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Conversational flows

Sometimes, the Unblu Conversational Bot (UCB) can answer a visitor’s question immediately. Sometimes, however, the UCB must first narrow down the scope of the visitor’s question before it can respond. To handle such cases, you can create conversational flows.

A conversational flow is a series of linked intents. The UCB uses quick replies, card messages and list messages to guide visitors from one intent to the next, until it reaches the intent that provides an answer to the visitor’s request.

You should spend some time mapping out the conversational flows you anticipate between the UCB and your visitors before you start defining intents and writing training phrases. Make sure you also cater for scenarios where the UCB is unable to understand or respond appropriately and the conversation needs to be handed over to an agent.

The section on creating training phrases stresses the importance of limiting your use of specific keywords or key phrases to the training phrases of a single intent. Following this recommendation makes it easier to create conversational flows. Consider the diagram below. It shows two possible scenarios where a visitor sends the message "I would like to order a new card".

Diagram showing intent identification

The first scenario has intents for credit, Visa, Master, and debit cards. Because the visitor has written a generic request related to cards, the UCB can’t determine the most appropriate intent and so must send a fallback response. Adding generic training phrases to all the intents wouldn’t help. The UCB would still be unable to choose between the intents and therefore couldn’t answer the visitor’s question.

In the second scenario, there’s a preliminary intent for cards in addition to the more granular follow-on intents for different types of card. The UCB can answer the visitor’s request with the higher-ranked intent "Cards." The visitor can then navigate to one of the secondary intents (Credit, Visa, Master, or Debit cards) using clickable content such as quick replies or buttons in a list answer or card answer. This allows the UCB to send them the approriate answer, without having to get an agent involved.

Grouping similar intents into a preliminary intent like in the second scenario is good practice and lets the UCB respond to more of your visitors' messages.

Creating conversational flows

  1. Before you can create a conversational flow, you must create the intents you want to link in the flow.

  2. Once you’ve created all the intents you need for your conversational flow, open the intent that acts as the starting point for your flow. In the second scenario outlined in the previous section, this would be the "Cards" intent.

  3. Click Add quick reply in the Quick replies section of the intent’s Bot answers tab.

  4. In the Label field, enter the text for the message you want to associate with a particular follow-on intent. Make sure the contents of the answer you create for the intent and the labels of the quick replies align.

  5. In the Intent to trigger select element, look for the intent you want to associate with the label. The UCB adds the quick reply once you select the intent to trigger.

  6. When you’ve added all the quick replies for the intent, scroll down to the Dependencies section to review the dependencies you’ve created between the current intent and other intents.

Instead of using quick replies, you can also link intents in list answers and card answers.

For more complex conversational flows, repeat the steps above for each level of intents in the flow. As you do so, the Dependencies view of each intent is updated to show any new intents immediately related to the intent you’re editing.

Example

In the second scenario above, the answer for the "Cards" intent could consist of the text "Sure! What type of card do you need?" and the following quick replies:

Table 1. Quick replies in scenario 2 of the card example
Label Intent to trigger

I need a credit card.

"Credit card"

I need a debit card.

"Debit card"

I need a Visa card.

"Visa card"

I need a Mastercard.

"Mastercard"

In the Dependencies section of the "Cards" intent, the left-hand side would show the "Cards" intent with four arrows, each one pointing to a different follow-on intent. The right-hand side would only display the "Cards" intent.

The left-hand side of the follow-on intents — "Credit card," "Debit card," "Visa card," and "Mastercard" — would only display the current intent. The right-hand side would have an arrow pointing from the "Cards" intent to the intent you’re viewing.

See also