Add Watson Assistant to Your WordPress Site

Antonio Cangiano
Apr 10, 2018 · 3 min read

Co-authored with Tammy (@welymmat).

Whether you’re a small business or a huge corporation, chatbots provide a variety of benefits to your organization. Four major advantages are:

  1. Chatbots reduce the amount of time and money required to provide customer service;
  2. Their 24/7 availability, enables you to provide immediate answers to customers around the clock. Research shows that the inability to receive answers to simple questions is the number one frustration among consumers;
  3. Chatbots provide a new channel for engagement (and marketing) with customers, who tend to prefer messaging over any other form of communication with brands;
  4. Chatbot services help you keep track of, and analyze, what your customers want.

Creating Chatbots Without Writing Any Code

Virtual assistants are definitely a great way to have direct contact with your users and you can always escalate more complex queries to a human customer support agents or salespeople.

So how do you go about creating one? There are plenty of services available. The trouble is that most require a fair degree of technical or programming experience.

Thankfully, IBM released Watson Assistant which is a service on their IBM Cloud platform which enables you to easily create virtual assistants without the need to write any code.

There are also plenty of channels to deploy chatbots. For example, Facebook Messenger and Slack are popular channels. However, as a business, in many cases, you’ll want to start the conversation on your own site.

A Chatbot Plugin for Wordpress

The Watson Assistant plugin on WordPress.org

If your site is built on WordPress, you are in luck. My team developed a Watson Assistant plugin, which allows you to add your Watson Assistant chatbot to your site, making it available to your users instantly. No need to know anything about RESTful APIs or JavaScript.

A chat box pop-up on a site that leverages the Watson Assistant plugin

Customize the appearance of the chat box, choose which pages or posts should feature the chatbot, and even control its usage to ensure that the service is not being spammed by abusive users.

The plugin’s Appearance tab enables you to customize the look and feel of the chat box

To add Watson Assistant to your WordPress site, just install the plugin and copy over your credentials from the Deploy section of your Watson Assistant service.

The plugin’s Main Setup tab allows you to specify your Watson Assistant credentials

The plug-in also supports easy VOIP calling powered by Twilio, to ensure your users have the ability to contact a real person if needed.

The chat box dialog when the VOIP is enabled and the user requests to speak to a human agent

Resources

To learn more, please consider taking my free course on How to build a chatbot on Cognitive Class.

You’ll find more information and detailed instructions about the plugin on the official page.

Finally, you can learn more about Watson Assistant (and get a great offer from IBM) by checking out this page.

IBM Watson

AI Platform for the Enterprise

Antonio Cangiano

Written by

I'm a Software Developer and AI Evangelist at IBM, Webpreneur, and Author. Marketing Lead for CognitiveClass.ai.

IBM Watson

AI Platform for the Enterprise

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