an employee using a guided conversation

What is a guided conversation?

Born out of the demand for more helpful chatbots, guided conversation technology allows users to find the answers to more complex questions. Through a series of pre-written follow-up questions, guided conversation-equipped bots clarify the user’s original inquiry, and deliver the most helpful information.

Perhaps best of all, new guided conversation templates can be easily built and modified as a business grows. As any help desk professional knows, most inquiries aren’t simple. They require a couple of follow-ups to get to the heart of the issue, allowing users to get answers to even the most complex questions.

That’s where guided conversations enter the equation. Built right, they offer functionality specifically built for your audience to get their answers, provide the right follow-up, and even push to human interactions when needed. The conversation flows more naturally, maximizing the data gathered for both learning and answer accuracy in the process.

A step further than chatbots.

In the world of chatbots, a guided conversation provides a set of pre-selected answers to any given query. These pre-selected answers, typically a precursor for more information, are a way to lead the conversation into a more specific territory that ultimately results in the best possible answer.

Born out of the demand for more helpful chatbots, guided conversation technology allows users to find the answers to more complex questions. Through a series of pre-written follow-up questions, guided conversation-equipped bots clarify the user’s original inquiry, and deliver the most helpful information.

Getting your users on the right path.

Anyone familiar with the choose your own adventure stories should be familiar with the basic concept of guided conversations. In anything related to information gathering, it’s even more relevant. 

Instead of relying on the user to ask specific questions from the start, guided conversations can help them get there more naturally. Even the solutions to complex items can begin with simple questions, then narrowed down to get the exact information necessary to find the answer.

In the process, users are intuitively guided to the correct path and the correct answer. That reduces frustration and increases the chances of a correct answer and issue or query resolution.

How to build out guided conversation trees.

On the backend, guided conversations follow a natural decision tree that any manager will be familiar with. Paths can diverge based on the type of questions, individual keywords within that question, and previous answers. The result is a streamlined approach for the user, who will get specific answers to specific questions rather than a standard boilerplate.

The best part: with software like Capacity, building out these decision trees becomes an intuitive exercise. Admin users within the software can easily build and customize conversation paths. Answers can be saved as templates, allowing for streamlined procedures down the road. New guided conversation templates, in turn, can easily be added and modified as your business grows.

The key, after all, is a simple, intuitive user experience. You create the paths and answer possibilities (or ‘Chips’) in the background. The chatbot picks that up and offers it up to any user in that path. The guide, in this situation, just comes naturally. 

Find in-depth information for more helpful answers.

Let’s pick up on that previous concept. Most chatbots are based on search; they take up a keyword and search their internal information database for a possible answer. The result, unfortunately, tends to be templated; after all, questions can quickly become nuanced, with a single keyword requiring differing answers depending on the context, background, and secondary keywords.

In these more complex situations, a search-based chatbot tends to fall short. At best, it requires further follow-ups or human inputs to come to a resolution. The worst case is user dissatisfaction and annoyance because their problem wasn’t solved, and their needs were not understood.

Neither of these concerns occurs with a well set-up guided conversation chatbot. Here, the keyword only prompts a natural follow-up question. With a simple click, the user hones in on their exact question and context. Further follow-ups cascade down as needed until the system has enough information to provide a comprehensive, in-depth answer to a complex question.

Let’s use the mortgage industry as an example. A user may have a question about loan servicing, but answers likely differ based on commercial and residential loans. A simple follow-up question clarifies that point, before digging deeper into the type of servicing question. Even a simple keyword to start leads to solving the exact user problem at hand.

Integrate with other services as needed.

In Capacity specifically, guided conversation add value through additional integrations as well. That starts with the CoPilot Console, the backend system in which admins can review the various requests and conversations, including the ability to take over should a need for human interactions arise. We’ll discuss that process in more detail below. 

Beyond the CoPilot Console, Capacity also integrates our guided conversations feature with several other apps. That, in turn, can lead to natural flows between and into your systems. One prompt may flow naturally into your CRM, while another leads to a follow-up email. Our app integration library eases and automates that process naturally.

Pushing to human interactions.

Finally, guided conversations are at their best when the boilerplate or non-answer is never a true option. Instead, the final escalation should be to a human agent who can answer even the most complex, nuanced issues easily.

At Capacity, that process happens within the CoPilot Console. Four out of five questions are answered through a guided conversation. The rest transitions to Capacity’s LiveChat, receiving real-time help from a real agent in a seamless escalation. That live help, of course, feeds into the Capacity database, reducing the need for human intervention for any similar requests in the future.

Getting started in building guided conversations.

In the end, guided conversations are the process that can make modern chatbots truly effective. They increase the complexity of questions that the technology can answer on its own, while also allowing for a more seamless transition (not to mention additional information gathered) to human agents should the need arise.

Of course, that can only be true with the right software system on your side to build out, adjust, and improve guided conversations over time.

Contact Capacity to see guided conversations in action.