Passages

A passage is a "turn" in the chatbot conversation: the chatbot says or does something, then the user responds. Use the Passage Edit screen to create the content your chatbot will send, and determine how the user should respond.

Each passage consists of:

  • Name: a short title that describes the passage.
  • The Bot Message: content the chatbot sends to the user, including scripts that might be run.
  • The Expected User Response: how the user is expected to respond.
    This section can also run a script after the user has responded, or hand control of the chatbot over to a human.
  • Inbound Questions: typed responses from the user that should be answered by this passage.
  • Outbound Questions: typed responses from the user that should be answered differently in the context of this passage.

Edit the passage name

Change the name of the passage by clicking the edit button next to the name.

Tip:

Try to keep passage names under 24 characters so they can be easily read in the conversation canvas. If the passage name is longer than 24 characters, you can see the full passage name in the canvas by hovering over the passage card.

Retain the previous conversation context

When the chatbot starts a passage, either from matching a question or following a button or script, the chatbot's conversation context changes to the passage's conversation. This ensures that any questions the user asks are checked against the most recent context, so the conversation feels more natural.

But sometimes you want to use a passage from another conversation without switching the conversation context. For example, if a user says "thanks" in response to something your chatbot does, you want to say "you're welcome"and return seemlessly to the topic at hand, even if the "you're welcome" passage is located in a different conversation.

The Retain the previous conversation context option tells the chatbot to not switch the conversation context when it starts this passage. So if the user says "thanks" in the middle of the Loan Application conversation flow, the chatbot answers with the "you're welcome" passage from the FAQ conversation, but doesn't switch the conversation context to the FAQ. The chatbot then resumes the Loan Application conversation flow as if it had never left, creating a much more natural conversation.

Retain previous conversation vs Resume Conversation

The Resume Previous Conversation Quick Reply feature provides a similar function of returning the user to a previous conversation, with two differences.

Resume Quick Reply

The conversation context will change when the chatbot sends the "you're welcome" passage, which means any questions the user asks after the passage will be matched against the conversation that the "you're welcome" passage is in.

The user must also explicitly ask to return to the previous conversation by pressing the Resume Quick Reply. This can feel unnatural for things like a "you're welcome" response, but may provide a better experience for a user clarifying something.

Retain previous conversation context

The conversation context doesn't change, so any questions the user sends after the "you're welcome" passage are matched against the original conversation. The user is also returned to the previous conversation without any interaction on their part.

Edit the Bot Message content

Add content to your Bot Message by clicking the content type buttons. You can re-order the content by dragging the handles, and delete content using the delete icon.

Some content types need configuration, or can perform additional actions. See Bot Message content types.

Edit the Expected User Response

Select the way you expect a user to respond: by clicking a button or quick reply, typing a question or sending information like an email address or phone number. You can also choose to run a script after the user responds, or pass control of the chatbot to a human.

Defining how the user is expected to respond allows the chatbot to guide the user in using the chatbot correctly (such as pressing buttons or quick replies) when the user gives an unexpected response. You can configure how the chatbot guides the user using the Unexpected Text Response setting. See Chatbot settings.

Some response types need configuration, or can perform additional actions. See Expected User Response types.

Edit the Inbound Questions

Inbound questions are typed user responses that are answered by this passage. For example, if the passage gave instructions on donating to the organisation, Inbound questions might include "how do I donate", or "I want to donate".

To edit inbound questions, click the Inbound Questions card.

For more information about Inbound questions, see Questions.

Edit the Outbound Questions

Outbound questions are responses a user might type that should be answered differently if the user sends them immediately after this passage.

For example, the question "start application" usually takes the user to a passage that asks them what kind of application they want to make. If this passage is about car loan applications, an outbound question of "start application" could take the user directly to the first passage of the car loan application instead.

To edit outbound questions, click the Outbound Questions card.

For more information about Outbound questions, see Questions.

Customise content per channel

You can customise the content the chatbot sends, and the user response it expects, depending on which channel the user is using. For example: in Facebook Messenger, you might guide users to use your website or your app to answer their query, but in your website chatbot, only give instructions for the website, since they're already there.

Only the message content and expected user response is customised; inbound and outbound questions and any passage settings such as retaining previous context are the same across each channel.

Customise content

  1. Open the passage you want to customise.
  2. Click the menu icon at the top of the passage.
  3. Click Multi-Channel Config.
  4. Toggle the channels you want to create custom content for.
  5. Click Save.

Only customise what you need to

You don't need to toggle on every channel your chatbot supports. Any channel you don't create custom content for will use the default passage content. Only toggle on channels where you want to send different message content to the user, or expect a different response from them.

Switch between channels

To switch between channels, click the icons at the top of the passage. Remember to save your changes before you close the passage.

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