I was looking at various options available to integrate WhatsApp with Salesforce for one of the requirements in my projects. In this article, I will be sharing my findings with pros and cons for each method and also the best solution out there in the market.
Basically, there are 2 ways to integrate WhatsApp (in fact any app) with Salesforce:
- The traditional way of doing it – “API Integration”
- Find an App from AppExchange
1. WhatsApp API Integration
Using WhatsApp Business API providers, you can directly integrate with SOAP or REST APIs. All the transactions happen through API calls between WhatsApp and Salesforce.
- Integration using APIs takes a lot of time and resources
- Need to build everything from scratch – lightning components/VF pages, apex triggers, apex classes, scheduled jobs, etc.
- Any change in a template requires coding, testing, deployment.
- Scheduled messages, real-time triggered messages, bulk messages need to be handled separately.
- Feature additions, deployment management is another headache altogether.
- Not to forget writing test classes, bulkifying (is there such a word?) apex code adds more effort.
- Low text messages price (but in the long run it becomes costly when you include development efforts and the time spent to make changes)
2. Install an App from AppExchange
You can install an app from AppExchange into Salesforce to get the features that you are looking for and automate everything in a few hours. There are not many Apps available in the AppExchange though for Salesforce. Lets looks the Pros and Cons of going by this method before I review the best App out there.
- Pre-built templates (similar to Email templates) are available in the apps to send messages to your WhatsApp customers.
- These apps come with pre-built features like single text, bulk texts, sending texts from workflow or process builder, etc
- No development efforts required.
- Time-saving and easy to configure.
- Cost of messages looks high (but the overall costs involved in this method is very low compared to the API integration method)
- Additional project-specific features need to be requested from the App developer.
ValueText App is surely one of the best Apps out there in AppExchange if you are looking to integrate WhatsApp with Salesforce. ValueText App has many features which can fit for any industry or domain. In under an hour, you will be able to install and configure some basic use cases.
Some of the great features that are available in this App:
- Send a single text, bulk text, text from reports
- Text from workflow or process builder
- Chat window, Chat History
- Personal inbox with alerts
- Inbound actions
- Text templates
What’s cool? The app is Lightning ready and there’s a 15-day trial version too. Get the app here – https://appexchange.salesforce.com/appxListingDetail?listingId=a0N3A00000EFoedUAD
Most liking feature in the App is it supports both SMS & WhatsApp and you can define the priority and order of execution of communication channel.
Use Case – Bots
Let’s look at one of the use cases I implemented using the Bots feature.
When a case closed in Salesforce, an automatic WhatsApp or SMS text will go to the customer based on the configuration I setup. Here’s the Bot flow.
Chat window on Activity tab (you can chat using SMS or WhatsApp in real-time)
There are really cool features like Single messages component on details pages where you can easily send a text, access chat window and view history of each record.
Lightning Component on the Activity tab
Do let me know in comments if you have tried ValueText App or any other apps for Whatsapp integration.