three main reasons why we might escalate questions to your staff:
The information needed to answer is not something we can find.
At Mainstay, we never want to guess when providing an answer to a contact. If a contact asks a question for which your organization has no answer in the Knowledge Base, it can be escalated to a staff member. In many instances, this can be a learning opportunity for the bot. (See Knowledge Maintenance.)
The contact has a need that deserves personal attention.
Contacts often develop a personal connection with our chatbots, and this means that sometimes they share a lot. If a user is struggling with a situation of personal nature or is giving a lot of information about a specific situation, it may be best to escalate the message to a staff member so that student can discuss the challenges they're facing. Sometimes a student is just asking for human help!
It's rare that a contact would send a message of a sensitive nature or requiring immediate intervention. These could include messages about an emergency or a threat to harm themselves or others. In order to respond quickly in these situations, we recommend Automatic Escalations.
- Note that the final rule, "If nothing else matches", is required. If the contact does not match the criteria from any of the preceding rules, this email recipient will be suggested instead.
Automatic Email Escalation
Incoming messages (outside of campaigns/scripts and Live Chat) are automatically interpreted by the AI and associated with a particular Knowledge Base understanding. If no understanding is a close enough match, a Fallback Response is sent instead.
Escalating Fallback Responses
In addition to regular Knowledge Base understandings, it is also possible to trigger Automatic Escalations on Fallback responses (formerly "IDK" or "I don't know" responses). These can be searched like any other understanding, and may appear as PSEUDO_TOPIC.
- Escalation emails can be forwarded to other staff members, who can reply directly to a contact, as long as their email address is within an allowed domain.
- If you want to escalate to an entire group, we recommend using Google Groups or an equivalent "listserve" email address. Mainstay will send the escalation email to that group (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org), and all members of that group will receive a copy of the email and be able to respond. However, Mainstay will not be able to inform other members of the group when one member has responded to an escalation.
- Give your Forwarding Suggestion and Automatic Escalation rules descriptive names so that you can easily tell which situations they are for.
- One Automatic Escalations rule can contain multiple understandings / topics.
- Use the box-and-arrow links to view Audiences and understandings to verify your selections.
- Remember, when an understanding is included in an Automatic Escalation rule, the email recipient will receive a notification every time the AI matches to this understanding (for contacts who meet the filtering criteria).
- Once the contact receives a response from an escalation, they will be given the opportunity to reply. If they do, it will trigger another escalation to the same recipient. Otherwise, the contact will resume their conversation with the bot.
- See Recommendations for more.
- Scripts (which can be used in Campaigns, #Commands, Web-chat Intro, and more) can also trigger email notifications. See Script Actions for more information.