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  Article updated: August 16, 2022

Use auto responders in Hootdesk

Audience: Hootdesk admins

Auto responders are messages sent automatically to contacts on direct messaging channels. They gather common information from contacts using pre–written scripts. This can help save time until a human agent is needed to take over the conversation.

To create a new auto responder, follow these steps.

  1. In Hootdesk , select Admin settings, expand Virtual agents, and then select Auto responders.
  2. Select Add auto responder.
  3. Enter a name. This name will appear in the conversation view as Name VA.
  4. Select whether you want the auto responder to be activated as an Inception agent or a Delegation agent. See Activation types for more information.
  5. Set timeout rules for the virtual agent and the contact. See Timeout rules for more information.
  6. Fill out the optional Scripts fields as you like, including any business hours and out-of-office messages, translations, escape words, or an inactive duration setting, and then select Save. See Scripts for more information.

    The Scripts fields for a new auto responder.
  7. Scroll down to the Channel access section and use the toggles to select channels where this auto responder can be used.

Activation types

  • Inception - An inception virtual agent is like a typical chat bot. It automatically picks up any private conversations that start in the channels it has access to. If a human agent becomes required, it moves the conversation to the New queue. If no human assistance is needed, it resolves the conversation.
  • Delegation - A delegation virtual agent does not automatically pick up conversations. A human agent can give a conversation to a delegation virtual agent at any point in a conversation, at which point the delegation virtual agent takes over. If a delegation virtual agent needs a human agent again, it uses the Handoff rule to decide whether to send the conversation to the New queue or the previous agent.
Note: To prevent conflicts, a channel can only have one inception virtual agent. Multiple delegation agents can have access to the same channel.

Timeout rules

When a timeout occurs, the conversation is “handed off” to either the New or Resolved queue. You can configure two types of timeout rules for auto responders:

  • Timeout virtual agent - Determines how long before a handoff occurs if the auto responder stops responding for any reason. The maximum you can set is 1 hour.
  • Timeout contact - Determines how long before a handoff occurs if the contact stops responding. The maximum you can set is 23 hours.

Scripts

You can add auto responder scripts in multiple languages and both during and outside of business hours. Scripts can be general questions, questions that collect contact attribute data, or statements.

Script examples

Script examples
Script typeMessageContact type
QuestionWould you please provide a brief description of what we can help you with?(none)
Question - Contact AttributeThanks for reaching out to us! To help serve you better, may I please have your email address?Email
StatementThank you. An agent will be with you shortly.(none)

The contact’s language is automatically detected. If the language can’t be determined, a default language is used. To learn more, see Manage language detection.

To add your own script translation to an auto responder, under Scripts, select the Add translation tab, and then choose a language from the list.

You can add scripts for both during and outside of regular business hours. Learn how to set business hours by reading Manage business hours.

 

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