Add inputs, variables, and conditions


For your Event Contacts chatbot, you need to expand the number of countries that have contacts. Instead of listing all countries in the message node, you want to ask the user which country they need contact information for. To accomplish this task, you'll use inputs, variables, and conditions.

  • Inputs - The user's response in the Ask a question node.

  • Variables - Store the Inputs to use in later conversation nodes.

  • Conditions - Define the branching logic based on variables.

For your chatbot, you need to delete the current message node because it will be replaced. Select the options ellipsis (...) for the message node and then select Delete.

Screenshot of the ellipsis with the Delete feature.

Add inputs and variables with the question node

To add inputs and variables with the question node, follow these steps:

  1. Use the mouse to hover over the upper half of the line that connects the Trigger Phrases to the End node. Select the Add node plus + sign that appears and then select Ask a question.

    Screenshot of the plus icon and Ask a question feature.

  2. Fill out the question node with the following information:

    Ask a question - Enter the phrase, "I can help with event contacts. Please tell me which country the event is scheduled for."

    Identify - Select Multiple choice options. The Identify field is where you indicate what type of response the chatbot is listening for. Other responses that you can select include a number or a string. You can even have the chatbot detect entities such as state names, phone numbers, or street addresses. To learn more about the different available options, see the links in the Summary unit at the end of this module.

    Options for user - Enter USA, Canada, France, and Spain by selecting + New option between each word.

    Notice how the question box moves to the right of the screen as your options increase, and the child conditions populate the canvas below the question pane. To recenter your canvas, you can left click and drag it, you can scroll, or you can use the screen view controls on the lower left of the canvas. These controls include buttons to increase/decrease magnification, recenter the view, or even bring up a clickable mini map to help you navigate on your bot canvas.

    Screenshot of the question node with details populated and the screen view controls on the canvas.

  3. To set the variable name, currently shown as Var (text), select the text under Save response as and replace Var with VarCountry in the Variable properties fly in menu. Select the X to close the Variable Properties screen. The variable name stores the user's selection and will be used when the user configures the branching logic under the condition node.

    Screenshot of the Variable Properties screen with Name field.

Two variables are available by default: bot.UserDisplayName, which provides the user's name, and bot.UserID, which provides the user's sign in name. By using bot.UserDisplayName, the chatbot can call the user by name, which personalizes the experience. You can use bot.UserID to create a condition node to take actions based on which user whom the bot is interacting with.

To have the Event Contacts chatbot greet the user by name, add a new message node at the chatbot's beginning. Move your canvas so that you can view the Trigger Phrases node and add a node, then select Show a message. When entering information in the message node, select the {X} insert variable drop-down menu and select bot.UserDisplayName.

Screenshot of the Add message node button with Show a message feature.

Condition node

For each multiple-choice option in the question node, Power Virtual Agents creates a new condition node. You need to configure each condition node to provide the next appropriate response in the conversation.

Screenshot of the condition nodes for a question.

For your Event Contacts chatbot, you need to respond with the event contact for the country. For example, if the user selects USA, then the chatbot should respond with Lynne Robbins' contact information.

Country Name Email
USA Lynne Robbins
Canada Lidia Holloway
France Miriam Graham
Spain Christie Cline

For each condition node, add a new message node after the condition that provides the correct contact and email address. For example, "The event coordinator for France is Miriam Graham at"

Screenshot of the condition node and message node.

For all four message nodes, you want to use the same End of Conversation system topic. Your chatbot already has this topic defined under the All other conditions node. To link other nodes to this one, perform the following steps:

  1. After one of the message nodes, select the Add node plus + symbol.

    Screenshot of the plus node symbol on the message node.

  2. Press and hold the left mouse button on the point where the line connects to the new node and drag it over to the same spot on the End node.

    Screenshot of the process to move the new node to the end node.

  3. The editor adjusts the nodes to show that both are connected. Repeat the same steps for the other three message nodes. Your editor should now look like the following image.

    Screenshot of the completed editor view.

To test the chatbot, select Save. Select the Test bot option if the chatbot testing pane isn't visible.