How we developed a simple chatbot without AI, ML & NLU (and still optimized more than 50% of requests)

In December 2018 I worked as a product-manager at Webim. I insisted on changing our roadmap in favor of simple chat-bot.

The major idea was — to give our customers a simple, self-service, omnichannel and cheap solution to optimize their costs on contact-center. The chatbot market was full of heavy and expensive solutions, which didn’t guarantee the result. It looked like a window or a blue ocean. Work began.

Three conditions were our foundation — a simple process of creation chat-bot without development skills; easy scaling to any text channel: web-chat, social media, messengers, etc; and the most native way to communicate with a chatbot — buttons.

Administration panel

Welcome messages, texts, buttons, and the possibility to contact whit operator. That’s all you need to manage your chat-bot. Make a state with text and buttons and connect every button with the next state. Build your own tree of communication. Like IVR, but in text channels.

Easy scaling to any text channel

Ones you build a chat-bot, you can scale it to any text channel, whether it supports buttons or not. For example, telegram will show you buttons, but WhatsApp will not, so we just show the menu of numbers. The problem is solved.

Buttons VS text recognition

We couldn’t compete in heavy solutions with text recognition and sophisticated understanding of context. And we didn’t need it. Anyway, SMB cannot afford it, and enterprise companies don’t need difficulties. What everybody needs — is the optimization of costs. And as it turned out push-button chatbot can deliver it.

Results

After several months of development, the first version was released. One of the biggest Russian food-tech company* bought it and optimized more than 50% of requests in early days.

«Our support-center breathed a sigh of relief. We no longer need to answer typical questions, we can concentrate on solving serious requests and increase service level»— they said.

If you are interested to try it in your business — send me a message :)

P.S. My first post in English btw

*NDA

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