A few weeks ago, Landbot, like so many other companies around the world, sent its employees to work from the safety of their home. Although remote work was nothing new for us, we have never done it on a company-wide scale. Try as you may, group conference calls tend to suck candidness out of office relationships 🙄
Little did we know there was an idea brewing…
To help his team fight feelings of isolation during the pandemic, our Head of Product, Fer Guirao, designed a small game, similar to an escape room experience, using Landbot and its latest innovations.
His goal? To help the team spend some quality time together while demonstrating what the product they built themselves is actually capable of.
So, the tinkering began!
Chatbot Escape Room Team Building Put Together in Only 3 Weekends? Surely not!
By only one person, too!
Building a chatbot-driven escape room took Fer exactly three weekends:
1st Weekend was all about developing the game idea and writing a script
2nd Weekend was all about execution, actually building the experience block by block
3rd Weekend was all about testing and iteration to smooth out any remaining creases in the experience
Landbotter Versus the Apocalypse!
Then, at last, it was time to let Landbotters unite under the threat of the impending apocalypse testing their nerves, logic, and knack for cooperation.
Did it work?
Well, as you may have guessed already, yes! Very much so!
Not only was the team-building experience successful and entertaining, but it also proved to be an excellent way of communicating the potential of the new features and what can be achieved with the Landbot builder overall.
We thought… why not make discovering Landbot capabilities so much fun for prospective and existing customers as well?
The “How” of It All
So, you are probably curious about how did he do it? What Landbot features are responsible for this fairly impressive final effect?
I don’t blame you. I was dying of curiosity too, the first time I played the game!
The answers turned out to be much simpler than I originally expected.
Now that I know better, let me give you a little behind-the-scenes sneak peek into the three key aspects of your chatbot escape room experience:
The epic meme battle
Dynamic aspects including multi-questions and message design customizations
Player ranking and tracking
1. Meme Battle
Probably one of the most entertaining and intriguing aspects of the game was the final meme battle.
The key to beating the dragon was matching its meme attacks with the right meme responses based on the clue you received.
How did the dragon know what kind of image you sent?
Surely some overly complex technology must be involved…
Yes and no.
The bot does communicate with an image recognition software using an API webhook.
However, Landbot redefines what it means to set up a webhook turning the process usually reserved to developers into a manageable task for someone the likes of me – a marketer, with no coding experience whatsoever.
In the simplest of terms:
Using the Webhook block, the chatbot sends the image uploaded by the player to the 3rd party image recognition software which, in return, sends back the result of the analysis of what is on the image.
Based on that analysis, the Conditional Logic block evaluates whether the player’s image contains “the correct” meme and lets the player fail or succeed.
What About “Real Life” Application?
Without a hint of exaggeration, webhooks can make your chatbot omnipotent. They allow you to integrate your assistant with a variety of powerful services such as image recognition or data enrichment (e.g., Clearbit).
You can use API integrations to make your chatbot smarter and more helpful in moments where up-to-date information is the key (e.g., weather forecast, availability) or when exporting and importing data in real-time is indispensable to your workflows (e.g, placing reservations, processing orders/payments). They are particularly useful when it comes to lead qualification and data validation.
Many of the “special effects” throughout the conversational room escape activity are part of the Landbot 3 product updates. These two features in particular that played in a key role in creating the experience:
🆔 Block ID
Block ID is a whole new feature that assigns a unique code to each and every block used within your chatbot.
In practice, this means you are able to change the appearance of a specific message within your bot to either highlight specific information (such as drawing attention to a specific hint within the game) or to design a memorable experience:
To achieve this effect all you need to do is access the block ID and use custom CSS to modify the design. So, while the internal structure of the bot is completely no-code, if you really want to create a unique experience from the design point of view, a bit of coding will be necessary.
If you have heard of or interacted with Landbot before, you are probably familiar with the usual Buttons choice block with its many modifications, Picture Choice with its interactive carousel, and other question variations.
The multi-questions block is a new addition to the family of question formats which allow users to insert/answer/submit different data points with one “question”.
In the simplest of terms, think of it as a “miniature form” inside the conversational experience.
Using this feature is a no-brainer. Simply find and select the “Multi-Question” block from the features menu and add the fields you want to display. For each field, you must modify the following:
Question type (answer format)
Variable under which to save the answer
Whether or not the field is required to progress
In the front-end, you experienced the multi-question block in scenarios such as this one below where in fact, the format was essential to the game experience:
What About “Real Life” Application?
In a regular business scenario, the multi-question block proposes a much more efficient and speedier data capture experience. You can ask for information such as signup data (name, email, date of birth) in one go. This way you are able to offer users both the engaging and natural conversational experience combined with the efficiency of form only in that specific instance when it’s more convenient.
As for the personalized messages, block ID opens doors to a variety of personalization options not only to highlight information but also to create moments of higher engagement and memorable branding.
3. Player Tracking & Ranking (Airtable + Formulas)
The last but not least aspect of the chatbot escape room setup we would like to highlight is the workings behind player tracking and ranking.
This has been achieved with two features: Airtable integration and Formulas.
Airtable is a cloud collaboration service and works a sophisticated spreadsheet-database hybrid (with the features of a database but applied to a spreadsheet). Hence, it makes for a powerful integration to manage chatbot data export and import.
Formulas block, on the other hand, is one of the new features of Landbot 3 product update which allows you to carry out calculations and operations similar to those in Excel right inside the builder.
Bot enough of introductions… How did we use these features to track and rank player results?
The logic behind is simple:
When the player initiates the game by clicking the first button or engaging in the first interaction, time and date stamp information is sent to Airtable which create a unique player registration (new row within the spreadsheet):
Every time the player requests a hint, this information is exported to Airtable updating the data in a designated column of the same row;
The bot sends the same time and date stamp to Airtable when the player reaches the end of the game, once again, updating the data in a designated column of the same row.
In the end, the bot pulls the saved data back from the Airtable and uses Formulas to calculate the time of completion as well as their ranking
In the end, the player is presented with the final results of his or her efforts:
What About “Real Life” Application?
The value of these two features in business scenarios hardly needs advertising.
Airtable integration offers you a direct connection between your bot and a powerful database with spreadsheet capabilities which can be used a CRM, product inventory, and more.
On the other hand, Formulas block unlocks a wealth of operations no-coders could only dream of before including data formatting, user input checks, and a plethora of calculations that go beyond sums and detractions. For instance, you can easily format user inputs into lower/upper case to avoid data losses between systems; apply percentual discounts to purchase totals or ensure users submit geo-specific email/phone number/address information.
In a Nutshell…
The whole team fell in love with Fer’s idea. Not only because it was fun to play but also because it made it clear what smartly applied chatbots are capable of!
In other words, making the chatbot escape room experience public was our small way of standing up against the bad rep chatbots have been dragging around for years.
Times when bots used to be expensive and complicated – or worse, tried to imitate humans – are over. Not only can they be easy to build but also incredibly effective as marketing, sales, and customer support tools. Unlike online forms, websites, or landing pages, chatbots can react, personalize, calculate, inform, and even entertain instantly in a format that is inherent to modern human communication.
Bot building with Landbot was pretty easy before. The Landbot 3 updates kept the level of ease but raised the bar on the complexity and efficiency of what you can actually achieve.