Create A FAQ Chatbot in 3 Steps

Common questions are inevitable in business. Agents may start to feel like a soundboard repeating the same answers and phrases day in and out.

FAQ pages just aren’t enough. Customers are still likely to reach out to your business via chat or email before checking your website to get a direct answer.

Businesses can counteract this with a FAQ chatbot.

Many businesses have adopted chatbots as part of their customer service team to help them scale and improve their support. The emergence of messaging apps, which are used by billions, only intensified people’s demand for instant service.

Getting started with a chatbot and automation seems complex, but providers like Userlike make the switch quick and easy. Keep reading to learn how you can use, create and benefit from a FAQ chatbot in customer support.

What is a FAQ chatbot?

An FAQ chatbot is a bot designed to answer common user questions within a conversational interface. It helps the user find an answer quickly, without having to read through knowledge base articles and search your website.

In addition to answering common questions, there are many other benefits you can expect from using a chatbot. They can handle simple tasks, reduce resolution times, cut costs and handle an infinite number of conversations — all without sacrificing your service quality.

You can make them the first line of defense for your customer support team and only let valuable chats through to your agents.

FAQ chatbot forwarding a chat to an agent in Userlike
Userlike’s AI chatbot can take on questions — and easily forward the ones it can’t.

Creating a FAQ chatbot is a good gateway to using chatbots and automated assistance:

And if a topic comes up that is better suited for a human agent, bots make it easy to transfer the conversation.

It’s clear that FAQ chatbots are a great tool to have in your business, but how do you get started? Here are some general steps to take when creating your bot.

Types of FAQ chatbots

If you’re unsure about which type of chatbot to use for common questions, just know that any type will do. However, your budget, team size and business size will help you narrow down which one suits your needs best.

Chatbot hovering over feedback speech bubble

There are three major types of chatbots, ranging from simple to complex AI:

  1. Rule-based chatbots
  2. Keyword-based chatbots
  3. Conversational AI

Rule-based chatbots

This standard chatbot uses a set of defined rules to answer questions it identifies. Conversations are mapped out like a flowchart, allowing for few topic variations but faster resolutions. They’re often used as FAQ or knowledge base chatbots.

Rule-based solutions are quick to build, easy to maintain and great for assisting customers with basic questions. Like the other chatbots in this list, you can connect it to your website chat software so difficult questions can be forwarded to your agents.

Read our post, “How rule-based chatbots compete against AI in business” to learn more!

Keyword-based chatbots

These types of chatbots work similarly to rule-based chatbots but can identify specific keywords.

However — unlike rule-based chatbots — keyword-based chatbots can be programmed to have a more conversational approach. Since users are free to type their own questions and responses, conversations don’t have to follow a linear path. The chatbot can shift focus as long as it recognizes keywords in your input.

Compared to conversational AI chatbots, this type of chatbot suffers in more complicated scenarios where more variables and knowledge are required. If a user asks questions that are too similar, the results may be redundant.

Learn more by reading our article, “How chatbots work (and why they sometimes don’t.”

Conversational AI

While the previous chatbots followed rules, these chatbots make their own...well, sort of.

Conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence) is technology, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, that uses on natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to simulate human conversation. The key differentiator of conversational AI from rule- and keyword-based chatbots is its ability to lead a conversation in a natural and intuitive way.

AI chatbot uses keyword recognition to understand customer
Userlike’s AI chatbot pulls answers straight from a central knowledge base, which you fill with your business data.

It can understand user intent, interpret natural language inputs, and provide meaningful responses that mimic human conversation. You can use your business knowledge base to power its responses so it delivers the same accurate information as your agents.

Read more about conversational AI in our post, “Conversational AI platforms: An essential guide for businesses.”

Examples of FAQ chatbots in customer support

Curious to see how FAQ chatbots are used across industries? Here are three examples of FAQ chatbots in energy, retail and travel. These chatbots range in intelligence but are uniquely valuable for customers.

  1. E-Werk Mittelbaden
  2. German energy company E-Werk Mittelbaden is one of many energy companies that turned to automation support amid the energy crisis.

    Their chatbot EMI assists customers with common questions and tasks across their website.

    Energy chatbot guides customer to a helpful page about energy consumption

    EMI displays button options for common topics, but customers can also type their questions if it’s not listed.

    E-Werk Mittelbaden also makes it easy for customers to escalate the chat to an agent. EMI is powered by Userlike’s website chat and messaging software, so complex inquiries are easily forwarded to a team member.

  3. H&M
  4. Nestled in the corner of the retail giant’s customer service page, the H&M Chatbot is available to help customers find products or answer common questions.

    H&M customer service chatbot offers help with products and other common questions

    It uses keyword recognition to understand submitted inquiries. If it doesn’t understand the question fully at first, it displays clickable topics related to the keywords it understood.

    For example, if you ask when a dress will be back in stock, it asks if you’re looking for an item online, in store, or if you want to be notified of when an item is back in stock.

  5. Brussels Airport
  6. At Brussels Airport, instead of asking personnel or checking an airport map, you can use their chatbot BRUce.

    BRUce is a rule-based chatbot (that also uses written and button options) that can assist with every aspect of your trip — from booking parking passes to letting you know which restaurants are near your gate.

    Customer asks travel chatbot about airport lounges

    If you share your flight info, Bruce can send you real-time updates so you can shop and enjoy waiting in peace without having to look for a flight screen every 20 minutes.

How to build a FAQ chatbot

  1. Create a strategy
  2. Choose a chatbot provider
  3. Write your entries and go live

Create a strategy

Your chatbot will answer simple questions, but maybe you also want to use it for lead generation to earn more signups. Regardless of your bot's use case, having a strategy will help you choose a vendor, write for your chatbot, and set its parameters.

It’s also important to note that chatbots aren’t failproof — there will be complex issues it can’t solve. Planning for this up front will help you set reasonable expectations for your bot.

Some important points to consider before shopping for a provider:

  • What are your “must have” features?
  • Who will create your bot?
  • Who will manage your bot?
  • What questions will it cover?
  • What is your budget?

Consider if your chatbot will also perform small tasks, like check the status of a shipment or help with account management. Not all chatbot providers allow for such tasks so it’ll help you narrow down your choices.

A chatbot can also go beyond answering FAQs — you can use it as part of your existing sales strategy. You’ll have fewer abandoned carts and collect more potential leads by being available 24/7. If you need help planning your FAQ chatbot strategy and want to fit it into your sales approach, check out our post, “8 sales chatbots features that hook customers.”

Choose a chatbot provider

Consultations and live demos are absolutely necessary for choosing the right chatbot. Imagine signing up with a provider, starting to build your flows and then realizing there’s no way to integrate one of your favorite tools. Why should you settle for a workaround?

Here’s what to consider when choosing a provider:

  • Can you build and implement it without IT knowledge?
  • Is it a rule-based or AI solution?
  • Does it support your existing tools?
  • Is the cost-to-feature ratio worth it?
  • Can you use it on multiple channels?

Modern chatbot providers, such as Userlike, provide AI automation solutions you can use without a developer. For FAQ chatbots, an AI chatbot is the better choice since it can understand human context, learn from interactions and provide more accurate answers. It’s not limited to a rigid decision tree.

Userlike's AI chatbot talking to customers on multiple popular channels
Userlike’s GPT-4-chatbot can have human-like conversations on all your customer’s favorite messaging channels.

It’s also important that your chatbot fits well into your existing support workflow, not hinder it. Can you use it parallel to your important business tools?

The price, and what you get with it, will help you choose a suitable provider. Many platforms offer free solutions, which are often rule-based bots, but we recommend AI chatbots for their self-learning capabilities, conversational AI and long-term benefits.

One final criteria is using a chatbot that is supported by live chat and messaging apps. It will simply have a higher acceptance rate if it’s available on the channels customers enjoy.

Providers we recommend:

  • Userlike: This is our customer messaging solution that has a built-in AI chatbot, including GPT-4. It’s one module of our AI Automation Hub, a collection of automation features connected to a central knowledge base. With our GPT-4-AI chatbot you can extend your bot's capabilities to process and answer multiple questions in a single message, add emotion to a conversation, or take into account the context of a previous message when replying. It also supports many tool integrations and is available via popular messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Image of the Userlike GPT-4 chatbot and how it works
  • Botsociety: This platform is great for collaborating on your chatbot design. It’s a rule-based chatbot that is compatible with your website and popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The company helps with your conversational design, and getting started is free.
  • Landbot: This is an out-of-the-box rule-based solution with an intuitive builder. It doesn’t take any coding knowledge to create your own chatbot, but this means the chatbot lacks any intelligence or learning abilities. It also has an attractive interface and is great for creating a more “fun” chatbot that shares GIFs and other engaging content.
  • Cognigy: Here’s a solution for those interested in AI and designing humanlike conversations. Cognigy provides a low-code editor and uses deep learning algorithms to improve from its conversations over time. It’s sure to integrate well with your CRM, customer messaging solution and more.

For more providers organized by budget and AI intelligence, check out our post, “11 must-try chatbot providers for every budget.”

Premium guide to automation in support

Learn the top ways your business will benefit from AI-driven customer support.

Download for free

Write your entries and go live

A general rule of thumb for writing FAQ chatbot entries is to keep them short and concise. This is true for your entire knowledge base to make your entries easier to understand, but especially applicable to chatbots since they communicate in short sentences.

Adding knowledge base entries in Userlike's AI Automation Hub
Create entries manually or upload your excel sheet in Userlike’s AI Automation Hub.

If you already have live chat, you can use it to determine which frequently asked questions should be covered in your knowledge base. Conversations that were answered with a canned message, for example, are great candidates.

You can then convert these answers into short responses that apply to your chatbot, help center and any other customer support resources. If you need to provide more information than a couple bubbles of text, be sure to share links at the end of responses that redirect the user to the page or information they need.

We covered how to create a knowledge base and write entries, which you can read for a full step-by-step plan: “7 steps to building a strong knowledge base.”

Create a FAQ chatbot with Userlike

Userlike helps you make your FAQ chatbot an integral part of your customer service team. We provide a central knowledge base, called the AI Automation Hub, where you add the inquiries customers ask for most — and anything else helpful for using your products and services.

The knowledge base powers three modules: an AI chatbot including GPT-4, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions. It’s connected to our live chat and customer messaging software, so everything you need for customer service is in one place.

Knowledge base connected to individual modules

Want to learn more about the individual modules? Check out this video on our AI Automation Hub.

Creating a central knowledge base is the modern solution to providing round-the-clock, self-service to your customers. Our hub is easy to customize, maintain and monitor by your team.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us in the chat on our website and sign up for a free trial of Userlike to get to know our product!