“start” and “default” skills

These are two skills that you will find in every chatbot built with Activechat, and also – in almost every other chatbot platform.

“start” skill

“Start” skill will be triggered when user interacts with your chatbot for the very first time. It happens when user clicks “Get started” button on Facebook Messenger or “Start” button on Telegram.

This skill is usually used to greet the user and tell him or her what this specific chatbot can do – so-called “welcome message”. When you create a new bot from scratch in Activechat, the welcome message is set to display “Hi, I’m a brand new chatbot. Nice to meet you!” You can customize it both from “Welcome message” settings or by editing the whole “start” skill in Visual Builder.

“default” skill

This skill will be triggered every time when your chatbot is idle and the user is sending a new message. The only exception is when you have LISTEN block in your conversation, and this block is currently active and is listening to the user’s input – in that case the message will be saved to specified bot variable, and the “default” skill will not be triggered.

Chatbots use this skill to analyze what the user said and take action accordingly. This can be achieved in multiple ways, most common approaches being keyword detection and natural language understanding.

Keyword detection is the most simple way, and you can make your chatbot respond to different keywords by using the “Keywords” section in the bot builder menu or by editing the “default” skill itself.

If you do not set up any keywords, your bot will reply with the same message to every user input. This is called “Default reply” and can be customized too. When you create a new chatbot from scratch, we’ll pre-set this default reply to “Sorry, not sure about it. Do you want to talk to a live person?”. If user replies “yes”, the chatbot will collect some data (name, email, and question) and send it as a lead to the email address associated with your Activechat account.

Default reply can be customized in the “Keywords” section of the bot builder menu.

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