Depending on your engagement strategy, you may want to allow users to switch between your chatbot and a customer service or sales representative. 

Facebook Messenger makes this easy with their handover protocol.

The handover protocol lets two or more devices share control of your Facebook Messenger conversations. When the handover protocol is active, your bot will be able to hand over the conversation to a human agent upon request.

To activate the handover protocol, you must enable this option within Facebook and Bulletin. Here's how:


Step 1: Set up app roles on Facebook.

Go to your chatbot's Facebook page. Then, click on the 'Settings' button in the upper-right corner.

Once you reach the 'Settings' page, click on the 'Messenger Platform' button to the left.

You will be directed to the following page:

Scroll down past 'General Settings' until you see the 'Response Method' section. Here, switch your selection from:

  • Responses are all automated

To: 

  • Responses are partially automated with some support by people.

Beneath the 'Response Method' settings, you will see a section titled 'Subscribed Apps.' 

When you configured Facebook for Bulletin, this is where you set up Bulletin as the primary receiver of your messages.

To enable the handover protocol, you will need to set up a secondary receiver. This could be your Facebook Messenger Inbox or a third-party customer service software.

Step 2: Activate the handover protocol on Bulletin

Once you have enabled a secondary receiver on Facebook, it's time to switch over to Bulletin. 

Start by selecting the 'Settings' option. Then, select 'Facebook' under 'API Integration.' 

You will see an 'Activate Handover Protocol' box under your chatbot's link. Check this box to activate the handover protocol. 

Adjust the interaction to match your editorial style and save. 

Users will be asked the 'Change to agent' question if they send a message that is different from the guided responses your bot provides. The user will then have the option to accept the prompt to switch to an agent, or reject it.

Once you activate the handover protocol, users' messages will show up in the Facebook Messenger Inbox only if the user requests to speak with an agent. At this point, the bot disconnects and doesn't send any messages to that user until the agent finishes the conversation. When the agent marks the conversation as done, the bot will reconnect. 

Note that the handover protocol is an optional configuration that is only available for Facebook Messenger. Telegram and WhatsApp do not support this option.


Troubleshooting the handover protocol

Sometimes, a red error message may appear when you select the handover protocol option in Bulletin.

If you see this error, double-check your app role settings on Facebook (the first step in this article). Remember that Bulletin should be set as your primary receiver, and that your inbox or a customer service software should be established as your secondary receiver.


What's next?

  • Enable link tracking to measure the click-through rate of any links sent in your bulletins.
  • Then, customize your default messages to determine how your bot will interact with users.
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