Building your chatbot

Before you take the plunge and start building your chatbot, it’s a good idea to do some preparation first. Let’s begin with creating a flow.

Creating your story

The very first thing to do when building a chatbot is to decide what you want your chatbot to do. Think about which questions you want to answer, which information you want to give your customers, and how you want your customers to navigate through conversations. This overview of what your chatbot should be able to do, is called a scope, but to keep it easy. We like to call it creating a story. 😊

When you’re preparing your chatbot story, it’s good practice to divide your story into multiple versions. Version one could be a more basic version of your chatbot that answers the most frequently asked questions. After that you can move on to version two, where you can incorporate more specific questions and topics into your chatbot. Eventually you can go even further and move on to version three and maybe even version four where you can integrate your chatbot into other systems or add more channels.

It can be easy to dive in too quickly and lose track of what you’re doing and what you want to achieve. By using multiple versions of your chatbot story, you keep the implementation manageable and easy to oversee. Another benefit of working with multiple, smaller versions of your chatbot is that you can easily gather feedback in between versions. This way you can quickly and simply improve your chatbot as you go!

Conversational design

With the story determined, you can finally start building your chatbot! So let’s talk about how you can construct your chatbot conversations. Let’s take a look at Conversational Design.

Now that you know which questions you want your chatbot to answer, it’s important to consider how customers might ask these questions and how they go about looking for the answers. When you’re building your chatbot, try approaching it from your customers’ perspective. Think about the way they navigate through your website, which topics they encounter and which questions might pop up along the way. With your customers’ journey in mind, it becomes a lot easier to construct a conversation around that.

Instead of immediately building conversations, it’s useful to sketch out the conversation flows first, either on paper or using digital flowchart tools. Sketching out your conversations first can greatly help you get a good overview of your customers’ journey through the conversations. This way you can easily see which decisions customers can make during a conversation and which questions they can get answered.

After you’ve mapped out your conversations and you have a clear overview of what your conversation will look like, you can start building your chatbot in Flochat.

Warning. It get's addictive

Chatbot setup

To get started with your new chatbot, we have prepared additional guides below. But be sure to finish this getting started guide first.

pagePlatform OverviewpageGetting Started Checklist

Conversations

As the name suggests, with the conversations you can create entire dialogues for your customers to have with your chatbot. Customers can start a conversation by asking a question to which the chatbot can reply and even ask follow up questions or perform follow up actions.

Triggers are forms of input from customers, used to start a specific conversation. In Flochat there are various types of trigger like: the start button and question variants. The start button is the first button customers can click inside the website widget on your website. When customers click the button, the conversation you’ve associated the button with will automatically start.

If you make use of Artificial Intelligence in your chatbot, your customers can also trigger specific conversations in your chatbot by typing in questions. You can fill in the question you want to answer in this conversation, along with at least two variations on this question. These variations are used to provide your chatbot with context for the question and will help your chatbot be able recognise hundreds of other variations on this same question.

Your chatbot will be able to recognise the customers’ questions, regardless of phrasing or spelling, match it to the correct conversation and give the right answer.

After you’ve selected the trigger for your conversation, you can use the Action modules. These modules signify actions your chatbot can take in the conversation. For example, you can use the Text module to have your chatbot send a message to your customers. Attachments like pictures, gifs or files can be sent using the Attachments module. And when you’ve created multiple conversations, you can connect them to each other by using the Link to conversation module.

Responses are ways your customers can interact with the chatbot during the conversation. After the chatbot has asked a follow up question, you can use the Response modules to create multiple choice buttons your customers can click. Or you can let your customers fill in an input field or one of your custom fields. Other response options include a Calendar module for selecting dates, Checkbox answers for selections from a list or a Feedback module for asking your customers to rate their chatbot experience.

Testing your chatbot

Once you’ve added a flow to your chatbot, it’s time to do some testing. This is an important part of building your chatbot, as this is the moment when your chatbot will actually test what you just added.

Within your flow select the Preview option.

When you click the preview chatbot button, the chatbot will automatically start the flow. For the best option use the webchat view as it will display on screen.

Now you can navigate through your chatbot as if you were one of your customers. If you encounter anything that needs changing, simply go back to one of the previous steps to update your chatbot flow.

Launching your chatbot

If you’re completely satisfied with your chatbot, the last thing to do is to activate it. This exciting step can be done by simply pressing publish and your chatbot is ready to meet the world!

Note: You can create as many flows as you need, and also link them all together to create an amazing customer experience.

Step 3: Maintain Success

Now that your chatbot is live, it’s important that your new digital colleague stays successful. 👇

pageMaintain success

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