WhatsApp requires that you use a pre-approved template to reply to customers if more than 24 hours has elapsed since they contacted your WhatsApp business account. You'll create these templates in WhatsApp but you'll need to finish setting them up in eDesk. We'll show you how!

We recommend you set up your WhatsApp templates in eDesk when you connect your eDesk with your WhatsApp business account, so that they're ready to go if and when you need them. 


Before you start

 
  • You’ll need an Admin login to eDesk. If you don’t have an Admin login, you can request one from an Admin user within your business.

  • You'll need to have connected eDesk with your WhatsApp business account. See here for our step-by-step instructions.

 01 Why do I need WhatsApp templates?

WhatsApp ​​has a restriction called the “24 hour customer care window”. If you don’t reply to the customer’s message within 24 hours, WhatsApp won’t consider your reply to be a response to the customer, and will instead deem it a business-initiated conversation

You can’t use free text in business-initiated conversations with customers.  Instead, you’ll need to select and send a WhatsApp template in eDesk. Find out more about WhatsApp templates here. Additionally, your customer must have agreed to receive business-initiated messages from you - learn about customer opt-in here.

You should create at least one WhatsApp template for use in the event that you take more than 24 hours to reply to the customer or need to contact a customer proactively. You’ll create your templates in WhatsApp Business Manager or Business App, and they will show in eDesk automatically. A Message template can only be edited in WhatsApp, not in eDesk, and must be approved by WhatsApp before you can use it.

02 How do I create WhatsApp templates?

To create a new template, follow the instructions that WhatsApp provide here.

Once you save the template in WhatsApp, it will be displayed in eDesk. 

03 How do I complete the set up in eDesk?

Now that you have created your templates in WhatsApp, you need to complete the setup in eDesk so that you can use the templates to reply to customers in the eDesk ticket.

Most WhatsApp templates contain variables, which allow you to automatically include personalized information in the message such as the customer’s first name or order number. 

In the example below, the variables are {{1}}, {{2}}, and {{3}}, which will produce a message that reads something like This is your flight confirmation for BA-98 on 23/11/23 where {{1}} is populated by the airline code, {{2}} is populated by the flight ID, and {{3}} is populated by the departure date. 

Examples of a WhatsApp template that has variables.
You’ll need to tell eDesk what information to insert into each of these variables before you’ll be able to use this template. Sounds tricky? Nope. Everything’s easy with eDesk. 
 
  1. Go to Settings → Smart Tools →  Message Templates → General and select the template to open it. In the example below, the template is called Shipping Update and it is of type WhatsApp.
    Configuring variables in WhatsApp templates in eDeskIn the Message, Languages and Variables section, you’ll see the text that’s in the template; this is read-only. 

    In the WhatsApp variable section, you’ll see the WhatsApp variables listed and for each variable, a Status indicating whether the variable has been successfully mapped in eDesk, and a Mapping field - this is where you’ll tell eDesk what to insert into the message when it sees this variable. 
     
  2. If a variable represents the same information in every customer message - for example, {{1}} represents the name of the courier and you always use the same courier company, Sol Parcel Delivery - you just need to type this text into the Mapping field for {{1}}. In this case, you’d type in Sol Parcel Delivery.

    eDesk will insert this text into the message when it sees {{1}} in the template. You should see the status change to Mapping Complete when you’re done.
     
  3. If a variable contains different information for each customer, simply type the name of the eDesk customer snippet that contains this information. Learn all about snippets here. For example, where {{2}} represents the customer’s first name in the WhatsApp template, enter #consumer_firstname into the Mapping field for {{2}}. Again, the status should update to Mapping Complete when you’re done. 

    What snippets can you use? We include a list of supported customer snippets on screen to help you pick the right one. For a description of each snippet, see here.  If you don’t see a snippet that suits your variable, please contact the eDesk team to request a new snippet.
     
  4. If you want to restrict the template to particular types of messages, populate the fields in the Usage Conditions section.  You can ensure that your teammates can only select this template for customer messages that use a specific channel, ticket type, order status, order fulfilment status, delivery date, or that contain certain words or phrases.
     
  5. Select the Can only be used if the ticket has never had a reply checkbox if you want to allow this template to be used for the first response in a ticket only.
     
  6. Select Save changes.
    The WhatsApp template is now ready to use in eDesk.

Further Readings

 

If you would like to find out more about connecting WhatsApp with eDesk, see here.

If you're interested in learning more about connecting eBay with eDesk, see here.