In 2016, Facebook Messenger announced they will open their Messenger application to bots. The phenomenon chatbot was born.

The messaging services, it is, for the Quadrimester 2016:

Many enterprise want to be were their customers are. But hire employees to respond to this mass of messages should be to expensive. It explains the chatbots’ growth. And the best thing is, most part of its api are free!

What is a chatbot?

Basically, it is a program written with the best language: your favorite! But, for several reasons, JavaScript is the more populate. This program is on a server and he listens to one messaging service. So, what do you have to do, to do a chatbot ?

I need to understand the messages!

This messages can be a little bit ambiguous. To understand the user, the bot need to use NLP (natural language processing) or NLU (natural language understanding) .

I do manage the conversation and a unlimited number of questions

Prima facie, we could think to use Regex. But imagine, the thousand of rules you need to do (worst, they are not scalable…). The lost of time! So, the fast and easy way (but not the only, it exists some “bot Regex”) is to use a A.I. Some are already build and free, like Siri , Home or Alexa . This AI have many features, like NLU to understand the users’ intensions.

I have to answer

This one is directly connected with the previous point. You have to create something like a “user’s story”. To do this, Recast should be very helpful. But currently, Skynet doesn’t exist! (We are saved!) And a bot cannot do everything. So you can use a customer service Zendesk/ , Intercom or anything else, to help your bot then he is in trouble.

I want to learn with each interaction

This is another work of the AI like build his own rules. Humans can do it but it needs so many time (and money). The feedback is really important to perfect the bot. “Did you like our conversation? My service?”. Smileys could be really helpful too.

Traps and good practices

You can implement buttons like in a classic website to lead the story user but may be should open your mind.

Imagine a bot…

The user start a chat with the bot. The bot can have the user’s email, name, firstname, gender, birthday and picture form Facebook. So, you can know if this user is one of your customers.

A story user:

Here, the bot can send a link, view a little description to an article in your website. If this user is already your customer, he will use more you application. If he is not, he may be a new user, and this new user has tested your service without downloading your ap! Other possibility, if sometimes you send articles to your customers, you can send them with your chatbot in a messaging service.