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How to use Auto-Responder?

The Auto-Responder plugin helps you respond with a custom response flow of messages and chat events to certain messages from the chatbox, from email, or from other integrations (eg. Messenger). You can create Intents that are fired upon certain conditions, and that contain the response flow.

This guide goes into explaining the general concepts of Auto-Responder and Intents.

Video tutorial:

What Auto-Responder do?

Auto-Responder helps you gain time by answering automatically to certain kind of messages. Some may call this a bot system; we call it an Auto-Responder.

It can be used in such cases:

  • You are offline: you want your customers to get a placeholder response saying that you are offline.
  • Some questions occur very frequently: you have a well-writen, automated answer so that your operators don't have to answer it repeatedly.
  • Some kind of questions should be handled by specific operators (eg. Technical department): you want to @mention those specific operators so that they are notified of the pending chat that they should handle.
  • Some users ask for a specific operator to help them by calling their name in chat: you want to @mention the operator the user called for so that he/she is notified of the user willing to speak to him.

What is an Intent?

An Intent contains a set of user actions that can fire a response flow to be sent.

The following actions are available:

  • Message pattern: user message matches at least one message pattern — Case insensitive. See message pattern examples in the section below.
  • Message origins: user message comes from an specific origin (eg. chat, email, Messenger) — Origins can be combined. If no origin is set, all origins match.
  • If operators offline since: time in minute since when all website operators should be offline (max. 2 days)

If multiple actions are set for an Intent, that Intent is fired only if ALL actions are matched.

intent action
Intent action for message pattern

The following response flow items are available:

  • Send Message: send a given text message to user (sent from the Auto-Responder user identity)
  • Send Compose: send a message compose event to user for a given time duration in seconds (ie. user is writing a message)
  • Mention: @mention an operator from your team about this chat (sent as a private note, not seen by user)
  • Note: send a private note to your team, with given note message (not seen by user)
  • Wait: do nothing for a given time duration in seconds (use this to create complex auto-response flows)

If multiple responses are set for an Intent, those responses are executed in sequential order, one after the other.

intent response
Intent response flow

Can Intent actions be combined?

The actions can be combined. For instance, we can have the following combinations (other non-listed combinations are possible, of course):

  • On Message Pattern (eg. message 'i have a bug')
  • On Message Pattern + On Message Origin (eg. message 'hello, i have a question' sent from email)
  • If Operators Offline Since (eg. if offline since 30 minutes)

We remind you that if multiple Intent actions are set, all actions set must match to fire the Intent response flow.

How message patterns are formatted?

Message patterns are used to match sections of user messages. For instance, if I want to match an 'Hello, I have a question.' message, a pattern such as 'question' can be used.

You can use wildcards ('*') to fuzzy-match parts of user messages.

Here are some examples of matching patterns:

Message 1: Hello, I need help. matches pattern help

Message 2: Hi! I have a question. matches pattern hi*question

Message 3: My MacBook is broken. Is there some warranty? matches pattern macbook is broken.*warranty

Here are some examples of non-matching patterns:

Message 1: Okay that sounds good. does not match pattern help*me

Message 2: Can I speak to Baptiste? does not match pattern can*speak*to*valerian

Can I pause a specific Intent?

It is possible to pause a specific Intent by disabling it in the sidebar in the plugin options.

It will not remove the Intent configuration; thus you can re-enable the Intent anytime.

Why doesn't my Intent work?

If an Intent you created doesn't seem to work, consider the following:

  1. Intents configuration changes take a few seconds to be applied to the live system (wait 30 seconds max. before testing)
  2. Intents can only be fired once every 30 minute for each user session (this prevents some weird things to happen if the user repeats a message that fires an Intent)
  3. In case multiple Intents match a given visitor message, the first matching Intent only is fired
Valerian Saliou
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