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!
Table of Contents
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
When you are going to create your chatbot design in Voiceflow, you can choose from several channels:
Then, when you are going to create your chatbot flows, Voiceflow provides a really clean interface with their visual flow builder:
The visual flow builder consists of Blocks and you can just click on any block and edit the contents of it:
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:
When you’ve created your voice chatbot, you can automatically test it inside the interface of Voiceflow:
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:
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:
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:
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 BuilderCreate chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
- Test chatbotIs 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?
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:
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.
- DelaysUse delays between messages in your chatbot
- ImagesCan you send images via your chatbot?
- VideoCan you send video via your chatbot?
- AudioCan you send audio via your chatbot?
- AttachmentsCan 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 listShow a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
- EmojisCan you use emojis inside your chatbot?
- Persistent MenuCan you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
- Quick RepliesCan you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
- ButtonsCan you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
- Free text inputCan chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
- Location sharingCan users share their location inside the chatbot?
- Email validationWhen a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
- Phone number validationWhen a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
- Date validationWhen a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?
In Voiceflow, you can ask a question to a user and automatically store their answer in a custom field, by using the Capture element:
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 fieldsStore information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
- TagsAdd tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
- User segmentsCan you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?
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.
Furthermore, it is possible to use conditions in your chatbot flows, so you can create a personalized experience:
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.
- BroadcastsSend a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
- SequencesSend messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
- ConditionsMake 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 languagesIs it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
- Easy to translateCan 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:
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!
- KeywordsTrigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
- IntentsTrigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
- EntitiesCapture 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 integrationDoes the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?
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
- WebsiteCan you publish your chatbot on your website?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
- Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
- TelegramCan you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
- SMSCan you publish your chatbot on SMS?
- SlackCan you publish your chatbot on Slack?
- SkypeCan you publish your chatbot on Skype?
- Can you publish your chatbot on email?
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 your own webhooks by using the API block in Voiceflow:
- LivechatDirect integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
- ZapierDirect 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 SheetsDirect integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
- WebhooksCan you call a webhook inside your chatbot flow to send data to other applications?
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 widgetEmbed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
- Native website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
- Landing pagesCan you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
- Facebook AdsStart a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
- One-Time NotificationSend one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
- Facebook comments auto-replyAutomatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
- Button creatorAdd a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
- Custom URLs for your chatbotGenerate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot
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:
- Free trialDoes the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
- Free planDoes the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
- Price per monthWhat 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 guaranteeIs there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?
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).
- DashboardDashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
- User inputGet the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
- Sent messagesThe number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
- Open rateThe percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
- Click rateThe percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
- Conversion rateThe percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
- Fall back rateThe percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
- Custom dashboards/reportsCan you create your own dashboard or reports?
Voiceflow does not provide any direct eCommerce integrations.
- PaymentsCollect payments inside your chatbot
- ShopifyDirect integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
- WooCommerceDirect integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
- Buy directly within the chatbotAbility for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
- Cart abandonmentTrigger 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.
- TemplatesHow many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?22
- Make templateCan you make templates yourself?
- Share templateCan you share self-created templates with others?
- Duplicate chatbot flowsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
- Duplicate chatbot elementsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?
Voiceflow does not provide any optimization, such as A/B Testing.
- A/B TestingCan you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?
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.
- TutorialsDoes the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
- DocumentationDoes the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
- Customer supportDoes the chatbot platform provide customer support?
So, should you use Voiceflow to create your chatbots?
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).
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
Thank you, Tahsim! I’ve added the templates to my review 🙂
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.
Thank you for sharing, Daian!