Last Updated: September 16, 2019.
It’s no question that AI is changing the landscape of digital marketing, and that your marketing efforts should be changing with it. One of the most accessible forms of AI comes in the form of chatbots.
For a chatbot to work effectively, it needs to be designed with your specific customers or employees in mind. This isn’t an issue for those with coding experience, but for businesses without tech professionals on their team, a chatbot may seem out of reach. But never fear—whatever your background, you can create a chatbot in just few minutes with the help of a few DIY chatbot services.
How Can I Build My Own Chatbot If I Have Zero Coding Experience?
Fairly easily, actually! As chatbots have gained popularity, so have the number of tools available to build and implement them. You don’t need to be a super-powered developer to use many of them. For instance, here are a few that anyone can use.
Templates & Tools
Chatbot Tools allows you to buy chatbot templates, similar to purchasing and installing templates for your website. This resource also includes links to chatbot courses, e-books, and events that can make you an expert in no time.
Chatfuel helps you create an AI chatbot for Facebook integration. Their service allows you to make bots for Facebook Messenger response that go beyond Facebook’s standard chat response features. For a tutorial on Chatfuel for Facebook, check out the end of this article.
Landbot has a great user interface for creating chatbots to integrate with a variety of services, including Facebook, Twitter, or Slack. This is a great option for companies looking to communicate with customers on a variety of platforms, not just Facebook.
Sequel allows you to use drag and drop features to create bots for Facebook.
ManyChat is an easy-to-use Facebook Messenger bot.
Botsify allows you to create chatbots that you can integrate with your WordPress site. These chatbots are more customizable than some of the others.
MobileMonkey is the world’s best Facebook messenger marketing platform for marketers and companies of all sizes. With MobileMonkey, you can build powerful chatbots for Facebook Messenger easy and free with no coding required.
Creating Your Code-Free Chatbot
If you use any of the above platforms to create your chatbot, you’ll get an easy-to-follow walkthrough. However, it is important to know some basic chatbot terms before you get started. We’ll cover a few of them here.
The first term you may come across is “block.” Each block contains one or multiple cards—another word for messages—which the chatbot delivers to users. You can include a button at the bottom of cards to present users with a URL or a phone number or allow users to open a new block.
You’ll also need to understand the different kinds of cards available to you. These options generally include a gallery card, text card, image card, and plugin card. This last option allows you to include integration options like subscribing to your blog or sending a post to a social media account.
One final term to know is quick reply. This is an extra card that gives users instructions on how to proceed in the case that they are unsure about the next step in their customer journey.
With this knowledge, you are ready to start building your chatbot. During the process, you will have the chance to choose templates, write text cards, create other types of cards, and add buttons. This is pretty straightforward, no matter what tool you use.
The exact steps you need to take to build a chatbot will vary according to the platform you use. However, the process tends to be very similar for all tools. As an example for what you can expect, let’s look at how you would use Botsify to build a chatbot for your website.
Once you’ve created a Botisfy account, head to your dashboard to create a new chatbot. You have two options: using a ready-made template or creating a chatbot from scratch. If you choose a template, you can choose the type (such as FAQ or customer service) or industry (like restaurant or travel agency). Then, choose “Chatbot for Website,” give the bot a name, and save it.
Next, you need to create a “story” for your chatbot — the conversation the bot will have with users. Select the chatbot you just built and head to the “Create a Story” page.
On the left, fill the dialog box with what a user might say. You can choose how you want the bot to analyze user messages: keyword match, phrase match, or entities match. On the right, input the answer from the chatbot. You can click the “Bot Sends” button to add more bot dialog boxes.
To create subsequent user dialog boxes, click the “User Says” icon. Once you’ve created all the responses you need for your story, click the “Save” button at the top of the screen.
Building a Chatbot with Code
If you understand code-speak and want a little extra capability with your chatbot creation, try Motion or Converse. If you are proficient with coding, Meya and GupShup are great platforms for creating integrations for Messenger, text messaging, Twitter, and more.
To build a chatbot for Facebook, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa, among other platforms, another option is Dialogflow (previously Api.ai).
As an example, here is how you could create a chatbot for Facebook with only basic coding in Dialogflow. As well as a Facebook and Dialogflow account, you will need a PythonAnywhere account.
- Begin by creating an agent on Dialogflow.
- Find “Small Talk” in the menu bar on the left and activate it.
- Create an intent. Input a user expression, along with its variations, and a response. (The great thing about Dialogflow is that it automatically understands some system parameters, like locations and time.)
- Add a fulfillment by creating a starter JS File called index.js on your local computer file. You’ll find the code to do this here.
- Set up a Google Cloud Project. Find the steps to do so here.
- After completing all the above steps, return to Dialogflow to enable the webhook. Confirm that you are in the right agent before you click “Fulfillment.” In the “URL” field, input the httpTrigger URL you received when you deployed the function.
There’s no reason to feel that chatbots are out of your reach due to your lack of technical skills. The range of tools available will enable you to create a chatbot that matches your brand image, provides great usability, and performs functions that will make life easier for your customers. Research your competitors or other businesses in your industry for inspiration on how to best incorporate chatbots into your site. If you do want greater functionality than basic tools can provide you, consider taking the time to learn basic coding, or hire a professional for the task.
Want more help?
Chatbots won’t make the impact you need them to if your website isn’t optimized. Use Boostability’s award-winning SEO services to get your website to the top of the SERPs (and give your chatbots plenty of people to talk to!). Contact us at Boostability today to learn more!