How to Create Your Own Chatbot

By Libby Mitchell, July 17, 2018

Timing is everything when it comes to customer service. But with customers reaching out at all hours, and on a variety of platforms, it can be difficult to respond in a timely manner. That is, unless you have a chatbot.

Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human interactions. At their most basic, chatbots can respond to key words with preprogrammed responses. More advanced bots use artificial intelligence to answer customer questions, point them toward pertinent information, or even provide entertainment until a human representative is available. Connect attendees can take advantage of our bot, Connie, at our events going forward.

The bot business is booming, which means there are many options when it comes to building one of your own. If you have experience with coding, you can use open source code from companies like IBM to structure your bot. If your coding needs a little help, you can use a platform like Botpress or Api.ai to get a framework. All of these are free resources, but can be difficult to navigate if looking at lines of code makes your eyes cross and you think python is just a type of snake.

If you need a bit more help many platforms, including Facebook, offer bot building tools to businesses within the app. There are also companies like Chatfuel, Flow XO, and Botsify that walk users through the building and implementation of chatbots. These companies provide drag and drop bot templates, suggestions for language and limited AI capabilities. Most of these sites give users a free trial or have a free version. Fees come into play though after a certain amount of time, or to unlock more advanced features.

Full-service bot building is available as well if you have the budget to spend. AtlasRTX is a text messaging bot that allows users to set up bots depending on location and event. It also provides analytics so users can see what’s working and what isn’t. The interface is very mobile friendly so users can interact with customers on the go when the bot alerts them.

LivePerson is another full service option when it comes to bot creation. This firm not only will help you create and manage your bot, but they will build a bot plan from the ground up. They start by looking at your business and customer base and recommend the platforms where you should interact and how that interaction should be structured.

If you have an event and consider customer service a priority, you are going to need a chatbot. The only question is: How are you going to build your bot?

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