You've probably seen this referred to the greeting message, welcome message, or welcome sequence in other articles. We call it contact onboarding. Whether you are entirely new to chat automation or a veteran of it, this is probably going to be the most critical automation you'll need to set up and optimize.
Why is contact onboarding important? Simple. It is the first interaction a visitor, user or customer may have with your business and just as first impressions are important in real life, so are first impressions over chat. In fact, this may be this contacts first interaction with any business over chat.
In this first interaction, there is a short window of time to set expectations for the nature of the chat conversation to come. In this article we're going to cover:
How To Setup Simple Chat Onboarding
To set this up you're are going to need:
This onboarding is so simple it's not even a flow at all, it is just a simple greeting message that is going to be sent to every new contact that chats with you. It takes less than 5 minutes to set up.
Navigate to Settings on the respond.io platform.
Press edit on the channel you want to add a greeting message to. On the respond.io platform, it is possible to set up an individual greeting message for each channel.
Add or change the greeting message you would like new contacts to receive when they first speak to you. Once you're finished press done and you'll see a message that shows your channel has been updated.
That's it your done! If you have additional channels added you'll need to add your change the greeting messages for those as well, but the process to do so is the same.
How To Onboard Contacts With A Form That Collects Information
Once you have more traffic flowing through your messaging app business accounts, you're going to want to be able to collect some information from your new chat contacts before you chat with them.
Below we're going to discuss how to:
In our example, we're going to be collecting three pieces of information. The contacts preferred language, preferred time zone & email.
We collect the preferred language because we offer support in three languages English, Spanish & Chinese. We collect the preferred time zone because it is rather annoying to receive a message in the middle of the night. We collect the email because respond.io accounts are created with an email & it's much easier for us to provide support if we know the email.
Decide where you want to collect your information first. We're going to collect language information in a custom field. We're going to collect the preferred time zone as a tag. We'll collect emails in the standard email address field.
Create a Custom Field to Store Data
Navigate to Settings > Custom Fields. Here you can create fields that will be displayed in the details panel in the contacts module or the messages module.
Click add field then add a name, description & choose a field type.
We use the list custom field type because we want to limit the number of languages that can be added (even manually by platform users) to the field to four different options. We also check set default value and set it to unknown.
Now that you're done creating the custom fields needed it's time to create a survey that will ask the required questions and collect the information.
Create a Survey to Prompt Questions & Collect Data
Now that we've decided on where we are going to store the information we collect, it's time to create the survey to collect that information.
Navigate to Surveys > Add Survey. Here you'll be able to create a brand new survey.
Add a Survey Name, Success Message & Failure Message. The success message is the message that will be given to the contact if they complete the survey correctly. The failure message will be given, if they the provided questions incorrectly too many times and the survey is canceled.
Since this is the first interaction a contact will have with us, we set up the success message to prompt them to ask their desired question after survey completion. If the user fails the survey they may be confused, so we want to reassure them that someone will be there to chat with them soon.
Add the first question. Since we want users to choose one of the three languages we support them in we are going to use the multiple choice question type.
Now fill in the question, options, and fallback message. The options will be given to your contact as quick replies, and the fallback message will be delivered if the contact tries to type something that is not one of the options.
We've added three languages we can chat in to the options and created a fallback message indicating one of the three options must be chosen to proceed. Since we want to save the answer as a custom field - we've checked save as custom field and chosen preferred language from the dropdown.
Add the second question. Our second question is about timezone.
We want to save the information the contact gives us as a tag, so we check the save as tag checkbox.
Add the third question. Our third question is designed to collect the contact's email, so we select the email question type.
This time we use the save as custom field checkbox option and chose the email field from the dropdown.
Now that you've created a survey, there is one last step, create an automation rule.
Create an Automation Rule to Start the Survey Automatically
You don't want to manually start the survey every time a contact enters the chat. To do so automatically we create a rule that starts it for you.
Navigate to Automation > New Rule to create the rules that starts the survey.
Use the welcome trigger to make sure every new contact receives the survey.
Every time a brand new contact is added, there is a Welcome Event. This is why we choose the welcome event to start the survey.
Use the Send Survey Action.
We've selected the survey we just created as the action.
Click Create. That's it now you're done. Now every new contact that chats with you will have to complete the survey you created.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We're going to be updating this post with more complex onboarding flows in the future so make sure to subscribe.