Articles on: Crisp Chatbot

How do I create an Out-of-Office responder Chatbot?

In this guide we'll show you how a typical Out-of-Office Responder can be built with the Bot plugin, and provide you with extra knowledge to help you customize and make it fit your day-to-day usage.

Out-of-Office Responders are a good way to provide continuity in your support, but also to assist your users and guide them while your team is away. You can easily customize the flow to ask users for extra information in order to reach back, orient them towards pertinent resources, or simply leaving them a message to acknowledge their request.
They are a pivotal part of the customer service experience, and a properly configured responder will not only enhance your users' engagement but also improve the reactivity of your team when attending pending requests.

Just discovering Crisp chatbot? Check out our Getting Started with the Bot plugin article first!

Without further ado, let's dive in and show you the process of building an omnichannel Out-of-Office Responder!

Video Guide: The Out-of-Office Responder

In this video guide, we wanted to show you the reasoning behind the building of an Out-of-Office responder, in order to give you all the necessarily tool to craft such scenarios and adapt them to fit your exact needs. Let's have a closer look at this!

You can also easily adapt it in order to display a different message based on the user's language. Our Chatbot software can automatically detect the user's country and locale in order to provide a tailored experience.

If you have multiple scenarios triggered when a user sends a message, make sure that your Out-of-Office has a priority higher priority so that it can start when your team is not available. If you're not sure how to set this up, check our Tips & Tricks section!

Illustrated Guide: A quick Out-of-Office Responder

Now, let's have a look at an all-around away responder.

The idea here is to create a scenario that will help us respond to customers not only during the out-of-office hours of our business, but also when our team is offline.
We'll go through the basics to help you understand how such a scenario can be deployed, and give you some tips to adapt it to various situations.

Your Support is considered "unavailable" when none of your operators are online, or if they are set to invisible. If at least one operator is online, your support will considered as "available".

Our Entry block, where we will connect our first Event block to start the scenario

We want our responder to listen to incoming messages, so we'll use the event block "User Message Matches" with the wildcard * as Match value, to detect all messages.
We could also enable our responder on specific channels only (such as Instagram, Whatsapp...) by specifying these in the "Message Origins" settings of this block.

User Message Match configuration

First, we'll simply detect if our support is available or not. We'll therefore split our scenario by adding these 2 condition blocks "Support is Available" as new childs, in order to handle both cases:
one branch with the condition "online"
the other branch with the condition "offline"

If the support is offline, we'll want to directly send our away message. Otherwise, let's check for more conditions in the next step.

Are our agents unavailable?

Now let's detect the current day. Our team is off on the weekend, so we can also split our scenario into 2 branches here with condition blocks "Current Day":
one branch when the days match Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
one branch with the same days, but with the setting "is not" to detect the opposite (when the current day doesn't match those we listed)

!! Here, we would also have checked if the days match Saturday or Sunday instead of checking if they don't match Monday to Friday. Both approaches are perfectly valid.

If this is a weekday, we'll now want to check the time at which the user messaged us, otherwise, if we're on weekend, we know that we simply want to send our away message.

Setting our office working-days

Let's now check the current time to see if our responder should take over.
Our business is opened from 09:00 to 18:00 GMT+1 so we'll simply add a condition "Current Hour" and enable select the "is not" parameter in order to check when the current time does not match the specified hours.

!! Similarly, here we are checking if the current time doesn't match the time range we specified. We could also check if the current time is between 18:00 and 09:00 for instance, the Bot allows us some freedom in our approach.

Checking if the user contacted you outside of business hours

Time to send our away message! We can do this with an Action block "Send Message: Text". There you can also specify different messages for various languages if you'd like your users to receive a localized version :)

Leave us a message!

The Exit block "Stop Scenario" will allow us to prevent our scenario from triggering again in that same conversation for the next 24 hours.
This means that users will only see our away message once for the day, even if they send additional messages afterwards.

Your Out-of-Office responder is now ready! Don't forget to save and deploy your modifications before leaving the editor of course.

In our example, we're simply sending a message to let our users know we'll soon be back, but you can choose to perform different actions as well, such as asking them for their email address and various information, offering them a list of choice buttons, or starting another scenario you have prepared!

You can also use Action blocks "Send Message: Composition" before sending your messages, to give your Bot a human touch!

⬇️ If you would like to review this scenario directly, you can download our example right here, and import it in your Bot plugin to take a closer look on your end.

And for those of you who have more questions and would like to dig deeper, don't hesitate checking our Understanding and Mastering the Bot plugin guide to learn more about the different blocks and their configuration.

Updated on: 04/07/2024

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