Chatbots

How to Make a Chatbot [Easy Ways to Create Chatbots for Free]

This article will show you how to build a chatbot from the ground up. For free. No coding skills required, only a bit of creativity. Have fun!

Chatbots are still a novelty to us.”

I saw this comment posted on a professional network platform some weeks ago.

The statement came to me as quite a surprise. Chatbot technology has been developed since the ‘60s so it’s not something new. Not to mention that some remarkable improvements have been made since then.

Want to generate leads and provide 24/7 customer service even when you sleep? Create unlimited chatbots for your website without coding to engage more visitors or recover abandoned carts.

Try Chatbots Here
A website with a live chat widget and a chatbot versus a regular website.

Explore chatbots now—Test the easiest visual chatbot builder for free.

One of our users, Michael, had this to say:

We could set up a simple chatbot in minutes because the drag-and-drop bot builder was really easy to use. Also, the support team was very helpful and answered all our questions

Chatbots are no longer reserved for programmers or big companies with fat wallets that can afford to hire chatbot developers.

Today, we can use a chatbot builder.

With this simple drag-and-drop visual tool we promise 3 things:

  • You will create chatbots that match your business
  • You will get them up and running in less than 15 minutes
  • You will pay 0$ for making it happen and you can keep them forever

Sounds cool? We hope so!

If you happen to already have some experience in chatbot building, choose your expertise level to skip to the right section:

Ready to learn how to create a chatbot for your website or a Facebook page?

This chatbot tutorial will show you how to do it from A to Z with no prior experience with chatbot development.

How to Create a Chatbot From Scratch

Some chatbot development platforms use complicated bot logic to create simple chatbots. They aim at chatbot programming experts.

Tidio offers an intuitive builder that will help you to build chatbots quick and easy.

You don’t need to understand chatbot code to create your own bot. Building a chatbot without coding is fun and easy!

We’ll learn how to create a chatbot that

a) greets the visitors (by saying “Hello!” to them)

b) collects their data (their name).

Ready? Let’s get down to business.

chatbot for website

Step 1: Go to the CHATBOTS section

If you don’t have access to chatbot builder, you will need to register your account first. The registration is free.

Create My FREE Account

The CHATBOTS section is located on the left-hand side of your admin panel.

Partial-screenshot-of-the-chatbots section

Step 2: Click “+Add another bot” and “+Add from scratch” buttons

The +Add another bot button is located in the right upper corner of the Chatbots section. Click it. A new screen will appear. Again, go to the upper right section and select the +Add from scratch button.

Starting chatbot building

Step 3: Select the nodes and connect them

We need to first specify when the bot would appear. Or, as it is called, decide when the bot would be triggered.

Let’s assume that it will pop out on some specific page of your website, for instance, on the homepage. To make this happen, we’re going to start with a trigger called Visitor opens a specific page.

Visitor opens a specific page” trigger will make a chatbot appear
only on a specific page or a specific page category

Select the trigger to place it on the work board. Click it to open the window with the trigger settings. Type in the URL address of your homepage (e.g. https://www.my-store-name.com) and close the window.

Next, add two action nodes: Ask a question and Send a message and connect them. Next, click the Ask a question node and type in your question (e.g. “Hello! What’s your name?”).

Since we want to collect the visitor’s data (their name), we need to make the chatbot save it somehow.

To do this, toggle the “Save the answer as a Contact Property” on. This way, your chatbot will remember the visitor’s name and will be able to send a personalized response. In the “Select a contact property” field, choose the “name” value.

🚀 Read: How to Use Contact Properties

Ask-a-question-node-properties

Similarly, click the Send a message node to edit your message (e.g. “Nice to meet you, {name}”). What are the curly brackets { } for? To insert the response from your visitor. The response (in this case, the name) will be saved as a contact property which we earlier specified as the “name.”

Close the properties window.

Step 4: You’ve made your first chatbot! Test it!

Click the Test it out button. You should be seeing a similar result on your screen as shown in the video below.

1: The chatbot asks a question

2: It saves the answer provided by the visitor as a contact property

3: The chatbot sends a message that uses the property

Build This Chatbot

Good job! Your chatbot is (almost) ready to get to work. We will come back to it in a moment so name your bot and Save it (as a draft) for now.

How to Add Chatbot on Your Website

Ok. You know how to create a chatbot. But what’s the next step?

So far you have been fiddling with the visual editor which means that the chatbot you have created is visible only to you. But, keeping your chatbot locked inside an editor won’t let it engage your customers. That’s why to make your chatbot go live, you need to add it to your website or store first and then, activate it.

Find out more:

If you want to discover how to create chatbot automations, it’s best to take a peek at the ready-to-use chatbots available in the Tidio panel.

Use a WordPress or Shopify plugin

If your website was built with WordPress or Shopify, then the installation just couldn’t get any easier. Tidio has developed dedicated plugins for both platforms so all you need to do is to select the right plugin and add it to your WordPress website or Shopify store.

🚀 Read: Chatbot Installation Guide for WordPress Users

🚀 Read: Chatbot Installation Guide for Shopify Store Owners

Use a JavaScript snippet

This method is about adding a JavaScript short piece of code to your website/store code.

  • Go to the CHANNELS section in your admin panel. Select “Live Chat” > “Integration” > “JavaScript.”
JavaScript-unique-code-snippet
  • Copy the code snippet.
  • Add the JavaScript code to your website’s code.

Paste the JavaScript code snippet above the closing </body> tag of your website’s source code.

  • Save changes.

That’s it. Tidio live chat is now integrated with your website. Now, it’s time to activate your chatbot!

How to Activate the Chatbots

Now that you have a live chat added to your website, you can release your little minion 🤖.

Go back to the CHATBOTS section. On the left-hand side, there is a list of all the chatbots you have built so far.

Chatbot-management-drop-down-menu

“How to make a chatbot” that you can see on the screenshot, is the name I have given to the bot we have just created. Click the icon next to the bot name.

A new window appeared. Toggle the “Active” switch on to activate the chatbot. The two following switches are optional.

Let’s now take a look at an alternative method of making chatbots.

How to Make a Chatbot Based on a Template

If you don’t want to create your chatbot from scratch, you can use one of the available templates.

>> Free Chatbot Templates <<

They are free and cover the most popular business-related scenarios (e.g. lead generation, welcoming new visitors, offering discounts, answering FAQ, etc.).

Hint:

You can either build your own bot with a drag-and-drop chatbot builder or employ one of the 20+ chatbot templates.

You can use them as they are or customize them to suit your needs better.

Step 1: Choose the chatbot template you want to customize

Go to the CHATBOTS section and click +Add another bot located in the right upper corner. Select the template you want to use.

For the sake of this tutorial, we chose the “Visitor leaves page.”

Selecting chatbot template

Step 2: Customize your message

The default message says “Please let us know if there’s anything you need before you leave. Have you found what you were looking for?” Feel free to type in some other message, add emojis, or simply leave it as it is.

It may take some practice to create chatbot conversations that draw the attention of your website visitors. But the golden rule is that they should be short and simple.

Save your chatbot as a draft (if you do not plan on using it yet) or save & activate it straight away (if you want to send it to work immediately).

🚀 Dive deeper and discover how to write chatbots and build chatbot conversations:

Chatbot-management-drop-down-menu

If you change your mind later, no worries – you can edit the message anytime you want.

Editing default message inside the chatbot template

Step 3: Activate your chatbot

You activate chatbots that come from templates exactly the same way as the ones that were built from scratch (see: How to Activate Chatbots section).

How to Make a Chatbot That Uses AI and NLP

The purpose of the first chatbot we have created at the beginning of this article was to ask questions. But, the main purpose of chatbots is to answer questions, i.e. help your customers get the information they need.

The most common reason for our users to create their own chatbots was to give answers quickly and save time with automated customer service (e.g. by automating FAQ).

Most-common-reasons-for-building-chatbots

But, the interaction between the users and chatbots is not limited to simply clicking the right buttons. Chatbots can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to recognize various user intents.

You can build your own AI chatbot, too.

As an example, let’s create a chatbot that uses Artificial Intelligence to answer questions about a price.

🚀 Read more: AI Chatbot for Website: The Ultimate Guide to AI Chatbots

Step 1: Select “AI Responder” template or use the Visitor Says node

Choose the right template or make an AI chatbot from scratch (this one might be a good idea if you want to practice a bit). Whichever option you choose, the most important thing to do is to use the Visitor says trigger node.

We have included a template screenshot of the template for your reference.

AI-Responder-bot-template

Step 2: Add different variants of frequent questions

The Visitor says trigger can recognize visitors’ phrases. Even if they are not a perfect match to what you predefine.

Click the trigger and type in different forms of the question about the price you think your visitor might ask. For example:

  • How much is it
  • How much does it cost
  • What is the price
Visitor-says-trigger-properties

You don’t need to provide an exhaustive list of all possible variations. Since this chatbot uses a trigger based on AI (machine learning, to be exact), it will recognize a similar query and your customers’ intent, even if what the customer has written does not match exactly any of the questions on the list.

🚀 Read: Visitor Says – NLP in Tidio Chatbots

Just one smart node, and you can create various artificial intelligence chatbots on your own!

Step 3: Save and activate your chatbot

Hit the Save button and activate the chatbot.

AI chatbot in action

1: The user asks a question (it can be written in several different ways)

2: The chatbot analyzes it and compares with keywords extracted from previous conversations

3: If the AI finds a close match, it sends a message with the answer

Create Your AI Chatbot

Do I need AI to create a chatbot?
You can build a bot without artificial intelligence. While some of them use advanced Natural Language Processing, there are also simple chatbots with conversation logic similar to decision trees.

🚀 Read: Chatbot Flowchart and Decision Tree Examples

In What Situations You Should Build a Chatbot on Your Own

To create a chatbot you don’t need to know any programming language. You can build a fully-functional chatbot for your website by using a chatbot platform. Today, anyone can build a chatbot online, for free, and without any coding skills.

Below, a short summary of what chatbots can and cannot do.

what can chatbots do

So, before you start actually building a chatbot, you need to first think about what your chatbot is supposed to do. Or, what kind of problem do you expect it to help you solve?

If you are sure that the chatbot will solve some specific pain points your customer service team, customers or company often face, then clearly define them. After that, specify the actions the chatbot can realistically take to address those pain points.

🚀 Read more:

You can build a chatbot to solve many of your customer service and sales problems.

For example, let’s say your customers often ask the same questions over and over again – that’s your pain point. The solution would be building an FAQ chatbot. To make the chatbot work, you would need to make sure it covers the questions customers really ask.

Do you wonder about other chatbot use cases?

Take a look at the chart. It shows the most popular chatbot applications based on our study. It will give you an idea of what kind of jobs chatbots do in real-life business settings.

The-most-popular-chatbots-among-Tidio-customers

Tip: Some chatbot services (Intercom, for example) don’t have a freemium plan. Check out other options available: Cheap Intercom Alternatives [Tidio vs Drift vs Intercom].

Advanced Bot Behavior

You can connect your chatbots with any action taking place on your website. For instance, you could ask your visitor to fill in some data inside a web form, and then, send that data to the chatbot.

There are many other ways to customize your bot behavior. You can manipulate it by:

  • setting timeouts
  • attaching custom tags and properties outside of chatbot editor
  • triggering bots with onClick() events

You can also integrate your chatbots with Zapier to connect it with other apps of your choice. For example, a bot that orders a phone call can be connected to your VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system.

This is a great solution if you are thinking about setting up virtual customer service for your company.

If you want to learn how to code a chatbot, check out some features offered by Tidio chatbot API.

🚀 Read: Best Chatbot Examples

How to Make a Chatbot: Key Takeaways

Chatbot technology has been evolving for the last six decades. The advancements brought not only faster and smarter chatbots but also enabled the non-programmers to build chatbots on their own.

Nowadays, to fulfill the dream of having your own custom chatbot, all you need to do is first figure out what the chatbot is supposed to help you with. Then, you need to find a suitable chatbot platform to create a chatbot you have in mind.

The right platform will allow you to build chatbots for free. But it will also take care of the infrastructure needed for in-house bot development. Such platforms also come with visual editors where the code logic is represented by blocks. All that’s left to do is to connect those blocks to build your own chatbots.

Also, don’t forget that you can create a chatbot and integrate it with popular messaging platforms. For instance, Tidio can be integrated with Facebook Messenger. Plus, you can make your chatbots to send emails, too!

Lastly, remember, the best chatbot is simply the one that is useful for your users and allows you to automate repetitive tasks, so that you can focus on scaling your business faster!

So, what are you waiting for? Create chatbot automations today!

Make your own chatbot

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