1. Where we started
2. Redefining our mission: getting to no-code
3. How we train people to build chatbots
4. Our chatbot implementation methodology
Like most young startups, Mindsay’s chatbot platform was not pretty when we launched our first customer at the end of 2016...😱
At that time, only Mindsay developers and product builders could access our platform. The creation and maintenance of all customer chatbots were managed entirely by Mindsay.
We quickly put the pedal to the metal and started making huge improvements. Between 2017-2019, we focused on improving our UI and feature set so that we could put the platform in the hands of more people.
We went on to open up more and more parts of the platform directly to our customers. They could initially access their bot’s analytics, configure their bot widget, edit the content of their bot answers, and create tickets for our support team. However, we still didn’t feel confident allowing customers to build use cases or integrate APIs on their own.
By the end of 2019, our chatbot platform was getting more and more low-code, but our user testing and beta releases told us that it was still a bit too complex for people without a technical or engineering background.
With the great initial feedback we got from our customers, we knew we had to get our product in the hands of more users and ensure they could be autonomous in building and maintaining their chatbots.
Achieving this goal meant a lot more than just updates to our product roadmap. It meant aligning the entire company, from Sales & Marketing to Customer Success, Operations, HR, Finance, and Tech, around our new goal. In short, it meant redefining our mission as a company.
We of course started with WHY. After building dozens of bots since 2016, we realized that the people who should actually be building virtual assistants were the people in charge of customer service. They knew exactly what customers were asking about and how to help them. We wanted to empower these customer service teams with the right tools so that they could easily build these virtual assistants on their own.
We saw that painful customer experiences were comprised not just of bad experiences for the customer, but also from the high cost to companies to provide good service. It was extremely rare to find excellent customer service at large companies.
Thus our mission statement was born: enable simple and efficient customer interactions - simple for the customer to interact with great customer service, and efficient for companies to deliver this service.
For our Product team, aligning with this mission meant updating our product roadmap to focus on simplicity in building advanced automation without compromising on capabilities and flexibility. We wanted all of our customers to be able to create any type of chatbot use case in minutes.
For our Operations team, this meant adapting their way of working from doing everything themselves to teaching customers how to do things on their own. Our Ops team went on to create a robust training program and product documentation to teach our customers how to use all parts of our bot platform and build and maintain their bots autonomously.
The result is a powerful, easy-to-use, chatbot building platform that customer service teams love:
The very first training program at Mindsay was a 15-hour course that trained five people from one company on how to use our chatbot platform. By the end of the program, they were proficient on all of our product features, including our most advanced functionalities, and could implement complex use cases completely autonomously.
Since our first training program almost two years ago, we’ve built a comprehensive Mindsay Academy and have trained many users, from business users without technical skills to the most tech-savvy developers. This of course requires some customization and adaptation to the technical level of the customer. If they have no coding experience or API knowledge, we'll stay on simpler concepts. If they want to do very advanced things and have a good technical foundation, we dive right in with them.
During a typical training week, a dedicated Mindsay product builder will mentor and guide customers every step of the way to implement the right use cases for their chatbot.
During the following weeks, we provide close guidance, while also empowering people to become completely autonomous on the platform and build their chatbots on their own.
At Mindsay, we help our customers choose the right operating model for their business.
Most of our customers go with our hybrid model where we deliver a first version of the chatbot on key channels as quickly as possible. To do this, we typically rely on our Product Builders to build a quick V1 of the bot, of course after having properly scoped the project and KPIs with the customer. This way we ensure that a high-quality, high-performing chatbot is live quickly.
The customer can then use this V1 as a base to build their own use cases and improve and expand the scope of the bot. They’ll also have some interesting initial use cases to reference and can then use these models to drive future development.
If a customer has chosen to be fully autonomous on their chatbot instance, our Professional Services team still follows their work on the platform very closely, reviewing their implementations and providing feedback and any additional advanced tutorials or guides that might be required.
We also have very robust product documentation and tutorial videos that are always available to our customers. Customers have access to detailed documentation on every feature of our platform, including advanced guides for more complex implementations, as well as video tutorials and API references.
This methodology for training people on how to build and implement chatbots has resulted in extremely fast chatbot delivery times, which creates impressive ROI in just weeks. In a short time, most of our customers have achieved:
We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings in 2016, and we’re proud to have developed a chatbot platform that allows anyone to simply and efficiently build powerful AI chatbots. The chatbot market is crazy crowded, and we’ve set ourselves apart with our training and implementation methodology.
Thanks to self-service technology, companies are now capable of delivering truly customized and personalized customer experiences.
Learn how to build a chatbot simply and efficiently with Mindsay's flow builder.