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.”
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!
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:
After registering with Landbot, you get access to the entire platform part of which is a channel manager which includes WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Playground.
One is a full-fledged manager that requires the actual API. 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 API 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
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.
Thanks to the 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).
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.
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…
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.
With WhatsApp Playground you can:
Create a “dummy” channel using any phone number active on WhatsApp
Build WhatsApp bot
Test the bot in action using the channel number
NOTE: The Playground channel doesn’t allow you to send messages to any other number other than the channel number it was created for!
Access the Playground by clicking on the “Channels” icon on the left. Once in, click the very pink “Create New WhatsApp Channel” button.
Fill in and confirm your phone number and use the field below to link it with a new bot!
Don’t worry! You (or your bot) will be texting only with yourself.
The newly created WhatsApp test bot will appear on your general chatbot builder dashboard:
Once a sample bot is assigned, the number you associated with your playground will receive a welcome message!
Feel free to interact with it a little…
So… are you ready to build and test YOUR OWN bot?
How to Create WhatsApp Bot without Coding
Click on the WhatsApp bot on your list.
When you get in, don’t be surprised to see the flow of questions and answers flooding the builder interface… this is how the bot you were interacting with a few minutes ago on WhatsApp looks behind the scene!
Landbot enables you to design WhatsApp dialog flow using a simple drag and drop interface. Feel free to delete the existing structure and start from scratch!
1. Start Building Your Flow
Kick-off by adjusting the message block you created to make the jump.
Once inside the builder, you can choose to start your bot using any format, be it a question, simple message, image, etc. All you need to do is click on the designated highlighted area.
A small window with options will pop out and you can scroll through the choices!
For instance, 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
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.
2. Offer Users Choices
Since messaging is all about 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:
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”)
Next, drag an arrow from each individual answer to customize users experience according to their choice
3. 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:
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.
Simple Assignation Flow
It 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 an available agent takes over 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:
4. 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
Connect the Slack block with “Human Takeover”
5. 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”
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_menuCONTAINS 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.
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.
6. 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:
For a more complete experience, you can also add a conditional block in case the user types a goodbye message:
Click SAVE and TEST your creation to ensure all the blocks are connected!
Let’s see the result:
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 API Solution features or chat with us to see if you are qualified for WhatsApp API by clicking the button below: