Episode Summary:

In “Eliminating Bot Issues By Disabling The Keyboard,” we discuss controlling the customer journey and eliminating bot issues by disabling the keyboard in messenger. We talk about the pros and cons of disabling the keyboard. We also talk about how to solve some frustrating bot errors.


If you are looking for advanced Bot Building tactics, this is the episode for you.


Let us know what you think below 👇👇.


Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:04 Why would you want to disable the keyboard in ManyChat?
  2. 2:19 Some customer responses can mess up Messenger bots
  3. 2:56 Disabling keyboard feature disables live chat on a website
  4. 4:13 Using buttons with simple instructions to avoid confusing users
  5. 4:55 Common user problems with Messenger and the best fix for them
  6. 7:58 Disabling the keyboard gives businesses more control over the customer experience


Resources Mentioned:

  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat


Episode Transcript:

Ben: Welcome back to the Messenger Mastermind Podcast. I am your host, Ben Vandal. My co-host, Mark A. here and Jeremy, still out somewhere in the world.


Mark: Traveling the world, that guy, always doing something.


Ben: Important to get away. Today we’re going to talk about a topic that we’ve wanted to talk about for a while. It’s been a question in our Facebook group as well. It is a question about the ability to disable the keyboard feature in ManyChat. A lot of people see some bots here. You’ve seen some bigger companies- I believe Pura Vida does this. Lego bot does this as well. They disable the keyboard and they really narrow down paths that the customer can go on.


Mark: Why don’t you give some reasons why we might disable the keyboard?


Ben: The reason why you might disable the keyboard is if you have a bot that asks a lot of open-ended questions and you have a customer base that might not be familiar with Messenger. What happens here is, you can ask, “Did you take advantage of this offer?” with buttons ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The customer just types the word ‘yes’ instead of pressing the button ‘yes’ which is something we’ve seen on our bots from our customer service agent.


Mark: Right, yeah, we’ve been talking with our customer support team and our support manager has been saying that when we put out certain broadcasts asking them to vote for a certain product, they’re just typing in the product rather than clicking the buttons that are right in front of them. Like Ben said, people that might not be familiar with this are just going to go and type something in. When they do that, Ben, what happens?


Ben: So, this will pop up. You obviously have a bot built in that will be an auto response. For us it’s “Hey, type your question here to talk to customer service” or something like that. Your bot has something built in to auto respond. By having the keyboard feature available, this always brings in the customer putting in their own input and bringing up this auto response effectively disabling your bot.


Mark: We send out a broadcast. We say, “Vote for this legging or this legging” and someone goes and rather than click on the button, they type it in. When they type that in, it automatically triggers our auto responder which basically just says, “Type your question for our support team.” Instead of actually answering the bot and voting for a legging, they’re now talking to our support team which is not a good thing.


Ben: I am here to tell you that disabling your keyboard is possible but there are a couple caveats to this. In ManyChat, if you go to your Settings tab, under the General Settings, you can scroll down. There is a keyboard input section with a big toggle switch ‘on’ or ‘off’. When you click the ‘off’ feature for your keyboard input, it’s going to ask you to set up a Main Menu. You can have Frequently Asked Questions on here. “What hours are we open?” “How do we get in touch with you?” “Where is my order?” Something like that. That is a requirement if you are going to disable the keyboard input feature. Something else that’s taken away from you if you do disable the keyboard input feature, you won’t be able to have the live chat on your site because the customer will have no way to communicate with your agent. That’s another thing:  if you are a smaller company, though, and you don’t have a customer service agent working your live chat, that’s not a big deal, but that is something that you have to keep in mind. It also disables all user input features in all bots. If you have a bot that asks a specific question that you’re looking for the customer to type back and answer, you can’t do that with this feature. That’s a couple of things to keep in mind with this feature.


Mark: Let’s talk about other things that we might do to resolve this problem as a whole, because yes, we can turn the keyboard off so now that they can’t type something, the only thing they can do at this point is click a button. As we know, people are still getting used to this platform so they might not be familiar with it. One thing that we’ve started to build into most of our bots at this point, is being really upfront and saying, “Click the button below” with an emoji of a finger pointing down. This is right along the same line of making sure that people aren’t typing and disabling the keyboard. People need to absolutely be directed at ‘this is your next step.’


Ben: It’s amazing the amount of people talking to our customer service agent that don’t understand that the buttons that you select in ManyChat are actually buttons. They think that they have to type the response which would lead you to believe that the keyboard disablement is probably a good move for you, but like I said, there are some drawbacks to it and a lot of things that you have to keep in mind when doing this. Another way that we combat the customer typing in the user input is the last step in some of our bots we put a user input feature. The user input feature in ManyChat allows you to ask a question, wait for a user response, and then send another message. I will try to explain this as best I can. What we do is, with the initial message, we send out something as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. “Would you like to see C.V.G. make this product? Yes or no.” And then, underneath that, the next step in the sequence I would put a user input feature in that same exact message. What the user input feature is going to make you do, is ask the customer a question, then the bot will wait for the user’s response before you can continue to your next statement. I use the user input feature and instead of asking them a question, I put emoji arrows pointing up and saying, “Click to the button.” Then the bot will automatically wait. That way if the customer clicks one of those buttons to vote, the bot will just move on. If they don’t and they feel the need to type something, we can then send a follow-up message again saying, “Click the buttons” and add a button there saying, “Talk to support” if we really want. Then they can continue to talk to support.


Mark: That absolutely is the most complicated way that we try to combat this issue. I actually think it’s my favorite way because it’s not limiting certain features like turning off all typing and it’s also making it as clear as possible for the prospect to be directed on to their next step. As Ben explained the best he could, it definitely is a complicated thing to set up. 


Ben: The other caveat with the keyboard input disablement is it’s account wide. So, every bot you have the keyboard will be disabled so you have to keep that in mind. If you’re a company that is a small company, you don’t have live chat, you don’t have a bunch of bots going, you just have one main bot, this might be the future for you. Whereas, C.V.G. has many bots. Dozens and dozens of bots including live chat, we just simply can’t use this feature. It’s not feasible for us.


Mark: What we would really like to see from ManyChat is a way to just turn off the keyboard for a specific flow or sequence. Obviously, I’m assuming that’s some sort of capability that they’re not able to work through right now but that would be the most ideal situation so we could say this particular flow, we need the keyboard to be on for. This particular flow, we do not so we’re going to turn it off. As of right now, it’s either all or none. 


Ben: You may be thinking, “You’ve said a lot of negatives. I can’t be too versatile with my bots. What is really the positive of doing this?” The positive of doing this is you can really, really control the customer experience and get them to do what you want them to do. If you pick the path that you want, you can put quick reply buttons, you can put other buttons, you can add multiple different pathways that you select. They don’t get interrupted in any way. They have to go down the user experience that you want them to go down.


Mark: I guess just to wrap this up then, unless you have anything more to say on it, I would say talk to your support team. If you’re a smaller company and you are your support team then you’re probably already pretty aware of this, but go in, look at the conversations that are happening and you will see that not everyone is interacting with your bot the way that you want it to happen and using the things that we discussed in this episode should help you to put them down the path that you want them to go  down.