Thanks to Microsoft, Slack and Facebook’s efforts, as well as Facebook’s decision to integrate chatbot capabilities into their Messenger, we experienced an unprecedented hype for the smart bots in 2016. The use of artificial intelligence and the ability to communicate in natural language with a machine -- it feels like we are experiencing the future. But this future is not only for Silicon Valley gigs or the big corporations. In fact, anyone can program a chatbot without any special programming skills.
A chatbot is a service that behaves according to fixed rules of procedure. Sometimes, in the more complex bots systems, artificial intelligence is added to this set of rules. The conversations with a chatbot can be anything from service-oriented to fun, from product-related to individual. The platform can also vary and does not always have to be Facebook Messenger. Slack, telegram or WhatsApp also offer individual interfaces for a bot. Companies only have to look at where their target group is the most frequently visited and where they want to reach them.
Getting started with your own chatbot
Before you create a chatbot, you should first understand the possibilities for an AI-based bot. Companies need to consider how best to use bot technologies in their business and which processes need to be optimized with them.
A bot solution is not an optimal solution for all work areas. Many aspects of user interaction depend on the direct communication between expert and user. But some activities are suitable for chat bots. Service or ordering processes are just a few examples. What Chatbots can achieve in training, for example, is impressively demonstrated by this contribution:
Chatbot: in the head of the virtual robot (Source: Arte)
As mentioned before, complex programming skills are not a must to get your own chatbot. Simple conversations can be implemented quickly and efficiently via platform solutions.
Platforms to create your own chatbot on
Chatfule is a chatbot engine that does most of the work for its users. It is ideal for all users who have no programming experience. The user interface is so simple that it is possible to create a chatbot in less than 15 minutes.
TechCrunch, British Airways and Adidas, for example, have used chat fuel to create chat bots together with around 20,000 other users.
2. Rebot. me
Rebot. me is a simple service that allows you to create, teach, test and post chatbots on your own website. This platform does not require any programming knowledge to use it either. Chatbots are designed to answer pre-set questions, but also to learn during the conversation.
Chattypeople offers pre-made chat bots ready to start. The website contains templates for e-commerce, customer support and grocery stores. Only products, questions and answers and some general settings need to be added.
Nowadays it is not difficult to get a chatbot for your company. But the increase in speed, innovation and service level is indescribable. I would recommend that all companies deal with the technology at an early stage, with a view to the future of the trend, before they are caught up with it.