Dexter Relay - Installation & Usage Guide

At a Glance

Dexter Relay allows bot creators and their team mates monitor user activity and take over a bot's responses in a Slack team. Through this integration, you can:

Read on to find out how to get Relay set up for your bot.

Table of Contents

Setup Relay with a Master Channel

The following steps describe how to setup Relay to forward conversations with qualified users to a single master channel. Agents in your Slack team can then choose to further engage with users in separate Slack user channels.

Getting Started

1. Getting Slack Ready

Before we get started, we need to make sure you have a Slack team. πŸ˜„

2. Preparing your Bot Script

Rather than forwarding all user conversations to Slack, Relay allows you to define which user conversations result in notifications in the master channel!

To do this, you'll need to draft a bot script that makes use of a special ^notifyAgent() shortcode when the user has hit a point in their conversation with the bot when you want the agent to take over. If you installed Relay using the signup wizard, you may already see a bot on your dashboard that has an already-crafted bot script with ^notifyAgent()!

If not, you will have to include this shortcode in your existing bot script. Learn more about how to add ^notifyAgent() to your bot.

3. Deploy your Bot to a Platform

First things first: before Dexter Relay can actually work, make sure that you have published and deployed your bot first so that users can actually message it!

Choose at least one platform that Relay supports (Facebook, Embed, Twilio) and deploy your bot to this platform. Once you have a deployed bot, go to the Relay option of your bot's nav bar to find Dexter Relay.

If you are connecting Dexter Relay to the Facebook platform, we encourage bot builders to apply for the additional pages_messaging_subscriptions permission in addition to pages_messaging during the Facebook app review process.

This ensures that any messages you might send to your user out of the blue will be less likely to be blocked.

Specifying Relay Settings

Further customize your settings to make Relay work for you!

Add to Slack

You're finally ready to add the Relay app to a Slack team!

Click the Add to Slack button. When the page to add the Relay app to Slack opens, confirm that:

Post to Master Channel

Click Authorize to continue.

If this bot has been successfully added to the channel, you should see the following confirmation:

Install Message

Using Relay

Receiving Messages

When a user messages the bot for human help and hits a bot response with the ^notifyAgent() shortcode, their inbound messages will be shown in the master channel.

Embed Messages

A member of your Slack team can choose to "Open in Channel" in order to respond.

Master Channel Notification

Sending Messages

A new channel named after the user will be created.

New Slack Channel

The 10 most recent interactions between the bot and the user will be available, as well as options to β€œClose” the channel and see β€œMore User Info”, which resurfaces information about the user.

User Channel Menu

To define what fields you would like us to surface about the user, change the value of the fields in "Info Fields" on your Relay settings.

To chat directly with the user, type a message in the channel which will be sent by the bot to the user on the original platform. You can even attach media through Slack, like images, audios, videos, and files.


Invite other team members to respond in the channel with β€œ/invite @username”.

Closing Conversations

When you are ready to close this dialogue with the user, click the β€œClose” button or type β€œ/archive” to close the channel. The channel will be archived and no longer appear in your Channels side menu on Slack.

Close Button

When you close a channel, the user will be sent back to the β€œdefault” topic (ideally where your main menu lives in the script). If you would like to to guide the user to re-engage with the bot, it is best practice to remind the user to message the bot again if they would like to chat with the bot once again.

Archive Channel

If you unarchive an existing user channel, you can communicate with the user directly again.

Return Conversations

If the same user chooses to message the bot with an inquiry again, the master channel will receive a new inbound message for this user.

When an agent claims this new ticket, this user’s channel in Slack will be unarchived and the new messages will be appended to the existing channel.

Relay Slash Commands

Relay supports usage of three slash commands, which are particularly helpful when Auto-Send is disabled:

Best Practices

  1. When messaging a user from within the Slack channel, avoid using Slack emojis, which do not translate well when sent back to the user's platform. 😟

Next Steps

Now that you have Relay installed, learn how to make it even more useful by adding a Slack bot to pull information and communicate directly to users from within your Slack team.