Conversation Bots

Conversation Bots respond to your contacts and interact with them based on their answers.

Conversation Bots allow contacts to interact with them and perform actions based on the responses. They can handle orders, gather contact information, facilitate weekly team reporting and feedback, and simplify customer service. 

Conversation Bots are available through all Shout services, including S2S, Facebook Business Page integration, or Customer Service and Marketing text numbers.

For example

  • Take orders from customers with an Order Bot that gathers customer contact info and purchase requests
  • Attend a networking event and add the people you meet to your Shout contacts and organize them by specific groups and tags 
  • Run a giveaway by inviting people to send you a message with a trigger word, and let a Shout bot organize them and follow up

How to Create a Conversation Bot

Web Only

On the Bots page, click the New Bot button at the top of the screen. Choose Conversation Bot on the following screen.

Bot Flow

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see the structure of your bot. As you Name Questions this sidebar will update help see Bot Flow at a glance. Added Actions will be highlighted here.

Activate your Bot

Enable your bot by setting it to be Active or Paused here. When Active, your bot will listen for its trigger word, be activated with share links, or started manually in the message composer.

Name your bot

Every good bot needs a name! Bot names are only visible to you and those you share your bot with, so pick a name that will help you remember what the bot is and how to use it.

Select Services

A Service is where the bot is listening to incoming messages to know when it’s time to take over the conversation. Services include:

  • Shout-to-Shout (S2S)
  • Facebook
  • Customer Service text number
  • Marketing text number
Trigger Words

Trigger words allow contacts to start your bot by sending you a message. When activated, the bot will listen to any service you enabled in the previous step. If you receive a message with just the trigger word, your bot will take over the conversation.

Add multiple triggers words by clicking the Add Trigger Word button. Delete ones you don’t need with the Trash Can icon next to the trigger word.

Remember to keep these simple! The incoming message needs to match exactly for the bot to take over, so make it easy for your customers to get them right.

Question Types

In Conversation Bots, there are several types of questions you can use to interact with your contacts. You can Name Questions for easier internal reference in the Bot Flow panel.

Reorder messages by clicking the three-dot menu on the message and selecting Move Up or Move Down from the menu.

Delete a message by clicking the three-dot menu and selecting Remove Message.


Free Responses send a message then wait for the contact to reply.

Multiple Choice questions require a contact to respond with a number or matching word/phrase to move on to the next question. These are excellent for performing specific actions based on a predetermined response. Add questions by clicking on the grey Add Option button.

Topic Questions behave like multiple choice questions but automatically mark the conversation in the inbox with a label that corresponds with the topic.

Contact Info can ask a user for Name, Email, Phone, Physical Address, or Birthday information and store it in the contact’s profile.

Yes/No questions behave like a Multiple Choice Question but only allow contacts to choose between two options. You can rewrite the questions and options.

Message types send a single message, then move on to the next item in the bot.


Actions

Actions can take place at any point in the conversation, including before the bot begins or after it’s done. An action can:

  • Add or remove a contact from a group
  • Add or remove a tag from a contact
  • Assign or un-assign a channel from a contact
  • Mute or unmute a conversation
  • Send a Response to a multiple-choice option
  • Assign a Topic to identify the conversation at a glance in your Inbox
  • Auto-Mark Done to move the conversation out of your Inbox to the Done folder
  • Run a new bot ends the current bot and starts a new one

Some actions, such as Run Bot or Auto-Mark Done, can only be performed at certain points in the Bot’s flow.

Remove actions by clicking on the three-dot menu next to the action, then clicking Delete.


Compose messages

You can type your message directly into the message composer. Use Quick Responses, attach files, include Short Links, or Share Links.

Each composer has a Segment Counter ring immediately visible to see how many segments all used with each message.

Test your Bot with the Simulator


Web Only

Once you’ve started building your bot, you can click Preview at the top of your screen. You’ll see a new window pop-up, and be able to interact with your bot as if you were one of your contacts. Use the Trigger Word that you set up and start chatting with your bot! If you can’t remember your trigger word, just look at the top of this window - it’s there as a reminder.

Restart the conversation by clicking the circular arrow icon at the top of the conversation.

The simulator will never use up your message segments, so this is a great place to test both Conversation Bots and Chain Bots.

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