WhatsApp Business API Tutorial
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.
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:
- a “clean” phone number that hasn’t been used to provide customer service with WhatsApp
- acceptance of WhatsApp’s Business Solution Terms
- compliance with WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy
- compliance with WhatsApp’s Business Policy
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.
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.
- Various fields for basic information on your company.
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.
To add new templates and send them to WhatsApp for review, click on **Add template** in the lower right part of your WhatsApp channel settings.
Define the template‘s language, category and content. Click **CREATE TEMPLATE** to submit it for review by WhatsApp. You can monitor all your templates’ status in the lower part of your channel settings. Once a template is approved, you can select it from a dropdown menu below the API key in the upper part of the settings.
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.