When you deploy your bot using the self-service widget, you can choose from a range of input options for your customers to interact with the chatbot. These input options will change if you decide to deploy on the conversations widget or if you choose to deploy on your messaging channels.

Note: Certain inputs will be transformed as per the closest matching input option available on a channel. Learn more.

Input options

To configure the input options in a dialog, you must click the +Get Response option. This will show you two groups: input options and customer details. Some of these input options also support the Multiselect feature — more on that here.

  • Alphanumeric input: Use this when you need to receive alphanumeric inputs from your customer.

  • Articles: Display a list of articles that you’ve listed. Your customers can read through the article in the widget itself. 

  • Button: Present the choices you’ve listed as buttons to your customer. It is advisable to use buttons when you offer a few options to the customer.

  • Carousel: Present a carousel with the choices that you’ve listed to your customers. They can go through multiple choices available. You can configure each item on the carousel to have many data points and display rich media content to the customer. These are especially useful when displaying a product catalog, order summaries, service items, etc. 

  • Date: You can choose to show a calendar for your customers to pick a date. You can also specify the date range. Define the date format to use in APIs and other flows.

  • Dropdown: Present the choices you’ve listed in a dropdown to your customer. It’s advisable to use the dropdown when you are presenting many options to the customer. 

  • Feedback: You can use this to get feedback from your customer and use this data for reporting purposes. You can receive feedback in one of the following ways:
    • Star-based rating system: You can associate each point on the scale with a label.
    • Opinion poll: where you can take a poll or survey
    • Feedback field: to collect reviews in the form of free-form text from your customers.

  • File & image: You can use this to allow customers to upload images or files. Open the dialog where you want your customers to respond with a file and click on the Get response button. When you click, you'll see a list of supported response formats, from which you can pick File & image. Customers will be able to add attachments using the attach icon. 

    NoteThe maximum file and image sizes that customers can upload are 25 MB. The file formats supported are "csv","doc","docx","odt","pdf","pps","ppsx","ppt","pptx","txt","xls","xlsx","xml","mov","mp4","mp3". The image formats supported are "jpg", "png", "gif", "jpeg".
  • Lists (WhatsApp): Use this when you need your customers to pick from a list of predefined options on WhatsApp.

  • Number: Use this when you need to receive numerical input from your customer. This field will also be validated. So if your customer's input is not a number, and if not, will ask them to enter just numbers.

  • Text field: Use this when you need to receive text input from your customer.

  • Time: You can choose to show a list of times from which your customer can pick — or input their own time.

Customer details

With the options under customer details, the chatbot can collect customer responses, validate for the respoective format, and recall this information anywhere else in the bot flows.

  • Email
  • Language
  • Name
  • Phone number

Display names and aliases

Some of the input options, such as buttons, dropdown, and carousels, will have an option to use Aliases and the text displayed to the customer. While the display text is shown to your customers, your internal systems can process the alias value.  For most use-cases, it is sufficient if the display name is the same as the internal name. However, there are some cases where you need to keep these names different. Here are a few examples of such use-cases:

  • E-commerce sites can use the carousel to display products from their catalog. The display name needs to have the product and brand in it, but internally, the name can be the product id or the SKU ID to run conditional logic or API calls.
  • Airline companies can use the display name to list the routes using the source/destination names as display names while using a shorter, specific internal name in API calls to process ticket booking or other updates, 
  • B2B companies can have their employees' names listed in the display name, while internally, they can use an employee-specific code to manage their databases.

What are the input options offered by the bot builder?

The Self-service bot supports a wide variety of input options that you can make use of, which include but are not limited to:    

  • Alphanumeric input
  • Articles
  • Buttons
  • Carousels
  • Custom
  • Date 
  • Dropdowns
  • Feedback
  • File & image
  • Number
  • Text fields
  • Time
  • Customer details (Email, language, name, phone number)

You can also deploy bots on other channels. The input options will also change depending on the channel in which you are deploying the widget. Here's a quick overview of the different input options available across the different channels.