Bot Human Handoff: A robot gives a monkey a mobile device, saying "here you go!" The monkey reaches for it saying "thank you!"

How to Master the Bot-Human Handoff: 3 Different Alerts You Can Use & When to Use Them

Chatbots are multifaceted bits of software that are extremely useful in automating processes to create a more efficient workflow, saving your business time and money. 

Bots have the ability to lead customers through a marketing or sales funnel.

Bots can also:

  • book appointments
  • provide business hours
  • talk about the weather
  • sell products
  • fix problems for customers

Anything that a chatbot can do is another thing that you or your employees no longer have to do.

Talk about time and money saving! 

There are, however, certain situations when a conversation with a customer requires a live operator chat takeover.

The bot human handoff is an important aspect of the implementation of chatbots for your business, so it’s best to make sure it’s a seamless process.

In this article, we’ll walk through:

  1. The importance of bot human handoff
  2. Situations that might call for bot human handoff
  3. Methods for bot human handoff using MobileMonkey

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Scenarios That Call for Bot-to-Human Handoff

Chatbot automation allows your customers to quickly get answers to the most frequently asked questions, avoiding wait times and eliminating the need for a huge customer support staff.

Customer service chatbots are incredibly useful for business, and are even expected to save businesses up to $8 billion by the year 2022.

Sometimes, however, customers still want to speak to a human. 

Some questions require a personal touch in order to produce the best possible outcome in a scenario. 

There are a number of reasons people might need to transfer their conversation from a chatbot to a live agent. 

Here are four of the most common scenarios that might call for bot human handoff:

Bot Human Handoff Scenario #1: Urgency 

There are all types of different situations, and some are more critical than others.

Often, users can take the time to interact with the chatbot and move through the sequence of dialogues that leads them down a Facebook Messenger funnel.

There are, however, situations in which interacting with the chatbot would simply be a waste of time.  

One great example of a situation where it might not be best to interact with a chatbot over a human agent is when a user is trying to quickly get information from their insurance company.

Chatbots are great for insurance companies when they help customers pay bills, learn about their insurance plans, or even add new coverage to their existing plans. 

Chatbots are not great, however, in the case of emergencies or time-sensitive situations, when insurance is often required.

Take, for example, a situation in which a user might require insurance information quickly.

There’s no sense in a back-and-forth with a chatbot when a user is in a rush.

The chatbot can be programmed as an FAQ chatbot to recognize words that suggest criticality — perhaps “claim,” “policy number,” or any number of situations like “accident,” etc.

That way, the chatbot can immediately perform the bot human handoff and transfer the user to a live agent.

Bot Human Handoff Scenario #2: Complexity

While we may want to believe that chatbots are all-knowing, it’s just not true.

Chatbots are only as smart as a human programs them to be. 

That’s why sometimes, customers might come across situations that are outside of a chatbot’s functionality. 

There’s a couple different directions this type of situation can go.

First, the chatbot can continue trying to understand the user’s intent.

Often, this will result in unresolved problems and very frustrated customers.

The second, better option, is that a chatbot can recognize the end of its abilities and suggest an alternative.

That’s where bot human handoff comes in.

The bot can suggest to the user that instead of speaking to the bot, they get transferred to a human who can more intuitively solve the problem.

Bot Human Handoff Scenario #3: User Preference

Sometimes, people just don’t want to chat with a chatbot.

Some users are more comfortable discussing situations or sharing information with a human.

User preference is a common and very important situation in which bot human handoff should be performed.

The best way to ensure a happy customer is by providing them with the opportunity to move forward with their personal preference from the start. 

This means using option menus in chatbot dialogues, allowing the customer to direct the progression of the chat funnel.

An option to speak to a live agent should be close to the start of the dialogue with the chatbot.

This way, a customer can quickly decide to transfer their conversation to a human, instead of having to continue a back-and-forth with a chatbot, or fake a problem in order to trigger a critical or complex situation for the bot to suggest transferring. 

Bot Human Handoff Scenario #4: Hot Leads

Finally, the thing that all businesses look for — hot leads! 

Hot leads mean potential customers, so these are users that you really want to hold on to if they find themselves on your website, Facebook page, or Messenger window. 

Chatbots are great, but using a personal touch for some situations is simply better.

Identifying hot leads is one of those situations. 

Here’s the thing: most visitors to your site are abandoning it before you have the chance to capture the lead. 

Implementing bot human handoff can prevent the loss of these leads and help increase your customer base.

Chatbots can make sales for you on your website or on Facebook, which is awesome.

But sometimes, users don’t want to go through a sales funnel with a bot; they’d prefer to receive the information and make the final purchase with a human.

There’s no use in losing hot leads to abandoned sales funnels.

Bot human handoff will prevent this loss and help increase your business’s sales and overall revenue. 

3 Easy Ways to Implement Bot Human Handoff 

1. Email Alert Widget

One way to implement bot human handoff is by designing an email alert widget so that you can receive Facebook Messenger email notifications.

An email alert widget is great to use to alert you to a hot lead or a user with a pressing question.

This is a tool in which the bot itself does not necessarily recognize when the user might require or request a live human agent; instead, you set up the email alerts yourself, choosing the situations in which you want to receive them. 

With MobileMonkey PRO, this process is incredibly simple. 

It’s a one-step process in which all you have to do is add the MobileMonkey PRO email widget to any chatbot dialogue you’ve set up. 

This results in you being alerted by email when a user reaches a certain point in a dialogue with your chatbot. 

The important part is deciding when to set up an email alert widget within the Messenger chatbot funnel.

You can choose any dialogue scenario you want to add the email widget to, but there are a couple that might be particularly useful in your sales funnel, such as: 

  • When a lead fills out a form

Obviously, a user filling out a form is an important point in a conversation with a chatbot because it means that the user is serious about the information they’re learning and they hope to keep learning more.

A user willingly filling out a Facebook Messenger form qualifies them as a hot lead that might benefit from some real-human discussion. 

  • When a lead specifically asks for a human

As we discussed when talking about scenarios that might call for bot human handoff, there are times when a user does not want to talk to or continuing talking to a chatbot. 

In those times, a user might request to speak with a human.

Whenever a user requests to speak with a human it’s a good idea to send yourself an email alert so that a human operator can jump into the conversation with the user as quickly as possible to prevent loss of a hot lead.

  • When a lead is on a specific page, such as “products,” “pricing,” or more

You can set up an email alert to be sent when a user visits an important page.

Some pages qualify users as hot leads because visiting those pages suggests that the user is conversion-ready.

Some of these pages might be pages in which your business lists your products or services, where your business discusses prices or pricing plans, or even a contact page. 

  • When a lead selects a “learn more” type option in the chatbot dialogue 

A user opting to learn more in a dialogue with a chatbot suggests that the user is interested in your business, product, or service, and that they might be a hot lead.

Getting an email alert when a user wants to learn more is a good idea because it will give you the chance to implement a bot human handoff in which a live operator takes over the conversation, adding a personal touch to the experience. 

The live operator can further lead the user down the sales funnel, personally help the user learn more, or give the user options, discounts, or free trials that the chatbot might otherwise not be able to provide.

This will make it more likely that a user becomes conversion-ready. 

So, how do you set up the email alert widget?

It’s really quite simple.

1. In the MobileMonkey PRO chatbot builder, find the dialogue that you want to add an email alert to, get to the specific point in the dialogue where you want the email widget to go, and click “Add Widget.”

Bot Human Handoff: Email Widget in MobileMonkey bot builder

2. Select the “Email Widget.”

Bot Human Handoff: Email Widget in MobileMonkey chatbot widget menu

3. Set up the “reply-to” email, making sure you keep in mind who will be receiving the email notifications and choosing the proper email for the situation.

Bot Human Handoff: Filling out the "reply-to" section of the email widget

4. Add your email address in the to line, as well as an email subject that alerts you to the email, and the body of the email.

Bot Human Handoff: Filling out the body of the email in the email widget

And that’s it! 

If you want to go a bit further, you can customize the email alerts to include pertinent information about the hot lead. 

For example, it’s a good idea to include the hot lead’s name and email in the alert that you receive to your email (bonus: this allows you to add a user to your email list).

You can also include other fun attributes in this section; in this example, “Mood” is an attribute that is included.

The chatbot will ask the user to choose their mood — monkey 🐵 or unicorn 🦄 — and then save that attribute to send in the email alert. 

Bot Human Handoff: Creating attributes in email widget

All you have to do is include these attributes in the body of your email by selecting the proper attributes from MobileMonkey’s attribute list, found by clicking on the </> button.

Bot Human Handoff: How to select more attributes

Then, MobileMonkey will draw from the pre-saved attributes that it collects from the chatbot dialogue and automatically insert them into the body of the email that you will receive. 

Setting up the email alert widget is almost too easy — and it’s a great way to manage bot human handoff and make sure you’re on top of communicating with your hot leads.

2. Live Inbox

The MobileMonkey live inbox is a section in the MobileMonkey app where a user can see any conversation happening on their Facebook page.

From the MobileMonkey live inbox, you can jump into any of these conversations, directly from the inbox interface.

This makes it easier than ever to monitor the conversations Facebook users are having with your chatbot and perform a bot human handoff seamlessly. 

When you opt to respond to a chat, the chatbot that the user was previously interacting with will be paused for one hour unless you set it to live again. 

You can also add more time to the paused period. 

Bot Human Handoff: Paused bot for live agent takeover

Using the MobileMonkey live inbox feature will allow your to connect with leads easily, quickly, and from anywhere, all through your MobileMonkey dashboard. 

Simply click on the inbox icon.

Bot Human Handoff: Select inbox from MobileMonkey dashboard

This will bring you to your inbox, where you can see all of the conversations. It looks like this:

Bot Human Handoff: Image of MobileMonkey live inbox

What you see here on the right side is the contact panel, where you can add attributes to the contacts in your inbox.

Bot Human Handoff: Add attributes to contacts from inbox

You can also use the contact panel to add notes about the contact or jump to any conversation session in the contact’s chat history.

This allows you to easily jump between conversation sessions, which becomes useful when a user has a problem and you need to see where the problem originated.

Using the live inbox is great for monitoring conversations that users are having with your chatbot, but it becomes particularly useful when the user has a request or types something that the bot is not programmed to respond to. 

Check out this handy video on how to implement bot human handoff using the MobileMonkey live inbox feature for a more in-depth demonstration and examples:

3. Unified Chatbot Inbox in a Mobile App

Now it’s easier than ever to monitor chatbot conversations and perform bot human handoff maneuvers — on the go! 

Coming soon in the MobileMonkey mobile app, you will be able to use the multi-channel chat inbox to see all of your messages from Facebook, SMS, and live website chat.

From the unified chatbot inbox in the mobile app, you can see all of the different MobileMonkey bots you’ve created.

Bot Human Handoff: See all MobileMonkey bots from app

Once you select a bot, you will be able to see all of the conversations that users have had with that bot:

Bot Human Handoff: All conversations from a mobilemonkey bot in the app

You can then go further and choose a conversation to see the conversation history with the user.

Bot Human Handoff: In-app conversation history

You will also be able to set up push notifications on the mobile app, which will be very handy in situations that require bot human handoff.

If the chatbot that the user is interacting with does not have an answer to an inquiry, a notification will be sent to the mobile app.

Bot Human Handoff: Mobile app notifications on mobile phone lock screen

This way, you can quickly and easily enter the conversation and take over the chat to help the user find a solution.

These app features are still in the beta phase, but make sure to get the MobileMonkey app in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

For Situations That Call For People Power, Use Bot Human Handoff 

Although chatbots have a wide range of functionality that can usually result in quicker and more conclusive problem solving for customers, some situations still call for a real human on the other end of the conversation.

In those situations, you’ll want to make sure you’ve implemented some sort of bot human handoff mechanism.

Reasons that call for bot human handoff are plentiful, some of the most important being user preference, critical issues, and hot leads browsing your site. 

Perfecting the bot human handoff in these situations will allow your business to stand out among others for your top-tier customer service and support tactics. 

Establishing a smooth bot human handoff method (or a few) is important to developing a better relationship with your customers as the business world moves towards a more customer-centric model. 

Ensuring that all customer problems get solved smoothly and quickly will put your business on the maps as a leader in customer success.

Important Next Steps

  • Make a MobileMonkey chatbot so that you can get started watching out for hot leads. Get MobileMonkey for free and try out the easy-to-use bot builder!
  • Want to learn more about different functionalities of chatbots? Join MobileMonkey Island, a Facebook group of over 30k people that are ready to support you!

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