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FAQ: Why isn't my chatbot showing up?


You’ve created a chatbot and want to test it out. You go to your testing page, but the bot doesn’t show up. 

Or, you’ve created a few bots to test, but you’re only able to activate some and not others.

What’s going on here? 

Let’s explore some of the reasons why bots don’t show up, or, when they do, why they don’t work as expected.

In this article:

  • Operating Hours Conflict
  • No Trigger or Business Rule Set 
  • Trigger or Business Rule Override 
  • Best Practices for Activating Chatbots

Operating Hours Conflict

When tying a bot to a Business Rule and setting ‘Operating Hours’ as one of your conditions, make sure you’re accessing the bot within the operating hours you set in Settings > Conversation Settings > Operating Hours

In this Business Rule example, the Sequence Bot will activate only during the organization’s online hours.


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Make sure your operating hours are set to the timezone you intend to operate in. 

No Trigger or Business Rule Set 

In Acquire, you can create as many bots as you want. However, in order to prevent bots from overriding each other, they must be tied to a Trigger or Business Rule. This ensures that the bot is only activated when you want it to be activated, and that there aren’t multiple bots firing at once.

If you have only one bot on your site, you can get started quickly with a Trigger. Triggers work well when you have only one bot, but aren’t ideal for complex situations with more than one bot. You also shouldn’t use Business Rules and Triggers in tandem.

Business Rules are great when you have more than one bot to display.

To activate your bot through a Business Rule, go to Settings > Workflows > Business Rules. Name and describe your new rule. Click on ‘New Rule’ and choose ‘chat’ as your ‘channel’. Use ‘on visit’ or ‘on new chat’ and then press ‘Create’.

You’ll be directed to the workflow page where you’ll see your first node. Click on the blue plus sign (‘+’) at the bottom of the branch.


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At this point you may want to build more complex logic, such as setting a bot to work during operating hours, or through an SLA policy. After you’ve built out the logic, choose ‘Assign Bot’ from the actions list and choose your bot.


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Once you’re done, click on ‘Save Flow’ and publish the rule. Then go to your simulate page to test it out.

To set a Trigger, go to Settings > Workflows > Triggers. Click on ‘Create Trigger’ then name and describe your Trigger. Set the condition you want your bot to trigger on. 

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In ‘Perform Action’ assign your bot. 


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Once done, hit ‘Save’. 

Trigger or Business Rule Override 

If you have both Triggers and Business Rules on your site, and your bot isn’t showing up, this may because one action is overriding the other.

To better help you understand how these actions work, we’ve broken them down into a few common scenarios.

Trigger + Trigger

What happens if I have two triggers with identical conditions? 

It depends on the actions.

Scenario #1 

In the following example, both auto messages were activated at the same time. 

Trigger 1 with auto message


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Trigger 2 with auto message


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Result: Both triggers activated.


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When actions do not compete, both activate. 

Scenario #2

However, it’s different when chatbots are involved. In the following scenario, a Conversational Bot was tied to Trigger 1. A Sequence Bot was tied to Trigger 2.

Result


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The Sequence Bot took precedence over the Conversational Bot, even though the messages from both Triggers were activated.

Conclusion: If two triggers with identical conditions are activated, if the actions do not compete, both will trigger. If the actions do compete, one will win out, leading to unexpected results.

Trigger + Business Rule

What happens when a Trigger and Business Rule have the same conditions?

Scenario #3

In the following example, both the Trigger and Business Rule will activate given similar conditions. The Business Rule is tied to an auto message and Conversational Bot. The Trigger is tied to an auto message and Sequence Bot.

Business Rule with auto message and Conversational Bot


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Trigger with auto message and Sequence Bot


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Result

At first, both auto messages and the Sequence Bot were activated.

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However, when interacting with the bot, the Conversational Bot seems to override the Sequence Bot’s presence.


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Scenario #4

This scenario was built in the same ways as Scenario #3 with a Business Rule and Trigger. However, this time the Sequence Bot was tied to the Business Rule and the Conversational Bot was tied to the Trigger.

Result
The Trigger did not activate. Instead, the Business Rule carried on the sequence as expected.


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Conclusion: Using a Trigger and Business Rule at the same time is not recommended. The Sequence Bot seems to override the Conversational Bot. However, the Conversational Bot will sometimes interrupt the sequence (as in the case of Scenario #3). If you need a Conversational and Sequence Bot, use chatbot chaining instead (see Best Practices for Multiple Chatbots for more on chatbot chaining).

Business Rule + Business Rule

What happens when two Business Rules activate at once? 

Scenario #5

In the following example: 

  • Business Rule #1 was set to an ‘On Visit’ condition and activates an auto message and Sequence Bot for Demos 
  • Business Rule #2 was set to ‘On New Conversation’, and activates a notification and Sequence Bot for Sales

Result

The auto message and Demo sequence were activated from Business Rule #1. After answering the first question, the Sales sequence was activated from Business Rule #2. The notification did not activate.


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Conclusion: Hold the Sequence Bot logic in one sequence to avoid unexpected interruptions. 

Best Practices for Activating Chatbots

The previous five scenarios highlight a few of the reasons why it’s important to follow best practices when activating chatbots. Activating chatbots in different places can be as confusing for other agents as it is for visitors.

In general: 

  • Create one Business Rule for incoming chats
  • Use Triggers only if your use case is very simple (i.e., one bot activated throughout the whole site)
  • Use Chatbot Chaining, not Business Rules or Triggers, to display more than one bot
  • Test out your chatbots so that you can ensure everything is working properly before sharing them with customers

Chatbot Chaining

When you need to display more than one chatbot at a time, use chatbot chaining. Sequence Bots and Conversational Bots have the ability to hand off a conversation to their counterparts.

For example, if you needed a Sequence Bot to transfer a visitor to a Conversational Bot, you could ‘Invite a Conversational Bot’ when adding interactions on a sequence node.

In this case, the Features node transfers a visitor to a Features Conversations bot (a Conversational Bot).


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For Sequence Bots, you can also create bubble options that give the visitor an option to return to or engage with a new Conversational Bot.

For a Conversational Bot, you may edit a question, and ‘Enable a Post Action’. Then, invite a Sequence Bot.


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To read a detailed guide on chatbot chaining, see the last section of Configuring Chatbot Triggers & Business Rules.

There could be other reasons why a bot doesn’t show up besides the ones covered in this article. When encountering chatbot display issues check:

  • That you have a Trigger or Business Rule tied to the chatbot
  • That other Triggers or Business Rules do not overlap 
  • If tied to an operating hours condition, check your operating hours in Settings > Conversation Settings > Operating Hours
  • If using more than one chatbot, be sure that the chabot is chained correctly

Running into trouble or need input on a workflow? Reach out to support@acquire.io.


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