How To Article

How To Get Started With Chat Automation

By April 2, 2019 July 12th, 2019 One Comment
How To Get Started With Chat Automation

Whether you are looking for Facebook Chat Automation, to Automation WhatsApp Messaging, to automate canned responses or automate chats of any kind the tenets of message automation are always the same. If you over automate a conversation, your customer service will suffer, if you under automate it's going to cost you a lot. This guide is going to help you get your message automation just right.

Introducing message automation to your customer chats provides much-needed relief to customer service representatives and reduces the overall cost of your customer service operation. Using tools like Snippets to automate canned responses allow your customer support staff to take more time to solve issues with higher complexity that require empathy and/or technical experience.

As with any endeavor that has high potential cost savings, the process of message automation is not one that you can just flick on and off like a light switch. It is a process of trial, error, and optimization. It is essential to go through this process because it is easy to disappoint a user or a customer in the real-time messaging environment.

We've developed five necessary steps to follow. To follow these five steps you'll need:

The steps are:

  1. Evaluate Your Customer Conversations
  2. Identify Opportunities for Chat Automation
  3. Experiment With A Light Onboarding Automation
  4. Automate Canned Responses To Answer FAQs
  5. Analyze, Optimize & Implement

1. Evaluate Your Customer Conversations

The first step to message automation is understanding the chats your customer service representatives and salespeople are having with your customers or users.

The goal of this step is to get a vague idea of the potential pay off you can achieve by automating some conversations.

For the initial research, ask the business development team, sales department, and customer representatives for anecdotal data. You'll be surprised how bothered employees can be about repetitive messaging.

Record the answers employee's give to these three critical questions:

  • What are the most common first message or messages that they receive in the chat? We'll call these onboarding messages.
  • What are the most common problems your customer support team responds to for customers or users that your company has already chatted with? We'll call these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  • How often are the responses given for either onboarding messages or FAQs exactly the same?

At this stage, you'll have a pretty good idea of which topics you should conduct more research about by looking at past chat conversations. Past conversations will help you understand where automated onboarding and automated canned responses can be of use.

2. Identify Opportunities for Chat Automation

The second step to practical chat automation involves finding parts of conversations that you can automate using chat automation rules (for Onboarding Messages) or AI (for FAQs). To do so, find sample chats of onboarding messages & FAQs that you learned about from your team in Step 1.

The best way to find samples of onboarding messages and FAQs is to look directly at chats. You may try to go through emails to find this information, but email conversations will not be useful because the way people write in a real-time chat is vastly different to email.

If you've got live chat set up on your website, checking those conversations is an excellent place to start. If you have messaging app business accounts set up already, you'll be able to find records of your chats in the following places:

Once you've got about 10 to 20 examples of chat conversations for each onboarding message & FAQ you'd like to automate you're ready for the next step.

3. Experiment With A Light Onboarding Automation

For most businesses, we see a few questions or topics that are so prevalent that it's best to preempt it for all new contacts (subscribers).

An onboarding automation helps to welcome new contacts into the conversation. It can be a message to educate a contact about an issue or a question that the contact can answer that lets you help them faster.

When choosing what kind of message to send or question to ask with your first onboarding automation consider the chat automation matrix below.

This is a chat automation matrix.
Chat Automation Matrix

Make sure to start automating messages where you have a high probability of being right and a low cost of being wrong.

Our first experiment was just one simple question. What language do you prefer to chat in English, Spanish or Chinese? It's very easy to make a simple onboarding automation like this for your own company.

1. Navigate to Settings > Add Field and create a field with the contacts preferred language.

Create a Custom Field to Record the Data
Create a Custom Field to Record the Data

2. Navigate to Surveys > Add Survey and create a survey to ask a contact their preferred language.

Create A Survey To Collect The Data
Create A Survey To Collect The Data

3. Navigate to Automation > Add Rule and Create a Rule that sends the survey to the contact when they start the conversation.

Create A Rule To Launch The Survey
Create A Rule To Launch The Survey

4. Navigate to Automation > Add Rule and create a rule that assigns the contact to one of your Rocketbots platform users depending on the language they choose.

Create A Rule To Assign Someone Based On The Survey Response
Create A Rule To Assign Someone Based On The Survey Response

That's it. You've created your first automation.

A word of caution, we tried our first experiments with onboarding automations in a closed environment that didn't include our real users. However, we quickly learned this method wasted our teams time (they were the testers) and usually didn't reflect on what actually happened in the real world. Experiment with very light automation first, like the one we described above and test it on your real contacts.

If you're ready for something more complex, we've created also created a guide to complex onboarding automations.

Now that you've done something to automation contact onboarding, let's created some canned responses and automate to canned responses.

4. Train Smart Replies To Answer Your FAQs with Snippets (Canned Responses)

Once you've gone through your chat logs and have a good idea of your frequently asked questions, you'll need to make snippets. Snippets are just canned responses that make answering common questions easy. Smart Replies & Snippets work together to automate canned responses.

In our case, the most common questions are about connecting channels. People will ask, how can I connect WhatsApp to your platform? How can I connect Line to your platform?

The answers we give to these questions are simple, we point them to the documentation.

The best way to get started is to create some Snippets. Follow our step by step guide below or skip straight to the video.

To create a Snippet navigate to Snippets > Add Snippets.

Creating a Snippet on the Rocketbots platform is like adding a canned response.
Creating a Snippet

Snippets have a name, a message, and a topic. The name is used to bring up the Snippet using the "/" command in the messaging module. The message is the text that is sent to the contact. The topic is optional but helps keep things organized once you have many Snippets.

To use the Snippet command navigate to the Messages Module > type "/" > select the Snippet by typing the name or using the up & down arrows > press Enter.

Do bring up your Snippets (canned response) in the messaging module, use the "/" command.
Using the Snippet Command

Using Snippets is just as easy as using canned responses on any other platform. Something you won't be able to do on other platforms is automate canned responses, but you can automate Snippets by adding training phrases to them.

To add training phrases to your Snippet open the action menu next to the Snippet > Train > Add training phrases.

The first step to automating a canned response (Snippet) is to add training phrases to your Snippets.
Training Snippets

To get started with automating Snippets you'll need to have at least 3 Snippets with 3 training phrases each. Remember this is that bare minimum, for the best message automation you'll want as much data as possible. Once you have the 3 Snippets set up, Smart Replies will start recommending Snippets in the Messaging module.

To use Smart Replies navigate to Messages Module > click on a Smart Reply > press Enter.

The second step to automate canned responses (Snippets) is to ensure your Snippets are being recommend at the right time.
Using Smart Replies

Using Smart Replies manually will give you a good idea if the right Snippet is being recommended at the right time. After all, what good is message automation if it doesn't send the correct answers.

Once you've got a feel for how your Snippets are being recommended, and the confidence level of your Smart Replies, try automating Smart Replies.

To automate Smart Replies navigate to Settings > Smart Replies Settings > toggle Enable Automatic Smart Replies? > input a Confidence Threshold.

Enable Automatic Smart Replies to allow the AI to reply based on Smart Reply Confidence

We recommend setting the Confidence Threshold to 97% to start. As you continue down the chat automation journey, you'll be able to lower the confidence and answer FAQs like a boss.

One last thing. Here's a little trick to enable your Smart Replies to learn even faster. Enable self-learning.

To Enable Self-learning for Smart Replies navigate to Settings > Smart Replies Settings > toggle Smart Replies Self-learning on.

Enable Smart Replies Self-learning to allow questions to be added to the Snippet's phrase list

When self-learning is on, clicking on a Smart Reply and sending it will automatically add the question you answered, to the list of training phrases in Snippets. So all you have to do to improve your message automation is use the Smart Replies.

Train Smart Replies To Answer Your FAQs with Snippets (Canned Responses) Video

Answer Your FAQs with Snippets (Canned Responses) Video

5. Analyze, Optimize & Implement More Message Automation

Nobody expects you to get it right the first time. Chat automation is a trial and error process that requires organizations to test better variants of their answers repeatedly and analyze consumer feedback to automated chats to improve their design. You'll want to optimize your onboarding and improve how you group information in Snippets to truly automate canned responses.

The key to a successful chat automation system is the ability of the organization to record, evaluate, and improve, based on their findings.

Iaroslav Kudritskiy

Iaroslav Kudritskiy

Iaroslav is the Chief Operating Officer at Rocketbots overseeing growth and operations. He is a graduate of the MBA program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his previous roles include positions at Kodak Alaris, Xaxis & Light Reaction.

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