On November 16, 2016, at T-jump, a panel about challenges and insights in building functional bots was held with Tony Lucas from converse.ai, Lauren Kunze from pandorabots.com , Ilker Koksal from botanalytics.co , Andrew Yaroshevsky from chatfuel.com with the moderation of Andrew Burgert from azumo.co.
The event started with the introduction. After that, first question was what the transactional bot is. Ilker answered and gave an example of Trim to transactional bots. Transactional bots are not only about transactions, it can be both transactional and conversational, Ilker said. Lauren broke down that transactional bots’ segment into two categories: 1. utility bots 2. engagement and brand awareness bots for marketing. She gave an example for a utility bot which they built for a Japanese shipping company. Tony pointed out that today there’s a discussion whether or not many bots are useful. From that point, he explains that task-oriented bots can touch people’s lives with emotional side. Andrew added that transactional bots will be growing with Facebook Messenger updates for native payment.
To the question for the difference of SAAS ready use building chat bot services and more effort requiring coded bots, the purpose of the bot should be determined (is it a customer service bot, a utility bot or just personal bot) then custom solution or ready-to-use chatbot built systems can be chosen, said Ilker Koksal. Lauren explained that these two different solutions depends on brand’s internal resources. Enterprises prefer custom solutions, she added. If they decide to build it internally, it will require more time and effort, she pointed out. Tony explained that without code and with coding required solutions differ a lot. Without coding, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to necessarily write a code, if you would like to write a code, you may. There are lots of integrations, also bot owners should consider those integrations such as Salesforce.
Challenges In Building Bots
All panelists discussed how they deal with brand and agencies. Lauren emphasized that it’s good to learn from the customer and put these learning into product. She advised it should be better to talk to the people who are on top of bot building work and also technical side of the company. However, technical side may make the process slower for the deal, they pointed out. Tony explained how everything should be considered while deploying a chatbot with IT of the company.
To the question of ”What are the components that people can build their systems on their own?” Tony mentioned how customers can build and change their system of the bots on their own and it’s easier to avoid the miscommunications at all. Lauren said that self-service is just totally critical for the industry. Hence the companies have to build chatbots by the knowledge of experts who are building bots. Ilker explained the challenges of retaining users are important in these days because the platforms are evolving right now, he added. Andrew said that all the marketing managers can click on a button and just create a chatbot. Anybody can do that, he added. He mentioned that this makes everything easier.
How big market is
Lauren mentioned while you’re getting great benefit from cross-platform thinking, its challenges should be considered. However, Andrew from Chatfuel.com told that they’re focusing on Facebook Messenger, right now. Afterwards, they discussed how big the market is. Tony explained how they decide to use the platforms according to the customer request and how the customer’s field is. Lauren emphasized the challenges of discovery for chatbots. Ilker also added to Lauren’s thoughts, he said that after one year, he believes this will be over. Andrew gave his thoughts about discoverability issue by starting to say ”It’s a chicken and egg problem.”
To watch the whole video, you may watch online below:
Thanks to our panelists and moderator for joining our panel. Also we would like to see our guests for other meet ups and panels. If you would like to learn about the future meet ups and panels, you can follow Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.