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 seamlessly 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.
Any conversation-level or passage-level actions you've configured will still be triggered when the chatbot sends the passage, even if the passage is set to retain the previous conversation context.
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:
- Whether or not the conversation context changes.
- Whether or not the user is returned to the previous conversation automatically.
Retain previous conversation context:
- Does not change the conversation context.
- Returns the user automatically to the previous conversation.
This means any questions they ask are matched against the original conversation.
The Resume Quick Reply feature:
- Does change the conversation context.
- Does not return the chatbot user automatically to the previous conversation.
This means any questions the user asks after the passage will be matched against the conversation that the answering passage is in ( that's the "you're welcome" passage in our example), and the chatbot user must explicitly ask to be returned to the previous conversation by tapping 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.