The Beginner’s guide to develop a AI Chatbot from Scratch

Kevin Nguyen
Feb 4 · 4 min read

During the 2017 F8 Conference, Mark Zuckerberg- Facebook owner emphasized the important role of Chatbot in the future, he used the case study of adding Chatbot into Messenger of a US flower booking service. Since that moment, Facebook has been investing heavily to Messenger by allowing retails, shops or other pages to contact directly to customers and vice versa through Chatbot. Besides Facebook, other technology giants have realized the unlimited potential of Chatbot and thrown billions of USD into it. When we ask Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana “what is the weather like today?” or other similar types of this question, we definitely experienced Chatbot.

Why do you want to build up a Chatbot?

We all know that Chatbot is advised because it gains efficiency and productivity for the company by shortening unnecessary steps of a working process. But the question is where it should be implemented or what processes Chatbot can simplify. Questions like that should be answered before launching a Chatbot to optimize its effectiveness. The biggest advantage of Chatbot is collecting data from the customer and manage the whole process from advising, booking, shipment to after service. Thus, companies possibly consider Chatbot as a Marketing or Customer Service staff.

So what is Chatbot?

Chatbot is a basic type of artificial intelligence (AI) system that interacts people via voice, text. There are two types of Chatbot: the Auditory version which uses voice to communicate with users; the Textual version — the most popular one which is practically used in fashion, food and other services by automatically chatting with customers.

The process of developing a Chatbot includes three periods:

- Translator: which decides the success of a Chatbot. A developer needs to translate a user’s requirements for a computer to understand.

- Processor: this process pushes Chatbot’s ability by upgrading its level is the same as a computer.

- Respondent: receiving output, packaging and sending back to the platform, as this process occurs, users receive a response from Chatbot.

There are various types of Chatbot platforms such as Chatfuel, Flowxo, Manychat and Botsify, which depends on customer’s requirements and demands. For beginners, Scratch is a free and simple programming language build up a Chatbot, here is the to-do — list to develop an AI Chatbot from Scratch.

1. Analyze your customer’s interaction habit

Your customer’s interaction habit has a great influence on how a Chatbot conversation is developed and used. Do your customers often contact you via chat, phone, social media, email, forum, etc.? What kind of questions do your customers usually ask? What are the different things when they interact you via websites, app, page and email? Those questions probably give you some hints to rebuild your channel and set up an effective Chatbot.

2. Focus on Chatbot conversation

Basing on the above analysis, skilled app developers find it easy to design a Chatbot which is close to your customer’s demand. Chatbot conversation is able to decide the quality of visitor engagement that your channels (Facebook, website, app) can deliver. There are two types of chatbot interactions naming structured interaction and unstructured interaction:

- Structured interaction: this type of interaction is totally based on your analysis and can be designed easily like an FAQ section on your website. The questions collected from your customers will be set on your channels as well as a link to your contact, services, products and so on.

- Unstructured interaction: while structured interaction is predictable due to the analysis, preparing message script for unstructured interaction, which unexpectedly happens, mainly depends on AI. AI uses NLP analysis (natural language processing) to decode the context of communication and provide a voice to Chatbot application.

However, the mission of Chatbot conversation not only responds customer’s question correctly but also keeps the topics close to sale purposes in a natural way. Therefore, Chatbot takes its role as a customer service staff who makes closed-ended the conversation to ones who are ready to buy as well as maintain open-ended conversation to ones who still consider.

3. Non — Coding framework vs. Code — Based framework

So which framework do you intend to use? Non — Coding framework or Code — Based framework? If your working management process and the product is not so complicated, a Chatbot using Non — Coding framework possibly a suitable choice. By simple steps such as drag and drop, you can create a Chatbot on your own with simple conversations and upload to a cloud platform for basic purposes.

However, when things are getting more complicated, you need other advanced Chatbot to serve difficult purposes and handle the unstructured conversation. This kind of Chatbot is generally out of default template and need coding (Code — Based framework). This Chatbot version including advanced knowledge which relates to programming languages, machine learning and AI so it requires to outsource the top app developer. A Code-Based Chatbot not only responds to customers but also stores data, does analytic and adds AI.

Chatbot becomes easier to set up and use. Thus, to prepare for this revolution, the above steps possibly support you to create a high — qualified Chatbot and gain your business effectiveness without consuming labour cost. In the future, this type of AI will strongly maximize itself if business owners place it in a suitable position, and at that time, you should consider to outsource an app development services to make sure everything works well follow its process.

Kevin Nguyen

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Software Development — Mobile App Development — Website Solution Development