25 Mar 2024: Handling late responses

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

The last journey now resumes when the user respond; even if the response happens much later.

Let's explain how journeys work behind the scenes in Turn.io.

When a user interacts with a journey on your chat service, that journey "owns" the conversation momentarily. This is to prevent other automated messaging from interrupting the flow of the current conversation. However, when someone stops engaging in the middle of the journey it is hard to know if they left the specific conversation for good or if they plan to continue it later.

How late responses used to work

In Turn, a Journey "owns" a conversation whilst the person is actively interacting with that Journey. If the user gets to the end of the journey the "ownership" lapses so that the user can freely interact with any other parts of your service.

However, to date, if the user takes more than 5 minutes to reply to a journey, it times out. This behaviour caused confusion for users that returned to the chat service much later wanting to continue the last conversation, but because the 5 minute "ownership" has lapsed, the Journey has "left" the conversation and the user does not get the response they expect. Leaving them feeling puzzled and confused.

What we improved and how late responses work going forward

Going forward we will resume the last journey even if the user takes longer than 5 minutes to respond. Clicking a button, selecting a list item or replying to a message (swipe right on a message to reply) will continue the conversation.

Even though the ownership has been handed back after 5 minutes, the user will still be able to resume where they left off.

If they choose to, they will also be able to freely interact with other parts of the service, e.g. if you have "menu" as a keyword trigger and the user sends that it will take them to them menu.

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