One of the latest technological trends that is sounding strong are chatbots. Due to the increase in popularity, both marketers and developers are building and developing their own bots, in order to jump on the bandwagon of this trend that, far from being a fad, is here to stay. And behind every possibility of settlement of a technology (which although it sounds a lot now, it is not new at all), there are 3 questions: What is it, why do I need one and how do I create a chatbot? Let’s analyze each of these points.
What is a Chatbot?
Short answer: A program capable of simulating a human-to-human conversation.
Long answer: The Chatbot is a new way of communicating with customers that, when properly configured, has a number of advantages that can be key to the development, scalability and growth of a business. Through the use of natural language and conditionals, a chatbot’s algorithm is able to maintain a fluid conversation with a human.
Advantages of Chatbots
Although there are many, both for the interactor and for the one who configures it, I will summarize them in 3 points.
People are increasingly fleeing from complex interfaces. No more navigation between menus and question categories.
A chatbot is able to give you the answers you need instantly. To 10 or 1,000 people at a time.
Let the dogs tremble, a well-configured chatbot can be man’s new best friend.
5 Steps To Create A Chatbot From Scratch
To create a chatbot you can use different tools, either programmers’ own tools or non-code tools. The logic to create a chatbot from scratch is the same in all situations and you should follow these 7 steps:
1. Identify The Type Of Chatbot You Want To Create
First you must establish the reason why you are going to create this chatbot: What problem will it solve? How will it help you with your customers? By answering these questions you will be able to know if the best option is to create a chatbot with closed questions and answers or a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your users’ questions and offer the best answer. If it is your first time making a chatbot, it may be easier to create a chatbot with closed questions and answers and depending on the results and behavior of your users, then you can scale it to a model with artificial intelligence.
2. Choose a Platform To Create It
For the creation of a chatbot there are hundreds of platforms, in most cases they are paid but you can also find free versions with limitations that can work for you. We can divide the platforms according to the level of knowledge needed to use them. Here is a list of the most used ones.
- Hubspot (Basic)
- Zendesk (Basic)
- Landbot (Basic)
- Chatfuel (Advanced)
- Dialogflow (Advanced)
- Python (Very advanced)
3. Design the Conversation Flows
It is important that in a document you collect all the possible situations that your chatbot will face. All the questions it will solve, what information it needs to answer and the style in which it will respond. Once you have all this information, you can create a map that retraces the user’s path according to their questions. With this map the creation in the tool will be easier.
If you have chosen one of the non-code platforms, the creation of the conversation flows will be as simple as dragging and dropping elements, if you have chosen the more advanced options, you will have to delve into the documentation of each tool or even if you have chosen to make the chatbot with a programming language such as Python, you should look for frameworks such as gensim, PyNLPL or spaCY to help you in the creation.
4. Test the Chatbot
It is time for your chatbot to see the light, for this reason it is highly recommended that you test it with a group of people who can give you feedback on the answers or possible bugs that appear along the way. This test will also help you to identify gaps in the knowledge base of your chatbot and strengthen them.
5. Publish Your Chatbot
This may be the easiest step, however, not only should you publish it, but you should also create a maintenance plan. In this plan you should establish a schedule to evaluate the performance of the chatbot and the improvements you will make. It is also good that you generate different reports to help you better understand your user.