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A systematic approach for building a chatbot for Messenger

A chatbot is a useful online business tool, which can help boost your business through automated and direct engagement with your customers.

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Chatbot has turned out to be an instant tool for interaction with the clients. The advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology is powering the chatbots, simplifying the entire process of communication. To make it easier, it is a computer program through which you can conduct conversations in the form of text or spoken language.

The chatbots have proven to be more than a blessing for business organizations as offering a more customized service to customers has become simpler than ever. They are generating more sales as the queries of the clients are getting addressed within the quickest of time.

It must be noted that more than 80 percent of business organizations will implement chatbot by 2020. And believe it, Artificial Intelligence, which fuels the chatbot, is going to be a big emerging technology. The revenue generation from it is expected to attain a peak position at $36.8 billion in 2025.

Of late, Facebook Messenger has become a focal point for the chatbot. According to the statistics, there are already about 11,000 bots, and the number is expected to increase further.

Here are some tips on how you can develop your own chatbot for Messenger.

1. Who are your customers or what’s your aim

If you want to begin on a positive note, then it is recommended to know who your target audiences are and why are you creating the chatbot. By determining the two important aspects, you will get a better idea of what type of functionality and features you want to implement. Furthermore, this will also help in selecting the appropriate tool for the development process.

The chatbot for Messenger should primarily be developed keeping in mind the size of the business entity. For small online stores, you can create a simple chatbot such as pBot for iOS platform and roBot for Android phones.

In addition to that, the developer should have a clear aim on why he is developing the chatbot. It is usually determined in two categories: first aiming at the user and second at the business owner.

So, when you consider the objectives of the user, it means the chatbot needs to offer quicker access to information, answer questions within real-time, provide a better shopping experience and help customers in taking faster decisions related to purchases.

On the other hand, if we talk about the business owner, then it has to be definitely enhancing the sales and drive more traffic to the app or website. The business owner also gets useful information on specific customer needs and demands.

2. The necessary toolbox for developing chatbot

Well, once you have defined your objective and got familiar with the target audiences, you need the necessary toolbox for moving ahead with the project. This is one area where the knowledge of app developers will be put to test. So, it becomes important for the developer to be aware of what tools he has in hands.

If you want to develop a chatbot without using the codes, then it is suggested to use Chatfuel. It is quite a simple tool based on the drag and drop procedure but an effective chatbot. One of the other popular tool based on no-coding formula is IBM Watson.

You can easily create a chatbot with the help of Java, Prolog and C++ programming as they have a single distinctive feature and do not use difficult operations. Chattypeople is yet another viable platform or tool which doesn’t require any knowledge of programming.

You just have to log in to its website and link it to your Facebook page. In addition, you can also create chatbot for Telegram and Facebook Messenger as well.

However, the developers need to note that they will have found out which of the platforms are free of cost and which the chargeable ones are. You have to also add the cost of hosting. Besides, the knowledge of JavaScript will be an extra advantage.

3. Preparing an introductory note for chatbot

Of course, when you develop the chatbot, the first job at hand is to welcome the new users. The greeting message must be precise and to the point. It should basically contain information about how your chatbot would be helpful to the users.

Apart from that, it also should have a menu outlining customized solutions to common problems. If you add a few buttons to accelerate the mode of interaction with the customers, it would be icing on the cake. Simplify the AI technology for easy understanding of the language.

4. Simplifying the process of user interaction

While developing the chatbot for Messenger, the goal of the developer is to simplify the process of user interaction. But how can it be achieved?

First, you can provide quick answers to the questions, so prepare the answers in advance to record in the drop-down menu list. If there is any clarification, make it concise and apt.

At times, the users do not enter the correct input in the dialog box. Thus, you have to check the input and confirm it with the user. Besides, there is a correction of spellings too, because it may change the meaning of the question.

Answer the question systematically if it needs a lengthy reply. Always remember to use the shortest and appropriate word while answering the query. Do not use words or phrases that create doubt or confusion.

Pinning the location of your customer is one task that you can have a chatbot do.

Pinning the location of your customer is one task that you can have a chatbot do. (Source)

5. Decide which data you want to record

We all know how useful chatbots can be for the collection of vital data related to the customers. However, first, you have to decide which type of data you should collect for your business. It can be getting the location of the customers through the zip code. You can also gather useful insight into their shopping preferences and other habits.

6. Work to offer the best functionality

If you want to develop a successful chatbot for Messenger with high traffic, then the ultimate aim is to offer optimum service. You can reduce the size of input fields and also develop menus that are easy to operate.

The answers to the questions have to be correct and most importantly should satisfy the user. It is a not a good idea to use pronouns, so better stay away. If the bot is unable to address the issue, then offering the live chat solution will be a thumbs-up option.

7. The conversation of the bot should have flow

Maintain the flow of the conversation, as simple as that. Make sure that the interaction between the bot and customer is open and that latter is free to contact the bot in case of any query. Don’t intermingle the issues but offer a streamlined experience.

8. Conducting the test to evaluate bot operation

So, finally, you have created the chatbot for Messenger. However, your task is not yet over. You have to test it to evaluate how it is operating. It will be a good idea to prepare some questions and see how it works.

You may test it on the basis of standard questions, complex and illogical questions, queries based on earlier conversations, questions based on choices such as either or etc.

The experts are of the view that chatbots have a promising future, and it will provide a new dimension to any business. The main technology, i.e., artificial intelligence on which it usually depends will be more accessible in the near future.

There are different messengers at the present and if they get linked up with the chatbot, it will be a huge bonus for the online business; specifically the e-commerce sector. The users will get solutions to all their problems within seconds and it will also enhance their experience as well.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Mehul Rajput is the CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory, a leading web, and mobile app development company. He does blogging as a hobby and loves to write about mobile technologies, startup, entrepreneur and app development.

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