Ever since facebook announced the launch of their Messenger bot platform, I have been eager to try my hands at building a chatbot. But I had two issues. First of all, I would have to learn about this new Chatbot API and secondly, I would need to take time out to code. So I jettisoned my chatbot dreams.
However, I came across a number of DIY chatbot platforms recently that lets everyday users create personal chatbots without needing to write a single line of code. I checked out a fes and I decided to try one of them called Bottr.me.
WHAT IS A CHATBOT?
Let me use this opportunity to quickly explain what a Chatbot it is for those new to this domain.
honestly…I am human
A chatbot is a service that is controlled by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence to conduct a two way conversation with a human partner via text or audio. The sign of a good chatbot is that a human partner cannot tell the difference between the chatbot and a human. Chatbots are used by organizations for the purposes of customer service and information acquisition.
Now on to the good stuff!!
Click to Start
One of the first things I noticed about Bottr.me was the simplicity of the landing page. You click on the big green button on the landing page and your bot creation process starts. It really is that simple and there is no need to create an account.
Zero To Bot in Ten Minutes
Before I started creating my bot, I really had no idea how long it would take. But as soon as I clicked the big green button and connected to my Linkedin account, I was already 50% done.
The next stage is to provide answers to a pre set number questions. The idea is that if a visitor should ask my bot any one of the pre set questions, then my bot can reply with a response. There is also the option add custom questions and answers for those special visitors who may ask random questions like ‘Can you cry under water?’
The platform is also smart enough to try and answer some of the default question set from information gathered from social media accounts.
Tweet As You Type…
Bottr.me has a cool feature that shares a tweet on your twitter timeline as you provide answers to questions. This is another great way to publicise your bot.
Bottr.me shares a tweet on my timeline
After you are done entering question and answers, your bot is ready!! The next thing to do is to publicize your chatbot and Bottr.me has a range of features for embedding your chatbot URL in your social media accounts, website and even in your email signature.
Hold up!! Where did my email signature go?
You have to be careful when choosing to embed your chatbot URL in your email signature because Bottr.me will replace your default email signature. I had to recreate my email signature
Is It Smart?
I wanted to find out if my bot could respond to the same question asked in a different manner. For example, during setup, i configured an answer to the question ‘How would you describe yourself?’ I tested the bot with questions like ‘Who are you?’, ‘Tell Me About Yourself’, ‘What do you do?’ and to my surprise, the bot was able to respond.
However, my personal bot had no idea how to respond when i asked ‘Who is Tolu Adelowo?’. Dammit bot…after all this time, you still don’t know me???……
The saving grace for this bot is that it gives visitors the option to invite you the chat if it cannot answer any question.
The Good Ol’ Dashboard
Once visitors start interacting with your Chatbot, dashboard has features to view chat history and stats. The dashboard is also where you will see those questions that your bot could not answer. You can go ahead and add more questions or edit your responses from here.
The Final Verdict
So there you have it, a quick and easy to create a chatbot for yourself and your organization without writing a single line of code. You can take my chatbot for a ride and ask it some questions here
It’s still too early to tell how useful my personal bot is but there is certainly a good use case to spend some time building a customer support bot that can be integrated to your site. Or if you are looking to be different, you can replace the FAQ section on your website with a chatbot.
Please do Tweet at me to let me know any other interesting use cases you find for your bot..