Voiceflow Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

Voiceflow Review

Voiceflow is a chatbot builder that allows you to design, prototype and launch voice chatbots. With a few clicks, you can create your own voice chatbot and put it on Google Home and Amazon Alexa. But should you use Voiceflow to create your chatbots?

Let’s find out!

What is Voiceflow?

Voiceflow is a tool that you can use to design and prototype voice & chatbots.

Also, you can use Voiceflow to design your voice chatbot and launch it on Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. However, after talking to the CEO of Voiceflow, he would not recommend doing this unless you are a large enterprise, because it often requires programming if you want to do it right.

Currently, Voiceflow is mostly focused on the design and prototype of chatbots, and less on the launching of chatbots. Because of this, they do not provide specific features, such as:

  • Live chat
  • Integrations with other systems, such as CRMs
  • Analytics

User Interface

When you are going to create your chatbot design in Voiceflow, you can choose from several channels:

voiceflow-channels-prototype

Then, when you are going to create your chatbot flows, Voiceflow provides a really clean interface with their visual flow builder:

voiceflow-flow-builder

The visual flow builder consists of Blocks and you can just click on any block and edit the contents of it:

voiceflow-edit-block

Also, what I really like, is that you can add speak variants. This means that you can add multiple variants of the same message, and Voiceflow just randomly chooses one of the variants and sends it to the user:

voiceflow-speak-variants

When you’ve created your voice chatbot, you can automatically test it inside the interface of Voiceflow:

voiceflow-test-voicebot

So, in general, the interface of Voiceflow is really easy to use and it is also easy to set up your voice chatbot.

Also, an advantage of their interface, is that in the right corner they provide a button for support. Right from the interface, you can get help from their support team. Really useful!

Another plus for the interface is that you can easily share your prototype with others so that they can test it out:

voiceflow-share-voicebot

If you work in teams, this feature comes in pretty handy!

Although their interface looks pretty good, often the system is loading for several minutes:

voiceflow-endless-loading

This doesn’t stop until you delete the cookies from your browser. Moreover, when I update my chatbot and try to test it again, it is often giving an error:

voiceflow-error

Unfortunately, these errors happen all the time, making it almost impossible to efficiently create your voice chatbot. Also, the chatbot is not updating because of the errors, so I was not able to test new versions of my chatbot.

  • 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

In Voiceflow, you can send 4 elements with your chatbot: Text, Audio, Images and Cards.

With a card, you can also add a background image to it, which looks like this on Google Assistant:

google-assistant-basic-card
Source: Google

 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use Galleries (Horizontal Lists) or vertical lists with Voiceflow, which is a drawback, because these elements are possible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Also, I know that with Google Assistant, you can ask for permission to get the location or email of the user (that is associated with their Google Account). These kinds of actions could really help to get a Return-On-Investment on your voice chatbot, but Voiceflow doesn’t provide these elements.

This is probably because they are focused more on the design/prototype of chatbots, and less on the launching of chatbots.

Furthermore, it is possible to use conditions in your chatbot flows, so you can create a personalized experience:

voiceflow-condition

Moreover, you can also use Components, which are reusable chatbot flows that you can use at the end of a conversation. For example, at the end of every conversation you could ask “Is your question answered?”.

  • 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 Voiceflow, you can ask a question to a user and automatically store their answer in a custom field, by using the Capture element:

voiceflow-capture-block

However, it is not possible to see all the users that interacted with your chatbot in Voiceflow itself (and their custom fields), which is a bit of a drawback.

Because of this, it is also not possible to create user segments.

  • 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

With Voiceflow, it is not possible to send broadcasts and sequences. This is also logical, because they only provide Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as channels, and on those channels, you cannot send broadcasts and sequences.

Also, it is possible to create a chatbot that handles multiple languages at the same time, but it is not so easy to translate it.

  • 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 Voiceflow, you can understand the intent of the user by adding training phrases (called Utterances) to your voice chatbot:

voiceflow-intents

Also, as you can see from the image above, you can use entities (called Slots) in your voice chatbot.

So on the subject of AI, Voiceflow is performing pretty well!

  • 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

With Voiceflow, you can create voice chatbots on:

  • Google Assistant
  • Amazon Alexa

Also, you can create prototypes for several other channels:

  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • General chatbots
  • Mobile apps
  • Website
    Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
  • Facebook
    Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
  • Instagram
    Can you publish your chatbot on 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

Voiceflow does not provide a live chat integration, which is a drawback, because this is the most important integration of any chatbot builder.

Gladly, they do provide a direct integration with Google Sheets, allowing you to create, retrieve, update and delete data in Google Sheets.

Also, you can create send or receive data from other applications by using the API block in Voiceflow:

voiceflow-api-integration

  • 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 Voiceflow are pretty limited, but this is also logical because they mostly focus on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as channels.

  • 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

Voiceflow provides a free forever plan that comes with 2 free projects for personal use. Also, with this plan, you can launch an Alexa Skill, a Google Action and you have 5,000 messages per month.

When you want more, you need to go with their Pro plan, which costs $40 per editor, per month. This plan comes with unlimited projects and 250,000 messages per month:

voiceflow-pricing

  • 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?
    40
  • 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

Voiceflow does not provide any analytics, which is a huge drawback. In my opinion, it is also a bit strange that a tool that is so focused on prototyping, does not provide any analytics. Because often with a prototype you are going to test it on users. And with analytics about these test users, you could improve your chatbot more easily.

The only way to get analytics with Voiceflow is to create an integration between Voiceflow and Dashbot.io (an analytics tool for chatbots).

  • 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

Voiceflow does not 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

Voiceflow provides 22 templates that you can use to get started with your chatbot.

Unfortunately, you cannot create templates yourself and share these with others.

Gladly, it is possible to duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements, so that you can easily reuse them.

  • Templates
    How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
    22
  • 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

Voiceflow does not provide any optimization, such as A/B Testing.

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

Support

Voiceflow provides video tutorials and extensive documentation so you can easily get started with their platform.

Moreover, they provide customer support through live chat and 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?

Conclusion

So, should you use Voiceflow to create your chatbots?

It depends.

If you are interested in only designing and prototyping chatbots, then Voiceflow is a great tool to use. By using their easy-to-use interface, you can create chatbot designs in minutes and share them easily with others.

But if you want to create a complete chatbot with Voiceflow, I would only recommend using it when you are a large enterprise, because it requires programming to make it actually work (and connect it with other systems, such as your CRM).

Comments (4)

  1. Tahsim - Voiceflow

    Great piece! We also just added delays to toggle on your Chatbot experiences and solved all the loading errors you faced, sorry about that 🙂

    Templates are absolutely available! You can find them here: https://www.voiceflow.com/templates

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you, Tahsim! I’ve added the templates to my review 🙂

  2. Daian Gan

    Great article as usual. I created an open source Twilio integration for VoiceFlow a few months ago and I have been working with their API/SDK quite a lot for multiple projects, specially for Tenios IVR.
    Their strength is in the API for sure, it is more a dev focused platform as you mentioned.

    https://github.com/daiangan/voiceflow-twilio-ivr

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you for sharing, Daian!

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