How to build a Facebook Chatbot to answer your customers

Why Is a Chatbot Important to Serve Your Customers?

There’s no greater way to build customer loyalty than providing prompt, helpful service. We’ve all had the experience of waiting on hold for what seems like hours, and that wait can be agonizing. So what if you could eliminate that wait time and help every single one of your customers find what they’re looking for?

Chatbots help you do just that. Powered by conversational AI, chatbots offer businesses the ability to interact with their customers in a streamlined, accessible way that mimics human conversation. Helpful for a wide variety of reasons, they offer two major benefits:

  • Available 24/7. Because there’s no person on the business side of the communication, chatbots can offer assistance at any time of the day. This increased flexibility means that your customers can access help whenever they need it, rather than wait for traditional business hours.
  • Serves a high volume of people simultaneously. Although there can be caps on the number of people a chatbot can talk to at one time, most can interact with hundreds of people simultaneously. For the customer, that means no waiting time; for the business, that means a reduction in customer service costs.

How a Facebook Chatbot can improve your customer experience

One of the most popular platforms today for hosting chatbots is Facebook Messenger. A Facebook chatbot can be linked up to your business’s Facebook page, broadening your customer outreach and providing a central source for customer queries and activity. Here are a few common questions businesses interested in Facebook Chatbots often ask:

What does a Facebook Chatbot look like? The short answer is a Facebook Chatbot looks just like any other chatbot. A small embedded dialogue box will appear on the user’s screen. Because Facebook Chatbots are hosted through Facebook Messenger, the look and feel of the conversation will be familiar and easily navigable for your users.

How do users interact with a Facebook Chatbot? There are several ways users can find and interact with your Facebook Chatbot. Users can search for specific companies and chatbots within Facebook Messenger, and they can also access your chatbot from your business’s Facebook page. You can even embed messenger buttons on your website that will take users directly to your Facebook Chatbot.

What can a Facebook Chatbot help with? The possibilities are virtually endless. Depending on your business, a Facebook Chatbot can help users set up appointments, provide basic logistical information (business hours and locations), make quick purchases or reservations, and of course answer any questions that might arise in the course of the conversation.

How to build a Facebook Chatbot

If you’re looking to build a chatbot for Facebook, you’re in luck. It’s now easier than ever to quickly set up an effective Facebook messenger chatbot that meets your customers’ needs. Follow these steps to streamline the process:

  1. Identify & Research your audience. You need to know and understand your audience before building anything. If you don’t do this, chances are you won’t understand what you must build to help them. In this step, it’s also important to evaluate the kind of language they use because it will help you build your dataset if you use a NLP Chatbot.
  2. Determine your goal and your use case. Start with something simple. The scope of your project at the beginning must be precise. You may be familiar with the iterative process of building digital products and chatbots are not an exception. By starting with a simple use case, you will move a lot faster towards your goal. Start small, improve and add skills. For example, your goal could be to improve your CSAT score with your chatbot. You could start with a very simple use to answer the top 10 most asked questions or you could implement self-service for your customers. From there, you add new skills towards reaching your goal.
  3. Choose a platform. There are lots of chatbot-hosting platforms to choose from. Some of the more popular ones for a Facebook chatbot are ManyChat, Chatfuel, Dialogflow, and Botpress. All these services offer a great solution for chatbot creation, but offer different levels of customizability and language understanding (keywords vs nlp) .
    1. Dialogflow. Dialogflow is a reliable choice and it’s already hosted for you. You just need to create an account and you are good to go. Dialogflow is easy to use and and has the option to be used via the API which is very appealing for developers
    2. Manychat. ManyChat has been for a long time a leader because it’s super easy to use and it offers plenty of features and integrations. It’s great for simpler interactions because it doesn’t include AI capabilities. It can quickly become a roadblock for a more advanced solution.
    3. Chatfuel. Chatfuel is a great place to start if you’re interested in experimenting with Facebook Chatbots. It’s intuitive and offers plenty of standard features that can make it attractive to smaller businesses. Again, it doesn’t have the capability to understand natural language. Of course, you can hack it by adding another platform, but it makes your stack complicated.
    4. Botpress. In addition to being easy to use, Botpress has built-in natural language understanding allowing you to craft human-like conversational experiences. Botpress is highly customizable with a built-in code editor and a SDK. You also have the possibility to use the Human-in-the-Loop module which allows for a human to take over the conversation.
  4. Create your chatbot and its welcome message. The first thing you’ll want to do is craft your welcome message. It’s super important because this sets expectations and managing expectations is key in customer experience. A good rule of thumb is to be upfront about what the chatbot can help with. Introduce the chatbot, and then segue into helping the customer with an initial general question like, “What can I help you with?” You’ll also want to establish a default message that the chatbot can use if it doesn’t recognize a user request, something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Would like to speak with an agent?”
  5. Write FAQs with utterances based on your research. This is the core of your chatbot. You can start by developing ready-made responses to the FAQs that you found were asked the most during your research. In some platforms, you’ll need to link your FAQs to the flows you designed, but in the case of Botpress FAQs don’t need to be part of the flow. The chatbot will answer them seamlessly no matter when they are asked during the conversation.
  6. Create a workflow. Your workflows are visual representations of the steps of a conversation. This is especially useful when you have a very clear objective such as gathering information, automating a process, etc.
  7. Connect your chatbot to Facebook Messenger. Connecting your chatbot to Facebook Messenger will officially launch the chatbot, enabling users to interact with it in real time. For Botpress, you’ll need to go to the Facebook App Page and get your appSecret and your verifyToken. You’ll need these to configure your channel in Botpress.

Chatbot platforms like Dialogflow, Manychat, and Botpress can make creating a chatbot for Facebook quick and painless. Most of the work will be in researching your audience and designing thoughtful answers to their most-likely queries. Think of it as another opportunity to learn more about your business and what it has to offer.


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