Let's look at personal chatbots, what they can do for you, how you can build one yourself (pretty much for free) and some tips on taking yours to the next level.
What can a personal chatbot do for you?
The best chatbots solve a very specific issue.
We commonly remind our clients not to try to solve everything with one chatbot. This piece of advice stands when it comes to personal chatbots.
Chatbots are great for automating repetitive tasks. In the business world, for instance, chatbots are the perfect tool to answer repetitively asked questions.
But what about you?
It’s likely that you have a busy diary. Managing it is time-consuming in itself. Wouldn't you know it, diary management and appointment booking are some of the most common ways to leverage a personal chatbot.
It’s relatively simple to implement a bot on a chat platform that has access to your calendar and can take bookings for you. This leaves you free to get on with your work rather than handling all those enquiries manually.
With an automated booking system, you’re no longer on the phone or slugging through emails, and have that extra time to do what you love doing.
At ubisend, we build high-end chatbot solutions (proof of concept and tailored, in the link above).
So where does a personal chatbot fall?
Your chatbot PA needs to respond to questions or make users follow a conversation path that provides you with an outcome. In most cases, these types of solutions don't need to start too complex.
It’s unlikely that you’ll need all of the functionality that chatbots can provide if you’re looking for a digital PA, but equally, something that’s poorly executed could end up costing you more time.
To get you started, there are some really quick and easy prototyping tools available on the web. Have a quick tinker with them to get a much clearer (visual) understanding of what you can achieve visually.
With it, you can design conversations for platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Slack. Use it to design a flow and build out your conversational journey. This will help you understand how you want to funnel your user conversations to ultimately reach your end goal.
We sometimes use this tool to quickly process and express ideas with clients.
Of course, when you realise the efficiencies that a chatbot can bring you or your business, you’ll identify other areas where your company could certainly benefit from this kind of automation. You will also likely stumble into some of the limitations of basic chatbot platforms and wonder - ‘Should I really do this myself without professional assistance?’
So now that you have prototyped a chatbot, the remaining questions all revolve around whether you should utilise a self-build platform and do this yourself.
There are certainly benefits to using one of the many drag and drop providers out there, but there are also some rather large downsides that you should be aware of before proceeding.
DIY platforms are certainly cheaper and can be faster to work with. There are plenty of providers that offer the opportunity to build your own bot in minutes with no coding and launch on platforms like Facebook Messenger.
If that’s all you’re looking for, great. Before you proceed, be aware of some of the issues you could be presented with.
Your options will be limited to the functionality that the platform offers,
Choosing a chatbot provider that provides a custom built and fully integrated solution is a sure way of ensuring that you get the best out of AI and end up with a tailored PA that comes with all of the bells and whistles.
These bots are also more future proof.
As AI becomes more and more important in your personal and professional life, you will want to expand its use into other areas. Working with a specialist provider enables you to scale your chatbot with your business and provide efficiencies across all industries, departments, and purposes.