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Guide

How to build and Launch a Chatbot In Hours

by
Max Pelzner
Entrepreneur. Photographer. Founder & Executive Producer at www.myclone.life
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This how-to guide will teach you how to launch your Chatbot from idea to MVB (Minimum Viable Bot) in hours. As usual, a detailed step by step project plan comes with each story.

Based on "How I Built and Launched My First Chatbot In Hours" by Max Pelzner. 

Intro

Last year I co-launched a brand that was quickly labeled as the Airbnb for music studios.
 
In an effort to create a novel experience and quicker way for someone to find and book studio time, I had the idea to create a chatbot.

Here are my two main benefits for having a chatbot: 
  • Conversational: Sometimes a native app isn’t optimal for creating a conversation with users. Multiple data points, inputs, and use cases can be distilled down into a user friendly conversation. 
  • Simplicity: A bot offers the most immediate and direct solution to a person’s problem or question. 
Let's examine how I did it.

Define Chatbot Objectives

What will this chatbot do for the brand and its' users?

Brand:

- Drive traffic and awareness to website
- Build a CRM channel through Messenger
- Gather feedback from studios and loyal fans

User:

- Build a novel experience through Messenger
- Create an easier way to find music studios and book studio time

Define Chatbot Domain

How broad is the understanding?

Can the chatbot find any type of music studio and also any location in the world? Or just music studios in the United States? Or only music studios in Los Angeles?

How deep is the knowledge?

Will the chatbot know of every music studio that’s on the site? Or just the Top Line music studios? Will it share high quality photos of the studio if someone wants to see more photos?

Decide when to use Rails vs NLP

Think of Rails as preset paths for conversation that help the user move sequentially through stages, with buttons for available options.

Content → Option A B or C → Content → Option A B or C

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is when the bot analyzes free text input to determine intent, and then delivers the relevant content or action.“
“I want to book studio time at Electric Feel Studios in Los Angeles.” The chatbot would know that this sentence includes ;

- Intent to book studio time
- The music studio is Electric Feel Studios
- The location of the studio is in Los Angeles, CA

Map out Conversation Flow

In order to actually build the chatbot, I started to map out the conversation flow using Scapple. It helped me quickly create something visual to get an idea of how the chatbot experience would feel for the end user.

Outline Bot Structure

I decided to use Chatfuel bot-building platform due to it’s simplicity and minimal programming required. With a clear picture of the conversation flow, I started to add blocks for:
  • Menu  
  • Destinations 
  • Feedback  
  • Small talk answers 
  • Keyword responses

Define Content Sources

I used Airtable to manage the studio profiles I was going to add to the bot.

Bot Rollout, Live Testing, and Iteration

** I quickly set up my phone to record the live feedback (smart idea!)
Thousands of new messages started to come in after this.
After re-watching the video and taking some notes, I captured the last comment and failed responses to adjust ‘small talk’ answers and AI keywords and phrases. 

Launch Day Promotion

  • The next morning I submitted to Product Hunt, Botlist, BotArena, and BotPages
  • I posted in 30+ Facebook Groups focused on the tech community and music industry. More messages started coming in... 
  • I also sent emails to the sites who covered our initial Studiotime launch including: The FADER, Hypebeast/Hypetrak, FACT, etc 

Analyze the stats

My results...

⭐️ Featured on Botlist Homepage

Botlist has driven over 1,000 new messages a day since launching and being featured on their homepage.
⭐️ Featured on BotArena Homepage
⭐️ Named VentureBeat’s 100 people to watch in the chatbot space

Follow up

So, where do I learn about chatbots?

Here are my suggestions for where to go to learn more about chatbots : 
Story by
Max Pelzner
Entrepreneur. Photographer. Founder & Executive Producer at www.myclone.life