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How to build a Messenger chatbot

SUCCESS STORY

  • First of all, it is important to set goals for the chatbot. Without them the chatbot will not perform any clear function and is likely to be useless.
  • You need to select a platform before you start building. While many of them are similar, there are slight differences in price, functionality and a few other aspects.
  • Messenger chatbot design involves many different areas: creating a welcome message, main menu, default response, keywords, threads and sequences.
  • Once a chatbot is created, it is important to test it properly to avoid a poor user experience.
  • In order for the chatbot to communicate with someone you need to drive traffic to it. This can be done in various ways, such as Facebook advertising, growth tools, etc.

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Before you start building a chatbot, it's important to measure and evaluate whether it's better to build a chatbot on your own or hire a professional to do it.

Read more about it on this post.

Creating a chatbot

How to DIY?

    1. Coming up with chatbot goals

chatbot goals

First of all, the Messenger chatbot must have a clear purpose. Later on you can decide what tasks it should perform. Do you want to speed up the customer service process? Then you might need an artificial intelligence (user text input based) chatbot. Do you want to establish a closer relationship with your users? Then you will need to try to properly segment your users and deliver personalised content. Set goals before thinking about specific functions.

    1. Platform Selection

There are two ways to create a chatbot:
a) write a code and do everything manually;
b) use a platform that does not require any programming knowledge, where the chatbot can be created by using drag-and-drop feature.

We have no doubt that most of you will choose the second option, so we will tell you more about it.

Currently there are many different platforms for building chatbots, the most popular of which are ManyChat, ChatFuel, MobileMonkey and DialogFlow. Look at the capabilities, pricing models, transparency of different platforms and then make the decision.

In this example we will use the ManyChat platform.

    1. Chatbot design

Before you start designing a chatbot, note and avoid the most common fails in Messenger chatbots. More about it in this post.

Welcome message

chatbot welcome message

The first thing you should do is sign up for the platform and log in to your page. Then prepare a welcome message. This will be an automated message that the user will receive when opening a Messenger conversation with you. Ensure that this message is clear, informative and sets clear expectations for the user. The user should be informed immediately about chatbots capabilities and that they are is not chatting with a human being.

Main menu

Messenger chatbot main menu

In the Automation -> Main menu section, you can create a menu that will appear below the Messenger's text input bar. Here you can place redirects to pre-made flow (which we'll talk about later), or links to a specific page on your website.

Default reply

Messenger chatbot default reply

Prepare a response that the user will receive when your chatbot does not understand the request. Encourage the user to use the menu to avoid more misunderstood requests. The message might sound something like this: "Sorry but we didn't understand your request. Try using the buttons below."

Keywords

chatbot keywords

In the Automation -> Keywords, you can create specific keywords that triggers chatbot's responses. This can be an automated response, changing the value of a custom field, adding/deleting a tag, subscribing to a specific message sequence and so on. Keep in mind that the user can use the same word differently. Ensure that the chatbot responds to the keyword whenever possible.

Chatbot messaging flows

flows

With the help of the flow builder tool you can design various chatbot message flows. This tool allows you to create textual and visual messages, customise them for different user responses and perform certain automation actions.

Sequences

sequences

This is the equivalent of email marketing sequences. You can prepare flows that the user will receive at intervals of your choice.

    1. Chatbot Testing

chatbot testavimas

Even if you spend a lot of time designing a chatbot and it looks like you've done it perfectly, it's important to test it properly before you start using it. Try to test every possible course and outcome of your chatbot.

Things to note:

Continuous run

Note that at certain moments, when the bot receives a different user interaction than expected, it will stop responding. For instance, when a user manually enters an invalid response, the chatbot quick reply buttons disappear and the process stops.

Working links

Make sure the links directing to the chatbot are working properly. Links that are not working may cause customer frustration.

How does your chatbot respond to confusion?

Users will intentionally try to write something funny or complicated to check whether the chatbot is able to respond. Ensure that the chatbot responds to such requests by pre-generated answers such as: "Sorry but your requests were not understood. Could you write more clearly?”. You can even make it funny or quirky, depending on your chatbot's tone. This will undoubtedly help to maintain a good user experience.

    1. Leading traffic to the chatbot

You can use growth tools to drive traffic to the chatbot. You can create Facebook ads that delivery Messenger chatbot experiences when the ad is clicked, create links that you can share on your website, emails or even brochures.

 

Messenger Chatbot

Create value for your consumers and yourself

Congratulations! You now have a working chatbot! While it may give users some information to answer certain queries, it does not add much value to you yet. If you want the chatbot that help to achieve your business goals, you need a strategy. If you do not have the knowledge and resources to implement more complex chatbot solutions, consider hiring a chatbot agency.

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