Named-entity recognition (NER) is the ability of your bots to identify and retrieve customer information and properties from a conversation. In the Freshchat bot builder, you can make use of NER to recognize the following entities or input options:

  • Email
  • Name
  • Phone

 

So what does this mean for you? Let's say your bots can now understand if your customers reply in sentences instead of just with the answer. For example, if your bots ask your customer for their email, and they respond with "You can reach me at john.doe@sauls.com," your bot will pick up and save just the email address and not get confused with the rest of the response.


How to get started:

  • Navigate to Bots > pick a bot of your choice > Flows > Configure > Entity Recognition



  • Here you will see options to set up entity recognition for your input fields for email, name, and phone number. Click the Enable button to get started.

  • The validation options for each of these input options are similar. You can configure three options for entity recognition:

Max retries

  • This is the maximum number of times the bot will use NER to check your customer's responses to your bot's questions. For example:
    • You set the maximum number of retries to 5.
    • Your bot will ask your customer to retry five times if their responses don't fit the input option type. 
    • If your customer doesn't enter their response properly, your bot will trigger the following action.


Action after retries

  • If your customers don't respond in the right format and have exhausted their maximum number of retries, you can choose to have your bot execute one of the following actions.
    • Skip to next dialog: The bot will skip the question and proceed with whatever response you have configured in the next dialog.
    • Transfer to an agent: The bot will automatically transfer the conversation to your human agents since your customers are having issues talking to your bots.
    • Trigger a flow: You can choose to lead the customer to a specific flow instead of the current flow. 

Failure validation message

  • The failure validation message shows up when your customers input the wrong format instead of the specified input option.

  • We build this feature to help your bots sound more human. When your customers make a mistake in terms of the right format, your bot should also empathize — you can use the failure validation message to do the same. You can use this to help your customers with helpful hints. 

  • For example, if you’ve enabled NER for the email input option, you can set up failure validation messages like:
    • “Sorry, but I'm unable to figure out what your email ID is from your input. Could you please try again?” or
    • “Seems like you entered an invalid email. Please try again.”


The NER feature is currently available for email, name, and phone number input options. Once enabled, you can choose to edit or disable it.