While Facebook has opened up the Messenger chatbot API for everybody to use, the barrier to implementation is whether or not you have the resources. Most companies don’t.
HIGH5 promises to make the process easy. Companies simply sign up, fill out basic data regarding their services, and have their bot online. Rather than having to guess what customers will say and program it into your bot, HIGH5 has a database full of common questions and answers to choose from.
When an unknown question pops up, the chatbot contacts business owners/service representatives immediately for an answer, which it then saves to its growing database of user interactions.
The main advantage of chatbots are the massively reduced response times compared to traditional customer services. HIGH5 takes that even further by removing the time and money needed to be spent hiring developers to make chatbots.
HIGH5’s strength over competitors is its large Mandarin database, a largely untouched market when it comes to chatbots. However, the pricing model and design make it hard for customers to expand and customize (though features can be added and changed, HIGH5 is a young company after all).
Take Chatfuel for example, an online visual chatbot builder. While both have a free tier, HIGH5 starts charging a $499 NTD fee when you require 60 customized answers (more requires special pricing). Chatfuel is simply free and unlimited until monthly users reach 500,000.
HIGH5 currently has just three members in its team but has had over 1,000 companies install their chatbot in the eight months since launch.
I think HIGH5 is perfect for small companies that don’t need many advanced features. The company needs to expand quickly and provide more customization for users. They haven’t used the Messenger platform to its full potential, but further development can realize this easily.
Their focus on the Mandarin market is a great opportunity that many foreign companies have trouble dealing with. Having pre-made templates is a great approach that others aren’t using, but may lead to the feel of “canned” responses for users, especially with longer messages. I feel the best feature is switching to humans immediately when an unknown question emerges, then remembering their answer to the question, something that other services haven’t gotten right yet.