiable name.
  • Drag an arrow from the green point from the pre-set Welcome message
  • A window of choices will pop-up – Select “Send a Message” and create a first message of the flow (it can be anything at this point – don’t overthink it)

create-message-blog-in-landbot-builder

  • Save the bot.

JUMP-to-other-bot-tutorial

Exit the bot and go back to the main WhatsApp bot builder.

There, the start message with the “PLAY” button represents the WhatsApp message template or user response that activates to dialogue flow.

create-whatsapp-bot-tutorial

Instead of building your bot here

  • Click “POWER-UPS” on the left
  • Select “Jump to Other Bot” function

jump-to-other-bot-command

  • From the list of all your bots, select which bot you want to jump to.
  • Select a message you want to jump to (you cannot jump to a welcome message that is why we created that first message in the new builder).

crate-link-to-other-bot

  • Connect the template message with the bot jump blog by dragging a green arrow from one to another.
  • Click “APPLY”

Now you can leave this bot and start building your WhatsApp dialog flow in the new builder.

Remember the bot initiates with a template message and jumps to the message block you indicated skipping the “Welcome” block in the new builder.

2. Start Building Your Flow


Kick-off by adjusting the message block you created to make the jump.

The message block is fairly flexible and allows you to:

  • easily format your text
  • personalize the conversation through variables (e.g., @name)
  • insert rich media such as videos, images, and GIFs

create-first-message-in-landbot-builder

To add another text bubble press SHIFT+ENTER or click the PLUS icon on the left side of the block.

If you want to add any kind of media (GIF, image or video) to the message click on the “MEDIA” button in the field and make your choice.

3. Offer Users Choices


Since this is supposed to be a conversation, you need to give your prospect and customers some choices.

When it comes to making WhatsApp bots, it’s important to keep in mind that WhatsApp doesn’t offer the button-style quick answers as part of their interface. Hence, the way you phrase the conversation will be slightly different than when making a chatbot for a website or Facebook Messenger.

With Landbot, there are two different ways you can drive the conversation forward:

  • Offer specific options
  • Use trigger keywords

In the builder, offering specific options is done using the BUTTONS block although in the messaging apps these options will not appear as buttons but simply as a numbered list of choices as you had a chance to observe in the example above:

whatsapp-bot-message-example

In the builder:

  • Draw the arrow and select “BUTTONS” option
  • Define the message
  • Be clear about how you want users to answer in order to trigger the next sequence (e.g., “Type in a number to select an option”)

button-block-no-artificial-intelligence

  • Next, drag an arrow from each individual answer to customize users experience according to their choice

4. Arrange for Human Takeover


Sure, you can deal with most of the requests by using multiple choices to guide the users through.

However, sometimes even the most sophisticated of bots fall short on answering the most complex questions or capturing the hottest leads. In such cases, the human agent takeover is the recipe for success.

It’s probably one of the simplest things to set up. Landbot allows you to upgrade and create more seats in a single account. Hence, while chatbot designers are building, customer support or sales teams can happily deal with the conversations that require human intervention.

Drag an arrow out of the “Contact Support” button and search for “Human Takeover” Block:

whatsapp chatbot human takeover

You can make this pretty easy and straightforward or decide to customize the takeover process.

Once you select “Human Takeover,” a sidebar pops up on the left giving you three different assignation choices.

assignation flow landbot builder

  • Simple Assignation Flow

Is exactly what it claims to be. Users click to talk to a live agent and the transfer is immediate without any further questions. This is also the section to select agents you want to be responsible for this particular takeover.

  • Default Assignation Flow

Asks users a series of pre-established questions before being transferred to an available agent such as their email address and reasons for contacting. It’s great if you want to provide the agents with a bit of context or have a reply ready if an agent is not available.

You can’t change the questions asked in the Default assignation. However, you may decide to notify the responsible agents by email.

  • Custom Assignation Flow

This flow lets you choose which questions of the Default Assignation Flow to ask the users once they opt for human takeover as well as arrange for an email notification to be sent to the responsible agents.

Here is an example of how the Default Assignation flow looks in practice:

5. Set Up Slack Notifications


If you don’t have agents sitting on Landbot platform all-day long, nor checking their inbox 24/7 you might want to go for a different notification system. Luckily, Landbot integrates with the world’s most popular business communication app, Slack.

You can use it for anything… notifying your sales team about every new lead, a new purchase, new subscription or notifying agents about new live support tickets.

In our example, after the user indicates the need for live agent support, you can easily send a notification to the respective Slack channel:

  • Break the green arrow connecting your “Contact Support” and “Human Takeover”
  • Search for “Slack Notification” block
  • (If not set up already) connect your Slack account to Landbot
  • In the “Choose an Option…” field select one an existing Slack channel or a specific person who you want to receive the notification
  • In the field below, enter the message you want to appear in Slack

build whatsapp chatbot slack integration

  • Click “SAVE”
  • Connect the Slack block with “Human Takeover”

slack-integration-into-the-flow

6. Prepare for Everything: Set Trigger Keywords


People are different.

Hence, no matter how clearly you explain what they should do to progress the chat, there will always be that user that goes rogue.

When a user types “faq” or “support” instead of “1” or “2” you got to be ready.

Landbot allows you to do that using conditional logic.

To ensure your bot doesn’t freeze if the user doesn’t reply with a required numeric value:

  • Drag an arrow out of the purple answer field called “DEFAULT”
  • Search for & select “CONDITIONS” block

The conditional logic block has a variety of useful applications. However, for the purposes of this example, we will focus on the “CONTAINS” function to help us identify the specific trigger keywords.

condtional-logic-CONTAINS

In general, conditional logic enables checking if a defined variable equals to; does not equal to; contains, is greater/less than or is set at all and changing the dialogue flow accordingly.

Variable takes a format of @variable_name and makes it possible to group types of information or answers together (e.g. @email).

You can define a variable for every single answer to a question.

For example, clicking on the three dots in the right corner of your “Buttons” style question will open up a menu on the left. Scroll down and create a unique variable to classify this answer – we chose to name it @main_menu:

Now, to identify the key keywords, we need to set up what happens IF the variable @main_menu CONTAINS certain keyword.

Since the main menu of our bot offers 3 different routes we will focus on enabling the users to get where they need even if they type an answer instead of a number as requested.

NOTE: “CONTAINS” condition is case sensitive, so you need to anticipate different spellings!

The bot will be looking for the keyword so whether the user types “FAQ” or “faqs” or “I wanna see the FAQ” the bot will identify the keyword.

As you might have noticed, the conditional block has two outcomes – PINK and GREEN. GREEN signifies the condition was TRUE while PINK means it was FALSE.

In our case IF user types either FAQ – or – faq – or – Faq, the condition will be deemed as TRUE and he or she will be directed to the FAQ menu.

If the keyword is not found in the text, we direct the bot to check another condition. The second option on the menu is to “Contact Support.” Hence, we decided to target the words “help” and “support” and their lower and upper case variations.

Again, if the condition is met, the user is redirected to human takeover (same as if he or she types in 2). But, if the condition is not met, we move on the chack the last option – provided the answer contains a keyword related to the third menu option – joke.

conditions-flow-overview

If the condition is met, the user goes on to hear a joke. If it’s not, you can, for example, guide them back to the main menu to try again.

7. Tie Loose Ends


Even if the chat happens between a user and software, it’s still a conversation and so should have a proper ending.

When you create WhatsApp bot, make sure they don’t leave users hanging in the middle of a conversation.

Hence, make sure to say a proper goodbye and perhaps offer a way to reboot the conversation if necessary:

Goodbye-message

For a more complete experience, you can also add a conditional block in case the user types a goodbye message:

goodbye-message-condition

Click SAVE and TEST your creation to ensure all the blocks are connected!

Let’s see the result:


Conclusion


WhatsApp chatbots allow you to deal with incoming messages in real-time which is what makes them so attractive.

Thanks to smart solutions, learning how to create WhatsApp bot doesn’t have to be rocket science nor does it have to involve artificial intelligence to be useful businesswise.

If you are interested in working with Landbot WhatsApp business solution, check out our WhatsApp Solution features or chat with us to see if you are qualified for WhatsApp API by clicking the button below:

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