Rebot.me: Create your own chatbot
Rebot.me allows you to create your own chatbot. It's easy and needs no previous knowledge of programming.
But why do you need a chatbot? If you have a website where users ask the same questions all the time you can easily design a chatbot to give them the answers. Sure, you'll need a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page too for those who don't like chatbots but it gives a new dimension to your site. Some of your customers may prefer to ask a chatbot rather than read a FAQ page. Other visitors may not even ever need to go to the help pages if their immediate questions can be answered by using a chatbot accessible from the home page.
If you've ever used a site where there's an 'Ask x' option, that'll be a chatbot. Many retail sites will have them to deal with basic questions about orders, payments and refunds, for instance. Banking sites like them too and quite often IT teams will install something similar on their help pages for office-based intranets.
The good thing about a chatbot is that you can teach it to answer whatever questions you like using keywords and formulaic answers. Of course, there are always those who want to use such technology for scams and spam mail, but most people want to use one either for fun or for serious purposes on a commercial site.
To use rebot.me, first you need to create your free account. Then it’s straight on to creating your own bot. The customization tools are easy to use and then comes the fun part of ‘teaching’ it to respond to questions appropriately. The more your chatbot is used, the more it will learn to react to questions in the correct way and the better it will sound to your potential customers. It’s not just an automated answering machine for questions, it is also a good marketing device, so long as the answers it provides are sensible, of course.
For those of you who prefer a video intro rather than an article, head over to Rebot on Vimeo for the visual introduction. For a simple tutorial on how to make a chatbot, try How to Create a Chatbot , and for more information on the Rebot.me company, you’ll be wanting About Us on their own site.
These programs have a serious use for retail and customer service applications. However, you could quite happily decide to have a chatbot on your own domain, which you could program to answer questions in a comic way as a gimmick. At least that would guarantee your friends and visitors would never think of your site as being boring, and your work could well even create more of a talking point as a result.
Image Credit » Image supplied by rebot.me and used with permission.