Artificial intelligence technology is already being put into action by the world’s biggest tech companies, with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant appearing in people’s homes and machine learning behind the scenes of many other innovations. One way that you can add artificial intelligence to your small business’ operations is by using a chatbot. Here are some of the best chatbots and chatbot platforms for your small business to put to work, courtesy of social network co-founder and director of business development Pat Mackaronis of Brabble.
This service is useful for people with very little coding or programming experience, or businesses looking to try out chatbots without spending too much money. ChattyPeople will create a custom bot for your business powered by their expertly-crafted AI technology, perfect for small businesses and e-commerce shops. Alternatively, if you’re more hands-on, they’ll teach you how to make your own chatbots and give you the necessary tech to build from. As Mackaronis explains, this means you can customize your bots’ responses and behaviors yourself. ChattyPeople includes voice and text functionality and can easily be added to Facebook and Shopify.
Another platform for people with limited coding knowledge, Chatfuel is among the most simple and user-friendly platforms for creating chatbots. Their site boasts that you’ll be able to launch a fully-featured chatbot in 7 minutes. Chatfuel allows you to do that and more, making Facebook Messenger bots that can gather information using forms inside the chat window, share content cards with your followers, and interact with users in multiple ways. Chatfuel lets you make bots that give people option buttons for their responses or prompts them to respond with text, giving you multiple ways of engaging users. Its AI tech is solid enough to hold detailed conversations with customers. Chatfuel’s users include MTV, Volkswagen, and Adidas.
3. Flow XO
This platform opens up avenues beyond Facebook Messenger, which is more than some others can say (we’re looking at you, Chatfuel). And you can design one bot that integrates into multiple messaging services, saving you valuable time you’d otherwise spend reprogramming responses. Pat Mackaronis explains that Flow XO can integrate into 100 messaging platforms, and comes with a ton of pre-built templates that make getting started a snap. You’ll have to pay for a subscription after your bot reaches a certain number of conversations, but it’s free to try it out.
The design interface for this AI chatbot platform is beautiful and intuitive. Instead of the rigid diagrams that many other platforms use to piece together conversations, Motion.ai turns the conversation into a flowchart so that you can easily map out the intended outcome of each interaction in an instinctive visual environment. Bots made in Motion.ai work in Facebook Messenger, Slack, and others. There are few other platforms that make programming your bot so easy and fun.
5. QnA Maker
Sometimes you don’t need a bot to do everything, but rather a bot to do one thing very well. If your customer interactions are primarily limited to answering a couple basic questions, Microsoft’s QnA bot is perfect for you. And you don’t need to manually enter all of your responses; you can simply direct QnA bot to the FAQ page for your website and it will automatically gather all the information it needs to answer these questions when it’s presented with them. You can also use QnA to harness the power of Microsoft Cognitive Services to interpret and interact in startlingly realistic ways.
As Mackaronis explains, For small businesses, AI tech may seem superfluous, untenable, or unapproachable. But when used in the context of a chat boy, AI saves you from paying for extra labor in sales or reception, giving you valuable man-hours to put toward other important considerations.