I have been exploring SMS messaging with a bot, such as for signing up customers to receive products.
Background: rather than creating web pages or coding an application, I wanted to try a simple text messaging service which would allow customers to get products shipped to them on a regular basis. For instance, getting a package of paper towels shipped to you automatically once a month.
To make this work, a combination of tools are needed.
Twilio – a cloud-based communication platform which, in my case, provides me with a phone number that I can use for text messaging. Twilio has an API which can be interacted with by a bot service.
TextIt.in – an bot tool specifically for SMS messaging, which provides a very user-friendly UX-flow layout to customize your bot interactions.
Scenario: every six months, I need to replace the water filters on my refrigerator. The water filter package has a small sticker on it which reads “Automatically stock up once a month! Text ‘RESTOCK’ to 22202!”
Once the accounts were setup, there is a wizard on TextIt.in to integrate with the Twilio account.
TextIt.in has a simple work flow model which lets you build out the text bot questions and responses:
There is also a neat simulator on the screen which allows you to test out the text bot questions and responses. This allows you to easily tweak your bot’s Q & A.
Next – creating a Webhook to store this information in a Firebase DB.