The main purpose of the chat widget is to answer questions from people who are interested in my courses. (The chat widget will ask for an email address, so obviously I can only provide an answer if you actually provide an email address).
So someone saw that I was using the Drift live chat widget, and asked the question.
Suppose you are considering adding a website chatbot. I can give you a few reasons why you might be better off using Drift's live chat widget rather than building out a custom chat widget powered by Dialogflow (there are also some cons).
Here are some good reasons to use Drift.
One quite obvious reason is the design. The live chat widgets are usually quite pleasing when it comes to aesthetics, so you get that automatically. You can mimic the same design, but it is not likely you will get the same results since a company such as Drift is very likely optimizing the design (including the dimensions of the chat widget) based on existing user experience analytics.
In addition, you can actually do live chat with your customers if you are interested. In my case, I randomly choose an hour of the week and start live chatting with visitors. If you intend to incorporate live chat into your Dialogflow website chatbot, be prepared to put in a ton of work.
In addition, Drift actually provides a nice API which allows you to integrate answers from your Dialogflow agent. You get the best of two worlds, conditional logic based "click bots" are known to drive a lot of engagement, while you can also go further by incorporating some AI into your bot by using Dialogflow.
Get an email address
One of the very nifty things about the Drift live chat widget is that as soon as you start talking to it, it asks for an email address "in case we get disconnected" 🙂 (it is optional)
Here is an example:
And to my surprise, it actually works! I have already responded to a handful of inquiries from potential course buyers.
Here are some reasons you may not want to use it as your website chatbot:
Drift is paid software
I am using the free version of Drift's live chat for now. It isn't too hard to see that the free version is quite limited, and most of the features have been designed to push you to the paid version. And that's fine, but I am mentioning it here because there is a price associated with using the Drift service, while you could build your own Dialogflow website chatbot for free if you are already a coder.
The chat window doesn't support HTML content
If you use the Drift API to connect with your Dialogflow agent, you cannot actually render HTML into Drift's chat window. This is usually done for security reasons, and is understandable.
Test bots aren't easy to test/deploy with the Drift API
When you are developing against Drift's API, you might want to deploy the bot to some kind of test environment to see if everything works well. There doesn't seem to be a simple way to do this, other than creating a new widget associated with a different Drift test account.
Instead of thinking of the problem as Drift vs Dialogflow, it might be more helpful to think of it as Drift + Dialogflow. While Drift does provide a "chatbot" feature using conditional logic, just like the Chatfuel integration, the AI built into conditional logic chatbots isn't strong enough. If you actually need to understand what the user said, extract relevant entities from their message, or keep track of what happened in the conversation so far, you need to use an actual bot framework.