How To Article

WhatsApp Auto Reply: A Guide to Auto Reply WhatsApp

Stephanie Yap
Content Writer, Respond.io
June 22, 2022

Want to set up WhatsApp auto reply for your business? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain what auto reply WhatsApp is and how to set up auto replies on WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API.

What are Auto Replies on WhatsApp

Auto reply in WhatsApp is a feature that enables businesses to send automated messages when they are not available to respond to incoming WhatsApp messages.

This image describes the two types of auto replies you can send on WhatsApp. There are greeting messages and away messages. You don't need a WhatsApp auto reply bot to send WhatsApp auto reply message.
Two types of WhatsApp Auto Replies

There are two common types of auto reply messages for WhatsApp:

  • Greeting messages: Welcome messages that businesses send when customers initiate a conversation for the first time or after 14 days
  • Away messages: Messages that automatically respond to customers outside of business hours

As a business owner, auto reply messages are a handy feature. In the next section, we’ll explain how it benefits your business.

Why Use Auto Reply WhatsApp?

People expect communication via instant messaging to be immediate, no matter the time of day. However, this isn’t always possible due to limited operating hours, shortage of manpower, long waiting queues and more.

WhatsApp has rolled out a solution in the form of auto replies. Not only can businesses inform customers of their availability, but they can also improve response times and thus, increase customer satisfaction.

This image talks about the benefits of using WhatsApp auto reply for your business, including manage customers' expectations, make a strong first impression and collect customer information. Want to learn how to send auto reply in WhatsApp? Read on to find out.
The benefits of using WhatsApp auto reply message

There are many upsides to using auto replies for WhatsApp, including:

  • Set response time expectations by informing customers about your availability
  • Make a strong first impression on new customers with a warm welcome message
  • Collect customer information with a pre-chat survey for agents to follow up on the conversation

Now that we’ve laid down the benefits of using auto reply for WhatsApp, let’s take a look at how to set up auto reply on WhatsApp.

How to Set Up Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business Solutions

Auto replies are created for businesses to assure customers that they’re not neglected by managing response time expectations and improving the customer experience, it’s only available for WhatsApp Business solutions.

Businesses can set up auto replies for inbound messages on WhatsApp via:

This image shows that businesses can set up auto replies for inbound message on WhatsApp via WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp Business API. Want to send the best auto reply message for WhatsApp? Read on to find out how.
How to set up WhatsApp auto replies

Next, we’ll walk you through the steps required to set up auto reply in WhatsApp. Let’s start with WhatsApp Business App.

How to Set Up Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business App

In this section, we’ll take you through the process of how to set up auto replies on WhatsApp Business App.

To set a greeting message, go to Business Tools, select Greeting Message, craft your message and save the changes. You can also choose who receives your greeting messages by including or excluding certain recipients.

this is an image that shows how to set auto reply. First, go to Business Tools, then select Greeting Message, craft your message and finally save the changes.
How to set up greeting message on WhatsApp Business App

To set an away message, go to Business Tools, select Away Message, write your message and save the changes.

this image describe the process of how to set away messages on whatsapp business api. First, go to business tools, select away message, edit the content and save the changes. And this is how you set auto reply for whatsapp business app.
How to set up away messages on WhatsApp Business App

There are three types of schedules you can set for away messages: Always send, on a custom schedule or outside your business hours. If you don’t know which to pick, we’d recommend starting with Outside of Business Hours – anytime a customer messages you after business hours, the away messages will be triggered and sent.

This feature has helped businesses increase customer engagement by offering reassurance that their messages have been received and you will eventually respond. Nevertheless, auto reply for WhatsApp Business App comes with a few drawbacks, including:

  • The inability to customize auto replies for different groups of recipients
  • Away message only works during predefined outside-of-business hours
  • The inability to support third-party software integration to provide further automation

At the end of the day, there’s only so much WhatsApp Business App can do. Its auto reply feature can only welcome a new customer and announce that your business is closed and when to expect a reply.

This is sufficient if you’re running a small business. But as your business grows, you’ll soon realize WhatsApp Business API is the way forward.

How to Create Auto Reply in WhatsApp Business API on respond.io

For larger businesses, you need a platform that offers advanced features to help with message automation – this is where WhatsApp Business API comes in.

With WhatsApp Business API, businesses can automate responses based on customers’ inquiries, capture customers’ information and automate sales and customer support, which in turn increases customer engagement and satisfaction.

Before you set up auto reply in WhatsApp Business API with respond.io’s Workflows Module, you’ll need a WhatsApp API Account connected to respond.io.

Now, follow the step-by-step on how to set up auto reply in WhatsApp Business API.

1. Search for Workflows on the side navigation menu and click on Add Workflow.

this image describes the first step to how to set up auto replies. first, you need to search for workflow on the left panel and click on add workflow.
Click Add Workflow to begin

2. Set the Workflow Trigger to Conversation Opened.

this image describes the second step on how to set auto reply on whatsapp business api using fr.respond.io. set the workflow trigger to conversation opened.
Set the Trigger to Conversation Opened

3. Add the Date & Time Step to set your business hours.

this image describes the third step in how to set auto reply for whatsapp business api using fr.respond.io. add the date and time step to set your business hours.
Set your business hours

Messages that are sent during business hours will fall into the Success Branch, while messages that are sent after business hours will go into the Failure Branch.

4. Click on the + button under the Success and Failure Branches to add Send a Message. Make sure you select WhatsApp as your channel. Finally, draft your greeting and away messages under Text.

this image describe the fourth step on how to set auto reply in whatsapp business api using fr.respond.io. Add the send a message under both success and failure branch. Make sure to select whatsapp as your channel. Finally, draft your greeting and away messages under text.
Add auto-reply messages for each Branch

To help you with your setup process, we’ve compiled a list of the best WhatsApp auto-reply message samples for your business.

5. Add the Ask a Question step to get hold of customers’ information so you can contact them at a later time.

this is an image that shows the final step of how to set whatsapp auto reply in whatsapp business api using fr.respond.io. Add the ask a question step to get hold of customers' information so you can contact them at a later time.
Ask for additional details if necessary

The responses can be saved as Variables, Contact Fields or Tags to be used in other parts of the Workflow. Once you’ve set up your Workflow, save and publish it.

Now that we’ve demonstrated how to set auto reply in WhatsApp, you can start sending WhatsApp auto reply messages with respond.io. Sign up and connect your WhatsApp API account to get started today.

Further Reading

Interested to find out more about how WhatsApp can benefit your business? Check out these articles below:

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