Recently, I wrote an article explaining why I thought Zoho SalesIQ is the best AI powered website chatbot builder for non-programmers.
Someone asked this really interesting question on YouTube:
Do you think it is better then using the Dialogflow CX UI ?
The answer is Yes, but it is actually more nuanced than that.
The real answer must be “Most people are interested in solutions, and not in the underlying technology”.
I think Dialogflow CX is the best NLU powered chatbot framework at the moment, maybe years ahead of the competition.
But as the bot builder, your goal is usually not just to “choose the best framework” but rather build the best solution for your users.
Many website chatbots don’t need NLU at all
Let me address this first – many website chatbots don’t need any NLU at all.
This is quite clear when you consider that there are many solutions on the market where people want to put something which looks like a bot on their website, but it has no ability to parse what the user says. In fact, the Zoho code less bot builder itself is one of them. But it does have the ability to call an NLU API if you need it.
In fact, on this website, you will see there are quiz bots on all pages (the quiz topic is contextual, and changes based on the article). They get quite a lot of engagement, and they don’t have any NLU at all.
Here are some stats inside my Zoho SalesIQ dashboard:
Note: I usually run these bots as experiments, so you might not be able to see them by the time you are reading this article.
For the rest of the article let us suppose you do need some NLU for your website bot.
CX is a bot framework, not the entire solution
First of all, CX does not even provide a lot of integrations. They provide a framework, a suitable API, and ask you to build whatever you want using it. So it is only a part of the solution and not the actual solution.
You can still use CX as the NLU engine
And of course, if you do need NLU, there is nothing stopping you from using Dialogflow CX as the NLU engine for the Zoho SalesIQ codeless bot builder.
Although you would probably be better off going for something simpler, such as Dialogflow ES.
The “bells and whistles” of live chat actually do matter
No chatbot will be able to perfectly handle everything the user says. Sometimes you do need to transfer the chat to a human operator. And the easier and smoother this process, the better it is for your chatbot. If you use a live chat tool (that’s how SalesIQ first started out) and add a chatbot into it, you will get a much more powerful “solution” out-of-the-box. For example, you cannot transfer to a live operator in Dialogflow Messenger.
Most chatbots require a database
In addition, when you build a chatbot, you are probably going to use a backend database. The big advantage of using Zoho One is that you get Zoho Creator included. So you can build a fairly sophisticated backend using it. And the best part is that Zoho Creator is quite suitable for low code bot builders.
You can selectively avoid NLU when you don’t need it
The codeless bot builder also allows you to use NLU only in the steps where you need it. The rest can be built using drag-and-drop controls. In other words, you can mix non-NLU and NLU branches into your bot conversation very easily.
Check out my free Udemy course: Zoho Deluge Script Quickstart for Programmers
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"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