What is a chatbot?
- A chatbot is a piece of software that can converse with users automatically in a humanlike, conversational style.
- Chatfuel bots live in Messenger and can be connected to Facebook and Instagram.
- They can answer questions, recommend products, qualify leads, automate tasks, and perform other functions to benefit your brand.
- They're ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses, ecommerce retailers, nonprofits, and more.
What skills do I need to build a chatbot?
You don’t need any coding knowledge or previous experience to build a bot! Chatfuel is an intuitive, no-code platform that anyone can start using right away. 👍
How do I get started with Chatfuel?
- Log in to dashboard.chatfuel.com using your Facebook account.
- Connect the Facebook page where you want your bot to live. Note: You must be an admin of the page to do this. Use our troubleshooting guide if you have any page-connection issues. If you’re still struggling after that, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed explanation of the problem, along with example screenshots and videos.
- Begin building your bot! 🔧
Navigating the platform
When you first log in to Chatfuel and select a chatbot, you'll be dropped into the Grow tab.
From here, you can navigate to any of the ten tabs in the left panel:
The Flows tab (also known as Flow Builder) is where you'll find all the elements to build a successful chatbot. We’ll cover the rest in other articles.
The basic anatomy of a Chatfuel bot
A Chatfuel chatbot is made up of cards. Cards contain content in some form, and they can also contain plugins that will direct your users to the next part of the flow, export their data, or perform some other action. Cards are empty until you add content and/or plugins.
(Learn more about the different elements you can add to a bot in the Flows tab.)
Here's a simple card with text.👇
Use buttons to allow subscribers to navigate from card to card. When someone clicks or taps a button, they receive the card you connected to that button.
Quick replies serve the same function as buttons. They’re just another way for bot users to move through the conversation by navigating from one card to another.
By the way: A chatbot user is someone who has engaged with your bot and is now considered “reachable” by your business via Messenger. It’s just like how someone who signs up for your email list is now reachable by your business via email. 🤓 Bot users are counted as such until you delete them from your People tab (or until they block your bot on their side).
Moving on, you can navigate through different sections of your chatbot in the left-hand panel. There, you'll see:
- Groups, which are there to help you keep yourself organized. Groups are represented by the 📁 icon, and they contain flow(s). (In the image below, Default group and FAQ are groups.) You can rename groups as desired. Note that groups are only visible to you, the chatbot builder, not your users.
- Flows, which are groups of cards that make up a conversational path between your bot and a user. For example, you might have a product recommendation flow inside a group called Prospective customers, and that flow would be made up of cards that represent individual chatbot messages and actions related to giving the user product recommendations.
Click on the arrow next to a group name to expand it and see the flows inside. Click on a flow to display it in the main workspace. Once you've done that, you can click on any card in that flow to edit its content.
Can I change the language of my Chatfuel dashboard?
The Chatfuel dashboard is currently available only in English. If you access the dashboard via Google Chrome, you can view a translation of the page in the language of your choice.
To sum up:
- Bots are designed to mimic human conversation.
- A chatbot flow takes the same format as a conversation with a friend: questions, possible responses, and answers based on those responses.
- Cards contain content your bot will share with users. Buttons and quick replies represent user options for responding to that content.
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about what a Messenger chatbot can do for your business, visit our blog for inspiration.