How to Build & Deploy a Conversational Bot
Acquire Conversational Bots provide visitors with answers to common inquiries, allowing operators to focus on more complex interactions and visitors to get answers 24/7.
In this article:
- Conversational Bot Glossary
- Building a Conversational Bot
- Adding Suggested Questions
- Editing Chatbot Group Settings
Conversational Bot Glossary
While answering questions seems straightforward, there are a few terms that are helpful to know about Conversational Bots:
Separate questions your Conversational Bot will answer into different categories. For example, if you have different pricing for regions, you may want to separate those into different groups.
These are phrases visitors may use to get answers on a specific topic. Add synonyms to help train the natural language processing (NLP) algorithm and get visitors to the right answer with minimal frustration.
These are the answers your Conversational Bot will reply with to visitors. There are three types of answers:
- Formatted answers are free-text fields where you’ll add relevant information, images, and links when building the bot.
- Random answers enable more than one answer to be programmed for a question. Answers will be displayed at random to keep your bot sounding non-robotic.
- Pick an Article allows you to program a Knowledge Base article into the chatbot reply.
Building a Conversational Bot
The first step to building your bot is to create a group. Head to Chatbot > Conversational Bot > Add Group. You’ll first be asked to configure your ‘Settings.’ If you’d rather skip right to bot creation, you can name the bot and ‘Save Changes’. You can always return to this menu by clicking on the three dots (‘...’) under the ‘Actions’ heading.
- Bot Title and Description - name and description of the bot.
- Customization > System Feedback - collect data on every case.
- Custom Fallback Routing - enable this feature to route the visitor to an agent, department, or Sequence Bot when the bot fails to answer a question.
- Down Vote Routing - when a visitor gives the bot a thumbs down, route the visitor to an agent, department, or Sequence Bot. ‘Down Vote: Chat Transfer’ must be enabled in Chatbots > Configurations > Actions > Thumb Feedback for Messages.
Click ‘Save Changes’ to finalize the group.
Now, head to your newly created group and click ‘Add New Question’. Type in the question you want to program into the bot, adding any variations and synonyms your visitors may use.
Then choose the answer type for this question. Here are some tips for choosing the right type:
Formatted Answer is best for questions with a single correct response or if you’d like to add context to a Knowledge Base article you’re linking.
Random Answer works best for questions that either have no right answer or are an opportunity to add more personality to your bot.
Pick an Article should be used when an answer requires more context in the form of a help article.
Formatted and Random answers can include webhook variables such as visitor_name to further personalize the experience.
From here you can click ‘Save’ to add the question or toggle on ‘Post Actions’.
For a more detailed guide on creating a Conversational Bot, see Conversational Bot Best Practices.
Configuring Post Actions
Post Actions are automations that will fire after the bot has sent a response. They include:
Add a message after the bot sends the answer. You can string multiple messages together by clicking ‘Add More Bubbles’.
Send the visitor to a specific URL.
Chat with Operator
Connect the visitor to a live chat with a specific operator.
Chat with Department
Connect the visitor to a live chat with a specific department.
Invite Sequence Bot
Pull in a relevant Sequence Bot to gather visitor details.
Apply Chat Widget
Send an app in the Widget such as Article Search, Book a Meeting, and Shopify.
Immediately end the conversation. The visitor will have to start a new chat to continue interacting with the bot or a live operator.
Post Actions can be layered to keep the conversation going, with the exception of ‘Close Chat’. These interactions are a great way to provide more information while keeping things conversational. To reorder the post actions, drag and drop by clicking and holding on to the action's triple bar ('≡') icon.
Once you’ve configured the bot the way you’d like, you’ll need to set up a Business Rule to activate the bot. Learn how to set up a chatbot Business Rule.
Already have a list of FAQs? Upload them to your Conversational Bot in just a few clicks. In the bot group, you’d like to upload in, click the dropdown next to the ‘Add New Question’ button and choose ‘Import Questions’.
This will open a new dialog box. Here you can upload a CSV file or import questions directly from another platform such as Dialogflow. Select the destination group and click ‘Import’ to upload the questions.
Reviewing & Approving Suggested Questions
Unfortunately, your bot won’t be able to answer every question it’s asked. That’s why Conversational Bots collect Suggested Questions. Every time the bot doesn’t know the answer, the question is recorded in the platform while the chat is transferred to an operator.
Review these suggestions by navigating to Chatbot > Conversational Bot and choosing a group. You'll see your list of questions. Published questions are indicated by the 'publish' status.
Suggested Questions are automatically set to 'draft'. To pull up a list of your Suggested Questions, use the filter button.
Add an answer to a question and then publish it by changing its status to 'publish'.
Editing Chatbot Group Settings
To make changes to how your chatbot responds to visitors, go to Chatbots > Conversational Bot > the chatbot group and click on the three dots (‘...’) beneath the ‘Action’ header.
There will be a few options to choose from:
- Settings - open the Settings menu.
- Make a Copy - creates a copy of the group.
- Bot Identity - assign the bot a name and avatar. Visitors will see the name and avatar when they chat with the bot in the widget.
- Set as Default - assign this chatbot as the default Conversational bot.
Up Next → Configuring Chatbot Business Rules