article by Grant Ronald and Asaf Lev, May 2020
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are a common feature of most businesses and institutions. However in recent times the demand to get up-to-date official information from government departments (such as Health, Welfare or Education) or your place of work (homeworking policy, remote IT access etc.) have become a critical factor for many.
Digital Assistants allow these official FAQs to be quickly surfaced through all manner of channels (text, voice, social), and done so in way where users don’t have to first of all find the FAQ document then use the correct search terms. A conversational Digital Assistant can be trained to understand the natural language request from the user and deliver the right answer regardless of how the user might phrase their question.
This article explains 6 short steps, including a starter template, to deliver a production quality FAQ digital assistant which also encompasses conversation best-practices, resilience and guidelines for an engaging user experience; all of which can built in less than 60 minutes.
The first step is to download the starter digital assistant. This provides two sample skills: one which is a sample FAQ, the other for handling small talk. Both are contained within a digital assistant. Their roles are as follows and should be tailored to your specific needs and use case.
Skill Template: Is a template on how to construct an FAQ digital assistant with two examples of FAQ styles as well as other supporting features.
Common Skill Template(Smalltalk): A skill for handling off-topic conversations
Digital Assistant Template: both skills are contained within a digital assistant. This allows the seamless handling of switching context between skills, a container for adding further skill as well as giving a common help handler