Setting Bot Reply Times

To control when your Bot should answer conversations, and when the conversations should be handled by live agents, you need to build this logic into your Flow. You can do this by using the ci.currentTime object which gives you plenty of information about the current time, including the day of the week. You can therefore use this to create simple JavaScript rules to e.g. let the bot answer after 17 on weekdays and always on the weekends. When you want your bot to not answer the message, you need to trigger a StopFlow Node in your Flow before you trigger any Say Nodes. The example Flow below shows a very simple example of how you can create this logic.

Example Flow

You can download an example Flow that shows a simple example of handling reply times here: https://s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/cognigy-docs/Intercom.zip. This zip file can be imported into Cognigy.AI using the Import feature.

Timezone

Make sure that you set the appropriate timezone for your Flow in the Flow Settings in order to match the timezone where your agents are located

Disabling Operator in Intercom

Intercom has a feature called Operator which is a simple bot that can e.g. send a standard response when your agents are offline. However, this directly interferes with the usage of Cognigy.AI, and you should therefore disable some features of Operator to avoid that your users get replies from Operator and your Cognigy.AI bot at the same time. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable Operator from sending a default reply when your team's office hours are closed. The only solution is therefore to set your office hours in Intercom to be always open, and then configure in your Flow when the Cognigy.AI bot should answer as described above.

Handover

The Intercom Bot will only answer conversations when either the no user is assigned or the bot is assigned to the conversation. This means that you can take over a conversation (handover) in case the bot is not understanding a specific user. The only you thing you need to do in order to take over the conversation is to assign the conversation to yourself, which can be done via Intercom Inbox or via the Intercom API. As soon as you want to give the conversation back to the user, you can simply assign the conversation to the bot once again.

Assignments

The bot will only reply to conversations when the conversation is unassigned or when the bot itself is assigned to the conversation.

Assignment Rules

Instead of configuring reply times for your bot in your Flow, you can also use Assignment Rules in Intercom Inbox. Since the bot will only answer to conversations where it's assigned (or to unassigned conversations), you can use these rules to manage which conversations should be handled by the bot.

Requires Inbox Pro subscription

The Assignment Rules feature requires an Inbox Pro subscription

Message Delay

If you want to make the bot replies seem more natural, you can configure a message delay in your Intercom Endpoint. The message delay you configure in the Endpoint will be multiplied with the length of the message the Bot is going to send in order to make the delay depend on the message length. We wait 20 milliseconds per character in the message per default before we send the message, which makes the conversation seem very natural with short messages like "Hello" appearing quickly, whilst longer messages arrive slower as if they were written by a person.

Pause Flow Nodes

It is generally advised to use the message delay in the Intercom Endpoint instead of using Pause Flow Nodes. This is because it can be difficult to maintain all the Pause Flow Nodes in your Flow, and because Pause Flow Nodes can break functionality in case you also want to use your Flow on e.g. Alexa, because Alexa has a timeout of 8 seconds.

Typing Indicators

Sadly, Intercom does not support triggering typing indicators via the API. We have submitted a feature request in Intercom for this, and will include support for it as soon as they include it into their API.


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