Thanks for your requests and comments here.
Our team has been researching what we can do with WhatsApp and have come back with the following potential points of concern:
1. WhatsApp say they restrict the number of businesses that have access to the WhatsApp API (Reference: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/26000171/?category=5245235), and that access to the API is restricted to Medium and Large businesses only. What have your experiences been in relation to this?
2. Twilio may be an easier path for getting access, albeit Paid access with per message sending costs, however, Twilio states that use must adhere to the WhatsApp Commerce Policy. The WhatsApp Commerce Policy states that WhatsApp Messaging cannot be used by businesses that transact in the sale of, including renewals and upgrades, of digital content, digital subscriptions, or digital accounts (Reference: https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/commerce-policy/). We believe that web hosting would fall under this category. What are your experiences related to this?
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This Gap needs to be Filled Please Consider it
As mentioned before and with the new WhatsApp Business Cloud API - I think WHMCS should add a way to send and receive WhatsApp message directly via the WHMCS's ticket system.
This is the general Idea:
1. Receiving a message from a client / contact:
- When a customer sends us a WhatsApp message, he will receive an automatic reply with a welcome message + a request to select if he want to open a new ticket or if he is referring to an existing one.
- If the client choose to open a new ticket, he will be asked to provide his full name + email address + phone number (unless the phone number is accessible via the WhatsApp message) + The subject of this new ticket + his message to us. The system will open a new ticket with all the relevant information on behalf of the client just as if he have sent us an email (so if there is a client related to his details the ticket will be opened on the relevant client – and if there is a contact associate with the provided information the ticket would be opened on the contact etc. again everything as if we got this as an email from the customer.)
- If the customer choose to add his new message to a preexisting ticket, The system will try to search his phone number as a client or as a contact and if there is a mach he will receive a list with all the tickets related to him (he is the owner or he is CC on the ticket etc.) and in a preselected statuses. In this list he will see the subject of the tickets found. There will be a way in the settings to select the relevant amount of tickets to show in such a list and the relevant statuses to show (Open / Customer Reply or All Active Tickets etc.) . Also, in the settings there will be a way to trim the subject of the tickets that will be shown in the message and to select the number of characters of such a subject.
- The customer will be able to choose the relevant ticket to add his message to (again only a ticket he is the owner or CC to) – or to open a new ticket instead.
If there are no such ticket that follow the module settings – there will be a message (based on a new “email template” ) informing him that no open ticket was found and then offer him to open new ticket instead.
- If the customer selected a ticket his new whatsapp message will be added to the ticket as if he replied to the ticket via email (the ticket status will be changed to customer reply, It will be added to the client area etc.)
-The background color of a whatsapp message from a client will be different then a regular email so it will be clear that this message originated from whatsapp.
- Any other message will be added to the same ticket for a 24 hours window from the last client message. After 24 hours he will be asked again to choose the relevant ticket.
- At any time the customer will be able to send a special “code” to reset the process and select if he want to start over from selecting if he want to open a new ticket or update an existing one.
- The customer will be able to add to his messages text, images , links, contacts or any other message as if he was sending it to another client that use whatsapp.
- Any message read by the automatic system will get the 2 blue check marks. The actual message that got inside the ticket will get the 2 blue check marks only after replying to the client.
2. Sending a message to a client / contact:
- During a 24 hours since we got a message from a client we are able to send him any free message that we want including messages text, images , links, contacts or any other message as if he was sending it to another client that use whatsapp.
- Outside of the 24 hours since we got a message from a client we will be able to send only messages based on a predefined template that got approved by META.
- There should be a place in the ticket that will show a timer / counter with the time passed since the last time we got a message from a client / contact via WhatsApp and until the end of the 24 hours window.
- There should be a new button to the add reply tab in the ticket that will send the reply as an WhatsApp message.
- If the ticket was opened on/with a specific contact, the WhatsApp message will be sent to this specific contact’s phone number. The relevant field is under the Client Profile -> Contacts -> Phone Number.
- If the ticket was opened on a customer level (not on a specific contact) - the WhatsApp message will be sent to the client’s phone number. the relevant field is under Client Profile -> Profile -> Phone Number.
- If there is no number in the relevant fields that the WhatsApp message should be sent to - There will be an error message indicating that we should add a number to the relevant field (so if we the ticket was opened with a specific contact - and there is no number on his Client Profile -> Contacts -> Phone Number - there should be an error, even if there is a number on the client level under Client Profile -> Profile -> Phone Number - etc.)
- If the number is the relevant fields that the WhatsApp message should be sent to is not a mobile phone number or he does not use WhatsApp (so there is no way to send the WhatsApp message) There will be an error message indicating that we should update the number to the relevant field. Again each type of ticket (with or without a specific contact) have a relevant field - so if we the ticket was opened with a specific contact - and there is no mobile number on his Client Profile -> Contacts -> Phone Number - there should be an error, even if there is a mobile number on the client level under Client Profile -> Profile -> Phone Number - etc.)
- There will be an additional override field that we can use (in the ticket screen) to send an WhatsApp message to (directly from the ticket and without changing the "Client Profile -> Contacts -> Phone Number " or "Client Profile -> Profile -> Phone Number"). This field will be used as an ad hoc option to send WhatsApp message to a specific number via the ticket system – regardless if the ticket was opened with or without a specific contact and regardless of there is a mobile number in the relevant field.
- Each WhatsApp message (sent or revived) will be added to the regular correspondence (like regular mail) according to the relevant date / time. There will be a clear indication in the ticket correspondence list that this specific reply (from us to the contact / customer – or from the contact /customer to us) was sent or received via WhatsApp message and indicate the relevant phone number that the SMS was sent / received from.
- When sending such WhatsApp message , the “Global Email Signature” (under Setup -> General Settings -> Mail -> Global Email Signature) will not be added to the WhatsApp message– only the characters in the add reply tab will be sent.
- When sending or receiving WhatsApp message there will be an indication in the specific ticket log that will show the relevant information regarding this action. Also If there is a problem with sending the SMS – there should be an error message indicating the problem.
What do you think?
Now it's really easy to add WhatsApp to any system via the new WhatsApp Business Cloud API.
Please add it to WHMCS both as a template approved (by meta) reminders and notifications and both as a multichannel way to communicate with clients via the ticket system.
Meta / Whatsapp changed the process a lot and beginning May 2, 2022, any businesses can start messaging customers after completing the Embedded Signup or On Behalf Of (OBO) onboarding processes. Business verification and display name review will no longer be needed to get started onto the WhatsApp Business Platform. The WhatsApp account checks will be triggered automatically and conducted asynchronously. After sign-up, your business can:
Respond to unlimited customer-initiated conversations in 24-hour messaging windows.
Send business-initiated conversations to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period per phone number.
Register up to 2 phone numbers.
Once the sign-up flow is complete and all the business profile information is captured, the certificate will be available for download. With unlimited responses to customer-initiated conversations, your business can immediately respond to customers’ questions, such as recent orders or new products.
See more information here:
Also this is an example on integration done by Pipedrive and WhatsApp by Twilio:
Some people's email addresses will not receive new emails because they may be full or have other issues.
In any case, people will be checking WhatsApp very often and will be engaging back.
I recently started sending WhatsApp notifications manually only for invoice due reminders, and I started seeing that they are immediately renewing their services compared with the email notifications.
Unlike email, WhatsApp is personal and direct. It has some emotional connections than emails.
1. People can chat you back, so you would need to be able to answer them into WHMCS
2. There are template messages and session messages, and a 24 hours window for answers
3. People can send and receive multimedia messages like files, voice messages, images and so on, so that would need to be managed somehow