As a salesperson, you probably get a lot of inbound messages from new leads or existing clients asking for details about your products and services. But you may not always be available and ready to reply. Maybe you’re in the middle of an event, speaking with another client, or simply on-the-go.

Use autoresponders in the wrong way, and you risk looking dishonest and unreliable to your customer – and maybe even losing them to someone else.

To help respond to so many messages on WhatsApp, an automated response might sound like a good solution to you. Luckily, the WhatsApp Business application has two autoresponder options: Greeting Message and Away Message.

Greeting Message and Away Message, two autoresponders available on the WhatsApp Business application

These autoresponders don’t work in every situation. There are also right and wrong ways to use them. Use them correctly, and you buy yourself time. But if you do it wrong, you risk looking dishonest and unreliable to your customer. You might even lose them to someone else.

How do autoresponders work in WhatsApp Business? 🤓 ✏️

An autoresponder is a template message that is automatically sent to anyone who sends you a message.

On the WhatsApp Business application, a Greeting Message is a single pre-written message that is automatically sent when someone messages you for the first time or after 14 days of no activity.

Greeting Message, one of the autoresponders available on WhatsApp Business

The WhatsApp Business application’s Away Message is a single pre-written message that is automatically sent when someone messages you during your scheduled away time.

Away Message, one of the autoresponders available on WhatsApp Business

You can only use both of these features if the following things are true:

✅ You’re using the WhatsApp Business application, AND

✅ People are messaging directly on WhatsApp (e.g. someone got your number via a referral, or you’re generating leads a website or ads that Click-to-WhatsApp)

Now that you know what autoresponders look like on the WhatsApp Business application, how do you work with them in a way that helps your business?

❌ DON’T use your autoresponder to trick your customer into thinking they’re talking to a person

If you decide to auto-reply to your customer, make sure that your customer knows that they’re receiving a response from an autoresponder – and not a human.

It may seem like a good idea to use your autoresponder to make your customer feel like you are there to listen to them. But you may run into problems when your client responds to the message expecting a reply – but no one is there.

Bad examples of how to use a WhatsApp Business autoresponder.
Using an autoresponder to pretend that you’re available may seem like a good idea – until your client responds and finds that no one is there to help them.

It’s still important for you to develop a relationship with your client. Your client should feel like they can trust you to be there for them when they message you.

If they message the autoresponder and do not receive a response, it may make you look flaky or misleading.

Then what do you do? Is there a way to use an autoresponder that makes your client feel heard without leaving them expecting reply right away?

✅  DO make it obvious that your client is speaking with an autoresponder

The good news is that autoresponders can help you keep in contact with your clients! You should, as much as possible, try to personally reply to your customers when you are ready and available.

But since you can’t be available all the time, autoresponders can help by letting your lead know two things:

  1. You are temporarily unavailable, but will reply soon
  2. A short introduction to yourself, your products, or your services

This way, your client gets a response immediately. And the message lets them know that you’re there for them, even if you are not available to chat right now.

Good examples of how to use a WhatsApp Business autoresponder.
It’s okay to not be available 24/7, as long as your client knows when to expect your reply.

Because the message has a brief introduction to who you are and what you offer, they know that they messaged the right person.

This way, you can manage your leads more easily in a way that is convenient for you, without leaving them waiting for a reply.

Sounds good! But is there another way to automatically reach out to new leads via WhatsApp? 🤔

Now that you understand how you can use an autoresponder on the WhatsApp Business application, you may be wondering what comes next. The above tips only work if your client messages you first, on WhatsApp.

If you’re getting leads from other places, then you won’t be able to use the WhatsApp Business application’s autoresponder features. These places include

  • Your website contact form
  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • Google Ads
  • TikTok Lead Generation

But never fear! There are still ways to automatically receive and WhatsApp leads within seconds. We lay out those ways in this article here.

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Kylee became a writer out of unbridled curiosity for the world. Forever fascinated with the exchange between people and technology, she will talk your ear off about science and science fiction.