Building the Guided Conversation flow - Online Help | Zoho Desk

Building the Guided Conversation flow

A good practice to follow before setting out to build a conversation flow is to prepare a hand-written or digital outline of the conversation or process to ensure all the necessary inputs and outputs are in the right place in a sequential order. 

Permission Required
Users with administrative privilege who have the permission to create, view, edit or delete Guided Conversation.
Check Availability and Limits

Creating flows

Users who have the create permission can build the guided conversation flows. Similarly, users who have view and edit permission can perform relevant actions. 
To set profile permission
  1. Go to Setup > User and Control > Permissions > Profile .
  2. Select a profile.
  3. Under Administrative profile , toggle Guided Conversation .
  4. Check Create , View, Edit  or Delete as required. 

To create flows
  1. Go to Setup > General > Guided Conversation.

  2. Select the department in which you want to build the conversation flow and click Create Flow .

  3. In the Create Flow form, enter Name and Description for the conversation flow and click Next.  
    The flow builder will be displayed to create the guided conversation's flow.

  4. Click the Add Block icon ( ) on the builder to start adding the block of your choice.

  5. On the Add Block panel, select the Response Block .

  6. Choose either Message Block, Question Block or Choice Block.

  7. On the Add Block panel, select the Action Block

  8. Choose either Jump , Fork , Operations , or Webhook Block .

To add a message block

  1. In Message Block, select Text or Info card.

    1. Text - Enter Message and Block Name and click Save.

    2. Info card - Select Card Type: Static or Dynamic.
      If you choose Dynamic, choose Rendering Style: Single or Multiple.

      1. In Card Info List, upload an image, enter title, subtitle, description.

      2. If there are Multiple Cards, then enter the above information for all cards.

      3. Click Add Card Field, to include more fields like Text or Button.

      4. If you choose Static Card, click Add Card, to include more than one card.

                c. Enter Block Name.

             2. Click Preview Block or Save.


To add a question block

  1. Select a type of question block.

  2. Enter Block name and Input variable.
    The options will vary based on the type of block. For eg., for number block you must select the number type.

  3. In Advanced Settings, toggle Skip block or End Block, if needed.

  4. Click Preview Block or Save.  

To add a choice block

  1. Select Button, Dynamic Button or Choice Card.

  2. Select Button Type: Single or Multiple.

  3. In Button list, enter Button Name and click Add Button, if needed.

  4. Toggle Create Path, if needed.

  5. Enter Block Name and Input variable.

  6. For Dynamic Button, enter Error Message (eg., Something went wrong, please restart the chat to try again).

  7. Select Card Type: Static or Dynamic.

  8. Enter text in the Question field.

  9. Select Button Type: Single or Multiple.

  10. In Card List, enter the necessary details.

  11. In Advanced Settings, toggle Skip block or End Block, if needed.

  12. Click Preview Block or Save.

Likewise, add more blocks to complete the flow. 

To add variables to the flow

  1. On the far left side of the Guided Conversation builder, click t he Variables icon ( ). The Variables panel will appear.

  2. Select a variable type from the drop-down (Global, Local or Session).

  3. Select the variables from the available list.
    The variables created before will be listed here, you can choose from those. From within the flow you can only create a Local variable.

  4. Click Save. 

To create a local variable from the flow

  1. On the far left side of the Guided Conversation builder, click the Variables icon ( ).
    The Variables panel will appear.

  2. Under Variable Type select Global variable from the drop-down.

  3. Click Add Local Variable .

  4. Enter the following details in the form:

    • Variable Name - Name of the variable

    • Variable Type - Data type of the variable: String or Number

    • Variable Value - Value to be assigned to the variable

    • Description - A brief description of the variable

  5. Click the Save button. 

Actions Available in the Builder

The builder for Guided Conversation comes with an intuitive, user-friendly interface that lets you build the conversation flow one block at a time. You can use the following actions on the builder while working with blocks.



Action name

Enables user to

Enter full screen

View only the builder in full screen.

Collapse path/Expand path

Show fewer or more paths while working with extensive flows.


Come back to the center of the builder if moved away to either extreme.

Zoom In

Zoom in on a specific area of the builder.

Zoom Out

Zoom out to view a larger area on the builder


Creating flows for specific channels

Nowadays, businesses encourage their customers to transact and interact with them through multiple channels. For example, customers can enquire about their order or make payment from the mobile application. They can raise service request, place an order or contact the customer care executive through WhatsApp business account. 

A chat-based guided approach can help users easily navigate their way through the process. To facilitate this, organizations can build exclusive flows for different channels such as Web, mobile (iOS and Android), Telegram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. 
Some blocks are not supported in every channel. For example, Info card is supported in Web but not in WhastApp. So while the admins can create a single flow for all channels, they need to carefully chalk the process to ensure the flow is built using common set of blocks that are supported across channels. Depending on the requirement, it would be best practice to create flows for individual channels.

To create flows for specific channels

  1. Go to Setup > General > Guided Conversation.

  1. Select the department in which you want to build the conversation flow and click Create Flow.

  1. In the Create Flow page, choose the Channel for which you want to create the flow.
    You can choose all the channels: Web, WhatsApp or iOS, Android.

  2. Enter Name and Description for the conversation flow and click Next.  
    The flow builder will be displayed to create the guided conversation's flow.

Publishing a Conversation Flow

After building the conversation flow it's time to publish. Publishing the flow doesn't mean it will be available on your website for end users; it only means that the flow is available for the GC Widget to access. 
To publish the flow
  1. Go to Setup > General > Guided Conversation.
    The conversation flows are listed under Published, Draft, and Trash.
  2. Click Draft to view the flows that need to be published.
  3. Select the finalized flow and click Preview to review the flow before publishing.
    Preview opens a chat window on the right, enabling you to examine whether the conversation flows as intended.
  4. Verify the flow, make any changes if needed, then click Publish when you are ready.
  1. The Save Draft option lets you save the flow midway so that you can resume working on it later.
  2. You can make a flow available on different websites or web pages by associating it with multiple GC Widgets.

Editing Flows

Flows that are saved as draft or published can be edited to include more channels, modify the path and so on. Since every block is not supported in every channel, to guide the admins the system shows an alert within the flow on the specific block prompting them to delete the blocks and make the necessary amendments in the flow.

For example, in the image below you can see the notification bar showing the number of blocks that are not supported.


Also, while editing when a particular channel is chosen the blocks that are not supported in the channel will be displayed. 
To edit flows
  1. Go to Setup > General > Guided Conversation > GC Flows.
  2. Select a Flow, click the More icon and select Edit.
  3. In the Edit Flow page, check or uncheck the desired channel.
  4. Change the Name and Description if needed.
  5. Click Save.
  6. In the Confirm Navigation popup, click Open Now to view the blocks that are not supported in a channel and edit the flow.
  7. Click Later to revisit.

Creating GC Widgets and Associating Flows 

Widgets are used to associate and publish the flows on to the website or mobile app from where the customers can interact. These widgets can be made accessible to agents or customers.   
While creating the widget, you must set the following:

Associating Flows

In order to make the flows available for the customers or agents to interact, it must be associated with a widget. Multiple flows can be associated with a widget, it will render the flow on to the respective website where the widget is embedded. The customers and agents can be provided an option to choose the flow they want. 

Setting Display names for Associated Flows

The display name feature enables users to customize the name displayed to end-users when linking Guided Conversation flows to channels such as Web, Android, iOS, and WhatsApp. This allows users to choose any name they prefer to show to end-users, rather than being restricted to the flow's original name created during setup. This empowers users to create meaningful and concise display names that effectively communicate the content of the flow within the constraints of each channel's character limit.


This customization option also addresses channel-specific character limitations, such as WhatsApp's 20-character limit for display names. For example, if a flow's original name exceeds the character limit of a channel, users can provide a relevant display name tailored to fit within that limit. This flexibility ensures optimal visibility and clarity across different channels. For example, a flow named "Tourism Packages with Accommodation" could be displayed as "Tour Packages Info" to fit within WhatsApp's character limit. Users can customize display names for each flow to ensure optimal visibility and clarity across different channels.


Character limits for the channels:

  • Web: 100 characters
  • WhatsApp: 20 characters
  • iOS and Android: 100 characters

Setting Access Permission for the Widgets

Depending on the audience to which a business wants to cater, the widgets can be made accessible to agents, customers or both. It can also be made accessible to specific agents.
For example, flows that manage internal processes like HR grievance, employee onboarding etc. can be displayed only to the employees or agents. Likewise, if you provide training to the support executives who manage premium customers with the help of a GC flow that guides them on handling exclusive tickets. You can set the access permission for the widget to allow only these selected support executives to view the flow.  

Similarly, flows that are created to provide self-service platform to customers and other org users, the widget permission can be set as all users.  

Setting Automated messages

System generated messages such as welcome message, selection of a flow when multiple flows are associated to a widget, and the chat ending messages can be configured and displayed to the users.
By default we provide messages that can be edited to suit one's needs.  You can also provide a custom message or use the welcome message to display at the end of the chat.
Once the chat ends the widget can be configured to perform either of the below options:
  1. End session - The current chat session will end with a popup message. Admins can also use a custom message, to show that the session has ended.
  2. Restart session - The session will be reloaded while the current conversation history will be retained.
  3. Create new session - The current conversation will be cleared and a new chat session will begin.
End and restart sessions can be useful in businesses where support teams work in shifts and often take over chat sessions once from an agent whose shift has completed. Since the conversation history is retained, the user and the agent can both revisit the conversation for reference.

Zoho Desk doesn't retain chat conversations for the end users. The existing conversation will be deleted right away when a new session is created. However, for sessions that are ended or restarted the conversation history will be deleted within 24 hours of session completion.

To create GC widgets and associate them to flows
  1. Go to  Setup  >  General  >  Guided Conversation  >  GC Widgets .

  2. Click  New GC Widgets.

  3. In Add GC Widgets  page, enter  Widget name and Description .

  4. In Associated Flows , select the flows from the drop-down list.

  5. In Widgets Access Permission , select  Display to all users  or  Agents only  or both.

  6. If you select Agents, choose All agents or Specific agents and select the agents from the drop-down list.

  7. Under  Automated Messages , enter the  Welcome message Flow selection message , and  Error message .
    Messages will be auto-populated, you can edit them to your preference. You can type the custom error message.

  8. For End options , you can select Create new options , End session or Restart session .

  9. Use the text editor to insert images, videos or format the messages.  

  10. Click Save.

Associating Flows with ASAP add-on

Once the flows are created, you can host them on your website by associating them with ASAP add-on or the GC widgets. You can associate the flows with both the platforms, or either one depending on your business agenda.

For example, if you want the customers to experience dual benefit of live chat where the chat can take place with a support agent along with the GC chat flow, then you can associate the flow with ASAP add-on. See also Embedding ASAP add-on
Likewise, if you want to provide your customers a complete self-service platform then you can use the GC widget to host the flow on your website.
Note: To facilitate live chat you must enable it via SalesIQ in ASAP.
To associate flows with ASAP
  1. Go to Setup > Channels > ASAP .
  2. Click the name of the add-on in which you want to include conversation flows.
  3. Under the Tab Selection , hover over the Chat tab.
  4. Click the Settings icon corresponding to the Chat tab.
  5. Under the Chatbot Settings section, enable the Guided Conversation toggle button.
  6. Click the Associate Guided Conversation Widget  link.
  7. Click the Select link to view the list of available conversation flows.
  8. Select the GC flows that you want to associate with the add-on and click Add
    The conversation flows you selected are now associated with the ASAP add-on.
  9. Click Save/Update .

Sharing GC Widget

Once the flows are associated with a widget, the administrator can share it with the customers or agents using the following options:
Embed the code snippet on the webpage . You can embed different widgets in different webpages. Widgets can be customized within the web-app design which includes the placement of the widget, the widget shape and the way the bubbles appear within the widget. This will allow you to view the GC flows within a chat widget in your help center. Also, it allows GC flows to be invoked as a chat widget from any HTML page
Note that the option to embed the chat widget will NOT be available if the widget permission is set as agents only. 
Use iFrame to display the chat widget right within a blog post or article . It also facilitates to open the chat widget in the rich text editor. For example, in any help center, GC flows can be invoked from the following areas —  Ticket Reply editor, Add form Editor, Comment Box, KB Editor etc.
Share the QR code in social channels such as Whatsapp, Instagram, Telegram for customers to access the GC flow as a chat widget in a separate web page with a public URL.
Note: Invoking the GC flow via the QR code from mobile phone currently would render mobile optimized GC chat widget and not the mobile app.
Share the public URL for anyone to access the chat widget. Similar to the QR code, when URL is invoked by the user, GC chat widget gets loaded in a separate web page with a public URL. 
Use Mobile SDK , to provide access to the GC chat from your mobile application. It loads the entire flow within the third-party app.  

To select sharing option for a GC Widget
  1. Go to the GC Widgets list view and hover on the desired widget.

  2. Click the Share icon and select an option to share the flow with customers.

  3. You can select, Embed, iFrame, QR Code, Public URL or Mobile SDK. 

  4. If you select  Embed, iFrame or Public URL, click  Copy  to copy the code. 

  5. If you select  QR code , click  Download or Print .   

Viewing and Working with GC Widgets

Once the widget is created, you can access it from the GC widgets list view where you can perform the following actions:
  1. View the widget access permission (agents or customers)
  2. Share the widget with customers by embedding the code in webpage, using iFrame, via QR code, public URL, and Mobile SDK. 
  3. Edit the details in the widget.
  4. Preview the widget and download or print the conversation script. You can click the refresh icon to restart the conversation.

To view and work with GC widgets
  1. Go to  Setup  >  General  >  Guided Conversations  >  GC Widgets .
  2. Hover on the desired widget.
  3. Click  Share Preview Edit  or  Delete  icons.
  4. Toggle the switch to disable a widget. 

Deleting a Conversation Flow

Deleting a conservation flow does not remove the GC flow entirely from Zoho Desk. This only means that the flow will not be visible to your end users on your help center. Once deleted, the flow will move from the Published or Draft tab to the Trash tab. You can restore it anytime you want by selecting the deleted flow and clicking the Restore button. Note that only users with permission to delete GC flows in their respective Profiles can delete.


To delete a conversation flow

  1. Go to Setup > General > Guided Conversation .
    The conversation flows are listed under Published , Draft, and Trash .

  2. Hover over a conversation flow under the Published or Draft category.

  3. Click the Delete icon corresponding to the flow.
    The confirmation box appears.

  4. Click Delete .


A message prompts the user to confirm when the flow subjected to deletion is associated with another flow.  

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