What Are Chatbot Flows? How Do You Build Them?

Last Updated: August 13, 2021

People can relate to conversational chatbots as they’d relate to a human agent. That is why it is essential to create lasting impressions. Chatbots are powerful tools that can help take the burden off of your agents and provide customers with an uninterrupted and smooth user experience. ​​But what contributes to an uninterrupted experience? Well thought out chatbot flows.

In our post, Three Types of Chatbots and How to Choose One for Your Business, we discussed the different types of chatbots available in the industry and what makes them special. In this post, we’ll discuss what chatbot flows are and how to build great chatbot conversational flows to serve your customers better and to keep them engaged. 

What is a Chatbot Flow?

A decision tree-based chatbot or rule-based chatbot is a type of chatbot that uses a conversational flow to guide its users through a customer support journey. It uses an “if/then” rule to navigate your users. The chatbot further uses more questions to take the chatbot visitor to fulfill their request. 

A rule-based or decision tree-based chatbot involves the concept of conversational messaging, where when a customer triggers a conversation, the chatbot guides them through the conversation flow chart, step by step.

It can be thought of as a series of paths that a user’s responses can set off. It is a predetermined structure of how a conversation will take place – anticipating questions your users would ask and the further qualifying questions and replies that a chatbot could provide the user with. 

Creating a chatbot flow involves a deep analysis of the questions your website users have asked in the past. Each path would consist of levels and buttons on those levels that either display, request, or process information. They can also connect users to a human agent or display information from a third-party system. 

How do you build a chatbot flow?

While building a chatbot on an intuitive platform like HappyFox Chatbot can be easy, we suggest putting your thinking cap before building your chatbot flow. Here are some important questions to think about when building a chatbot flow – 

1. Does your company even need a chatbot?

As expected, building a chatbot flow involves a thorough understanding and analysis of customer questions you received in the past or you anticipate them asking. The first question must always be – “Does my business need a chatbot?”. Here are reasons by companies opt for a chatbot – 

  • Your customer service agents are often too busy and overwhelmed.
  • You want to provide continuous real-time support 
  • You want a better customer Experience
  • You are looking to generate more leads
  • Building an App is not affordable

2. What is the purpose of your chatbot?

Once you determine if your company needs a chatbot or not, the next question is what purpose is your chatbot serving? There could be many use cases – are you looking for a virtual assistant that simply generates qualified leads? Are you looking to provide an easy way to help your users find out about their e-commerce orders? Or are you looking to give your users a fun way to interact with an automated system that gives them answers to FAQs? Or does your chatbot provide the functionality of connecting users to an agent in real-time?

3. What will be your chatbot’s personality?

Once you have the purpose of your chatbot in mind, the next step is to give it a personality. Building a chatbot with personality can differentiate a terrific chatbot conversational experience from a good one. Adding personality has proven to make conversation with a bot impactful and engaging. This results in an increased customer engagement and customer retention. 

You can start by researching who is your target audience? What’s your major demographic? Are you looking for a fun and playful chatbot? Or do you want a more serious tone? It is always a good idea to emulate the personality of one of your existing service employees. You should also name your chatbot. We all love to speak to a ‘Sandra’ rather than a ‘machine001’. Another proven way of building a chatbot with personality is by including empathy in your chatbot. A simple understanding of customer emotions can turn the situation around. 

4. Visualize your flow 

Brainstorming your flow on a piece of paper, whiteboard, or even an excel sheet is a common practice to see how to build a chatbot conversation flow. Conversations have elements, and a diagram can help you see whether you want a greeting, a question, an input, or a goodbye, and where you want it. 

Now that you have a structure to work with, you can start writing chatbot conversation scripts. People love conversations in natural language. A conversational, succinct, engaging script can work wonders and can grab your customer’s attention fast. Learn more about writing engaging chatbot scripts

5. Build your conversational flow using an intuitive platform

Okay, now that we have the purpose, personality, design, and script in place, the last step is to implement this flow on an intuitive bot builder platform. With HappyFox Chatbots, you can add a variety of elements to your chatbot. You can add messages (think greetings, posing a question), collect information such as email addresses, phone numbers, transfer to an agent, and integrate with HappyFox Help Desk, Zendesk Support, Shopify, and many other third-party systems through APIs. 

See your vision come to life fast and easy! With HappyFox Chatbots, building your chatbot from scratch, testing it, tweaking it and publishing is a piece of cake. 

6. Analyze, Interpret and Refine

Chatbot implementation doesn’t stop at going live. Analyzing engagement is just as important as it helps businesses understand their users’ behavioral patterns and serve them better. Using a tool like HappyFox Business Intelligence, chatbot analytics is made easier. Understanding chatbot conversations and your conversational flows not only helps companies determine the success of their chatbot but also helps them fine-tune the flows to provide customers with answers to questions being asked. Learn more about the most essential chatbot KPIs here.  

Seamless flows lead to seamless experiences

Streamlining your customer queries is made easy by ensuring that customers locate exactly what they want in a conversational format. Just like a conversation in real life, people love interacting with natural human-like chatbots. Because of its versatility, companies can deploy a minimal chatbot simply to collect leads or create a much more complex chatbot flow that takes the user through an interactive journey.

There you go, that’s all you need to build a chatbot your customers will love. If you have a vision, don’t forget to add a big teaspoon of personality and empathy. Once you have all that in place, building your own virtual assistant with HappyFox Chatbots is the easiest part. Speak to one of your product experts today if you need help with any of the above steps and we’d be happy to help you build a chatbot that fascinates your customers.