The Conversations module is used to exchange information with your app users in an interactive and friendly manner. Your app, through a fictive agent (or bot), will engage with app users via a chat message, asking them questions in order to start a discussion with them.
It can for example ask questions in order to gather user feedback on a product or an event, answer FAQs, evaluate user knowledge on a topic, or even encourage networking or lead generation by making introductions.
These conversation bots are created similarly to forms in Backstage, with a drag and drop interface using components, rules and conditions. You can choose specifically which users the bot will engage, at what time, and on what topics. You can add any questions you'd like the bot to ask, with the tone you'd like to use, the available answers the app users can choose from for the questions, as well as any follow-up questions or answers that the agent will provide.
Additionally, links to in-app content can also be included in the responses that the bot will provide to the app user, in order to drive engagement and point users in the right direction. This can include sessions, pages, user/speaker/sponsor profiles, forms, etc.
In addition to the present article, the following are also available to provide additional guidance.
First though, let's provide some context by taking a hands-on look at how this actually works.
How do conversations work?
Below we'll take a look at a conversation bot created in Backstage, and what the conversation actually looks like in the app for the user.
To the left is a full conversation tree specifically designed for collecting session feedback.
The bot starts with a greeting message, including a placeholder field so the bot addresses the user by their name.
It follows up by introducing itself as the speaker of a session, asks whether it can ask some questions, and gives the user 3 choices to choose from. Based on the app user's answer, the bot will provide its own follow-up message. Below is how the configuration pane looks for the question and the possible responses:
Here you can enter the question, the possible answers the app user can choose from, and the bot's responses. This is done using conversational logic.
Based on the app user's answer, the bot will follow-up as follows:
The conversation continues in this way until all questions have been asked, or until the app user decides to no longer answer questions.
|So how does this look in the app?|
To the right, you can see how the above session feedback conversation looks in the app, i.e. how the conversation between the bot and the the app user went.
By looking at the components in the conversation in Backstage (above), and the actual resulting chat conversation here to the right, you can easily see how this conversation unfolded, and how the various components in the conversation were used to build this discussion.
By reading the chat conversation, you'll also notice that the app user was willing to answer the bot's questions, and as a result was able to have a short conversation with the app user and gather helpful information on the app user's level of satisfaction for the session.
To find out more about the Conversations module, read the next Creating a conversation article.