Boost customer engagement with WhatsApp Business auto-replies

Boost customer engagement with WhatsApp Business auto-replies


28 Nov 2023

WhatsApp Business auto-replies
WhatsApp Business auto-replies
WhatsApp Business auto-replies

90% of customers consider instant customer service crucial, and 85% of customers expect a business to respond within six hours. With WhatsApp Business auto-replies, you can send automated messages and replies to your customers at any time. In this blog, we'll explore WhatsApp Business auto-replies and how they can be set up to boost customer service efforts.

Setting up an auto-reply in WhatsApp

There are two ways to set up an auto-reply in WhatsApp Business - from your WhatsApp Business app or through a WhatsApp solution provider that gives you access to the WhatsApp Business API.

The first option is great for small businesses that need to set up simple out-of-office messages or automated welcome messages. Though simple to set up, you are limited when it comes to the kinds of messages you can send with the WhatsApp Business app.

The second option is great for medium to large businesses. This involves partnering with a WhatsApp solution provider that will handle the entire process from set-up to execution. You can create customizable auto-replies and transactional automated messages. Let’s explore both options below.

How to set up an auto-reply in the WhatsApp Business app:

  1. Launch the WhatsApp Business app on your mobile device, tap the three dots in the top-right corner to access the menu, and select "Settings."

  2. From the Settings menu, navigate to "Business tools."

  3. You will see the "Away message" option. Tap on it.

  4. Activate the “Send away message” toggle button

  5. Edit or create a new away message. If you've already set an away message, you can edit it by clicking on it. To create a new away message, tap the "+" or "Add" option.

  6. You can now type your auto-reply message. Customise it to fit your business needs. You can choose the specific time duration for the message to be sent.

  7. Choose the recipients that will be getting this auto-reply.

  8. Once you've edited or created your message, remember to save your changes.

Setting up auto-replies using the WhatsApp Business API:

Using the WhatsApp Business API allows you to send auto-reply messages to your audience in various situations. Platforms exist to make this integration possible without needing you to have any technical knowledge about APIs and how they work. These providers typically handle this process for you.

Interactive WhatsApp templates

WhatsApp templates are pre-defined messages that businesses can use to start conversations with their customers. These messages can include text, media, buttons, and personalised variables. You’ll need to set up templates in order to use auto-replies.

If you haven’t created a template yet, you’ll need to create one that you’ll use for your auto-reply messages. This can be created using the Cue platform. You can create three types of templates - marketing, utility and authentication. 

You can include call-to-action (CTA) buttons or set up quick replies for faster communication with your customers. Learn more about creating templates here. (link to templates blog)

Conversational flows

Make use of the Cue flow builder - you’re not limited to sending replies in response to WhatsApp messages. You can create an event to trigger auto-replies. Events like when a customer signs up to your newsletter or when they complete a purchase. Set specific triggers for when the auto-replies should activate.

Build no-code chatbots and integrate with live chat

Consider integrating chatbots with your auto-replies. Cue chatbots can handle more complex queries and make sure that customers receive relevant and detailed responses. When an inquiry goes beyond the scope of the auto-reply, chatbots can take over and provide assistance.

A customer can contact insurance providers via WhatsApp with a question about policy renewal dates. With the use of an authentication template, the auto-reply feature can promptly respond with the renewal date. But if the customer has more specific questions, like inquiring about available policy add-ons, chatbots and live chat can work together. If the customer's queries extend beyond the chatbot’s response, the chatbot can present the option to be redirected to a live chat session. 

Improve customer experience with WhatsApp auto-replies

It’s not always possible for a human agent to be available around the clock - this is where auto replies come in. By setting up auto-replies, you ensure your customers receive quick responses even when your support team is offline. This is especially valuable for acknowledging customer queries, providing basic information, or setting customer expectations regarding response times.

Why you should use WhatsApp auto-replies:

  1. 24/7 customer assistance: Auto-replies make sure that customers can engage with your business at any time of the day.

  2. Consistency: Auto-replies ensure that customers receive accurate information consistently.

  3. Immediate acknowledgement: Auto-replies provide customers with instant acknowledgement of their messages, providing them with extra reassurance that their query is being attended to.

  4. Efficiency: Auto-replies streamline customer interactions by quickly addressing common queries, allowing your team to focus on more complex issues. This efficiency can lead to faster response times and improved customer satisfaction.

  5. Reduced workload: By handling routine inquiries through auto-replies, your support team's workload is lightened. This not only helps to optimise staff resources but also reduces the risk of human error in responses.

How different businesses can use auto-replies:

Let's put theory into practice with real-world examples from various industries:

Smoother sales process

Retail businesses can leverage auto-replies during sales events. Customers inquire about discounts, product availability, and delivery times. Auto-replies can provide instant responses, ensuring that no potential sales are lost, even when your team is swamped.

Faster accessibility 

Customers often need quick access to their account details, like billing information, data usage, or service upgrades. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can use auto-replies to instantly provide customers with these details, ensuring an easy self-service experience. In case of network issues or planned maintenance, ISPs can also use auto-replies to inform customers about outages, expected resolution times, and real-time updates when customers message them. This keeps customers informed and minimizes inbound inquiries.

Efficient reminders and information

Education providers can use auto-replies to provide information about course offerings, schedules, and admission requirements. This ensures prospective students receive timely responses to their queries and increases enrollment.

Auto-replies can also be used to send automated class reminders and updates to enrolled students, including details about upcoming classes, assignments, or exam schedules. This keeps students informed and engaged.

Get started with auto-replies

Setting up auto-replies on WhatsApp Business is a simple yet effective way to improve your customer service. It ensures that your customers receive prompt and consistent responses, even when your team isn't available. Despite what industry you operate in, Cue can help you get started with WhatsApp and auto-replies. Request a demo today!

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