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Vtiger CRM - WhatsApp Integration via Twilio

Use Vtiger CRM to integrate Twilio number with WhatsApp and send messages.
B
Bindu Rekha Babu
9 Mar, 2021 - Updated 1 month ago

Introduction

 

Are you a Vtiger CRM customer using Twilio? 
Finding it tedious to send WhatsApp messages to your customers using your phone?
Worry no more!
Viger now lets you integrate your CRM with Twilio and Whatsapp! 

 

You can now connect with all your WhatsApp contacts, no matter where they are directly from the CRM! Yes, you heard us right.
You can:

  • Send and receive WhatsApp messages to and from your contacts directly from the CRM. 
  • Customize your messages and relate them to different modules in the CRM. 
  • Attach documents such as invoices, quotes, etc., as WhatsApp messages.
  • Send notifications and alerts such as changes in quotations, due dates, and offers.
  • Send standard messages like season’s greetings.
  • Use standard templates for your messages or create your own. 

WhatsApp + Twilio integration on Vtiger CRM is available for the following modules:

  • Cases
  • Contacts
  • Deals
  • Internal Tickets
  • Invoices
  • Quotes
  • Vendors
 

Note:

  • Contacts and Vendors modules: Send messages directly to the phone number of the contact or vendor.
  • For other CRM modules: Send messages to the phone number of the related contact listed in the CRM.
 

Want to know how to use WhatsApp through Vtiger CRM? Read through and find out how.

 

Prerequisites

Please read the following before we begin with the configuration process:

  • To integrate your Twilio number with WhatsApp, you need to have a Facebook Business Manager account. 
  • If you already have a Facebook Business Manager account, look for your Business Manager ID in the Business Settings > Business Info section.
  • If you do not have a Facebook Business Manager ID, click here to create one.
  • WhatsApp uses approved Business Manager accounts to identify your business and associate your phone numbers with it.
  • Once WhatsApp approves your Twilio numbers, you will need to provide your Facebook Business Manager ID to Twilio as well.
  • Twilio requires your business account to be validated by Facebook. Only those accounts validated by Facebook are approved for WhatsApp messaging.
 

Connecting Twilio and WhatsApp 

To begin with, you must have a Twilio as well as a  WhatsApp account. And then you need to connect the two.
Follow these steps to connect Twilio with WhatsApp:

  1. If you do not have a Twilio account, get one from here.
  2. Enable your WhatsApp account.
  3. Submit your Twilio number(s) to WhatsApp for approval. 
    • All customers who wish to create their profiles require approval from WhatsApp.
    • Twilio numbers you submit also need approval from WhatsApp, and the approval process may take a little time. Learn about the details here.
  4. To enable the integration in Vtiger, you will need the following information from Twilio : 
  • Account SID
  • Token
  • WhatsApp From Number

Configuring WhatsApp on Twilio

After you have bought and set up your Twilio account, you need to configure WhatsApp on the Twilio Console. To send and receive messages WhatsApp messages from the registered Twilio number, you also need Vtiger instance URL in Twilio. Let us see how.
Follow these steps to configure WhatsApp from your Twilio console:

  1. Go to the Twilio homepage
  2. Click Programmable SMS
  3. Click on WhatsApp
  4. Click on the Senders option. WhatsApp: 1234XYZ Configuration window opens
  5. Add the Vtiger instance URL in Twilio. This helps you to send and receive messages from Vtiger CRM
  6. Enter the following details:
    1. CONFIGURE WITH: Select Webhooks
    2. Note:
      The following fields will be displayed on the screen, 'Webhook URL for incoming messages' and 'Status Callback URL' fields. Enter the following URL for these fields:

      https://company.od2.vtiger.com/modules/Whatsapp/callbacks/Twilio.php.
      For
      example, if your instance URL is https://grasspods.od2.vtiger.com, then the callback URL that needs to be configured in Twilio will be https://grasspods.od2.vtiger.com/modules/Whatsapp/callbacks/Twilio.php.
  7. Enter the following information:
    1. Webhook URL for incoming messages: Enter the URL (https://grasspods.od2.vtiger.com/modules/Whatsapp/callbacks/Twilio.php)
    2. Status Callback URL: Enter the URL (https://grasspods.od2.vtiger.com/modules/Whatsapp/callbacks/Twilio.php)
  8. Click Save
Note: If this link is not copied from settings and added, you will not receive messages from your contacts.

 

Installing WhatsApp

You have added the Vtiger instance on Twilio. Next, let us connect all three to the CRM.
If you have not seen the WhatsApp icon on your CRM, it is because WhatsApp is not available by default. You can install it yourself in just a few clicks.
Follow these steps to install WhatsApp:

  1. Click on the Main Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Go to the Extensions section.
  4. Click on WhatsApp.

After installation, the WhatsApp icon () is visible in:

  • The List View of every record in these modules - Contacts, Vendor, Deals, Invoices, Quotes, Cases, and Internal Tickets
  • The Summary View under More > Reach out now > WhatsApp
  • The Summary View sidebar

 

Configuring WhatsApp in Vtiger CRM

Once you have installed WhatsApp, you need to configure the details and add Twilio as a service provider for WhatsApp in the CRM.

Follow these steps  to configure details:

  1. Go to the Main menu.
  2. Click the Essentials tab.
  3. Click Conversations.  
  4. Click WhatsApp. The List View displays all available records for WhatsApp messages.
  5. Click Settings on the top right corner.
  6. Click the + Add button.
  7. Enter information for the following in the Add Config window:
  • Provider (Service provider): Select Twilio from the drop-down.
  • Active: Select Active user.
  • Account ID: Enter the account ID provided by Twilio at the time of sign-up.
  • Token: Enter the token number provided by Twilio at the time of sign-up.
  • WhatsApp from Number: Enter the number you will use to send WhatsApp messages from.
 

Note: From the WhatsApp > Add Config window:

  • You can add a new service provider. Currently, only Twilio is available to send your WhatsApp messages.
  • You can also edit the configuration of an existing service provider.


 

Using WhatsApp

Now that you have signed up for WhatsApp with your Twilio number let us see what kind of messages you can send to your customers. Currently, you can:

  • Type and send individual text messages.
  • Use standard message templates to communicate with your customers. In some cases, you can create standard message templates. You can use these templates for different customers and avoid typing individual messages.
  • Reply to those messages sent by your customers (in the last 24 hours).

Some examples of WhatsApp messages are:

  1. Do you have a new product line you want to talk about? Send a teaser using a WhatsApp message to your customers.
  2. Want to send a quotation to a customer? Send him a notification and attach the quote as a PDF along with a message.
  3. Is it that time of the year again? Send Season's Greeting and New Year Wishes to all your customers.
 

Note: Standard message templates need to be approved by WhatsApp. 


 

Creating and Setting up Message Templates

Tired of typing and sending standard messages like season's greetings over and over again? You can avoid this hassle by creating standard message templates for your WhatsApp messages.

For example, your company has developed a new product line of paints that reflects changing seasons, and you want to share it with your customers. What if your customer list is enormous, and they want to see the catalog? Well, not to worry, you can use Vtiger CRM's WhatsApp Integration module to send your message.

Just create a standard message that will include a salutation, add the message, and attach the relevant catalog along with your message. Viola, you will be sending the new catalog in a jiffy to your contacts.

Creating and setting up standard message templates is a two-step process.

  • First, create a standard message template on your Twilio console and get it approved from WhatsApp to use it from your CRM.
  • Secondly, add the approved template in the WhatsApp Templates option in Vtiger CRM.
 

Step 1: Setting a standard message on the Twilio Console:

Follow these steps to add standard message templates on the Twilio console and get them approved from WhatsApp:

  1. Log in to the Twilio website using your Twilio credentials.
  2. Click on Programmable SMS.
  3. Click on WhatsApp.
  4. Click on the Sender window.
  5. Scroll down to the Message Template section.
  6. Click on the + icon to create a new template.
  7. Update details in the New WhatsApp Template window.
    • Type the required message in this window so that WhatsApp approves it.
  8. Click Save.
  9. The Message Templates section displays approved templates.
  10. Copy the approved message you created and paste it into the WhatsApp template record in the CR.

Step 2: Creating a WhatsApp template in the CRM (for the approved message).

Note: Copy the approved message from the Twilio console and keep it ready.

Follow these steps to create standard message templates:

  1. Go to the Main menu.
  2. Go to Tools.
  3. Click on the WhatsApp Templates option.
  4. Click the + Add Template button.
  5. Enter the following details in the Create WhatsApp Template window:
    • Message Textbox on the left:
      • Remember the approved message you had copied from Twilio? Paste the message in this textbox.
      • The standard message displays certain numbers in brackets. Replace these numbers with actual merge tags in the template.
    • The fields on the right side of the window:
      • Template Name: Enter the name of the template
      • Assigned To: Select the employee the template is assigned to
      • Module: The module the template is attached to. For example, you can create templates for Invoices or another for Deals, and so on.
      • Merge Fields: You can select and add standard merge fields from this section. For example, you can choose salutation, phone numbers, primary email addresses, etc. They will appear in the message textbox.
        • The Message Textbox on the left displays standard messages along with numbers in brackets. Replace these numbers with merge fields.
  6. Click Save.

The new template will appear in the WhatsApp Templates List View.

Remember, WhatsApp needs to approve all standard message templates you create before you can use them.  

 

Messaging with WhatsApp

Now that you have installed WhatsApp, and created standard templates, let us see how you can send and receive messages using the CRM. The WhatsApp icon appears on the screen in:

  • The List View of every record in these modules - Contacts, Vendor, Deals, Invoices, Quotes, Cases, and Internal Tickets
  • The Detail View > More 
  • The Detail View sidebar
 

Sending a WhatsApp Message

Follow these steps to send a WhatsApp message from your CRM.

From the List View (of different modules)

  1. Go to the List View of a module.
  2. Hover on the record you want to send a WhatsApp message to.
  3. Click on the WhatsApp icon that is visible on the extreme right of the screen.
  4. Enter or select the following in the Send WhatsApp Message window:
    • Essentials: Select a phone number to send the WhatsApp message.
      • Note: The number has to be a mobile number installed with WhatsApp to receive and send messages.
    • Select WhatsApp Template: Select a message template if you want to send a standard message. 
      • Note: You can select this option only if you have an approved template to choose from.
    • Message window: Type your message in this textbox. Don’t forget the following.
      • Make your message fun: You can include emojis in your message by clicking the emoji icon in the top right corner of the textbox.
      • Don't forget a document: You can upload documents with your message by clicking the Attach Files link.
      • The maximum size of a document you can attach is limited to 16 MB.
  5. Click the Send button.
 

From the Summary View of a record

  1. Click on a record to go to its Summary View.
  2. Click the More icon on the top right corner of the screen. 
  3. Look for WhatsApp under Reach out now.
  4. Click on the WhatsApp option.
  5. Enter or select the following in the Send WhatsApp Message window:
    • Phone Number: Select a phone number to send the WhatsApp message
      • Note: The number has to be a mobile number installed with WhatsApp to receive and send messages
    • Select WhatsApp Template: Select a message template if you want to send a standard message. 
      • Note: You can select this option only if you have an approved template to choose from.
    • Message window: Type your message in this textbox. Don’t forget the following.
      • Make your message fun: You can include emojis in your message by clicking the emoji icon in the top right corner of the textbox.
      • Review the formatting options available when you type your message.
    • Attaching a document: You can upload documents with your message by clicking the Attach Files link.
      • The maximum size of a document you can attach is limited to 16 MB.
    • Click Send. 
 

Note

  1. You cannot edit message templates in this window.
  2. You can attach only one file (or document) per message.  
 

Sending a Print Template with your Message 

Consider the following case: Have you ever booked a ticket on a travel or ticketing portal? On booking a ticket, you will have received a confirmation message on your WhatsApp number along with a PDF form of a ticket.

Similarly, you can send a document, perhaps an invoice to your customer, with your WhatsApp message.

  • To do so, select the Print Template option while sending a WhatsApp message.
  • On selecting this option, the CRM generates a PDF document and attaches it to the WhatsApp message.
  • To learn more about Print Templates, click here.

Note: The Print Template option is enabled only for the following modules - Deals, Quotes, Invoices, Cases, and Internal Tickets.
 

Message Formatting Options

Apart from sending plain text messages, you can also format the content in your WhatsApp messages. Below are the text formatting options available in WhatsApp:

  1. For Bold: Use Asterisk (*). For example, your total is *$10.50* > $10.50
  2. For Italics: Use Underscore (_). For example, Welcome to _WhatsApp_! > Welcome to WhatsApp!
  3. For Strike-through: Use Tilde (~). For example, This is ~better~ the best! > This is better the best!
  4. For Code or Pre-formatted text: Use three backticks (```). For example, ```print "Hello World";``` > Hello World.

 

List View of the WhatsApp Module

The List View of the WhatsApp module displays the list of all WhatsApp messages that have been sent and received. From the List View, you can:

  1. Check sent and received messages.
  2. Check the status of messages.
  3. Open individual messages to view details.

The Activity section of individual records displays the details for each record.


Status of WhatsApp Messages
WhatsApp messages are visible in the following statuses in the List View: 

  1. Sent
  2. Received
  3. Delivered
  4. Read
  5. Queued
  6. Undelivered

WhatsApp Messages from Workflows
You can now create workflows in the CRM for certain WhatsApp messages.
For example, you have sent your maintenance team to service ACs for your customers. The maintenance crew alerts you once a service is completed. You can create a standard template and set up a workflow to send the invoice to customers once a service is completed.

To set up a workflow for a WhatsApp message, select Actions > Send WhatsApp messages.
To know more about Workflows, click here.

WhatsApp Messages for Approvals

You can also create WhatsApp messages send approval notifications required for certain processes in the CRM. Approval notifications tell the receiver whether a request submitted was approved or rejected.

For example, if one of your salespersons submitted a Quote with a considerable discount for approval, as a Manager, you can send a WhatsApp message saying the discount was rejected. 

To know more about Approvals, click here.

Limitations 

There are certain limitations to using WhatsApp with your CRM. They are:

  • You can type a message to a customer if he has sent you a WhatsApp message in the last 24 hours; otherwise, you can send only approved WhatsApp messages outside 24 hours.
  • You can send only one media file at a time.
  • You cannot send a media file greater than 16MB.
    • Supported media formats are:
      • Images  - JPG, JPEG, PNG
      • Audio - MP3, OGG, AMR
      • Documents - PDF
      • Video - MP4 (with H.264 video codec and AAC audio)

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