Pandorabots Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

Pandorabots Review

Pandorabots was the chatbot builder behind one of the most advanced chatbots, Mutsiki, a 5-times winner of the Loebner Prize. But should you use this chatbot builder to create your own chatbots?

Let’s find out!

User Interface

When you are going to create your chatbots in Pandorabots, you can use the “Chat design” feature, allowing you to visually create the questions and answers of your chatbot:

pandorabots-chat-design

If you want a less visual experience, you can also use the “Intents Tree”:

pandorabots-intents-tree

Lastly, Pandorabots is open source. This means that you’ll have always access to the code of your chatbot. Pandorabots is built on AIML, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Markup Language and it is a programming language to create chatbots with. In Pandorabots, you can just create an AIML file and edit the contents:

pandorabots-code-editor

You can use these interfaces interchangeably, allowing both marketers and developers to work on the same conversations.

Moreover, you can test your chatbot in Pandorabots:

pandorabots-test-chatbot

In my opinion, the interface of Pandorabots is pretty easy-to-use and can be used by different types of users (the visual interface for marketers, the code editor for developers).

But, I do not think it is easy to set up a chatbot. When you are going to create your chatbot flows, it is important to handle context and this is not possible without coding AIML. So in order to create a good chatbot with Pandorabots, you first need to learn AIML.

  • Visual Flow Builder
    Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
  • Test chatbot
    Is it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
  • Interface easy to use?
    Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?
    Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?

Chatbot elements

Pandorabots provides many chatbot elements you can use in your chatbot.

They only lack a few elements, such as Audio and Attachments, but these are definitely no deal-breakers.

By the way, it is possible to have Email/Phone/Date validation in your chatbot, but you need to code this yourself using the AIML editor.

But still, enough elements to create a good chatbot!

  • Delays
    Use delays between messages in your chatbot
  • Images
    Can you send images via your chatbot?
  • Video
    Can you send video via your chatbot?
  • Audio
    Can you send audio via your chatbot?
  • Attachments
    Can you send attachments via your chatbot?
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
    Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
  • Vertical list
    Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
  • Emojis
    Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
  • Persistent Menu
    Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
  • Quick Replies
    Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Buttons
    Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Free text input
    Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
  • Location sharing
    Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
  • Email validation
    When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
  • Phone number validation
    When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
  • Date validation
    When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

Users

In Pandorabots, you can ask a question to the user and store the answer in a variable.

But, you can only use that variable in the conversation itself. It is not possible to save that information to a database and use it when the user comes to your chatbot for the second time.

And this is a drawback. Because if you want to store user information permanently (for example, the email address of a user) you need to create an integration with your own database (and you probably need a developer for this).

  • Custom fields
    Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
  • Tags
    Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
  • User segments
    Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

Messages

Unfortunately, the chatbot cannot start a conversation in Pandorabots, because the conversation is always started by the user. This means that it is not possible to use broadcasts and sequences, which is a drawback.

On the other hand, it is possible to use conditions in our chatbot flows.

Moreover, it is possible to build a chatbot in any language, but it is not possible to handle multiple languages at the same time.

  • Broadcasts
    Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
  • Sequences
    Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
  • Conditions
    Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
  • Multiple languages
    Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
  • Easy to translate
    Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

AI & NLP

With Pandorabots, you can understand the intent of the user and automatically reply to it.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use Entities in your Pandorabots chatbot.

  • Keywords
    Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
  • Intents
    Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
  • Entities
    Capture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
  • Dialogflow integration
    Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

Channels

Pandorabots provides 8 channels to put your chatbot on:

  • Your website
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • SMS (using Twilio)
  • WhatsApp
  • Apple Business Chat
  • Google RCS Business Messaging
  • Website
    Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
  • Facebook
    Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
  • Instagram
  • Whatsapp
    Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
  • Telegram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
  • SMS
    Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
  • Slack
    Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
  • Skype
    Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
  • Email
    Can you publish your chatbot on email?

Integrations

Pandorabots has a built-in live chat, which is the most important integration of any chatbot builder.

However, there are two drawbacks with this live chat. First of all, you can only use the live chat with the webchat and landing page and not on other channels, such as Facebook Messenger and Telegram.

Secondly, you cannot automatically pass conversations to human agents. You can only use live chat when a human agent manually pauses the chatbot, which doesn’t seem logical to do.

Moreover, Pandorabots provides a Github integration, which is especially useful for developers.

Lastly, you can create your own webhooks using the Pandorabots API.

  • Livechat
    Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
  • Zapier
    Direct integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Make (formerly Integromat)
    Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Google Sheets
    Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
  • Webhooks
    Can you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?

Marketing

The marketing possibilities of Pandorabots are pretty limited.

You can only put a native widget on your website or create a landing page with Pandorabots.

Also, you can change the colors and text of the website widget so that it matches the branding of your website:

pandorabots-website-widget

Unfortunately, it is not possible to set up different greetings per page.

  • Facebook website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
  • Native website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
  • Landing pages
    Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
  • Facebook Ads
    Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
  • One-Time Notification
    Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
    Automatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
  • Button creator
    Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot
    Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot

Pricing

Pandorabots provides a free plan which allows you to test out their platform and decide if it is a good fit for you. This free plan gives allows you to create a decent chatbot and test it out on the Pandorabots platform (but you cannot publish it on one of their channels).

If you want to actually publish your chatbot, you need the Developer plan, which starts at $19 for 10.000 messages per month. With this plan, you can put a chatbot on your website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and SMS (using Twilio). What is important, is that you cannot use the live chat in this plan.

If 10.000 messages are not enough, you can go with the Pro plan, which costs $199 for 100.000 messages per month. Also, this is the first plan that comes with live chat:

pandorabots-pricing

For more channels – such as WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and Google RCS Business Messaging – you need to choose the Enterprise plan which comes at a custom price per client.

  • Free trial
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
  • Free plan
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
  • Price per month
    What is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
    19
  • Monthly pricing available?
    Is it possible to pay monthly?
  • Money back guarantee
    Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

Analytics

Pandorabots provides a dashboard that shows the number of interactions, users and sessions:

pandorabots-statistics

Also, they provide the raw logs of every conversation with your chatbot:

pandorabots-logs

In my opinion, these analytics are pretty minimal and don’t allow you to easily improve the answers of your chatbot. This is a huge drawback to me. It seems that Pandorabots is so focused on AI and understanding the user, you would think they had a better analytic system.

What is possible, is that you send the raw logs to an external system (such as a Firebase database) and create your own dashboards based on it.

  • Dashboard
    Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
  • User input
    Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
  • Sent messages
    The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
  • Open rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
  • Click rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
  • Conversion rate
    The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
  • Fall back rate
    The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
  • Custom dashboards/reports
    Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

Unfortunately, Pandorabots doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.

  • Payments
    Collect payments inside your chatbot
  • Shopify
    Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
  • WooCommerce
    Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
    Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
  • Cart abandonment
    Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

Templates & Cloning

Pandorabots provides 1 Small Talk template that you can use to get started with your chatbot.

Moreover, because Pandorabots is open source, you can just copy the contents of your AIML files and share these with others.

This allows you to copy your chatbot flows and easily share them with others!

  • Templates
    How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
    1
  • Make template
    Can you make templates yourself?
  • Share template
    Can you share self-created templates with others?
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
  • Duplicate chatbot elements
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

With Pandorabots it is not possible to do any optimization, such as A/B Testing.

  • A/B Testing
    Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

Pandorabots provides video tutorials on Youtube that explain the features of the platform. Also, they provide documentation on how you can use their platform.

Moreover, they provide support via email.

  • Tutorials
    Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
  • Documentation
    Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
  • Customer support
    Does the chatbot platform provide customer support?

Should you buy Pandorabots to create chatbots?

So, should you buy Pandorabots to create your chatbots?

No, I wouldn’t recommend that.

And this is because of their live chat. With Pandorabots, it is not possible to automatically pass the conversation to a human agent when the chatbot doesn’t understand the user. It is only possible to manually open the conversation and pause the chatbot, but how do you know when to pause the chatbot? Exactly, you don’t.

But what if their live chat isn’t a problem for you? Would I recommend it then?

I think I would only recommend it if you are a huge company or a developer. If you want to create a good chatbot flow, you need to code in AIML. Also, if you want to store user information, you need to create a connection with an external database. I think for most companies this isn’t doable, unless you are a huge company or you are a developer.

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