Real-Time Assist Cards & Custom Moments Best Practices
    • 22 Aug 2023
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    Real-Time Assist Cards & Custom Moments Best Practices

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    Article summary

    Real Time Assist Cards (RTAs) and Custom Moments are valuable tools for onboarding new agents in customer support, sales, and contact center teams. To ensure their effectiveness, accurate call transcription is essential. Best practices for creating trigger phrases include keeping them short, prioritizing critical information, using links for relevant information, and allowing both agents and customers to trigger cards. Accuracy in trigger phrases is crucial, including correct spelling and avoiding general or overly specific phrases. Variation in trigger phrases should be considered to capture different contexts and phrasing options. It is important to be inclusive in language choices and consider the impact on minority groups and different dialect regions. Ongoing validation and iteration of RTA cards and Custom Moments are necessary to maintain their efficacy.

    Real-Time Assist Cards and Custom Moments help tremendously with onboarding new Agents and reps for customer support, sales, and contact center teams — they're like cheat sheets, but better! 

    For Contact Center Ai to be effective at detecting customer sentiment or identifying follow-up tasks mentioned in a call, there’s one essential element: accurate call transcription.

    Let's go over some Best Practices to make your Real-Time Assist cards (RTAs), and Custom Moments as effective as possible.

    Best Practices

    The details matter — make sure to factor in these four points when creating your trigger phrases:

    1. Length — keep it short and sweet
      • RTAs are made to pop up live, during a call. 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 relevant info for your reps is via links, which should be placed after critical content
    4. More than one person can trigger a card — reps can trigger them 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.

    Trigger Phrase Efficacy

    Real-Time Assist cards and Custom Moments rely on trigger phrases that can be spoken by an Agent or a customer (or both!). Once the trigger phrase is spoken, the RTA card appears, or the Custom Moment fires. Without the right trigger phrases, the cards will never fire — or, they won’t fire in the correct context.

    For a card to be effective, it must be triggered under the correct context. So, when creating Triggers Phrases, consider the following key points: 

    1. Accuracy
    2. Variation
    3. Inclusiveness

    Have a look at the below examples of good trigger phrases, and ones that should be improved. 

    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


    Accuracy in trigger phrases is crucial. 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
    • 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:

    • ❌youre
    • ✅ you're


    • ❌tuneles
    • ✅túneles


    • ❌acounts
    • ✅accounts

    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 only way to ensure that your company’s new products and services are included in our lexicon is to add them yourself. 


    Numbers can only effectively be used in trigger phrases if they are added to your company dictionary.

    You could add a trigger phrase consisting entirely of a number, but, that 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

    Acronyms or initialisms can be written in ALL CAPS, or in 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

    The more details the better accuracy. 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

    Remember to keep your trigger phrases short and sweet. Using long, very specific trigger phrases such as "let me ask my manager just one sec" means 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 would be  "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

    Trigger phrases work best when they sound like normal conversation.  

    For instance, the following trigger phrases are useful to include in a pricing card:

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

    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 time.  

    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 not representative of how people talk in an actual conversation.

    On a call, people use verbs, contractions, and articles on nouns. So, a more effective trigger phrase in this scenario would be " the app isn’t working".


    Conversations are full of variation, with many ways to say the same thing. This means you want your trigger phrases to have a good amount of variation as well. 


    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

    Once your RTA cards and CMs are live, maintain their efficacy by reviewing their performance and creating new iterations of cards as your product and procedures evolve.

    Consider the following questions when validating your RTA cards and Custom Moments:

    • Are your reps actually using the card? 
    • Is your team following the mentioned procedures and script?
    • 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?

    Think of the following questions when iterating and improving on existing cards: 

    • 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?

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