A WhatsApp chatbot can be an excellent way to engage with customers 24/7, respond immediately to inquiries, and improve your customer experience, and you can hire a freelance WhatsApp developer to build one for you!
If you’ve ever wondered how much it costs to develop an app like WhatsApp, you’re looking at up to $50,000–but you can create a bespoke business chatbot for a fraction of that price. Chatbots are automated software controlled by AI that runs on WhatsApp and replies to messages like a real account, simulating a human dialogue.
The Benefits of Having a WhatsApp Bot
In May 2022, WhatsApp expanded its Application Programming Interface (API) beyond medium and large enterprises, opening up opportunities for smaller businesses to use the well-known communications platform. WhatsApp Business is a mobile app that has a range of features, such as:
- Sorting customer messages
- Automating replies
- Adding product catalogs
An API is best explained as a software bridge that enables apps to communicate. The WhatsApp API allows business clients to design WhatsApp chatbots to deliver notifications or reply to their customers.
How to Build a WhatsApp Bot
There are two main options for developing a customized business bot–you can either hire a professional developer or handle the project yourself, so a lot depends on your time pressures and technical know-how.
WhatsApp Business API Requirements
The first stage is to ensure you meet the requirements because WhatsApp enforces several criteria:
- Industry or sector: It isn’t easy to secure API access in some business spaces, including healthcare, cash industries, software retail, and supplements.
- Purpose: The role of your chatbot is important because you cannot use it for promotions. Rather, a chatbot needs to be customer service related.
- Compliance: Businesses must adhere to the regulations within WhatsApp policies.
Next, you’ll need a WhatsApp business account registered to your brand or trading name once you have verified that you comply with all the above limitations. WhatsApp has two business account categories: an official or green-tick account, or an account that features your business name.
If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to download the specific WhatsApp Business version (rather than the individual app) from Google Play or Apple and register using a phone number that isn’t linked to an existing WhatsApp profile. You can apply for a green tick later, provided your API application is approved.
Accessing the WhatsApp API
Our next phase is to request API access, which you can go about in one of two ways. The first is to partner with a provider called a Business Solution Provider–these organizations can support your application and steer you through the process. The benefit is that WhatsApp will review your application within four weeks (considered fast), and the likelihood of approval is higher.
Another route is to request API access yourself, in which case you have control over the process but will need to hire a developer to deal with the task on your behalf. A developer can deal with the self-request process, which involves:
- Registering with WhatsApp as a Meta Developer (somebody who develops programs linked with Meta products, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram)
- Building a Meta App to carry out the functions you want your bot to deliver
Why Do I Need a Meta Developer to Build a WhatsApp Bot?
You can opt to develop your bot with one of the sixty-five or so approved Business Solution Providers, but there is a very limited choice, and the costs payable are less than competitive. Self-certification may take slightly longer, but you can customize your bot and implement the functionality you would like, normally with an affordable budget.
A fully established WhatsApp Business Platform can transform your UX with the ability to open live conversation threads, send automatic delivery updates or news, and enable customers to use one-click connectivity through an ad.
Interconnected communications, Instagram ads, and Facebook promotions can be powerful advertising tools and make the time spent establishing a WhatsApp bot worthwhile. Of course, Guru has a wide array of experienced freelance WhatsApp developers ready to help make your WhatsApp bot as useful as possible!