Real-Time Assist Cards & Custom Moments Best Practices

  • Updated

There are a few ways to optimize both the information in your Real-Time Assist cards (RTAs), and your trigger phrases for RTAs and Custom Moments in order to make the cards as effective as possible. Let's take a look at how.

Real-Time Assist Best Practices

The information you include in your Custom Moments and RTA cards can make or break a card’s usefulness. They’re called Real-Time Assist cards because they pop up in real-time to help out your reps. Make sure to review these tips:

  1. Short and sweet
    RTAs are made to pop up live, during a call, to better assist your agents. That means you’ll want to keep it brief, so agents can quickly read the information and keep the conversation with the customer flowing smoothly.
  2. Critical info first
    Reps don’t have time to search for the information they need from a card when it appears on screen -- do them a favor by putting the most important information first.
  3. Links are your friends
    The best way to share less critical, but still relevant info for your reps is via links, which should be placed after the critical content in the card.
  4. Reps can trigger cards too
    Don’t forget that you can set your cards to fire on something your agent says — not just what a customer says — so you can use them as cheat sheets to be used whenever needed.

Create Trigger Phrases

Bad ❌

Better ✅

manager (too short)

let me ask my manager

app not working (not natural speech)

app isn’t working

car accident (add more synonyms)

car accident, car crash, collision, fender bender

Real-Time Assist cards and Custom Moments rely on trigger phrases spoken either by an agent or a customer. Once the trigger phrase is spoken and matched, the RTA card appears, or the Custom Moment fires, in response. Without the right trigger phrases, the cards will never fire — or they won’t fire in the contexts needed.

For a card to be useful, it has to be triggered under the context you’re actually aiming for. That is, the trigger phrases needed. Triggers need to be created with the following key points taken into considerationn:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Variation
  3. Inclusiveness

If the trigger phrases are missing the above characteristics, you will miss important instances where they should have fired, or they may fire at inappropriate times, in unhelpful contexts.


Accuracy in trigger phrases encompasses a few different characteristics.  If your trigger phrases don’t meet our formatting guidelines, they won’t be triggered.  If your phrases are too general, your cards will fire in contexts that are not relevant to the reason you created that card.  If your trigger phrases are too specific, your cards will fire within that very narrow definition, but exclude other relevant contexts.  And, if your trigger phrases don’t reflect actual speech in real-world conversations, they won’t trigger at all. 


Spelling matters! Trigger phrases must be spelled correctly in order to be recognized in the transcript. This includes typos, apostrophes on English contractions, and accents on letters in Spanish words.

For example:


✅ you're







New Words

If you have niche terminology, innovative product names, words with special characters, or newly-created words that you’d like to include as trigger phrases, then you should add these to your company dictionary.  We do our best to keep the dictionaries used by our AI systems up to date, but the best way to ensure that your company’s new products and services are included in our lexicon is to add them yourself. 


If you’d like to include specific numbers in your trigger phrases, this is possible too, with one caveat: any alphanumeric phrases (e.g. R45) will need to be added to the company dictionary before you are able to include it as a trigger phrase.  It is possible to add a trigger phrase that consists entirely of a number, but keep in mind that this trigger phrase will fire any time that number is mentioned -- which may have much wider coverage than you intend (e.g. $250). 

For English cards, you can write number-related trigger phrases with the numbers as digits, or spelled out, and they will be triggered regardless of their format in the transcript.

For Spanish cards, numbers must be entirely spelled-out, not written as digits. The examples below will all work for English cards, but only the first one will work for Spanish cards:

For example:

  • ✅250
  • ✅model 250
  • ✅model two hundred and fifty
  • ✅R250

Remember that the first trigger phrase here, 250, will fire any time the number 250 occurs in a transcript, regardless of context. The last trigger phrase, R250, is acceptable only if it has already been added to your company dictionary, due to its alphanumeric nature.

Acronyms & Initialisms

We know there are few different ways to format acronyms and initialisms, and our formatting system is built with this variation in mind.  If you want to include an acronym or initialism in your trigger phrases, you can write them either in ALL CAPS or lowercase, but be aware that writing your acronyms in all caps will result in a narrower range of hits from the model.  Do not include periods between letters of an acronym.

For example:

  • ❌F.B.I.
  • ❌f.b.i.
  • ✅FBI
  • ✅fbi
  • ✅nasa
  • ✅NASA

Too Short

For example, consider the trigger phrase:

  • ask my manager

Let’s say this phrase is part of an “ask a manager” RTA card, or a “manager intervention” custom moment, either of which might notify a manager.  If you use the trigger phrase example above, you will also capture phrases like I wouldn’t need to ask my manager about that, which negates the need for manager intervention.

Too Long

Conversely, consider the trigger phrase for the same hypothetical card:

  • let me ask my manager just one sec

If you use this very specific, long trigger phrase, then your card won’t be triggered by shorter phrases that match the same context, i.e. let me ask my manager.

Instead, the ideal version of this phrase -- the happy medium between too short and too long -- would be something like let me ask my manager.  The ideal trigger phrase is specific enough to avoid over-triggering in irrelevant contexts, but general enough to include most relevant contexts.

Real Conversations

Of course you’ll want to make sure your trigger phrases sounds like normal English.  For instance, the following trigger phrases are useful to include in a pricing card:

  • pricing discussion
  • price discussion
  • pricing discussions
  • price discussions

But you’ll want to leave out a phrase like:

  • prices discussion

If the trigger phrase isn’t grammatically correct, the card is less likely to be triggered at the right times.  

That said, you don’t want to overcorrect, either: if your trigger phrases don’t match the way people actually speak, you’re still never going to see your cards.  For example, consider the phrase:

  • app not working

At first glance, this may look like a great trigger phrase for a call center.  However, this phrase will never trigger a single RTA card or Custom Moment.  

Why? Because this trigger phrase is a great example of an option for a drop-down menu, or something you might put into a search bar when you’re troubleshooting -- but it’s not representative of how people talk in an actual conversation.  

On a call, people will use verbs, contractions, and articles on nouns.  This means that the above issue will probably be phrased something like:

  • the app isn’t working

So you’ll want to remember that human conversations look a little different from web searches, and try to make your trigger phrases look like real speech instead.


Language is actually rife with variation, and there are many ways to say the same thing -- many different variants.  This applies in phone conversations, too, which means you want your trigger phrases to have a good amount of variation when you write them.  


One way to consider variation is to include the same trigger phrases with different synonyms.  For example, if you’re creating a card that’s triggered when someone wants to file an insurance claim for a car accident, you’ll include the trigger phrase

  • car accident

But there are many ways to express this type of incident, and if you only include the phrase above, your card won’t be triggered in other, very relevant instances.  For example, you’ll miss the following variants:

  • car crash
  • car collision
  • fender bender

Different Phrasing

There’s also variation in the way people structure their sentences.  For example, consider the following trigger phrase:

  • Call me when that’s ready

There are many ways to express this same sentiment, including:

  • Call me when it’s ready
  • Let me know when it’s ready
  • Let me know when that’s ready

So you’ll want to consider several phrasing options for each of your cards’ concepts as well -- different verbs, different pronouns -- not just synonyms for content words.  This way, you’ll be able to capture many more instances of the context for which you’ve made your card(s).

Tenses and Plurals

You may also want to consider adding different verb tenses and plural forms of nouns to increase coverage.

For example, let’s say you’ve made an RTA card that should be triggered when a customer asks about your rates.  You’ll include the phrase:

  • what are your rates

But you will also want to include:

  • What is your rate
  • What were your rates
  • What was your rate

Because this kind of variation is widespread -- you can imagine a customer asking, “and what were your rates again?” which of course you’ll want this card for.


There’s one final caveat for creating good trigger phrases: it’s important to consider the effect of your language choices on minority groups, and consider the different dialect regions of your client base.

For example, if you want to create a card that’s triggered when a customer has an unhappy experience, you might include the following trigger phrases based on what you learned from the tips above:

  • extremely unhappy
  • extremely frustrated
  • really unhappy
  • really frustrated
  • very unhappy
  • very frustrated

But you don’t want to include just any phrases you can think of, without considering the impact of doing so.  For instance, it would be problematic if we added only the following phrases to the list above:

  • was a total b*tch
  • really b*tchy
  • a real b*tch
  • a total karen
  • a real karen
  • what a karen

You’ll notice that these latter phrases, while surely indicating an unhappy customer, target a specific group: women.  If you include these three phrases with the phrases above, you will have bias against women baked into this card.  Your results for this card will be confounded by the fact that your card is biased, giving the appearance that customers are unhappy with female agents more often than with non-female agents, even though this isn’t necessarily true.

It’s not a problem to include negative language in your cards -- just remember to be inclusive of all groups, and be careful not to inadvertently use the cards against agents of any particular group.

Similarly, you’ll want to consider different dialect regions as well: for instance, if you have a card that fires on words relating to customer satisfaction, of course you’ll want to include words like pleased.  But if your call centre is expanding to Australia or the UK, don’t forget to add regional variants like chuffed.

Small things like this can spiral into big things, so just keep this in mind when creating your cards.

Validate & Iterate

Now that you’ve made it through these tips, you’re ready to set up your cards and watch them work!  Once your RTA cards and CMs are live, you’ll be able to maintain their efficacy by validating their usefulness, and creating new iterations of cards that aren’t up to snuff.

You’ll want to validate your cards and CMs by considering the following questions:

  • Are your reps actually using your cards? 
  • Are the most frequently-triggered cards resulting in beneficial changes?
  • Are these cards being triggered too often?
  • Are the least frequently-triggered cards still useful?

And you can come up with new and improved iterations of existing cards by considering these questions:

  • How can you improve cards that get triggered too often?
  • Can you lengthen the trigger phrases or make them more specific?
  • How can you improve cards that don’t get triggered often enough?
  • Can you generalize, shorten, or add more trigger phrases?
  • Are there more knowledge gaps that could be filled by wider coverage of existing cards?
  • Or should new cards be created for these new gaps?

With these final tips, you’re all set to get started with Real Time Assist cards and Custom Moments.  Happy calling!