How to Create and Use Chain Bots

What are Chain Bots

Chain bots allow you to send information to your Shout-to-Shout (S2S) contacts. They don't collect responses. Instead, each message will either have a short time delay or include a next button that will wait for the recipient to manually proceed at their own pace. 

Chain bots are great to deploy team training or onboard new team members with bite-size content, getting them up to speed one step at a time.  

Chain bots are only available S2S. Contacts can sign up for a free account here, or share your referral link to invite them to join. 

How to Create a Chain Bot

Chain bots can only be created on desktop and tablets. As you start building, you’ll see an at-a-glance outline of your bot flow on the right side of your screen. 

Step 1: Create Your Bot

  • Click on Automations in the left navigation to show a drop down menu
  • Click Bots 
  • Click the blue button at the top left of the screen
  • Select Chain Bot

Step 2: Name Your Bot

Every good bot needs a name! This will only be visible to you and those you share your bot with, so pick a name that will help you remember what it does and how to use it.

Step 3: Select Services

Shout to Shout is the only available service for Chain Bots.

Step 4: Create Trigger Words

Trigger words are what contacts will send to start a bot. Your bot will be listening for exact matches to your trigger word. 

  • Keep these simple! The incoming message needs to be an exact match for the bot to take over, so make it easy for your customers to get them right. 
  • You can have multiple trigger words by clicking on Add Trigger Word
  • Delete those you don’t need with the Trash Can
  • If you receive a message with just the trigger word, your bot will take over the conversation
  • Trigger words for bots and drip campaigns are not case sensitive, and if you have two of the same trigger word, it won't let you use the bot (ex. VIP and vip).  
  • In order to fix this, delete all of the trigger words, save, and then add back one version of the trigger word  (ex. vip).

Step 5: Add Actions

Actions can take place at any point in the chain, including before the bot begins or after it’s done. Some actions are only available on specific question types. An action can: 

  • Add or remove a contact from a list
  • Add or remove a tag from a contact
  • Assign or unassign a channel from a contact
  • Mute or unmute a conversation
  • Send a response to a multiple-choice option
  • Assign a topic to identify the conversation at a glance in your inbox
  • Auto-mark done to move the conversation out of your Inbox to the done folder
  • Run a new bot, ending the current bot and starting a new one
  • End This Bot

Remove actions by clicking on the ••• menu next to the action, then click delete.

Step 6: Create Messages 

In Chain bots, Message Chain is the only type of message available

  • Name questions for easy internal reference 
  • Click on ••• to move or delete messages 
  • Use Quick Responses, Nouns, attach files, include images, Short Links, or Share Links
  • There are no segment counters on Chain Bot composers because all messages sent S2S are free. They don’t count toward your monthly segment total. 

Step 7: Next Button

The next button lets your contact control when the next message in the conversation comes to them. If you don’t use the Next button, there will be a three-second pause before the bot moves on. If you check Show Next, the contact will have to click next to continue the bot.

Step 8: Activate Your Bot 

Activate or pause your bot here. When active, your bot will listen for its trigger words, can be activated with share links, or started manually in the message window. 

You can manually trigger a bot opening an active message thread, clicking on the bot icon, and selecting the bot you’d like to run.

How to Test a Chain Bot

Before activating your bot, take it for a test run. 

  • Click Save & Preview at the top of your screen
  • A new window will open, use the bot trigger word and start chatting
  • Restart the conversation by clicking the ⟲ at the top of the conversation
  • Previews will never use up your message segments

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