To get creative in most areas of technology, some coding skill is required. From website building to app creation, from writing a Word or Excel macro to creating a script, most require knowledge of some arcane language.
Even if they are billed as easy-to-use, understanding the syntax or a language, and the level of support provided often makes it a challenge to create the simplest of functions. Sure, there are a few services that offer code-free design, but the results are usually very simple or rely on visuals to overcome the lack of data.
When it comes to chatbots, the current poster child of website features and customer interaction, it is possible to create one with no coding skills. After all, the process is simply to recreate a conversation that is played out in a text box. Conversations have yes/no or varied answers, they can ask and answer further questions, can provide links to other information, all things people do naturally and can be easily be represented in computer form.
When it comes to building a chatbot, you don’t even have to write the conversation from scratch. A service like Snatchbot provides a range of templates that create a typical conversation for a range of roles from a hotel to pizza chain, a bank to a quiz. These present the most common questions and scenarios and help remove some of the basics.
Even if the aim for your chatbot is nothing like these, you can take a look through them and understand how the conversation structure works. That way, you can write down the type of conversation your business bot will be used for and create the right format and structure, so you can build a bot quickly and efficiently.
The structure of the bot is key to a good conversation. In English, we start out with hello, or some other welcome. Then there’s that initial question, which might be how are you, or what’s your name. The meat of any business conversation is focused on what the bot can do for the customer.
That might be what type or order or inquiry the customer is making, or what sort of help they need. The structure of the chatbot can help define this. Using Snatchbot, you drag and drop elements of the structure to create the conversation and clone similar elements to avoid repeating the same steps.
Each step needs some text and an action, so “do you need to talk to us?” is an obvious case for a “yes” or “no” answer. A response of “yes”, might show the company phone number or email address, while “no” might lead to more useful information for the customer.
Creating variations on these simple questions and keeping them in the logical flow of the conversation is how we build it up. The process can be livened up by adding video, web links, audio sounds or emoji to a conversation. To add some advanced features to your bot, logic can be added to chatbot discussions with the use of arithmetic or logical operations, and error messages can prompt users to respond with the right type of answer.