When using Flow Builder to create answers for a messaging bot, there are a number of steps you can take to help the bot building process run more smoothly.
This article discusses best practices for the following bot-building tasks:
Before you start building answers
Before you create answers for your messaging bot, look at your company's past tickets or common search terms in your Guide help center and speak to your agents. Your goal is to identify questions that get asked again and again. Make note of how customers word these questions and use similar language for an answer's training phrases.
A good place to start creating answers is with questions that can be resolved on their own and don’t need an agent to take any action. Examples of common, easily-answered questions are:
- Operating hours
- Reset password
- Store locations
Greetings & small talk
When creating a greeting for your bot:
- Encourage the customer to keep questions short and to the point.
- Encourage customers to ask about one thing at a time. Rather than "I want to cancel but I can't log in," ask two separate questions.
- Don’t hide the fact that they’re talking to a bot. When the customer thinks they’re talking to a human, they’re more likely to write long or conversational messages. The bot may have trouble understanding, and the customer may feel that they’ve been misled.
Additional best practices for answers include:
- Encouraging end users to ask the bot a single question at any time.
- Creating a separate answer to handle bot small talk, for instance a sign off response such as "Thanks, goodbye."
- Offering the option to speak to a real agent. If you can’t offer a real person, let the customer know that up front to avoid frustration.
- Starting each answer by echoing the answer topic back to the customer, this will reduce the risk of confusion if they match to the wrong answer. For example, if a customer enters "Cancel my account" your initial response should be "Sorry to hear you want to cancel your account."
- Remember, the number of answers is not as important as making sure you answer the right questions, but for most admins we suggest aiming to answer about 20 questions.
Training the bot
Adding training phrases to answers is an important part of creating an effective bot experience for your customers. When adding training phrases, keep the following in mind:
- Adding a variety of phrases will improve the match rate. However, you don’t need to add every single variant of how the question is asked.
- Aim for a minimum of 3-5 training phrases.
- Avoid adding single-word phrases. Bot training works best with a short, but multiple-word, phrase, such as “refund order” (instead of “refund”).
Make API call
The Make API call allows you to configure an API call out to another system. To increase security, don’t store authentication credentials in the HTTP header. Instead, use the connection manager to safely store your credentials.
Social channel bots have some best practice suggestions specific to the format:
- Make quick replies as short as possible. Facebook Messenger truncates quick replies at 20 characters, and WhatsApp requires that quick replies are typed in.
- However, you should avoid setting quick replies as numbers, as Machine Learning does not perform well when matching single characters. For example, rather than offering single-digit quick reply options (such as 1, 2, and 3), spell out the numbers (one, two, and three).
Testing the bot
Routing the conversation
Moving from the legacy single bot flow model to the new answer-based model
Customers who have a single bot flow and want to use multiple answers can do so by leveraging the following capabilities to break the flow into multiple answers:
- Clone bot to make a copy of the bot that you can update so the existing bot isn’t impacted.
- Copy/paste can be used to copy sections from the original bot flow and paste into a new answer.
- When ready to switch, the customer can connect to the new bot.
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