WhatsApp Chatbot for Auto-Reply: All You Need To Know

Updated: Oct 20, 2021


Orai's blog on WhatsApp chatbot for auto-reply.
WhatsApp chatbot for auto-reply

It’s hard to respond to every customer all the time when you’re on WhatsApp, right?! You can’t have a team available 24*7 to reply to requests, queries, and questions. This is why WhatsApp gives you the ability to send auto-replies. But there are many options and choices around how to set auto-reply in WhatsApp Business.


Here, we’ll tell you all about auto-reply for WhatsApp along with the unique ways you can use a WhatsApp chatbot for auto-reply.


So, let’s start!

3 Ways of Sending Auto-Reply for WhatsApp

1. WhatsApp Business App


With the business app of WhatsApp, you can use a single device to engage with customers, collect feedback, and provide valuable notifications. You can also inform your customers when you’re not available to communicate and connect with them later.

2. WhatsApp Business API


With a WhatsApp Business API, you can use multiple devices at once and set up automated conversations with customers. It allows you to design message templates and fix times when you want to auto-respond with them.

3. WhatsApp Chatbot


When you enable your WhatsApp Business API with an artificial intelligence chatbot, it can automate all kinds of responses for you 24*7. A WhatsApp chatbot can answer questions, respond to requests, and resolve queries day and night, at any scale.


Recommended Reading: 7 things to consider while choosing the best chatbot for business

Sending Auto-Reply for WhatsApp with its Business App


If you use WhatsApp Business App, it lets you send “away messages” based on when you or your representative is not online for a live chat.


These messages help you respond to requests from customers that come beyond 9-to-5 working hours. You can pick specific timings based on your working hours to set up auto-replies for your WhatsApp Business.


It begins with the selection of receivers of such a message. You can create one-away message for everyone or define specific groups of customers for the same.


Then, you need to define a time and function for which your auto-reply would reach customers. Hence, whenever a customer tries to connect with you via WhatsApp beyond working hours, he/she will receive an auto-reply message.

How to schedule away messages:


There are 3 main options for scheduling auto-reply on WhatsApp:


1. After business hours


This includes timings beyond your pre-defined business hours. So, the auto-responses can be triggered for customers who sent a message after business hours.


2. Custom time-frame


WhatsApp also allows you to pick customized timeframes to send automated away messages. An away message reaches every customer who tries to connect within this particular timeframe pre-defined by you.


3. Schedule for always


This option is effective when you are unavailable to talk to customers for days.

4 ways to choose the receivers of your auto-replies:


Along with timings, here’s how you can choose the recipients of your auto-reply on WhatsApp:


1. All


You can send one automated message to all customers as per the pre-defined business hours.


2. All selected


You can select customers from a list and schedule auto-reply only for them.


3. All outside the address book


You can set up auto-replies for all customers who are not included in your contact address book.


4. All except the selected ones


You can also send an auto-reply to everyone except the ones you select to exclude.


After selecting all your options, you can save the changes. Also, make sure that you keep your internet connection active in order to allow auto-response messages to reach your customers.

Cons of using auto-reply for WhatsApp Business App:


There are several limitations with WhatsApp Business App that can be a problem for you:


  • It doesn’t help you with lead generation, customer engagement, and support.

  • Messaging features are suitable for very small businesses only.

  • You always have to keep your internet connection active to send auto-replies.

  • You can’t get a Green Badge of verified account with WhatsApp Business App.

  • There is no customizability in WhatsApp Business.

  • You have to pre-define timings in order to trigger auto-replies.

Most importantly, you lose a lot of business to your competitors if you’re available to chat only for 8 hours per day.


To tackle all these disadvantages, you can use WhatsApp chatbot for auto-reply, which requires you to have your own WhatsApp Business API.

Using WhatsApp Chatbot for Auto-Reply with WhatsApp Business API


An artificial intelligence chatbot provides an automated communication platform. It can mimic humanlike conversational abilities with the help of intelligent technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Understanding (NLU).


You can have a WhatsApp chatbot to respond to customers who visit your site, social media pages, app, or any other channel 24*7. A talk with an AI chatbot will offer the best conversational experience to users.


While WhatsApp Business App lets you send only an “away message”, WhatsApp chatbot can answer customer queries even when you’re not there.


Let’s take an example:


Suppose a customer sees an ad for a leather jacket on Facebook at night and wants to ask questions regarding its color and size. He clicks on the WhatsApp button and reaches the Business App only to find an auto-reply “our store is closed; you can drop a message between 9 AM –