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Simplify building conversational flows with new smart shapes (8.6)

Updated on May 12, 2021

Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant™ (IVA) for Digital Messaging developers can now design the chatbot more quickly and in a simpler way, by using new conversation smart shapes in conversation flows. The new smart shapes ensure that the chatbot displays text messages or asks questions to the user in a button, quick reply, yes/no, or open format. You do not need to associate a conversation flow for the chatbot with a business case. In addition, you can define the conversation flow as a smart shape within another conversation flow, adding flexibility to the chatbot design process. All conversation flows that you save in your system are available to use in other IVA channels for your application.

Chatbot developers can now map the data that the chatbot collects during user interactions to related business case properties, or to other properties of the conversation if the developers use the smart shape without a business case. In addition, developers can configure smart validation and entity mapping to properties. For example, if developers implement an Ask a question shape in their flow that asks for a date, they no longer have to manually implement data validations on separate tabs and with additional rules, as the new smart shape handles this situation by default. If the user specifies a date, the chatbot saves the detected entity from the response in a property. Otherwise, the system continues to ask the same question until the user provides an answer that includes a date.

The following figure shows a conversation process for a Fee Inquiry case type designed to help users dispute an automatic cancellation charge for a requested car when the user does not show up for the requested ride. The conversation process uses the Send a message and Ask a question shapes, for example, to confirm the date when the cancellation fee was applied and to determine the reason for disputing the charge. From the obtained information, the system then makes a decision to either refund the cancellation charge to the user or submit the fee dispute to a customer service representative (CSR) for further review.

A conversation flow designed using the conversation smart shapes
A conversation flow designed using the conversation smart shapes

For more information, see Adding a stand-alone conversational process for a conversation channel, Adding a case type conversation process for a conversational channel, and Editing the conversation smart shapes.

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