Human escalation path required

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

Making sure users on your WhatsApp service can find help from your team is now more important than ever.

If you've ever used an automated WhatsApp service you will know how frustrating it can be if you get stuck, need help with a complex issue and don’t know how to get in touch with someone. Without a reasonable human escalation path, where the dialogue is handled by a real person, it can be hard to resolve issues and get help.

Since November 2019 WhatsApp had a policy in place to encourage organisations to create human escalation paths on their WhatsApp services. In October 2020, Facebook increased their enforcement of this policy, making it clear to organisations that they’ll be limiting chat solutions that don’t include this path.

For WhatsApp, ensuring that all user queries are resolved is a priority, as it improves the overall user experience of the API. 

The bottom line? If you’re running a WhatsApp Business API chat service, you have to ensure that your automation experience complies with this policy to avoid disruption of your service.

Acceptable paths

Humans should be able to answer questions about information shared by a chatbot. Acceptable human-escalation paths currently include:

  • Directing conversations to human operators
  • Supplying a phone number, email address or web-support form
  • Prompting in-store visits (in the case of retail)

How the enforcement process works 

  • Every Facebook Business Account has a phone-level quality rating with WhatsApp. This determines how many business-initiated messages, or notifications, a phone number can send out. The quality rating is directly linked to how messages have been received by your customers in the past 24 hours.
  • Organisations that don’t have a valid human-escalation path may be flagged as “red” in terms of their quality rating. If this happens to you, your Business Service Provider will see an update in Business Manager and the team will notify you via email.
  • If the red quality rating is not resolved within 7 days of the flagged status, WhatsApp will limit the number of message templates you can send. 
  • If your organisation sends 1,000 or fewer templates a week, the quality rate limits won’t have an immediate impact. But, in future, you won’t be able to increase your template volume or start using templates if you don’t set a human-escalation path in place. 

How to appeal a low quality rating

If you feel that WhatsApp has made a mistake in reviewing your use of automation, you can appeal the decision and they’ll review your service once more. will facilitate the appeal process but you will need to provide information that will help the reviewers to understand what they might have missed. 

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