It is better to have a bot with a narrow scope and a seamless handoff then a bot with a wide scope that lacks the handoff. Now go ahead, and nail that handoff.
Chatbot Handoff - How to nail the bot to human handoff
You’ve designed your chatbot, tested it well and have done everything in your power to make it as good as possible. Still, your bot will not solve everything and having a good fallback option will make a difference between a successful chatbot and bot’s that will cause some anger issues.
In this guide, we will guide you through the process of setting up well thought out handoff. We do that by splitting it up into 3 building blocks of a good handoff or takeover:
- Triggering the Handoff Procedure
- Setting up a Handoff Procedure
- Handing off from bot to human
Before getting into specifics, as a general rule, it is better to have a bot with a narrow scope and a seamless handoff then a bot with a wide scope that lacks the handoff.
1. Triggering a handoff procedure
As you might have experienced a chatbot is built by flows or pieces or conversation. Those flows and pieces of conversations can be reused in different parts of the conversation. The concept of reusing flows in different places is also recommended when working towards a handoff.
A Handoff can be triggered by multiple triggers, think about these 3 triggers:
- Text trigger - An user that indicates that he would like to talk to an agent
- Unknown - If the user input is unknown to the chatbot, how do you Handle the Unknown?
- Feedback - When the user indicates that the bot didn’t answer the question. Read more in The Feedback Flow.
All of these 3 Triggers can be followed by the same Handoff procedure before doing the actual Handoff!
2. Setting up a handoff procedure
A decent handoff procedure will make the life of your agents a lot easier and will result in a better customer journey. The idea of this procedure is to enable the agent to answer questions as efficiently as possible with the highest satisfaction rate. At this stage the bot will gather more information and redirect the question to the right department or workflow. To do that, you can think about adding the following components into your chatbot.
- Required information - To answer a question you might need an email address, date, a specific order number or any other piece of information. If any of these pieces is still unknown, let the bot ask for it. When all the information is gathered, your agent will be able to solve the issue much faster.
- Channels - What if you have multiple channels integrated? WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to send messages back to the user up to 24 hrs, allowing asynchronous messaging while live chat users expect an answer way faster. There is no one best answer for this one but in general live chat will have priority over asynchronous messaging.
- Business processes - How do you handle questions? If you have agents available, you can incorporate live chat. If there is a handoff during business hours a live agent can follow up directly or when it’s outside of business hours you can create a ticket in your CRM system to follow up at a later stage.
To set up these rules and business processes within Flow.ai, Conditions are definitely worth looking into.
3. Handing over from bot to human
The final step is to actually hand the conversation over to a human colleague. That is the place where an agent actually jumps in for assistance. At Flow.ai we always support working from a single customer service tool where requests, tickets and chatbot handoffs will be picked up.
To hand a conversation over to a customer service tool you can use the Handoff Reply. That will label the conversation as takeover required. When creating tickets you could also our Zapier integration or create custom tickets and integration by using APIs.
Tip: Hand the conversation back and forth
Don’t miss out on handing the conversation back from agent to bot. After the question is solved an agent can easily use a Start Survey event within the chatbot design and the bot picks up the survey with the user.