WhatsApp Auto Reply: The Ultimate Guide

Sourabh Upreti
Sourabh Upreti
July 3, 2023

A message from a customer! But it's out of business hours.

You have two options: Lose a sale by replying late, or reply to them even when you are away from your desk. 

The latter might seem like a better option, but it can cause more problems than it solves. But, who wants to be glued to their phone during precious downtime or family moments?

So, what's the answer?

A simple auto reply.

Auto replies are a quick and easy way to let customers know you've received their message and will get back to them when you're available.

They can also give you a chance to offer some helpful information in case they need it. 

In this guide, you'll learn how to create an auto reply, why it's important, and how to use it to help your business.

What Are Auto Replies on WhatsApp?

Auto replies are a handy feature that lets you set up automatic responses to incoming messages.

Imagine having your virtual assistant ready to help your customers and keep them notified about your availability. 

That's what WhatsApp auto reply is all about. They're pre-written messages automatically sent to your customers when they message you on WhatsApp. Cool, isn't it?

The savior

This is particularly helpful when you're busy and can't respond to customer messages immediately.

For example, when a customer sends you a message asking about your store's opening hours, your trusty auto-reply kicks in and lets them know when they can drop by.

Why Use Auto Reply on WhatsApp?

When you use auto-reply on WhatsApp, you're making the customer experience even better. You don't have to worry about missing a message or having customers get frustrated because they can't get in touch with you.

All the messages are automatically replied to with pre-written messages, which makes it super easy for them to get all of their questions answered without any effort on your part.

Happy customers = Happy business.

Here are some of the important reasons why you have to use auto reply on WhatsApp:

1. Keeps your customers updated about your availability

Your customers should know when they can get in touch with you. 

Auto reply on WhatsApp lets them know when they can expect a response from you and what time zone you're in so they have an idea of how long it might take for their message to be answered.

2. Saves time and increases efficiency

While you may have only nine-to-five availability, your customers will likely interact with businesses at their convenience rather than yours. 

If your business fails to interact with its customers for more than eight hours a day, it is leaving itself open not only for lost revenue opportunities but also reduced market share.

With auto replies, you can save precious time and energy that can be better spent on other important tasks. Instead of constantly checking and replying to messages, you can focus on growing your business or completing other projects.

3. Provides instant support

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect quick and efficient support. Auto replies on WhatsApp can provide instant assistance, even when you're not available. This can greatly improve customer satisfaction and help you maintain a positive brand image.

How to Set Up Auto Reply Messages on WhatsApp

You can set up auto-reply messages on WhatsApp via two methods:

  1. WhatsApp Business App
  2. WhatsApp Business API

The difference between both the steps is the features and the customization options that each method offers.

If you're using WhatsApp Business App, you have limited options where you can set up only the following messages:

  • Away schedule: You can set up the schedule for when you are away from your business. You can choose any time and date, and it will automatically send this message to people who try to reach you while that time is active.
  • Custom schedule: You can set up a custom schedule for when you are not available to receive messages. For example, if you have a meeting at 10 a.m. and want to let people know you are unavailable during that time, you can set up a custom schedule. You can also choose the days and hours when you don't want to receive messages.
  • Outside of business hours: You can set up an “outside of business hours” message to let people know you are not available to receive messages.

On the other hand, if you have a WhatsApp Business API, you can build a custom chatbot that can actually solve the problem of your users instead of just letting them know about your availability.

For example, if a customer wants to see your catalog or wants more information to select a product, you can build a chatbot that can help them to find what they are looking for. This will save you time and the cost of employing human resources.

How to Set Up Auto Reply Messages on WhatsApp Business App

If you are using a WhatsApp Business account and want to set up auto-reply messages, you need to follow the steps below.

  1. Go to your WhatsApp Business App on your phone and tap on Settings (gear icon) and select the option "Business tools."
  2. Select “Auto Reply” from the list of options available in the menu.
  1. Now enter your message, select a time slot when it will be sent automatically, and click on the “Ok” button.
  2. Now select when you want to send the message as per the "Away, Custom and Outside Business" as described above.
  1. Then select the recipients and click on the “Ok” button. You have successfully set up auto-reply messages in your WhatsApp Business account.

How to Set Up Auto Reply Messages on WhatsApp Business API

Though WhatsApp Business auto-reply is sufficient for sending "Away" messages, it's not sophisticated enough to send custom messages.

Just imagine what would happen when your customer needs a product recommendation and you are unavailable at that time. You would lose out on a sale, right?

To avoid this, you can use the WhatsApp Business API to set up auto-reply messages.

With WhatsApp Business API, you can automate everything from product recommendations to customer support. All you need is a trusted API provider like BiteSpeed

Here's how you can create an auto-reply system for your business with the WhatsApp Business API:

  1. Set up your account on BiteSpeed (if you haven't already).
  2. Get an API key and application ID from us.
  3. Then you can start building the workflow that will enable you to create an auto-reply system for your business.

Based on the workflow, your chatbot will work automatically to send out auto-reply messages to your customers.

You can customize the workflows as per your business needs and get a response within minutes. Here's an example from The Ayurveda Experience.

They have an auto-reply system built using the WhatsApp Business API. The workflow is triggered when someone sends them a message via WhatsApp and responds with an automated response.

What Can You Do With WhatsApp Chatbot?

There are a lot of things you can do with WhatsApp chatbot. It is all about using the right tools and techniques to achieve your goals. Here are some examples of how businesses have used their WhatsApp chatbot:

1. Instant response

You can use the chatbot to send automated responses. It's a great way to avoid being overwhelmed with customer service requests. For example, you can automate your responses to common questions and greetings. This way, your customers will get an instant response without having to wait for you.

For example, you can automate responses like "Where's my order" and more.

2. Personalized shopping experience

As a D2C brand, you can use a WhatsApp chatbot to offer a personalized shopping experience to your customers. The chatbot can analyze customer preferences, browsing history, and previous purchases to recommend products tailored to their needs and interests.

For example, your chatbot can suggest new arrivals or limited edition products based on a customer's favorite styles or colors.

3. Collecting customer feedback and insights

For D2C brands, understanding customer preferences and feedback is crucial for product development and improvement. A WhatsApp chatbot can help gather customer feedback through surveys, ratings, and reviews, providing valuable insights to guide your business decisions.

For example, your chatbot can ask customers about their satisfaction with a recent purchase, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and adjust your products or services accordingly.

WhatsApp Auto Reply Message Samples For Multiple Use Cases

Creating effective WhatsApp auto-reply messages can greatly improve your customer engagement and satisfaction.

Here are some sample auto-reply messages for various use cases inspired by the reference provided:

General Auto Reply Messages

Sample 1:

Hi there! Thanks for contacting [Business Name]. Our team will get back to you within 24-48 hours. If you need urgent assistance, please visit our website [website URL] or call us at [phone number]. Have a great day!

Sample 2:

Hello! We're currently experiencing a high volume of messages. We'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you're in a hurry, feel free to call us at [phone number]. Chat with you soon!

Out of Office/Holiday Auto Reply Messages

Sample 3:

Happy Holidays! Thanks for reaching out to [Business Name]. We're currently closed for the festive season and will be back on [date]. If you need assistance, please email us at [email address] or call us at [phone number]. Enjoy the holiday season!

Sample 4:

Hello! We're currently out of the office and will return on [date]. In the meantime, please visit our Help Center at [website URL] for answers to common questions. We'll get back to you as soon as we're back!

Out of Business Hours Auto Reply Messages

Sample 5:

Thanks for contacting [Business Name]! We're currently closed and will be back at [opening hour]. In the meantime, you can visit our Help Center at [website URL] for assistance. Talk to you soon!

Sample 6:

Hi there! Our business hours are from [opening time] to [closing time]. We'll get back to you as soon as we're open. For more information, please visit our website at [website URL]. Have a great day!

Event-Specific Auto Reply Messages

Sample 7:

Hi, thank you for contacting [Business Name]. We're currently experiencing some issues with our supply chain, which may affect your order delivery. Our team is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We'll keep you updated. If you have any other concerns, feel free to reach out. Thank you for your understanding!

Sample 8:

Thank you for reaching out to [Business Name]. Our servers are currently down for maintenance until [time]. During this time, you may not be able to access our website. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you updated on our progress. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

These samples should give you a good starting point for crafting your own auto-reply messages for various situations.

Wrapping Up

Auto reply has its advantages in instantly responding to customers but still requires manual effort for each message. Imagine if you could automate this process, freeing up time for more important tasks.

That’s where BiteSpeed comes in; it's a solution that transforms customer messages into leads, ultimately increasing your business revenue. It all begins with a WhatsApp chatbot or other opt-in tools, allowing customers to receive automated messages from your company.

You can create a chatbot script that automatically replies to customer messages with pre-written responses and pertinent content. This approach fosters trust with new leads while simultaneously driving sales.

Encourage customers to make purchases by sending them discounts and special offers. If they abandon their cart, inquire about the reason and provide a discount code to complete their purchase—all without any manual intervention.

Once they become loyal customers, ask for reviews, cross-sell products and generate more sales. BiteSpeed covers all aspects of the sales process, from making a sale to retaining customers. But the benefits of BiteSpeed don't end there.

In just a few minutes, you'll gain access to a wealth of features designed to help you derive even more value from your existing customers.

Eager to uncover all the intriguing details? Schedule a stress-free demo with us, and we'll share the secrets of propelling your business forward using powerful strategies. 

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