Today I want to talk you about chatbots and how you can use them in your application to improve the customer experience.
About a year ago, I started working a project called Nile which automated the deployment of Docker packaged applications.
Since I needed some way for developers to interact with the system, I built the classic command line interface. I quickly noticed that the user experience was sub-optimal. Since the deployment could take several minutes to complete, I was constantly polling for updates from the command line.
As I was searching for better options I came across a youtube video from Github on how they use chatbots to automate routine operational tasks.
I switched my client from command line and noticed a significant improvement in the usability of Nile for deployments.
I want to take you through some of the benefits I have found to chatbots, and give you enough technical information to start building your own chatbot.
Before I get into the benefits of chatbots, let me explain how a chatbot works at a high level.
To help you better understand when a chatbot may be an appropriate user interface choice I want to compare several key traits of chatbots vs other common user interface choices like webapps, command line clients, and mobile apps.