Human Escalation Paths

Human Escalation Paths

When automating conversations in your channel, make sure to include a so called “human escalation path” – an easy way for a user to get in touch with a human agent. This may be useful in case a user gets stuck with the chatbot or can’t get answers to the problem.

Human escalation paths may include opening tickets for human agents to be answered directly in the messenger, providing a contact telephone number/email or sending a link to a support webpage/ support form. References to other social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, etc.), or other apps or main webpage or help-centers do not count as human escalation paths.

Does my Messenger chatbot have to have a “Human Escalation Path”?

Yes, this is mandatory for WhatsApp Business and Apple Business Chat. The providers of the messengers would like to ensure high quality of conversations with businesses and therefore insist on providing such escalation paths to human agents for the end users.


How do I ensure that?

This can be done easily via the chatbot:

  1. By creating help dialogs with distinct keywords (such as “help”, “agent”, “support”), which, when activated, open a ticket for an agent or send contact information
  2. Through hints and assistance in the bot dialogue


Variant A:

  1. Create a dialog in the “Priority” topic with the keywords “chat”, “help”, “contact”, “support” or similar. Just think, which keywords would your user write, should he need help?
  2. Set Bot-Action to “Handover to agent” or “Open a ticket” (check here to find out the difference between the two actions).

Let your users know that he/she can always get some help by typing “chat”/”help” or “support”. This could be do

ne directly in the welcome message sent by the bot.

Variant B:

Provide an option for the user to get in touch with an agent in navigation menus in your chatbot throughout the conversation, e.g.


What happens if the chatbot does not provide a “human escalation path”?

WhatsApp regularly checks chatbots for this Escalation Path and threatens with sanctions or even account blocking. In quality assurance tests Apple likewise probes whether there is a way to get in touch with a live agent.

How does the WhatsApp test work?

WhatsApp initiates a conversation with the following text:
“Hello, this message is from WhatsApp – we are initiating this conversation to understand the quality of your bot experience. This conversation may be recorded for quality and testing purposes. Please do not share any sensitive or confidential information.”

Such requests must be answered within 24 hours either directly by a bot sending contact information as described above or by a live agent directly in WhatsApp.