Custom Bots are an add-on feature that can be unlocked with an account upgrade. Please reach out to success@helpshift.com to learn more.

Custom Bots can be invoked at any point in a conversation to carry out a customizable series of up to 5 different actions. They can do all the same things as Agents, which frees up your support team to hand off Issues to Bots and go work on other things. You can also configure your workflow to have Automations assign Issues to Bots when certain conditions are met, allowing you to use Bots to conduct end-to-end Issue management.

For your in-app users, you must upgrade to SDK v7.1.0+ and have Conversational Issue Filing enabled to use Custom Bots with the SDK. Please review the FAQ What is Conversational Issue Filing, and how do I set it up? to set this up if you haven’t done so yet.

For Web Chat users, no SDK upgrade is needed – as long as you have the Web Chat widget integrated, you can start using Custom Bots to support your web users. Please review our Web Chat guide to set up this widget if needed.

Please note: you will not be able to edit the Bot once you’ve published it, and if you and another Admin of your team attempt to edit a Custom Bot at the same time, those edits may not be saved. For these reasons, we recommend designing your ideal Custom Bot flow outside of the Dashboard before creating it to ensure a smooth implementation.

To set up a new Custom Bot, navigate to the Settings page.

Click on the ‘Bots’ tab under ‘Workflows’.

On the page that appears, navigate to the Custom Bots tab in the top navigation bar.

Click the ‘+ New Bot’ button in the center of the screen to create a new bot.

In the pop-up that appears, you’ll be asked to provide a name and nickname for your Bot.

The name is how your team will identify your Bot, and must be unique – we recommend coming up with an intuitive name that will help your team understand what this Bot is for.

The nickname will be used if you allow the Bot’s name to be displayed to end users, similar to how Agent nicknames work. Bot nicknames do not have to be unique, meaning you can give the same nickname to multiple different Bots.

Click the ‘Create & Configure Bot’ button to set up your Bot steps.

Steps are the actions that the Bot should take within the conversation. You can set up multiple steps for each Bot, which will be linked to be carried out in a specific order. The steps available for you to configure differ based on the Bot being set up.

For Custom Bots, you can have the Bot send a message, gather information from the user (which can be mapped to Custom Issue Fields), or exit the conversation so the Issue can be assigned to a new Queue, Bot, or Agent (or moved back to the original Queue).

On the Bot page, click the ’add first step’ button to start adding steps for this Bot.

In the pop-up that appears, select the Step type. For the first step, you can choose to send a message or get information from the user. If you choose to get information, you will be able to add a message for the user to provide context on what information you need to gather.

Next, add a name for your step. This should be intuitive for your support team to understand when reviewing the Bot.

When getting information from the user, use the Bot Message field to provide context about the information you want to gather. For example, you can ask a question that the user will answer by making a selection.

You can allow your end users to respond to this question in any of the following five formats:

When ‘User should type the reply’ is selected”

  • Text
  • Number
  • Date
  • Email

When ‘User should select from a list of pre-defined options’ is selected, you have the option of mapping the user’s response to one of your drop-down Custom Issue Fields. If you need to first set up a drop-down Custom Issue Field to work with this Bot, review How do I create a new Custom Issue Field?

When setting up the list of options for the user, the ‘user reply options’ will appear differently based on whether you have enabled or disabled the ‘Map User’s Reply to a Drop-down Custom Issue Field’. If you’ve enabled it, you’ll be able to select a Custom Issue Field for the user’s reply to be mapped to.

If you select a drop-down Custom Issue Field, you’ll also be prompted to select up to 5 corresponding values associated with it to add as options for your user to select.

If this toggle is disabled, you’ll be able to add up to 5 reply options for the user to select when responding to the Bot.

When you’ve added all the options needed for this step, click ‘Save’. You’ll be taken back to the conversation flow page where you can add additional steps.

Click the link + icon to the right of each option to add the action that will take place after the user has selected that option. For example, if the user selects ‘Status of a shipped item’, you may want to ask if they have received a shipping number or not.

On the ‘Add step’ page that appears, you will now see an option to have the Bot end the conversation flow.

For this example, we will select ‘Get information from user’ again to prompt the user to let us know if they have a shipping number.

Last but not least, we need to have the Bot exit the conversation so an Agent or another Bot can take over. To do this, add one more step using the ‘End conversation flow’ option to complete this process.

You’ll have the option to add a friendly note to your user to thank them for providing that information and let them know what will happen next.

Repeat this process to build out complete steps for each of your flows. You’ll need to create a complete flow for each option that ends with the Bot exiting the conversation.

While building out your flow, use the link icon to link one step to take place after another. Note that you can re-use the same step in different flows (such as the exit conversation step) to streamline the flow for your support team.

Here is what a completed Bot flow with all steps linked in order from the beginning to the end of the Bot interaction with the user looks like:

You can always preview what the Bot interaction will look like for an end user via the ‘Preview Flow’ button in the Bottom-right corner.

You can also save this draft at any time. When you’re ready to launch this Bot, click the ‘Save and Publish’ button in the top right corner.

Once you’ve created your new Custom Bot, you can use Automations to have the Bot automatically assigned to work on open Issues that meet select criteria. To complete this process, see How do I assign Issues to a specific Agent, Queue, or Bot?