Guided Conversations vs Workflows vs Automations vs RPA


With so many ways to automate things, sometimes it can be a bit confusing which part of the platform to use when. Should I use a Guided Conversation or a Workflow? A Workflow or an Automation?

This guide is designed to give you brief comparison between the various products.

Guided Conversations

Exclusively chat driven, a single user in a single platform starts a "choose your own adventure" conversation.


Multiple users and multiple platforms are coordinating behind the scenes - no conversation needed. 


Automations get triggered when an event occurs with a given set of conditions. For example - an automation can trigger when ticket is updated and the ticket title contains the phrase "laptop".

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA allows Capacity to log into a website without an API and take action. RPA skills can be embedded in a Workflow or a Guided Conversation.

Comparison Chart

Here is a quick comparison chart to elucidate the differences:

Guided ConversationsWorkflowsAutomationsRPA
Involves a user conversation:AlwaysSometimesNever
Can launch from the chat bot:YesYesNoYes
Can launch from a Workflow:YesYesNoYes
Can launch on a schedule:Yes (via Workflows)
YesNoYes (via Workflows)
Can launch from an event-based trigger (ex. ticket created):NoNoYesNo
Contains conditions:YesYesYesNo
Version controlled:Yes
YesComing SoonNo
Can connect to 3rd party APIs?YesYesNoNo
Can connect to websites without an API:NoNoNoYes
Can send Email BroadcastsYesYesYesNo
Can start a workflow:YesYesYes
Completion time:SecondsSeconds to DaysSecondsSeconds
Supports loops:Coming soonYesNoNo
Runs in the cloud:YesYesYesYes
Runs on premise:NoNoNoNo
User feedback:YesNoNoNo

Guided Conversations vs Workflows

Capacity provides many ways to interact with your customers and data. Part of what makes it work like magic is how each product is built to work together and interact with each other, but sometimes that can lead to some confusion around what each product in Capacity provides. This article will help explain the differences and interactions between Guided Conversations and Workflows.

For those looking for the short and sweet explanation, Guided Conversations are a series of steps interacted with by a user from the Concierge. Workflows are a series of automated actions, triggered from either an Automation or a predefined schedule. Workflows do not require interaction with the Concierge and cannot be used to interact with a user during its runtime. 

TLDR; If you want to automate a process, use a Workflow. If you want to interact with a customer, use a Guided Conversation inside of the Capacity Concierge.

What is a Guided Conversation

First up, what are Guided Conversations? A Guided Conversation (GC) is a type of Exchange which is created and managed in the Knowledge Base. Much like a Standard Exchange, Guided Conversations are initiated via your Concierge chat interface. However, unlike a Standard Exchange which only provides one simple response, Guided conversations consist of a series of mapped out steps or interactions which the “conversation” follows. 

Here is an example of the steps/interactions you might see in a Guided Conversation:

  1. User selects an option like “Report a bug”

  2. The Concierge moves onto the next step and asks the user to “Rank the severity” of the bug

  3. User selects a severity option

  4. The Concierge stores the data and moves onto the next step asking the user to “Describe the bug”

  5. User describes the bug

  6. Etc…

From this example you can see how a Guided Conversation might be used to collect information. Similarly it can also be used to:

  1. Provide answers from your Knowledge Base

  2. Submit forms

  3. Initiate a live chat

  4. Send emails

  5. Upload files

  6. Start a Workflow

  7. Etc.

How are Guided Conversations Different from Workflows?

You may have noticed that Guided Conversations can be used to Start a Workflow. While a Guided Conversation is similar to a Workflow in that it follows a series of steps, it is very different in that a Guided conversation can only exist inside of a Concierge. Guided Conversations also require interaction with a user to either ask questions, provide information, or move along the “conversation” to the next step.

What is a Workflow?

Workflows are a series of actions that run on either a predefined schedule, or when triggered by an Automation. Workflows are useful when you want to automate a specific process or series of actions based on a pre-defined trigger. Some common examples include:

  1. Send a notification email or slack message when a new Helpdesk ticket has been created

  2. Reopen a closed Helpdesk ticket when the reporter sends a new response

  3. Create a CapacityDB database record when a Guided Conversation collects information

  4. Upload data to a third party system (i.e. Salesforce) when a form is submitted from the Concierge chat interface.

  5. Send out new employee onboarding emails on a schedule based on start date

  6. Etc…

Workflows are an incredibly powerful and flexible tool. When combined with Automations, Third Party Dev Platform Integrations, Guided Conversations, and the rest of the Capacity Product Suite, they can be used to automate complex manual processes. 

What makes Workflows Different from Guided Conversations?

Unlike Guided Conversations, Workflows do not require interaction with the Capacity Concierge. Workflow steps, or actions, can be triggered on a schedule or by any number of events triggered by the Capacity product.

To repeat the summary from the beginning, if you want to automate a process, use a Workflow. If you want to interact with a customer, use a Guided Conversation inside of the Capacity Concierge.

For more information, read Guided Conversation Tips and Workflows Overview

Was this article helpful?