Build Your Own Customer Service Bot with No Technical Knowledge

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An Onboarding FB Messenger Chatbot with IBM Watson Assistant

Regine Lim

I’ve received quite a few requests recently (thank you for those!) so I thought I’ll put together a quick guide on getting a really simple onboarding chatbot that usually small business owners would love to add to their page / website but have limited resources to do so. Traditionally chatbot development is a space for technical people, but I’m completely of a non-technical background so don’t worry, this is going to full of pictures and simple English — I’ve got your backs.

Getting Started

Context: This is mainly for small Facebook business owners who receives repetitive queries from their Messenger. The goal is therefore, to automate such queries but still leave the remaining queries to the page managers. This is not for you if you require integration with an external sales support team, data analytics tools etc., you’ll benefit much more speaking to your IT team as there will be no backend infrastructure involved in this short tutorial.

So before we begin, you’ll have to:

  1. Sign up for a free account on https://cloud.ibm.com/
  2. Sign up for an account on https://developers.facebook.com
  3. Have your FB page (where the chatbot should exist) ready

#1 Get Your IBM Watson Assistant

Login to https://cloud.ibm.com/ and you’ll see an abundance of offerings of the IBM Cloud. Let’s first set up our Watson assistant.

Click on the Navigation on the top left corner once logged into https://cloud.ibm.com/
Scroll down and click on ‘Watson’
Click on ‘Get Started’
Name your service and click ‘Create’
If you’re not automatically taken to your Watson, find your service and launch Watson Assistant

#2 Create an Assistant

Congratulations, you’re first step into your own chatbot. Now, we set up an assistant in IBM Watson Assistant platform. Think of this as an interface where we will connect it up with Facebook in a bit.

Click on the button
In the page that pops up, name your assistant and click create
Click on Add Integration to connect to FB Messenger
Click on the FB Messenger option

#3 Create a Facebook Application

Now, before we set up the connection, we need something called an App Secret — think of it as a key that connects the IBM Watson assistant you just created to your Facebook page. Let’s pop over to Facebook Developers to make that to happen.

Over at https://developers.facebook.com, login and hover over your icon. Then click ‘Create App’
Fill the form to create your App ID
On the panel on the left, click settings, then ‘Basic’
Click ‘Show’ and copy your App Secret
Go back to IBM Watson Assistant and paste it in there

#4 Connect FB Messenger & IBM Watson

Now we have the page connected, we need to make sure that information is flowing properly between the Facebook Messenger and IBM Watson Assistant.

Click on the + sign next to Products, select ‘Messenger’ and click set up
At the token section, select the page where the bot should be and copy the Token
Go back to IBM Watson Assistant and paste it in there
Scroll down and copy the link in step 3
Go back to Facebook, go to the Webhook section, and click on Click Setup Webhooks.
Paste the Callback URL link in the first box
Go back to IBM Watson, copy & paste the verify token into the second box in FB
Under Subscription Fields, select messages and messaging_postbacks. Verify and save
Go back to Facebook, go to the Webhook section, and click on Click Select a Page
Go back to IBM Watson, click Save Changes

#5 Setup your onboarding message

Congratulations, you’ve now connected your assistant to your Facebook Messenger. Let’s setup a message to test if it’s working.

Click on Skills, the press ‘Create Skill’
Press next
Name and create your skill
To import some content, go to Content Catalog and click ‘Add to skill’
Go back to Intents and you’ll see some contents. Intents are how the bot will recognise what kind of actions users want to take.
To configure your first response, click on Dialog, Create Dialog
Each box (node) contains a recognition and response. The nodes are read from top to bottom. Edit your response here.

#6 See it in your page

One last step — remember to link the Skill you’ve just created to your assistant.

First, go back to Assistants and link the skill you created to the assistant



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