The best way to engage with billions of users from all over the world is to use WhatsApp as the main channel of communication. With around 1.5 billion users, the app is one of the most loved and used mobile app.
The end to end encryption enables secure private conversations with users while the rich interface allows enterprises and users to exchange messages in text and send audio and video files, and documents.
Companies offer API integration services to connect WhatsApp with the systems of an enterprise and provide a platform to use the app from a web portal. WhatsApp Business has strict rules and regulations which have to be followed by the enterprises to create and maintain an account. Apart from using a mobile phone number for creating a WhatsApp account, enterprises need to get their credentials verified by the app developers before they can start using it to send messages to users.
So, to make things easier for enterprises, companies provide them early access by using a feature known as a sandbox. Business Enterprises which have used the API WhatsApp integration services can use one of the pre-approved phone numbers provided by the companies to send messages to users. This means that businesses can interact with users even before their account has been verified.
But prior to sending messages, enterprises need to obtain explicit permissions from users. Business enterprises cannot send messages to users without taking permission from users to do so. Here is how a business can obtain permission from customers.
Customers can send an email or reply to one giving their acknowledgment to receive messages on WhatsApp from the business.
Customers can give a missed call to the specified number as a sign of agreement.
Customers can select the option of receiving updates while filling a form (online or a physical copy).
Customers can send a message to the WhatsApp account of the business enterprise.
- When a customer sends a message first, enterprises do not need explicit permission to reply to the message. But, only if they reply to the message within 24 hours after it has been received.
- Post the 24-hour window, enterprises cannot reply to the message without permission from customers.
- If a customer sends a message again, the enterprises can reply to it. The time frame is counted for the last message received from the customer.
When using the sandbox, enterprises can send messages only in the form of pre-approved templates. Companies provide the code for each kind of message to the enterprises. No element of the code can be altered except for the variables given.
WhatsApp has provided three pre-approved templates for messages. These are informational and transactional messages. Enterprises cannot promote their brand using the templates.
Still, they can send promotional messages to users with the 24-hour window. It is suggested that enterprises make the best of the time and finalize the transaction or solve the issue during then.
Welcome or Greeting Message Template
- The API request code has one variable where the name of the user can be entered to personalize the message.
- The template conversion is done by the platform as it is connected to the database with names and phone numbers of users.
- Editing any other element of the template will result in the message not being delivered to users.
Order Confirmation Template
- This code has two parameters that can be edited according to the orders booked.
- The details of Order id and date of delivery can be edited as they are elements that vary from order to order.
Issue Resolution Template
- This code has only one variable that can be edited.
- The ticket number issued for the complaint is inserted in the parameter box and the message is sent to user mobile phones using the API interface.
Bots can be created to send automated replies to users for generic questions. The bots can be customized according to the requirements of the enterprise. Gupshup is a global market leader and has helped numerous brands connect with users around the world via WhatsApp Business.