Connect WhatsApp to your Paldesk account and give your customers the option to reach your team directly from their phones. With over 1.5 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the number one messaging app on the planet. Link it with your Paldesk account to drastically increase your accessibility. Paldesk currently supports a direct WhatsApp integration (via Twilio) as well as Whatsapp as an external channel.
You can access the WhatsApp integration here, and learn how to set it up below!
WhatsApp via Twilio (direct integration with Paldesk)
To send and receive WhatsApp messages in Paldesk, you will need a Twilio Account and a Twilio number with SMS and MMS capabilities. Here’s how you should set it up:
Step 1. If you already have a WhatsApp business number, you can port your existing number to Twilio. It must be a Twilio registered number either way.
Step 3. Once your request has been approved, you should see your WhatsApp number under the “ProgrammableSMS – WhatsApp Enabled Senders” in your Twilio Console dashboard.
Image 1. Twilio console, Whatsapp enabled senders
Step 4. When you click on it, you should enter your WhatsApp Business Details. To send and receive messages with that number, you should add the Paldesk webhook (https://paldesk.io/api/twilio/webhook) to the “When a message comes in” field in your WhatsApp configuration.
Image 2. Paldesk webhook Twilio
Step 5. Finally, you will need to configure your WhatsApp integration via Twilio in Paldesk. Have your Twilio Number, Twilio Account SID, and Twilio AuthToken ready. You can find all this information on the main dashboard of your Twilio Console.
Note: The format of the phone number can only contain a “+” sign and numbers (no whitespaces or braces, slashes, or brackets).
Step 6. Copy your Account SID, Auth Token and your number and go back to your Paldesk dashboard.
Image 3. Information you’ll need to copy and then paste into Paldesk
Step 7. In your Paldesk dashboard, go to Administration – Channels – WhatsApp. Click on the + icon in the upper right corner to create a new Twilio integration.
Step 8. Paste the Twilio SID, Twilio AuthToken, and enter your Twilio number in the required fields. Finally, assign your new channel to a group of agents in your Paldesk team. You can also enter a welcome and a wait message that will be displayed to your customers when they start a new chat with your support team. Save changes when you’re done.
Image 4. New WhatsApp via Twilio configuration in Paldesk
Step 9. Go to Administration – Embeddable elements – Website widget – Channels tab. Select WhatsApp (via Twilio) and save changes. Once you’ve done that, a WhatsApp icon will appear on your chat widget.
Important: If you have previously added WhatsApp as an external channel, once you create a WhatsApp via Twilio integration, it will automatically replace the external channel in your widget administration. Your Twilio number will appear in the box (under “External channels”), instead of any other external WhatsApp number you may have previously linked to your Paldesk account.
Image 5. Your new WhatsApp via Twilio integration with Paldesk
How does the direct WhatsApp integration work?
When customers click on the icon, they will be redirected to the WhatsApp desktop / mobile app, and they can message your team directly from their WhatsApp account. Your linked business number will appear as the recipient, and they will be able to message your team directly from their WhatsApp app.
Image 6. New WhatsApp via Twilio message form the customer’s perspective
Your agents will be able to reply to WhatsApp messages directly from their Paldesk dashboard. Your agents will be able to see the sender’s number and respond directly from their Live. Here’s what that message will look like in your Paldesk account:
Image 7. New Twilio message in Paldesk
Since Twilio supports audio messages and images, your customers can send you voice messages, images, and files. Here’s what that looks like from their perspective:
Image 8. Customer sending you voice messages and images
Once they’ve sent you those attachments, your team will see them as links. When an agent clicks on a link, they’ll be able to access the image or voice message in a new window. For example:
Image 9. WhatsApp voice message in Paldesk
Twilio supports the following formats:
- Images: JPG, JPEG, PNG
- Audio: MP3, OGG, AMR
- Documents: PDF
- Video: MP4
Read more about it here.
A few important things to consider:
Firstly, WhatsApp messages in Paldesk are charged by Twilio according to their fees, and Paldesk has no responsibility for the charges from Twilio or price changes. You can see Twilio API for WhatsApp beta pricing here.
Furthermore, when a customer sends a message to your WhatsApp Business number, it opens a 24 hour time window in which you can freely send an unlimited number of messages to that customer.
Finally, in order to reply to customers who haven’t sent you a message within the last 24 hours, you’ll need to use WhatsApp approved message templates. You can read all about how to create and use templates in the official Twilio Docs.
WhatsApp as an external channel
If you don’t have a Twilio number, you can always add WhatsApp as an external channel. This means your visitors and clients can still reach out to you through WhatsApp, but the conversations will take place outside of Paldesk, directly in your WhatsApp desktop or mobile app. Here’s how you can set it up in two easy steps!
Step 1. Go to Administration – Embeddable elements – Website widget – Channels. After that, scroll down to external channels and check the box next to the Whatsapp label, as seen below:
Image 10. WhatsApp as an external channel
Step 2. Add your phone number and save changes. As a result, a WhatsApp icon will appear on your chat widget.
Image 11. WhatsApp on widget, as an external channel
Finally, when customers click on the WhatsApp icon on your widget, they will be able to send you a message from their WhatsApp account. However, if you add WhatsApp as an external channel, messages will not be forwarded to your Paldesk account, and you will be replying from WhatsApp instead.