WhatsApp Business Tutorial

When your customers think about mobile messaging, most of them will probably think about WhatsApp. In terms of user power, WhatsApp still tops all other messaging apps out there. To tap into that vast potential, Userlike can integrate with the new WhatsApp Business API.

With our integration, your contacts can reach you from whatever device they run WhatsApp on. Their messages will pop up in your Message Center so that your operators can deliver the best support.

This feature is available starting with our Business product. To learn more, please get in touch with us via your dedicated account manager, our website chat or via support@userlike.com.

Requirements

Facebook requires all users of their WhatsApp Business API to share some information about their intended WhatsApp usage and their setup. Our certified partner and official Business Solution Provider will handle the communication with Facebook and provide you with the necessary documents. Contact us first, we’ll connect you with our partner and they’ll support you every step of the way.

First of all, please make sure you meet the following requirements defined by Facebook for using their WhatsApp Business API:

While not required, it is helpful if you already have a verified Business Manager account on Facebook, as this can speed up the process. If your Business Manager account is not yet verified, you will be able to complete verification during the submission process.

Channel setup

Once the process with our WhatsApp partner is complete, they will provide you with all the necessary information to connect Userlike to the WhatsApp Business API.

For each WhatsApp Business number that you want to connect with Userlike, you have to create a WhatsApp channel. Click here to add a new WhatsApp channel.

  • **Channel name:** Name of your WhatsApp channel, not displayed to contacts.
  • **API key:** The API key is used to grant Userlike permission to access your WhatsApp Business API in order to send and receive messages via the Message Center. You will receive it from our partner after verification and setup are complete.
  • **Template name:** Fill in the name of the template you send to contacts when WhatsApp’s 24-hour service window has closed (more info below). Use the name of the default template you created during the verification and setup process.
  • **Template namespace:** Provide the namespace the above template is associated with. You will also receive this from our partner when the setup process is complete.
  • **Template language:** Enter the language the template is written in as a two letter string (for example **en** or **de**).
  • **Widget:** Widget that will handle the messages contacts sent to your WhatsApp number. The Widget’s settings apply to assign the right operator, display the correct language and use the right privacy settings.

Fill out the form and click **Create channel**. If the connection to the WhatsApp Business API was successful, your channel is ready to receive messages in Userlike.

WhatsApp’s 24-hour service window

On the WhatsApp channel, you can directly answer your contacts within 24 hours following their last message. After that, WhatsApp requires you to get their consent before you send further messages. It’s a measure to protect their users from unwanted marketing.

You can send the template you defined during your channel configuration to your contacts by simply clicking the **Ask for permission** button in the input field.

While waiting for your contacts’ permission, you can already send messages. They’ll be delivered as soon as your contacts have agreed. Note that any messages you sent prior to your permission request will not automatically be re-sent.

Using bots on your WhatsApp channel

We offer the possibility to either integrate your own chatbot using our API or to create rule-based bot flows written in the Userlike Bot Language (UBL). Your bots can also respond to contacts reaching out to you via channels, such as WhatsApp. However, Facebook has set out some specific requirements for using bots with the WhatsApp Business API.

If you use automation to respond to contact messages, Facebook asks you to offer a direct human escalation path within the conversation. Not adhering to this guideline may result in Facebook limiting your ability to send messages via the WhatsApp Business API.

One such escalation path would be a clearly labeled option in your bot dialog flow to forward the chat to a (human) operator. You could also specify a keyword to be sent by the contact, such as “stop”, which immediately aborts the bot flow and forwards the conversation to a human. This path can be easily set up when building bots with the Userlike Bot Language. For more details, refer to our bot API or UBL tutorial.

Other acceptable escalation paths include providing a phone number to call, an email address, a web support form, and prompting in-store visits.