Getting Started

Connect your chatbot to a FB Page. Your chatbot must be linked to a page. This can be a brand or a business or an organization. If you haven't created an FB page yet please follow the steps in this Guide .

Opening Lines

When you start your new chatbot, you start off in the Chatbot Editor space

Resembling a rather dated IDE for developers (Think back to Visual Basic), but doesn't feel too clunky with the drag and drop features.

The first job is to give your chatbot a default response for the opening gambit of the conversation. If someone engages with the chatbot for the first time.

This opening line, also doubles up as the primary default response if the Artificial Intelligence cannot work out what the user is trying to ask it - so a little smart thinking is required to make it less frustrating for your customers if you haven't trained your chatbot intensively.

This opening gambit also teaches you the essence of using variables that are provided by the user or the user's input chat. Using the {{ }} brackets you can replace fixed wording with dynamic wording if and only if chatfuel has the right data to hand.

Expanding on the Interaction

The way Chatfuel works is in blocks or sequences. Consider blocks as little chunks of responses, whether words or images, that get sent by the chatbot once triggered by a question or a reponsde by the customer.

Seequences on the other hand, are combinations of blocks that can be triggered by time (think an initiation or reminder by the chatbot 1 day later) or events once the customer is 'subscribed' to the sequence.

Setting up the AI

Most people familiar with chatbots know that the AI component is the most important one - where you can train your chatbot model and get it to learn with more and more practice with humans. Usual AI providers are wit.ai (facebook), api.ai and watson AI (IBM).

Chatfuel provides its own interface for AI under 'Set Up AI':

Here is where you can add more AI rules with triggers and responses. Here we have started with some expected questions from the user for out chatbot and some typical responses we want the bot to respond with.

The more different phrases you enter here the better your bot will be able to figure out similar meanings to other phrases.
It is generally a good practice to enter about 5-10 phrases per rule to get the best matching possible.

Broadcast to your Audience

Once you start getting some people interacting with your chatbot, chatfuel has the ability to manage your audience and allow you to target them with the Chatbot interactions at the timing of your choice.

You can segment your targetted audience by different demographic information provided by Facebook. We think this functionality is pretty impressive, especially if you start to build up an audience.

Conclusion

Chatfuel is a very impressive No-Code platform for building a chatbot. It provides a very extensive level of functionality, one that normally requires a little bit of coding experience to built out (see building a chatbot with recime and alexa), but in this case is closer to drag and drop. It is a great way to play around and understand how the chatbot model works.