Chatbots are a great way for businesses to reduce the cost of customer service, engagement, and retention. They allow brands to offer around-the-clock support without the overhead of human agents. They also enable a complete in-app experience for customers in the chat apps which they already trust and use every day for personal conversations.
Viber is a popular messaging app with over 1 billion Android downloads worldwide. Savvy brands are recognizing the value of connecting with customers at scale on their preferred communication channels. This is reflected in the 20% increase in the number of new Viber chatbots that were deployed in 2021 alone.
In this blog we cover everything you need to know to design and create a Viber chatbot, with step-by-step instructions. We cover:
- The difference between Viber Business Messages and Viber chatbots
- What can a Viber chatbot do?
- Types of Viber chatbot
- How to build a Viber chatbot
- Viber chatbot integration
Viber Business Messages vs Viber Chatbots
Viber provides several types of messaging service for businesses – for their B2C messaging requirements this includes Viber Business Messages and Viber Chatbots. These can be used to cover all use cases from marketing promotions and transactional notifications to automated conversations that can be deployed in a variety of operational scenarios.
However, it is important to understand the difference between Viber Business Messages and Viber Chatbots in terms of features, opt-in, and pricing. Here we take a closer look at each solution.
Viber Business Messages
For Viber Business Messages, either the business or the user can initiate the interaction. However, 97% of conversations are business-initiated with the channel being used by brands for promotional, transactional, and conversational messaging. Once end-users have opted in, their phone numbers are available to the business and the tool can be used for 2-way engagement, although this is not mandatory. Opt-in can be obtained offline, or by accepting terms and conditions on the business’ website.
Viber Business Messages Pricing
The pricing model is based on a Monthly Minimum Commitment fee (MMC) and traffic related charging, which could be per message or per session (depending on the use case). If the minimum fee is reached organically, businesses will only be charged for delivered messages.
With Viber chatbots all communications must be initiated by customers. Proactive messaging to the customer is allowed once they have started the chat. Unlike Viber Business Messages, only the User ID is visible to the business and not the person’s actual phone number.
Viber chatbots offer some additional options for enriching messages. These include stickers, URLs, image carousels, and custom keyboards that can be used to create response buttons that make it easier for users to interact with the chatbot. Since this communication channel is designed mostly for conversational purposes, 2-way messaging is expected by default.
Viber Chatbot Pricing
All conversations initiated by end-users with Viber chatbots are free. The business is only charged for messages that they send outside the 24-hour time window starting from when the last message was received from the end-user.
In addition, a set number of brand or bot-initiated messages per month are free (this was 10,000 messages as of September 2022).
What can a Viber chatbot do?
With a number of options for integrating Viber chatbots into your business workflows, you have ultimate flexibility to create chatbots that exactly meet your requirements. Using either the API or simple no-code interface, you can tackle any of the challenges that your business faces.
- Provide better customer service at a reduced cost: Deploy a Viber chatbot that can answer everyday questions like “What time do you open?” or more complex queries like “Has my order been shipped?” or “What is my account balance?” by providing a set of rule-based options.
- Drive sales and quality lead generation: Sales support is a highly successful use case for Viber chatbots, especially for eCommerce businesses that operate 24/7. The chatbot can answer the majority of questions that the customer might have prior to finalizing their purchase. You can use rich media like videos and image carousels or send entire product brochures as attachments.
- Ramp up engagement: Chatbots are the perfect way to engage with any number of customers and prospects. Brands have come up with all sorts of clever strategies for incorporating Viber chatbots into their campaigns to inform, educate, and inspire people. Games, quizzes, customer polls and interviews can all be facilitated via a Viber chatbot.
Types of Viber chatbot
There are two main types of chatbot, each with its unique strengths and features:
- Rule-based Viber chatbots: These chatbots provide a pre-configured menu of options for users to select from. They are the quickest and easiest to set up but can be incredibly useful for answering day-to-day queries that customers would previously have called a contact center to answer. Anything from store opening hours, product availability, and account balances can be provided via a simple set of options.
- Intent-based Viber chatbots: These are more sophisticated chatbots that can be designed to provide a more conversational experience for people interacting with them. They take longer to build as they use natural language processing (NLP) and need to be ‘trained’ to understand multiple words and phrases and user intents. However, they can be incredibly flexible and a real asset to any business that wants to showcase its creativity and market leadership.
Build a Viber chatbot in 5 easy steps
Follow these simple steps to create a working Viber chatbot in just a few minutes.
A quick tour of the interface
The Build section on the right of the screen has a set of tools that can be used by dragging and dropping them onto the workspace. You can use these to build up the structure and flow of your automated Viber chat.
The tools (called elements) are separated into three categories based on their function – but they all work in exactly the same way: Drag onto the workspace > Configure > Link to conversation flow
You will get the hang of it really quickly once you start using them.
Step 1 – Welcome message
Every good conversation starts with a friendly greeting, right?
Drag and drop an Attribute element onto your workspace. You can then add some welcome text and maybe a question to kick off the engagement. Any answers that the person provides can be saved and used later in the chat, so they don’t have to keep repeating basic information like name, account number, or postcode.
Everyone is different and uses language in a slightly different way so there will always be times when the chatbot can’t quite understand what the person has asked, or maybe they have foreign characters on their keyboard. This is when the Repeat and Fallback options can be used to provide a more seamless experience.
Step 2 – Display options for users to select
By providing a set of options for users to select from, the chatbot can answer increasingly complex queries with cascading sub-menus.
Our example will only have one set of options, but you can go as deep as you like by following the same process.
Add a Send Text dialogue that asks the person to make a selection from the list that we will configure in the next step.
Next, you need to link the introductory text to the list of options by adding a Go To Dialog element and then a Text element to introduce the menu and specify the list of options it will contain.
It is a really good idea to use the Delay option to provide a bit of time for the person to read the text you are displaying and make a decision on what they would like to do. You’ll find it under Bot Actions.
The next step is to add a User Input element (you can find it under the Bot Receives menu). This will process the response that the person replies with. You can add Synonyms to handle multiple forms of response and make the chat more flexible.
Step 3 – Link responses to actions
You will then need to create an Action for each of the options that the user might choose. This can be done by configuring a Go To Dialog for each option.
You can be extra creative when creating your actions by including rich media like image carousels and videos for added engagement possibilities.
- If your customer requests the address of their nearest store send them the geolocation using the Location attribute.
- If a user requests information about one of your products, why not send them a video.
To do this you just drag the relevant element onto the workspace and link or upload the media you are sharing.
Step 4 – Time to say goodbye
The final step in the creation process is to configure a seamless exit path from the chat.
Once you have confirmed that the person has got what they came for you can sign off the chat or loop them back to the menu of options.
To close and reset the chatbot interaction add a final Close session attribute. This can also optionally delete any saved data – or it can be copied to your customer database to enrich future interactions with the person.
Step 5 – Testing
It is always a good idea to make use of the Simulation option to thoroughly test your chatbot before you deploy it. Ask colleagues or friends to try it out too as fresh eyes often find issues or inconsistencies that the creator didn’t see.
When it is time to deploy your chatbot, just click Activate and it will be live!
This is basic example of a rule-based chatbot. Using the same methodology, you can go on to create highly sophisticated Viber chatbots that use natural language processing to understand customer intent to facilitate more conversational chat interactions.
Viber chatbot integration
You can build a Viber chatbot using the Answers no-code UI as we have shown above, or integrate one into Conversations, our cloud contact center solution, where chatbots can be deployed alongside human agents to provide an immediate and unified customer service experience.
The integration can also be facilitated via a simple code-free interface, or for businesses with their own development resources we support highly flexible API integrations via the Conversations API.
How to Increase Customer Engagement with Viber Business Messages