Have you created, or considered creating, a chatbot yet for your business? Perhaps you have not taken chatbots seriously or maybe you are concerned it is too difficult, costly or time-consuming?
Creating a chatbot is not so daunting, it’s actually quite easy! There are MANY chatbots to choose from, selecting which tool to use and where to start is more difficult than actually creating the chatbot (seriously!!!)
Once you get beyond the initial challenge of which tool to use and where to start, there really is no excuse to not build your business chatbot RIGHT NOW!
We are going to do things a little different, instead of giving you multiple options and making you spend your valuable time fumbling through the tools, we are going to share our recommendation with you and help you make that decision! Our recommendation comes from countless hours evaluating Chatbot tools, our recommendation is based upon which tool/platform satisfies the following;
Sound good? Let’s get started!
Forget all the other tools and platforms, SERIOUSLY! Chatfuel does have limitations and disadvantages but the benefits and advantages compared to other tools outweigh those limitations.
Before you subscribe to Chatfuel, how about some social proof that this tool tool is POWERFUL? Well, chatfuel is the Facebook Messenger chatbot of choice for HUGE brands like Adidas, British Airways, ABC News and UBER.
There are MANY other benefits and reasons why we are so adament in our Chatfuel recommendation, but the five (5) reasons above should be enough to convince you to save time just start using Chatfuel (no questions asked). Let’s take a deeper dive into these five benefits and reasons.
It is easy to underestimate the pain, suffering and time wasted on other platforms simply trying to figure out “how do I get started?” Even as someone that is very skilled in technology, even other popular platforms (i.e. ManyChat) were a challenge to figure out how to get started. On the contrary, creating an account and getting started in Chatfuel is very intuitive.
Once you create a new bot, build a bot from template or open an existing bot, the bot preview, navigational and menu tools within the bot themselves are very intuitive. It may take a few minutes to warm up to the tabs but once you are familiar with them you will never forget. Once again, compared to other tools (i.e. ManyChat) you will save countless hours scratching your head trying to figure out what to do next. The next image is chatbot preview screen.
Within chatfuel you build your bot using a modular building block approach with GROUPS and BLOCKS. Groups and blocks allow you to have multiple sequences within your bot that are organized into logical “sub-bots.” The groups and blocks are DRAG-N-DROP enabled. You can also copy/paste a group or a block into another bot or within the existing bot.
If you manage multipe pages, are an agency or are responsible for managing multiple brands, Chatfuel allows you to easily deploy and publish one bot from one Facebook page to another bot for another Facebook page. Do NOT underestimate the power of this! Even if you manage only one page, once you are familiar with the platform you can easily share a bot with other people or they can share a bot (or groups within a bot) with you! If you partner with other business or you have joint ventures, this functionality to share bots, groups and blocks is INCREDIBLY valuable. Below is an image depicting how to share a group with another bot.
Chatfuel artificial intelligence allows you to interpret certain types of typed messages from users and customers. Words of caution, it’s very easy to overengineer artificial intelligence and get sucked into the trap of trying to create Artificial Intelligence for words and phrases that are too difficult to intepret. Avoid creating artificial intelligence for common words and phrase such as “Yes” or “No”, doing so will trigger responses every time a user responds with that word or phrase (this is a VERY bad and VERY annoying for users.) Check out the image below for an example of Chatfuel Artificial Intelligence.
Truth be told, as a software developer and programmer this one is my favorite. This part may get a little technical for some, please bear with us and try to make sense of what is being described, it could be the most valuable part of Chatfuel.
While other chatbot tools and platforms have integration with third party services (i.e. CRM’s, newsletters, etc.), Chatfuel has a JSON API widget that allows you to develop and integrate with your own server code, integrating with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. You can send and/or receive data and information from any API or web service in the world!
Other things you can do with the JSON API is to do complex computing (i.e. calculators) on your own web server and return results. No other chatbot platform allows for this level of customization. Below are a couple of examples of how we have implemented JSON API and integrated with our server and third party data.
Simple Mortgage Calculator – Using the Chatfuel user input fields, you can capture information that users enter into the chat then send that data to your server, process the data and return from your server the processed information. The screencapture below shows a mortgage calculation that is performed on our webserver from user input captured in the chatbot (we capture loan amount, number or years and interest rate and then return mortgage payment). If you would like to view and test this chatbot, please click the button below (be sure to check your Facebook Messenger if you click the button!)View/Test Mortgage Calculator Chatbot
Using the Zillow API to Return Zestimate and Rent Estimate – We developed a sequence (or sub-bot) to send an address from Chatfuel to our weberver. Our webserver than calls the the Zillow API to capture the Zestimate© (Zillow property value estimate) and Zestimate© Rent Amount (estimated rent for a property). We developed subsequent code on our server to perform real estate investing ROI calculations and return those ROI results. See the screencapture below for an example OR press the button to view and test the chatbot (be sure to check your Facebook Messenger if you click the button!)View/Test Property Valuation Chatbot
Below are screencaptures of how to implement JSON API integration between Chatfuel and a webserver. The first image is how to setup the JSON API widget and the second image is a screencapture of the code file on our server.
If you are thinking that I must have some kind of sweetheart or affiliate deal with Chatfuel, that is simply not true. I have spent countless hours evaluating chatbot tools and platforms and for anyone that wants to create high quality, engaging and intuitive chatbots in a very short period of time, there is no alternative and no decision.
There are some limitations and disadvantages. One limitation would be lead management, ManyChat has more robust lead management tools, though Chatfuel is no slouch! Another limitation is eCommerce integration, if your goal is to sell products with a Chatbot, then I would recommend you check out ChattyPeople.
Thank you for reading this article and we hope you found it useful. If you have anything to contribute or any questions, comments or concerns please do leave a comment.
If you are a realtor, real estate professional or mortage professional, 3V Business Solutions and our partners are producing a series of training webinars and live videos for using Chatfuel in the real estate industry for lead generation and capture. Click the button below to learn more and view schedule of upcoming webinars and live videos. Thanks again ~ Mike!!!View Real Estate Chatbot Webinar Schedule