5 things you cannot do with the Dialogflow Messenger Integration

When I say you cannot do, I mean out-of-the-box. With custom development, it is possible to do all of these things (but it would require a lot of developer hours).

Note: You can get around some of these restrictions by using Zoho SalesIQ instead of Dialogflow Messenger.

Resize chat widget

I got this question on my YouTube video.

While you can customize the style (meaning colors) of the chat widget out of the box, at the moment it isn’t possible to actually resize the chat widget.

You can access the shadow-root and stuff, but then again, this is something that Dialogflow could change on their end as they want. So you would have a fairly brittle solution unless and until Dialogflow Messenger exposes this as an actual attribute out of the box.

No speech input

Another question via YouTube:

The only real way in which the Dialogflow Messenger falls quite short of the 1-click web demo integration is the speech input. The speech input was included automatically in the 1-click web demo, and from what I can tell, was a very popular feature.

There is no option to “talk to your chatbot using your voice” with the Dialogflow Messenger right now.

No conversation history across a browser session

If you are used to live chat widgets such as Drift, you might notice that the conversation isn’t persisted when the user visits multiple pages on your website during the same visit.

The real issue is that if you try to implement this conversation persistence yourself, it would require a LOT of development effort. So much development effort, in fact, that you would be better off using a hosted solution such as BotCopy. If this is a major requirement, you should reconsider the choice to use the Dialogflow Messenger integration.

Cannot transfer to a live agent

In live chat services, if the bot is unable to provide an answer, there is usually an option to transfer the chat to a live agent.

For basically the same reason as the previous issue (injecting messages into the chat widget), transferring the chat to a live agent within the same chat widget isn’t supported in the Dialogflow Messenger.

Conversation analytics

Out of the box, you already get some analytics using Dialogflow’s built in integration with Chatbase. If that isn’t sufficient, however, then you are somewhat out of luck.

Some folks suggest using webhook calls on every single intent just to log the conversation to a database.

But I recommend people not to call the webhook from a given intent unless they are actually performing business logic which requires the use of the webhook.

Calling the webhook for every single message has many downsides:

  • it causes more lag, and wastes your user’s time
  • if there is a timeout in the webhook code, an otherwise perfectly valid conversation could get derailed
  • you now need to generate responses from the webhook using code, instead of typing it out within the Response section in Dialogflow. In turn, this means you will have to rely even more on your developer
  • if you set up some scripts for testing your bot conversations, they will have to call the webhook every time, slowing down your test script

Live Webinar

The recently released Zoho SalesIQ v2 allows non-programmers to build chatbots using an easy-to-use code less bot builder. What is really unique about Zoho SalesIQ is the fact that you can also integrate AI into their code less bot builder. In my Zoho SalesIQ chatbots course, I explain how to use Zoho SalesIQ to add a chatbot to your website.

"The magic key I needed as a non-programmer"

The custom payload generator was the magic key I needed (as a non-programmer) to build a good demo with rich responses in DialogFlow Messenger. I've only used it for 30 minutes and am thrilled. I've spent hours trying to figure out some of the intricacies of DialogFlow on my own. Over and over, I kept coming back to Aravind's tutorials available on-line. I trust the other functionalities I learn to use in the app will save me additional time and heartburn.

- Kathleen R
Cofounder, gathrHealth