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How to Create a Chatbot in 2021: an Ultimate Guide

Updated 08 Sep 2021

Published 13 Feb 2020

18 Min

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Messaging is one of the most popular communication ways worldwide, and more than half of gadget users prefer it. That’s why it is worth to create chatbot — an intelligent solution answering customers' questions or completing simple actions in the chat interface. Making a chatbot is not only for entertainment but also for business. Such a solution provides a better experience for both the customers and entrepreneurs, optimizing routine processes like bill payments or customer support and saving money due to reduced staff loads.

Such world-known companies as Facebook, Amazon, and Starbucks know how to develop chatbots for their businesses, and what about you? Would you like to increase your company income by a bot implementation? To help you in it, we’ve prepared a guide on how to make your own chatbot. You’ll get to know about bot architecture and types, required technologies, and many more.

A Chatbot Marketing Survey

To find out how to create chatbots, let’s understand the essence of a bot. It is a software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent. It also has promising prospects of growth, according to industry estimates.

Thus, Gartner stated that 70% of employees would create own chatbot by 2022, which comes true even today. In the context of severely limited interactions with customers, post-COVID business required an adequate solution. So, most companies found their way out of restrictions by answering the question how to develop a chatbot or a digital business assistant. That’s why a talkbot market is estimated at $7.7 billion, according to CB Insights’ survey of 2021.

Moreover, the chatbot forecasts are also optimistic. As per Juniper Research, the bot market will grow to more than $110 billion by 2023. But what will help talkbots be so popular? Why will people ask how to make chatbot app more often than ever?

Let's look closer at trends of chatbot building. Firstly, chatbots start being more complicated, upgrading from year to year. Thus, by 2023 they’ll help customers economize about 5 billion hours during the interactions. Considering the IT sphere development, we can forecast that the self-learning bots will be more and more popular. Before you’ll build your own chatbot, you should know the following trends of its creation:

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • NLU (Natural Language Understanding)
  • NLP (Natural Language Processing)

Such bots will afford the customers to obtain more personal attention, answering their primary questions based on the previously gained experience. Meanwhile, due to the bot communication with customers, the business owners may economize to 30% expenses once needed for client support and obtain an assistant that can work 24/7. Bear in mind that AI can’t totally substitute communication with a living person but amplify their workflow. So, this is also one of the ways to create your own AI chatbot or a rule-based one.

The Essential Benefits of Making a Chatbot

Analyzing the stats given above, you can find out the chatbot perspectives and necessity to invest in its development due to the following benefits.

Chatbot benefits for business

Reasons to build own chatbot for business

  • Cost-Effectiveness. JPMorgan Chase & Co, one of the most progressive and biggest US banks, has answered how to create AI chatbot, launching the entire automated centers. The bots can perform various actions like providing access to the bank's software or user password reset. Such chatbots can work instead of 140 people, handling about 1,7 million access requests, which is cost-efficient and time-saving.

  • Availability & simplification. Since a chatbot is available day and night, it helps customers get faster support and even simplifies the trading process. For example, Taco Bell, a US company producing fast food, built TacoBot for sales automation and succeeded in it.

Taco Bell

  • Keen understanding. The people usually find and buy an appropriate product through your company but rarely talk to you. A chatbot implementation can quickly solve this issue. So, the bots can assist you in improving your products and services, providing your company with the recorded insights of the customers' most significant obstacles.

  • Personalized Services. Chatbots provide an excellent opportunity for personalized interaction with clients throughout the customer lifecycle. Chatbot service offers all sorts of information about a product, provides support, and interacts with the client, offering guidance.

So, you can find out that talkbots are beneficial. It will be a pro argument to build your own chatbot. However, the building process of a complex bot can be challenging, if you don’t know its peculiarities.

A Chatbot Types Differentiation

There are two essential types of chatbots usually distinguished: rule-based solutions and AI ones. Let’s look at them closer, defining how to make your own chatbot and what type it will be.

Rule-Based Chatbots

This kind of chatbot is proper for small companies with particular aims (like a bot answering FAQ). Such bots can follow various scenarios and accomplish many tasks, though they are more straightforward than AI products.

Maybe you’ll ask, “How can I make a chatbot functioning like that?” Thus, you need to know that rule-based bots have a ‘map’ of the conversation using ‘if/then’ logic. It is a list of questions a customer may ask and instructions for the chatbot to respond. This way, such bots can solve the problems they are familiar with.

Rule-based bot benefits:

  • Optimal development budget
  • Security
  • Integration with legacy systems
  • Possibility to contain and transfer media files
Rule-based chatbots

Companies that use rule-based chatbots

AI Bots

Let’s move on with AI chatbots. They are famous for their self-learning possibilities, due to which they not only perceive users’ intentions represented in messages but also analyze them to offer better feedback. So, the more you train them, the more appropriate answers they give.

So, if you’ve got a question on how to build AI chatbot, you should first investigate its benefits:

  • Data analysis conducted by AI
  • The customers’ behavior analysis
  • Multilingual communication
  • Decision-making possibility
AI chatbots

Companies that know how to make an AI chatbot

Thus, after studying the bot types, let’s answer a reasonable question: how to build chatbot that your business requires? Both the highlighted types have their own set of benefits, and it’s almost impossible to define the best one.

So, making such a difficult choice, you should act due to your business scale. If a small business needs a FAQ chatbot, it would be better to choose a rule-based solution. If you've got a large company that requires a more complicated solution that can make decisions itself, you should develop an AI-based bot.

Find out your chatbot development cost. We’ve listed the required features and calculated the final price.

How Chatbot Works and Its Architecture

We reviewed the basic chatbot types above, and now it’s time to find out how they operate. For instance, rule-based chatbots have a list of interactions based on ‘playbooks’ the developer set up on the back end of the user interface. It’s common for such bots to work by choosing options to click. For instance, if the client buys shoes, they should select 'Red' or 'White' colour in rule-based chatbot.

The functionality of AI chatbots depends on ML and Artificial Intelligence that analyze the data. Such solutions create a response due to the info they've got. However, AI bots need a training period, so their development is more expensive and time-consuming. Further, you’ll find out how to make a chatbot AI-trained for your customers’ satisfaction by choosing the appropriate technologies and frameworks.

Chatbots’ Architecture and Operating Principles

Despite the chatbots' complexity, the software structure is the same. However, such solutions become complicated after adding additional components for more natural communication. So, let's take a look at the working scheme of a chatbot, how to create it, and make a plan describing the basic solution's architecture.

chatbot architecture

The architecture of chatbot — how to make

Chatbot Integration with External Systems

Every business system needs to perform data transfer to solve its company's issues correctly. However, it isn't easy to do it manually, so automated integration technology is essential there. Thanks to the chatbot integration with the external systems, you can speed up bot task completion, enhance the quality of the services, save funds and time, etc., thinking out how to create your own talkbot with less effort.

What external systems can you interact with? Today the most popular interactions are with API, CRM and CMS systems, Google services, etc. Let’s discuss it.

Today, the integration methods changed, and the developers use Application programming interface (API) to adapt to a particular messenger or website settings. During this process, they deal with two basic API styles: REST and SOAP. Nevertheless, such techniques have different architecture; they both use the HTTP protocol. API can also act as an intermediary between a chatbot and an operator providing the last one with all the necessary information from the customer.

As to the CRM and CSM systems, they are comfortable and powerful tools of interactions with customers. Integrate your newly created chatbot with them. Then, you can optimize cooperation processes with users, storing their data and managing this content quickly and simply.

If you integrate your bot with Google services (let it be Google Sheets), you can place data you need in Google Sheets doc, and the bot will use it as an answer for a possible question. For instance, you can build a phone number reminder. This way, you place your friends’ names and phone numbers in Google Sheets, and the bot will show the entered data on your gadget’s screen. You need only to put down the name of a friend you have to phone.

We’ve discussed only three of the most popular interactions. But you can see that there are numerous ways on how to build your own chatbot being integrated with external systems. You should only analyze the functionalities you need the most and choose a system for integration.

Five Vital Steps to Create a Chatbot

  • Follow your consumers’ expectations and pain points
  • Define a platform to integrate with chatbots
  • Choose and involve skillful programmers
  • Choose the tech stack to be used
  • Check out and apply
Steps to make a chatbot

How to create my own chatbot: necessary steps

Now we’re going to investigate every mentioned stage of creating a chatbot particularly.

  1. Follow Your Consumers’ Expectations and Pain Points

The question of how to make chatbots is not as easy-going as it seems for the first time. The main goal of a bot development is to provide customers with a better experience. So, for a proper goal implementation, you need to start with a survey. Conduct market analysis, create a buyer persona, and define your business aims following your customers’ needs. This way, you can discover the users’ expectations and answer how to create a chatbot application in a better way.

Here’s the thing: if you know people’s pain points, you’ll make up a list of chatbot’s required functionality without any problem. For instance, if you have a logistics company, your clients need to know the delivery time. Thus, you have to integrate a calendar into your talkbot. But keep in mind that the design has to stay attractive and user-friendly despite any upgrades.

Learn more about how to create a calender app: use cases and technologies.

  1. Define a Platform to Integrate With Chatbots

Due to the chatbot’s flexibility, you can integrate them with different communication apps. However, you should clearly understand what app is suitable for your target audience. For instance, you would like to build your chatbot for an app or a business website. Bear in mind that it’s also possible to make a chatbot in messengers like Telegram, Skype, or Facebook Messenger.

How do you make a chatbot? There’s everything you need to know

  1. Choose and Involve Skillful Developers

If you’re looking for a custom AI solution with a bunch of exciting features, cooperation with software developers is necessary.

Looking for chatbot programmers?

Our team is at your disposal! We have 10+ years of experience in custom chatbot development!

The market offers a lot of chatbot making solutions. However, their opportunities are quite limited, and dealing with living persons would be better for your future bot quality. You can find programmers on such platforms as:

In-house development vs. outsourcing: what's the difference and what fits your business better?

  1. Choose the Tech Stack to be Used

If you ask yourself something like, “how do I create a chatbot, profitable and user-friendly?” you should know bot development frameworks and tools. The question is what to choose. With the help of a framework, you can develop a complex chatbot that will fulfill your users’ expectations and help you stay profitable and successful. But if you choose the second variant, you’ll obtain a bot having limited functionality.

We’ll tell more on how to make a chatbot app discussing technologies more precisely in the next part of our guide.

Check Out and Apply

You should carefully test the newly created bot before launch to obtain a bug-free and easy-to-use solution. During this stage, you should also verify that a chatbot meets the customers' expectations and requirements. And even since your talkbot is ready to use, you need to improve it, constantly monitoring and changing the conversations. As to the money issues, you should remember that the reliable companies provide their customers with a full scope of Quality Assurance services in order you could launch your bot to the market without bugs.

How to Build a Chatbot: Technology Stack

Now, let’s discuss a tech stack needed for building a chatbot. From all the technologies you can single out two groups — chatbot maker solutions and frameworks. And we’ll tell you about the most popular and powerful ones.

Chatbot Maker Solutions

To build a chatbot answering your business’ requirements, you can use a talkbot maker solution. They’ll help you create a bot with an eye to business success (according to the cutting-edge development trends of commercial chatbots), an educational or a healthcare one. But bear in mind that such solutions can usually offer a limited toolset: that’s why the upcoming bot will be quite straightforward. You’ll get acquainted with how to create own chatbot by looking through our prepared list of bot constructors.

Platforms for chatbot development

Make a chatbot app with the following bot constructors’ help

Chatfuel

Chatfuel is a free and straightforward platform, intended to build chatbots for social networks like Instagram or Facebook. These solutions interact with customers by a button tap. It offers many essential features like sharing updates with your customers automatically or collecting data in Messenger chats. You should only follow proposed tutorials writing user stories and use cases and test the already built solutions. Thus, Chatfuel would be the perfect match to create the first bot by yourself.

Botsify

This talkbot builder with multichannel maintenance that allows creating chatbots used for websites, Slack, Facebook messages and pages, etc. You may also create bots for client support automation with such functionality as integration through ML, Smart AI, plugins, and so on. Botsify can be used for free during the 2 week trial period, and after that, you should choose a subscription plan.

Flow XO

It is ready to build chatbot for social networks, mobile applications, and sites. It is famous for simple navigation and a lot of ready templates, so that the development process may run quicker. Flow XO supports various languages, sends push notifications if required, and performs other functions.

QnA Maker

Microsoft has built QnA Maker to create chatbots answering FAQs. The development process is quick. You only have to share FAQ pages you need to develop a chatbot with a user-friendly interface. Moreover, the future bot will be self-learning supporting about 50 languages.

Motion.ai

HubSpot created Motion.ai to create powerful bots. This chatbot constructor allows building and launching chatbots to the website or apps like Slack, Facebook, etc. You can monthly build 2 well-trained chatbots sized for 1000 messages.

ChatBot

This constructor allows us to develop bots intended for messaging apps, Facebook pages, and websites. So, how to build chatbots using it? There’s a wide range of different templates prepared for recruitment, booking, or sales assistants. During communication, you can also prepare dynamic answers with buttons and images. Moreover, ChatBot gives you the possibility to test your developed assistant before launching.

Got lost in technology?

Find out the necessary tools for your chatbot after consultation with our specialists!

Chatbot Development Frameworks

Chatbots constructed by a bot builder can’t have enough features for a complex solution. So, asking yourself, “how can I create a chatbot proper for my company?” you can obtain an answer by means of a custom chatbot fulfilling requirements of your business. You can use a lot of frameworks during the development workflow. However, if you are not a technical guru, you need interaction with skillful developers to integrate the following frameworks:

Wit.AI

This NLP framework allows making chatbots created with the help of machine learning for different messaging platforms. Wit.AI can be combined with programming languages like Ruby, Node.js, and Python. With this framework, you may build, test, and apply multilingual interactions for free without any other limitations. So, the question of how to create my own chatbot wouldn’t be nerve-wracking for you.

IBM Watson

How do you create a chatbot with a multilingual function? IBM Watson is ready to help you with that! It gained popularity due to its architecture that allows building custom AI chatbots supporting different languages like Arabic, English, Spanish, and many others. This tool supports many platforms and can be used for free in a month’s trial period. Its essential activity is to get questions being formed with the help of a natural language and give replies to them.

Microsoft Bot Framework

The founders of Microsoft Bot Framework know for sure how chatbots are created. This framework assists in building intelligent chatbots able to talk with users and listen to them. Moreover, the obtained bots are scalable and secure products supporting Slack, or Skype.

BotKit

BotKit’s primary purpose is making chatbot for companies. The framework has a bunch of useful libraries, and plugins that provide exciting features such as metrics or statistics, so the question of how create chatbot with BotKit won’t be difficult for you. Moreover, BotKit also allows operating with scripted dialogs and supports actions containing branching logic, questions, and other dynamic behavior.

Pandorabots

Pandorabots allows users to bring their bot solutions to life through animations. Such conversational agents can be built using the AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) open standard. For example, a Superfish chatbot was built thanks to the Pandorabots framework. Such a chatbot create performing the role of an English teacher was an optimal solution for some Chinese areas suffering from English-speaking people shortage.

Frameworks for bot development

How to make a chatbot: practical frameworks

Remember: to know how to make AI chatbot via constructor is not enough. After a development workflow is accomplished, you should teach your bot how to build phrases correctly, understanding the pronounced or written requests like a human. And a chatbot teaching looks like a human one.

You should make the bot understand how to divide things into important ones and unnecessary noises. To do that, the chatbot uses language and acoustic models that are able to self-learn and experience accumulation. The language model helps the talkbot understand the speech correctly and sequentially, and the acoustic one turns the words pronounced into digital data that will correspond to particular words.

Then, the bot should understand the sense of the speech perceived. Its intellectual process goes the following way: it compares the phrase with previously used learning templates and finds the most appropriate sense. After that it matches the obtained data with a specific information type (such as e-commerce, travel and hospitality, sales, etc.) And finally, your bot needs to be taught to understand the phrase given in context and prepare an appropriate reply.

Thus, you can make your own AI chatbot regarding different steps from creation to bot teaching and maintenance.

Rule-Based Chatbots vs. Custom AI Solutions: What to Build?

So, you’ve got two chatbot options: a rule-based one and a custom solution. The question is, how make chatbot reimburse for your business expenses and gain profit?

The first bot option is appropriate for small businesses. Though, the feature set of such chatbots is limited according to the functionality of the chatbot builder that constructed it. The AI products are more complex, and their feature set can be limited only by the functionality of the messenger they are integrated into.

Keep in mind that no one chatbot constructor can build a solution satisfying all your needs. That’s why you should collaborate with a development team that will build a custom chatbot according to your business required characteristics. Moreover, they’ll maintain a ready-made solution as long as possible.

But before answering the question of how to create a AI chatbot, you should define an approximate timing for custom solution building. Commonly, the talkbot creation time varies from hours till 2-3 weeks and more due to the complexity of solution. The average time estimation needed for AI bot development is given below.

Average timing for custom chatbot

Feature to buildAverage timing (in hours)Comments

Integration with 1 chat

40-56 hours

can be varied according to the solution complexity

Command UI

User interpreter for command language

40-56 hours

can be varied according to the number of teams

Natural language UI

120-160 hours

can be varied according to the number of teams

Business logic

Current business logic adaptation (working with the existing apps)

120-160 hours

can be varied according to the logic amount

Logic development from scratch

160-192 hours

can be varied according to the logic amount

Wrapping Up

How to create a chatbot app? First off, you need to consider your business goals and requirements to define a kind of chatbot — rule-based or custom. After that, you need to advise with experienced developers to view the necessary technologies and create your chatbot with their help. They’ll give you an expert opinion on all the issues concerning how to make your own AI chatbot, how to build chatbot application, and others.

Cleveroad’s team is skillful in the development of various intelligent assistants. We can solve any tech issues considering how to make chatbot or how to build a chatbot app and offer high-quality development services. If you have any questions about chatbot building, frameworks integration, or how to make a chatbot with AI, feel free to contact our managers.

Looking for help with a chatbot?

We’re ready to build it from scratch for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you need to create a chatbot app, you should know its crucial advantages for business.

  • Availability & simplification. The chatbots are available 24/7, providing faster answers and support. It leads to improving the customers’ experience. Moreover, chatbots can not only provide the required data on the goods but also order them directly.
  • Personalized services. An amazing opportunity for personalized interaction with clients during the customer lifecycle is brought by chatbots. Chatbot service offers all information about a product, provides support, and interacts with the client.
  • Cost-effectiveness. You can save money and time on customer support and other services due to chatbot use.
  • Keen understanding. Due to the chatbot communication with customers you can obtain the recorded insights of customers' greatest obstacles.

You need to follow five main steps if you want to make a chatbot from scratch.

  • Follow your users’ expectations and needs.
  • Choose platforms and systems to integrate with chatbots.
  • Hire programmers skillful in chatbot development.
  • Discover the technologies and frameworks.
  • Test and apply.

These steps can help you make chatbot meeting your company’s requirements and profitable for your business.

Below you can find a list of the most powerful tools that give a reply on how to develop a chatbot.

  • Chatfuel
  • Botsify
  • Flow XO
  • QnA Maker
  • Motion.ai
  • ChatBot

There are a lot of frameworks that you can integrate during the chatbot development to give a reply on how to make a AI chatbot.

  • Facebook Wit.AI
  • IBM Watson
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • BotKit
  • Pandorabots
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Comments

5 comments
CH
Carrie Hoffman
13.05.2020 at 12:39

Cool post!

ER
Eemeli Ramo
08.06.2020 at 04:33

Quite useful article. Thanks.

S
Supaporn
15.08.2020 at 04:33

thanks for sharing.

JS
Jeffery Stone
11.09.2020 at 05:33

Hi! Thanks for your post! I have a startup food delivery company and want to integrate a chatbot to a website to make the order process faster. Now I understand chatbots benefits for business.

VR
Valentin Rodriguez
28.09.2020 at 06:09

Chatbots are really changing the world. I liked tech part of the post. These frameworks can simplify the development process. I am glad your team choose these development tools.

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