Create a new bot agent

OK, the conversational design itself is definitely a huge thing, but you just want to build a chatbot fast, right? So we’ve prepared this quick-start guide to help you with your first bot on Activechat Visual Chatbot Builder. 

We will not be covering some basic things here, so here are some links for later:

Using Visual Chatbot Builder

Basic concepts – skills and events

Connecting chatbot to Facebook Messenger

Everything in the Automation part of the Activechat platform revolves around intents and skills. Intents are something that your customers want to achieve (their requests), and bot skills are scenarios (or flows) that are triggered by each of these intents and provide actual answers, do actions or escalate conversations to human agents as live chats.

Pre-defined (system) intents and skills

When you start building a new chatbot (or virtual assistant) from scratch, there will be a set of pre-defined intents and skills that we build for you. These intents are:

intents tree new
  • Fallback – this intent will be triggered if the agent does not understand what the customer wants (none of the other intents were triggered). Usually, you should put something like a human escalation here, or ask your customer to re-phrase the intent (if you’re not using the Live chat feature).
  • Live chat – this intent will be triggered when the customers says something like “talk to human” or “call the agent” (you can change these utterances in the intent settings).
  • Welcome message – this intent is triggered when your customer starts the very first conversation with your agent. It’s a great place to welcome the customer and explain how this agent can help.
  • Small talk – these are a number of intents grouped into several categories, that provide basic conversational skills for your agent. Typical small talk conversation could look like this:

Please note that once you start building new intents and skills, some of the phrases used in Smalltalk intents can be conflicting with the new ones (for example, “Smalltalk – Agent – Ready” intent with phrases like “are you ready” can be conflicting with your custom intent “Is my order ready”). It’s essential to test your conversations often to see if there’s anything unusual (wrong intents triggered by certain phrases). This is where Insights come in handy.

Add custom intents

To customize your virtual agent, you’ll need some actual intents that will be triggered by customers’ requests. Let’s say, you’re building a virtual store assistant and want to automate common requests like “Where are you located?” and “What’s your opening hours?”.

Go to the Automation – Intents menu, and click the “New intent” button. Name your intent “Store locations” and add some phrases that your customers could be using when they ask this question:

Example of the “Store locations” intent

Don’t forget to hit “Save” (notice that your bot starts training to understand new phrases, this process usually takes a minute or two depending on the number of phrases added). Now, repeat the process for the “Opening hours” intent:

Example of the “Opening hours” intent

When you get some experience with our visual skills builder, you’ll be able to customize these simple responses further.

Test and refine

Congratulations! When you’ve done with some custom intents, your bot is ready to start talking to real users! Now it’s time to start reviewing actual conversations (manually, or with our amazing Insights feature) and update your intents to make your bot smarter every week.

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