Overview

What are Bots?

How to setup a Bot?

How to add custom Bot questions?

How to view current Bot conversations?

What are some best practices to configure Bots?


What are Bots?


Bots help you spare your visitors and customers the trouble of manually filling pre-chat forms and reduce chat drop-off rates. They can help your team focus on conversations that actually matter and generate leads even when your team is offline by collecting quick information from your website visitors. 


The Freshchat Bot is built to automate lead capture - collect user information when a visitor initiates a chat, validate responses with follow-up questions, and auto-upload the leads into the Freshsales CRM.



You can configure the bot workflows in the following ways:

  • Generate leads 24x7 - even when your team is offline. Let the bot exchange pleasantries, set expectations, and reduce team dependency.
  • Edit default questions and add relevant custom questions to set lead qualification criteria.
  • Create workflows for your team's online and offline scenarios to help your bot sound empathetic and personal.


With bots, you can set the right expectation on response time when your team is offline.



The bot interaction begins when an unidentified user (typically a new website visitor) initiates a chat on your website. The bot workflow kicks in, sends pre-configured messages to the user, and waits for a response. If the responses are valid, it accepts them and moves to the next question, saving the value against the user in a default property (like name, email, phone) or a custom user property (defined as a “label” for the property). If responses are invalid, the bot will prompt the customer for an alternate response. 


Once all the bot questions are answered, the bot sets expectations with the customer (connect you with an agent or get back to you later) based on agent availability.


How to setup a Bot?


Configuring a bot is easy. 


To set up a bot,

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Click Bots.

  3. Use the Enabled/Disabled toggle to turn on/turn off the bot interaction.



You can customize the bot conversations. The bot conversation is divided into following three sections: 

  • a conversation starter 

  • a set of questions, and 

  • a final message before the bot hands over the chat/conversation to team members


You can configure a separate conversation flow for the online/offline status of the team members using the Online and Offline toggle. This is applicable to the first and final message of the conversation. It helps to set clear expectations with the customer.



By default, three bot questions are configured to capture information about a user or lead. These are Email, Name and Phone number. 


You can Edit or Delete the default questions using the edit/delete button. 


You can also configure negative validation responses for the questions. That is, if the user's reply to the Bot's question is invalid, for example, if the user replies with a Name for the question asking their Email ID, you can configure a message like "Oops..Please enter a valid email ID". Refer the screenshot below.



How to add custom Bot questions?


You can also Add Custom Questions to the bot conversation and have the response entered by the user to be captured not only in the bot interaction, but also as a custom user property that can be synced with the Freshsales CRM.



To add a custom question

  1. Click Add Custom Question.

  2. Enter the Label and Text in the respective boxes.

  3. Select Response type.

  4. Enter the message to be sent if the user reply is invalid.

  5. Click Save.


The bot will hand over control to a team member after all the questions have been answered or after a default time-out period of 90 seconds (when a user stops providing inputs).


How to view current Bot conversations?


You can access conversations currently assigned to bots by selecting Bot Conversations from the drop-down in the Inbox view.



Note:

You cannot respond to or interrupt a bot conversation till it moves to a team member – either at the end of the conversation or after the bot engagement times out.


What are some best practices to configure Bots?


Three things to keep in mind while configuring bots:

  1. Don’t ask too many questions through the bot - it will put off your users resulting in a drop-off.

  2. While conversational bots work better than forms, one of the key aspects that lead forms still have is the ability to set expectations on the number of questions ahead of time. To ensure your user isn’t frustrated and confused by the time they see the last question from the bot, make sure you give a heads-up to the user on how many questions are coming up, as a part of the bot welcome message. e.g.,“Three quick questions for context before we hand you over to one of our human agents”.

  3. Don’t try to pretend the bot is human - that sets you up for a bad failure case. People are more forgiving of bots that say they are bots.