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Building A Chatbot From Scratch For Free | DIY Chatbot

If you, the reader, happen to be engaged in chatbots, there is a distinct possibility that you may be interested in this content. And why wouldn’t you be? Chatbots are projected to be responsible for saving businesses an estimated $8 billion by 2020, as well as transforming into a $20 billion industry by 2025. However, constructing a chatbot from scratch can be a formidable undertaking – particularly if you lack the faintest idea of where to begin. This is where we come into the picture!

Would it not be worthwhile to acquire knowledge regarding the construction of a chatbot from scratch without incurring any expenditure whatsoever? In this blog post, we shall furnish you with information on precisely that – Building A Chatbot.

In the realm of chatbot optimization, there are critical factors that must be considered to ensure maximal efficacy. Among these key considerations, we will delve into practical recommendations designed to assist business owners seeking to amplify customer engagement and marketers endeavoring to augment their social media presence. For those willing to devote the necessary effort to explore these insights, we guarantee that your time will be well-spent, and you will not regret the investment. So without further ado, let us proceed to explore the intricacies of chatbot optimization!

What is a chatbot and what are its uses?

The past few years have borne witness to a substantial evolution of chatbots, resulting in a remarkable degree of user-friendliness. Yet, the critical inquiry that demands attention pertains to the definition of a chatbot and its multifarious applications.

As we venture forth to unravel the intricacies of this domain, we must first inquire, what precisely is a chatbot, and what purposes does it serve?

At its core, a chatbot is an ingenious computer program meticulously crafted to simulate human conversation. Chatbots find application across a wide range of sectors, including but not limited to, customer service, marketing, and sales. They can be utilized to automate mundane and repetitive tasks like scheduling appointments or providing information regarding products and services. Additionally, they are capable of answering queries or providing support to customers in a timely manner.

Multiple chatbot platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, and Kik, are available in the market, each possessing a unique set of features and functionalities.

Certain chatbots have been designed to facilitate customers in carrying out specific tasks like purchasing a product or booking a hotel room. Conversely, other chatbots are tailored to furnish customer support or respond to inquiries concerning a company’s products or services.

Chatbots can be used for a varied usecases, including:

As you contemplate deploying chatbots for your enterprise, it is crucial to select an appropriate chatbot platform. An aptly selected chatbot can markedly enhance your customer experience and simultaneously liberate time and resources for your team. Multiple chatbot platforms, each unique with respect to their features and capabilities, are at your disposal.

Chatbots can proficiently handle a plethora of business processes, ranging from automating repetitive tasks, answering customer queries, providing customer support, increasing sales and leads, to improving customer service. The key to successfully deploying chatbots for your business is to opt for the chatbot platform that best aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Choose the right chatbot platform for your business:

Selecting the optimal chatbot platform for your business necessitates a rigorous appraisal of your specific requirements and objectives. The complex spectrum of chatbot platforms can induce disorientation, causing one to ponder over how to distinguish the most fitting option.

So, what strategy can you adopt to ascertain the perfect chatbot platform for your business?

This can be achieved by scrutinizing some fundamental questions:

  • What are the objectives you hope to achieve through the employment of a chatbot?
  • Which type of chatbot caters to your business model and its respective requirements?
  • What features and functionalities are of the utmost significance to both you and your customers?
  • To what extent do you necessitate customization?
  • Lastly, what is the monetary allocation you are willing to allot for the chatbot platform?

Having coherent answers to these queries will enable you to streamline the chatbot platform alternatives and ultimately determine the most compatible one. Additionally, it is also imperative to test several platforms to ascertain which one is optimal for both you and your customers. Given the myriad of options available, it is time to augment your marketing strategy with the addition of a chatbot.

Building A Chatbot Using The Free Bot Builder Tool From Microsoft

One may wonder, “How can it be possible to construct a chatbot completely free of cost from the ground up?” Well, if you’re seeking to fabricate a chatbot without incurring any financial expenditure but are not acquainted with the appropriate resources to initiate the process, Microsoft’s complimentary Bot Builder tool is a splendid alternative worth considering.

building a chatbot

Peruse further to unravel more details, and we’ll apprise you on how to utilize the bot builder to fabricate a rudimentary chatbot.

The bot building process with the bot builder is facile and expeditious, necessitating only a scant few minutes. Here are eight uncomplicated steps to create your chatbot expeditiously.

  1. Primarily, you will be mandated to establish a novel bot project. This can be accomplished by navigating to the bot builder homepage and selecting “Create a new bot.”
  1. Subsequently, upon creation of your bot project, you will be redirected to the bot builder interface, where a plethora of options will be available to configure your chatbot. We shan’t delve into every option here; nevertheless, some of the customizable features include the appellation of the bot, avatar, and the initial message.
  1. Post customization, it’s time to commence the construction of the chatbot’s conversation flow. This can be accomplished by appending nodes to the conversation flow chart. Nodes are essentially individual messages that your bot can emit.
  1. To include a node, click the “Add node” button and select the node category you wish to add. There are four diverse types of nodes available:
  • Message nodes: The most rudimentary of all nodes that enables the specification of the message your bot will convey.
  • Input nodes: These nodes facilitate the collection of user inputs.
  • Decision nodes: These nodes allow the bot to deduce decisions based on user inputs.
  • End nodes: These nodes culminate the conversation.
  1. After you’ve incorporated all the nodes you wish, the subsequent step is connecting them to generate the conversation flow. This can be accomplished by merely clicking and dragging the nodes to link them together.
  1. Once you’ve established your conversation flow, it’s time to test its functionality! You can achieve this by selecting the “Test” button situated at the apex of the bot builder interface. This will result in a new window popping up, allowing you to communicate with your bot and observe its responses.
  1. Once you have satisfactorily tested and optimized your chatbot’s performance, the logical next step is to commence the deployment phase, enabling others to interact with it. To initiate this process, locate the “Deploy” button situated atop the bot builder interface. Upon clicking, a new window will materialize, presenting you with an array of options for deploying your chatbot. (For a comprehensive guide on testing and deploying your chatbot, kindly refer to the forthcoming section).
  2. As an additional consideration, it is noteworthy that you can deploy your chatbot across a multitude of platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.

However, in this particular blog post, our focus will center on deploying your chatbot on Facebook.

To effectuate the deployment of your chatbot on Facebook, select the “Facebook” option and execute the “Deploy” command. This will trigger the emergence of a novel window, whereby you will be prompted to provide your Facebook credentials. After successfully completing this requisite step, your chatbot will be deployed to Facebook, and you will be able to engage in dialogues with it in that domain.

Tips for designing your chatbot’s user interface

The design of a chatbot’s user interface represents a critical determinant of the user experience, and as such, must be approached with careful consideration. To achieve a seamlessly efficient and user-friendly interface, it is vital to take into account three pivotal factors.

  • Foremost among these factors is the recognition that chatbots are primarily utilized for swift and transient interactions, mandating a streamlined and unambiguous interface that can be effortlessly navigated.
  • Secondly, given that chatbots are frequently used on compact screens such as those found on smartphones, it is critical to devise an interface that is optimized for such display dimensions and limitations.
  • And finally, perhaps most importantly, chatbots must be capable of accommodating a diverse range of tasks and inquiries, thereby necessitating a flexible and adaptable interface that can be customized to meet the needs of various users.

By adhering to these fundamental principles, you can create a chatbot with a user interface that is not only effective but also user-friendly, catering to the needs of a diverse array of users.

Deploying and testing your chatbot

After having assimilated an exhaustive comprehension of the intricacies and finesse involved in the creation and design of your personal chatbot, the next logical step is to descend further into the rabbit hole and uncover the clandestine enigmas of deployment.

There are numerous methods to deploy your chatbot, yet we shall illuminate the two most commonly implemented strategies: the utilization of a webhook or deploying your chatbot on a platform.

1. If you elect to pursue the former option (Webhook), you must provide an abode for your chatbot on a server. However, we shall not delve too deeply into the technical nuances of this in this blog post, but rest assured that you can stay up-to-date with our blogs to glean more knowledge on this subject.

Returning to the crux of the matter, once your chatbot is hosted, you must register a webhook with your desired chatbot platform (such as Facebook Messenger or Slack), which typically involves furnishing a URL for the webhook along with certain authentication details. Once your webhook is registered, your chatbot will commence receiving messages from users in real-time, and you can respond to them promptly.

2. Alternatively, should you prefer to deploy your chatbot on a platform, you must first create an account with said platform and follow their guidelines for setting up a chatbot. Although this method is generally more straightforward than using a webhook, you will not have as much control over your chatbot.

After your chatbot has been deployed, it is imperative that you thoroughly test it to ensure seamless functionality. This can be accomplished by sending messages to your chatbot and analyzing its responses, and enlisting other individuals to test your chatbot as well. Should any glitches or bugs arise, you must rectify them promptly before launching your chatbot.

Congratulations! You have now constructed and deployed your chatbot, but remember to continuously test and enhance it as needed. Your chatbot has immense potential, and with time and dedication, it will continue to evolve and improve.

Resources for learning more about chatbots

Should you have a desire to broaden your knowledge regarding chatbots, there exists a multitude of superb resources available to satiate your intellectual curiosity. A fine point of departure would be our chatbot guide, which delves into the rudiments of chatbots, elucidating their underlying mechanics and modus operandi. After fortifying your basic comprehension of chatbots, you can proceed to more advanced and intricate topics, such as natural language processing and machine learning, which proffer an elevated and nuanced understanding of these sophisticated systems.

If you find yourself yearning for even more information and in-depth analysis on chatbots, there are numerous other notable resources that are well worth exploring.

Chatbot 101: chatbots.org/chatbot-101

Botkit: botkit.ai

NLTK: nltk.org

Machine Learning: scikit-learn.org/stable/supervised_learning.html

Natural Language Processing: nlp.stanford.edu

How to measure the success of your chatbot

Measuring the success of a chatbot entails the consideration of several metrics, each carrying different weights.

You may track the volume of users that engage with your chatbot, the number of messages that traverse it, its average response time, and the satisfaction rating of your chatbot, as conveyed by user feedback. With these metrics in mind, you can gain visibility into your chatbot’s performance and promptly make requisite enhancements.

Moreover, it is vital to track the specific goals you have set for your chatbot. Suppose your primary objective is to elevate customer satisfaction, then you may monitor key performance indicators such as customer satisfaction rating and average response time. Such metrics can give you a good sense of how your chatbot is performing in meeting its intended objectives.

If you’re uncertain about where to begin, do not fret as several resources and tools are available to assist you in measuring the success of your chatbot. Botify, for instance, offers built-in analytics that can provide valuable insights into your chatbot’s performance. Alternatively, you may use Google Analytics or a similar tool to track chatbot-specific metrics on your website or app.

Regardless of the method you employ, tracking the success of your chatbot is essential to ensure that it’s delivering value to your users and meeting your needs. By diligently measuring and tracking your chatbot’s performance, you can rest assured that you’re leveraging this potent tool to its fullest potential.


There you are! This guide encompasses everything you need to know to begin constructing your chatbot, and a plethora of resources to help you expand your knowledge about this thrilling technology. Granted, as with any new undertaking, there may be obstacles to surmount, but with meticulous planning and execution, your chatbot has the potential to emerge as an invaluable member of your team – and generate tangible business outcomes. So, are you feeling up to the task of creating your chatbot?

And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure of how to start, don’t sweat it. Our team at 12 channels is thrilled to lend you a helping hand. What’s stopping you? Reach out to us today and discover how chatbot marketing can benefit your business. You may be pleasantly surprised by the exceptional results it produces!

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