Best chatbot building platforms

Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for organisations all over the world with many using the virtual agent to handle a wide range of customer services.

It's a technology that is starting to move from the edge to the mainstream, with names as big as Spotify, Starbucks and Mastercard all adopting chatbots in some form in recent months and years.

The use of artificial intelligence and the ability to converse in natural language can make chatbots seem as if we are experiencing the future right now. However, you don't have to be a Silicon Valley giant with endless developers to hand to build one.

In fact, you could do it from your own home and you don't even necessarily need complex programming skills.

Here is a selection of the best platforms to use if you want to build your own chatbot.

You can also find out more about what chatbots are and who's working on them here.

WotNot

WotNot

WotNotwas launched in 2017 after the idea was sparked by a client of its parent company, who was struggling with customer wait times.

It can easily integrate into your current workflows and provide scalable automated customer service.

WotNot also comes with a whole host of features including multilingual responses, 24/7 access and integration with Facebook, Twitter, Slack, SMS messages and WhatsApp.

It also provides custom analytics and the ability to hand over to a human if the bot is not providing relevant responses.

Bottr

Bottr

Most of the chatbot builders listed offer similar features, but Bottr's platform is a little different.

This chatbot builder works as a Twitter assistant, gathering responses from your previous Tweets to create a personal chatbot.

Key features include automated responses to private messages, auto-reply suggestions to tweets, auto-likes and retweets, automated private welcome messages and in-depth analytics. Bottr will also follow your Twitter conversations and notify you if anything similar pops up that might interest you.

Botsify
iStock

Botsify

Botsify, which launched in 2016, is a machine learning chatbot development platform that allows users to create AI chatbots on websites or Facebook Messenger.

It also has integrations with Alexa, WordPress, Shopify and Zapier. Botsify includes a ‘Human Takeover’ which enables users to easily customise conversations and live chat interfaces to observe the conversations from a chatbot.

Botsify features an easy drag and drop interface, embedded to help users with template designing.

IBM Watson Assistant
iStock

IBM Watson Assistant

IBM’s Watson Assistantoffers a platform enabling developers and non-technical users to collaborate on building conversational AI solutions.

The features, such as graphical UI and other familiar developer features allow users to create simple chatbots and other enterprise grade solutions easily.

With Watson Assistant, chatbots can be tailored to specific business requirements and can be up and running in just a few weeks once trained.

The platform is able to interpret dialogs and entities, supports English and Japanese languages and provides developers with a range of SDK’s to extend the chatbot features as required.

Converse.ai
iStock

Converse.ai

Converse.aiallows you to build intelligent chatbots without coding. It is integrated with Salesforce, Stripe, Paypal and other third-party apps.

It has a built-in query and analytics engine which can be tailored to every business, to enable users to easily track and understand how people engage with their services.

Converse.ai also enables users to easily integrate chatbots with existing services such as Slack, Twilio and more.

Botstar
iStock

Botstar

Botstar, which launched in Australia in 2017, has built an online chatbot platform that allows users to design, develop and train chatbots. It offers professional templates for easy design and allows companies to publish their chatbots to multiple platforms simultaneously. It also provides multiple integrations plus monitoring and tracking capabilities.

Its pitch is that chatbot development is less about programming and more about mastering conversations and languages, with its platform allowing you to move away from development to focus on your audience and specific needs.

Mobile Monkey

Mobile Monkey

Mobile Monkeylets you build a Facebook Messenger chatbot in minutes with no coding experience required, enabling automated mobile messaging between businesses and their customers. The training process requires you to review and answer a few questions every couple of days, helping your chatbot learn to ask and answer any question about your company.

Mobile Monkey acquired ChattyPeople in June 2018, and hopes to further spread the word about Facebook Messenger chatbots.

Landbot.io
iStock

Landbot.io

Landbot.iois a platform that lets you turn a website into a chatbot. With this tool you can also create bots on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or live chat and manage them from the same platform with human assistance features.

It creates a conversational interface in substitution of forms, and requires no coding experience to get started.

Flow XO
iStock

Flow XO

Flow XOis a UK-based company providing a visual platform that allows you to easily build and create your own chatbot for your website, Facebook, SMS, Telegram and Slack.

It has over 100 integrations with other systems businesses use, without the need for coding abilities or technical knowledge.

The Bot Platform
iStock

The Bot Platform

The Bot Platform'sCMS allows you to build, test, deploy, and track multiple bots on both Facebook Messenger and Workplace.

Used by the likes of the BBC, Showtime, and Sony Music, its platform enables those with no coding experience to build and deploy a bot in minutes.

The Bot Platform's marketing automation system functionality allows bot users to be segmented based on how they interact with the bot. This, alongside the ability to integrate into Google Analytics, provides insights into user preferences and behaviour. Customers can then use the platform to generate bespoke outbound messages like surveys, drip campaigns, and more, aimed at specific user segments.

Chatfuel
© Chatfuel

Chatfuel

This chatbot engine will do most of the hard work for you, ideal for those lacking programming experience.

MTV, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, British Airways and Adidas are said to have used Chatfuel to create their chatbots along with almost 20 thousand other users across the globe.

The user interface is easy and slick, meaning you could create a chatbot in less than 15 minutes!

Engati
iStock

Engati

Engatiis a chatbot platform that claims you can build, manage, integrate, train, analyse and publish a chatbot using its software in just 10 minutes.

It currently supports eight major messaging platforms including Messenger, Kik, Telegram, Line, Viber, Skype, Slack and Webchat.

Microsoft\'s \'Bot Platform\'
© Microsoft

Microsoft's 'Bot Platform'

In March, Microsoft announced it was bringing chatbot capabilities to Skype (with other products to follow) and launched Bot Builder for Node.js, a framework for constructing your own bots.

"It can handle both freeform interactions and more guided ones where the possibilities are explicitly shown to the user," according to Microsoft. It provides a platform where developers can build, test and publish their own bots, using frameworks like Express and Restify.

ChatScript
iStock

ChatScript

Launched back in 2011, ChatScript is a 'next generation chatbot engine' which has won the Loebner Prize (awarded for the most human-like examples of artificial intelligence) four times.

It provides an open source framework for developers to build and deploy chatbots.

Pandorabots

Pandorabots

Pandorabotsis an online service that lets developers build, host and deploy chatbots. It has thousands of registered developers and its tools have helped to build over 300,000 chatbots. Pandorabots uses AIML [Artificial Intelligence Markup Language], which is the open standard for writing chatbots.

Tools on offer include 'Artificial Intelligence as a Service', which provides API access to its bot hosting platform and the 'Pandorabots Playground': a free, integrated development environment for building chatbots.

Facebook\'s \'Bots for Messenger\'
© Facebook

Facebook's 'Bots for Messenger'

At its F8 developer conference in 2017, Facebook launched ‘Bots for Messenger’, a tool which allows developers and businesses to build chatbots for its Messenger platform (which is used by almost a billion people). Developers build bots, submit them for review then Facebook decides which get onto Messenger.

The three main capabilities are its send/receive API, generic message templates and the ability to customise the welcome screen users first see when interacting with your bot.

Rebot.me

Rebot.me

Rebot.meis a simple service which lets you create, teach, test and then deploy chatbots to your website. One of its main selling points is that you don't need programming skills to be able to use it. It works by letting you set up then customise your chatbot, teaching it to respond to certain questions.

The more you talk to it, the more it learns. Rebot.me says its chatbots can help visitors to your website become familiarised with your products or services more quickly, among other uses.

Imperson

Imperson

Disney Accelerator 2015 alum Imperson has created a chatbot generator for creating, deploying and managing chatbots via Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, Slack, Twitter, Amazon Echo and SMS.

Specialising in character bots, Imperson has successfully launched Miss Piggy and Doc Brown chatbots, developed for Facebook Messenger.

Erez Baum, co­founder and CEO of Imperson said: "The current bot experience is still very primitive, with menu­driven experiences that don't allow brands to differentiate their voices from one another. The release of our new platform will enable creative people in brands and digital agencies to create richer and deeper bot experiences that can converse with consumers one­on­one to develop a more engaging relationship."

ChatbotsBuilder
iStock

ChatbotsBuilder

ChatbotsBuilderis an online platform that lets you build Facebook Messenger chatbots to capture leads, engage users and build new business relationships. Users can build chatbots in three steps: by choosing and creating a Facebook page, using ChatbotsBuilder to create triggers and replies, then deploying and promoting their bot. It is free to try with basic pricing plans starting at $19 per month.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.