Working with questions

Use questions to identify the user's interests and direct them down the path that is most likely to meet their objectives for using the bot. The bot will not continue until the user answers the question. The bot will ignore any responses from the user that are not one of the following:
  • One of the answers defined for the question
  • An utterance defined in an intention used by the bot
  • One of the words or phrases for canceling the conversation
Note: You can set up a default message that prompts the user to respond to the question if the user enters an unrecognized answer. See Default Question/Answer Reply configuration setting.

This example shows a question that expects an answer. The conversation cannot progress until the user chooses one of these 3 answers. These are defined as quick replies (on the Answers tab of the interaction):

This question defines the answers as buttons (on the Answers tab of the interaction):

On the Canvas, answers defined as quick replies and buttons appears as separate elements that are linked to the interaction that owns them and to any directly linked, following interaction:

Note: In the above example, the Benefit Details interaction uses buttons to determine what the user is interested in. Once the user selects one of the buttons, the bot shows a series of messages that are designed to provide information in small readable chunks. Unlike Questions, the user can interrupt the messages by sending a message of their own.

You can also define answers using any of the predefined types, such as date or email address.

Handling unexpected and unwanted answers

There are several ways of handling unexpected or unwanted answers. For example:

You can:
  • Handle unexpected answers by setting up a default answer such as That wasn't really what I was expecting. This is part of the bot configuration. See Defining the bot's default responses.
  • Handle unwanted answers that you'd like to have a specific response for by setting up an intention. Use a message to send some text in response to the unwanted answer and then link back to the original question. The interactions would look like this:

    For further information about this example, see Example: handling unwanted and unexpected answers.

See also

Choosing the type of interaction to use

Creating a bot