FAQ Chatbots: Examples and Best Practices

When it comes to chatbots, there’s a world of different types and use cases depending on business needs and user journeys, but one type that’s effective over various different industries are FAQ chatbots.

What is an FAQ chatbot?

An FAQ chatbot aids a user's experience, by answering some of the most frequently asked questions in a natural and fluid way which feels like a conversation.

Think of an FAQ page, but instead of having to scroll through numerous questions and answers that may not be relevant to them. The user is able to get a quick answer to their specific query, in a more effortless way. 

How does an FAQ chatbot work?

When the user enters a query into the chat, the bot will automatically provide a response based on the most common questions and answers from the data provided by the business during the chatbot creation process.

What is great about this, is that this service is available to users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not only during the specific hours that your agents are online. This enables businesses to scale up their customer service capabilities in a smoother way.

Benefits of FAQ chatbots

Scale customer service

To dive deeper into the subject of customer service scalability, studies have shown that chatbots can reduce the time it takes for a customer to complete a goal by up to 40%, as well as increasing the number of goals they can complete by 25%. 

Not only does an FAQ chatbot speed up the user experience for the customer, but it also frees up a lot of time for a business’s customer service agents. Because of this, the time which would otherwise have been spent answering the same frequently asked queries again and again, can instead be put towards completing higher-value work.

Increase customer satisfaction

Two of the main things customers value are comfort, and speed. That’s why it comes as no surprise that Meta reported that, over 61% of people said that messaging was the easiest, most convenient way to contact a business. When asked why, over 64% of people said it was because they were “always messaging anyway.”

Other studies have also shown that 72% of consumers would be likely to purchase from companies that communicate via chat messaging, whilst two-thirds would change to a brand that provided a messaging channel as a communication option.

So it is clear to see that when it comes to customer satisfaction, an FAQ chatbot rates much more highly with consumers than a generic FAQ page, or phone/email only customer support channel.

Cut costs/Reduce calls

As well as a change in preference when it comes to communication channels, customer expectations regarding response times are also rising.

In fact, 79% of people expect a brand to respond to them within 4 hours. With FAQ chatbots, it is possible for customers to get the answers they need without having to wait 48 hours for an email response, or sit on hold on the phone for hours.

Many companies find that around 80% of their inquiries are predictable, common issues, which can be handled quickly and easily with the use of an FAQ chatbot, and don’t require over the phone support from an agent.

By automating these inquiries, it means that the agents also don’t have to sit on the phones for long periods either, and the use of a chatbot can reduce calls anywhere between 20-80%. Which, in turn, also reduces customer service costs for the business, therefore saving the business money.

Address pre-sales objections

The best way to make use of an FAQ chatbot is to anticipate your users’ needs. From data and experience, the likelihood is you will already have a good idea of what your customers want to know about your business before they do.

In fact, 80% of customer support tickets tend to come from just 20% of your FAQs. To capitalize on this, a chatbot can be used to give the users the answers they want, as fast as they want. This way, once they have the answers to the most common questions about your service or product, by the time they are in touch with a human agent, the majority of their initial queries will have already been answered. This then allows the sales team to bypass the tedious and repetitive objection-handling, and get straight into the important stuff — selling!

Types of FAQ chatbots

Even within the realm of FAQ chatbots, there are still various different types, based on the different needs and purposes of each specific business. Below, we will delve into 3 of the main types: Rule-based FAQ chatbots, AI FAQ chatbots, and Hybrid FAQ chatbots, also known as conversational apps.

Rule-based FAQ chatbots

Rule-based FAQ chatbots, which can also be known as decision-tree bots, follow a series of defined rules based on the types of problems the chatbot can resolve. The rules can be simple or complex.

They use mapped out conversations in anticipation of what a customer might ask, and how the chatbot should respond, and they only follow these specific commands they are trained for.

Most rule-based FAQ chatbots use a document retrieval system to guide the user with follow-up questions to reach the correct resolution. This type of chatbot handles common queries with predictable patterns, which is why they work so well for FAQs.

AI FAQ bots

On the other hand, AI FAQ chatbots that use machine learning, are good with broader or more unpredictable use cases because they understand the intent behind a question before answering it. They also learn from the interactions they have with the end-users. This is made possible, in part, through Natural Language Processing (NLP). 

These FAQ chatbots come up with answers to complex questions using natural-language responses. The more that these chatbots are trained, the more they learn, and the better customer experience they provide for the user. 

Hybrid FAQ chatbots (conversational apps)

Hybrid FAQ chatbots, or conversational apps, are different from both rule-based and AI chatbots because they are multimodal. This means that they combine not just text but graphics, touch, and voice interfaces, enabling the integration of attachments, carousels, buttons, and other embedded elements, which isn’t possible using the other types. 

These chatbots work well for more complex FAQs, as they create structured experiences which speed up customer interactions and make them more relevant. Hybrid FAQ chatbots can also leverage the features and benefits of leading messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram.

How to create an FAQ chatbot (best practices)

1. Understand what makes a successful FAQ chatbot

First and foremost, what differentiates a good FAQ chatbot from a bad one?

A good FAQ chatbot is:

  • Fast and Goal-oriented: They guide users to the FAQ answer quickly and effortlessly
  • Clear and concise: They use clear terminology and answers are not longer than necessary
  • Turn-based: They allow users to take their turn in the conversation and don’t send too many consecutive 
  • Polite: They respect the user’s objective by answering the FAQ, not by trying to promote or sell services
  • Error-tolerant: They can anticipate errors and recover them easily

2. Choose a type

Next, you need to decide on the level of complexity your FAQ chatbot requires, as this will determine whether a rule-based, AI, or hybrid chatbot would be best suited to your use case. 

3. Define measurable KPIs

To be able to measure the success of your FAQ chatbot, you must first identify which key metrics your chatbot will help improve. For example, decreasing the volume of CS phone calls.

4. Integrate human handover (if necessary)

Creating a process for a frictionless human handover can come in useful for the small percentage of FAQs which are too complex to be answered through automated replies. 

5. Map out the user’s conversational flow

Create a decision tree diagram/flowchart with all the FAQs you want to automate, as this will help you plan out how your chatbot will need to respond to each FAQ. We recommend starting with a ruled-based map, and then building in the AI and NLP capabilities afterward. 

6. Integrate graphical elements 

The human brain processes images faster than words, so wherever possible, it’s worth replacing text with buttons or other graphics. The easier your content is to digest, the better the conversational flow, and ultimately, the user experience. 

7. Decide on your chatbot’s personality

It is essential for your FAQ chatbot to have a friendly, helpful but professional tone. However, as for its personality, this should be aligned with the tone and voice of your brand. 

8. Partner with a chatbot expert

Luckily for you, platforms like Hubtype know what works best when it comes to FAQ chatbots, that’s why many enterprises choose Hubtype to build conversational apps.

To create an FAQ chatbot for your unique use case, you can contact us and let us show you how!.