The chatbot development market is composed of many players, who basically do one of:
- Develop and provide platforms that support building chatbots. These platforms include the conversational AI function, they run in the Cloud and provide a development environment that facilitates building chatbot applications.
- Use the platforms to develop chatbots, either internally (if you are a company that deploys a chatbot for your customers), or for companies that will use the chatbot.
- Final users who deploy the chatbot on their website or for messaging apps.
Each platform has its own API, used to communicate with web-based chatbot clients. PhoneMyBot uses the native API to support several chatbot platforms directly, while exposing a simple API for all other chatbots to use. If your chatbot has been developed using one of the supported platforms, you don't have to change anything: the platform API is native to PhoneMyBot and the platform will see PhoneMyBot just as another chatbot client.
If your chatbot is not developed with one of the supported platforms, you can use the PhoneMyBot API or call us and ask us about adding your platform to PhoneMyBot. It's usually pretty fast.
The modules that sit between the chatbot platform and PhoneMyBot to implement the platform API and normalize the flow with PhoneMyBot are called Adaptors. They use the PhoneMyBot API to communicate with the rest of the PhoneMyBot environment.
The number of supported platforms is growing. For the moment they are (strictly in alphabetical order):
Microsoft Bot Framework
Each of these platforms requires its own authentication information and supports different configuration parameters for the chatbots that run on them. You can set these parameters in the Bot Vendor Parameters tab in the configuration window. See details about the parameters needed for each platform in their dedicated pages.
PhoneMyBot and its adaptors also lets you configure conversation behavior that's independent from the chatbot platform. As you create a new bot you can set this behavior from the Service Parameters tab of the configuration window.
The parameters that can be set there are:
- The bot name - this is just a mnemonics for you as you define your bot interfaces.
- The initial message that greets the callers. This could be a variation of "Hello, how can I help you?" or "What is the reason for your call?" PhoneMyBot speaks this independently before it involves the chatbot in case of incoming calls.
- Whether to prompt the user after a certain number of seconds of silence, and what to say. This could be a reminder that the bot is still on the line.
- The time to wait before speaking the prompt
- How long to wait on the line for the user to say something before hanging up
- Whether to say something to the user if the chatbot does not send a text for a number of seconds, and what to say. This could be an apology that it's taking a long time to get back to the user.
- What to say in case of a polar (yes/no) question, and suggested alternatives to yes and no. The reason for this is that it's pretty hard for speech recognition software to understand very short words like "yes" and "no". Words like "right" and "wrong" are longer and easier to understand.
- The default phone number to forward the call to in case the chatbot needs to involve a human agent.