Automating FAQs

Build better bots is our series dedicated to exploring how to do legal automation well.

Build better bots is our series dedicated to exploring how to do legal automation well.

Have you ever been asked the same question twice? How about multiple times over weeks or months or years? If so, an FAQ bot may be for you! 

What are FAQ bots?

FAQ bots are an easy and efficient way of automating responses to common questions. They give common answers and useful information to users, who either have a specific question or just want to know more about a topic.

They’re often used to replace existing FAQ documents or pages, or as an added resource and touch point to help users find information.

A key challenge with existing FAQ solutions is finding the right balance between giving too little and too much information. Not enough information and you haven’t answered the question your users wanted to ask. Too much information and it can be confusing and overwhelming.

Using legal automation bots is a great way to solve this and other problems, bringing your users on a journey that is designed to help them and give them exactly the answers they want and need.

How are they used by legal professionals?

Anyone who has been asked the same question more than once might be in need of a FAQ bot! 

They act as a stand-in for the person in the organisation your users would usually ask for help. They give people the exact information they’re looking for, after asking questions to tailor its response to their specific situation. 

FAQ bots can answer all types of questions, not just legal questions. We see FAQ bots used by legal professionals to answer common questions from their clients, their leads, the general public as well as their teams and partners.

  • In-house teams are big users of FAQ bots. A common use for corporate legal teams is to create an FAQ bot that sits on the company intranet and helps internal stakeholders from IT, Finance or HR identify the right documents and contracts they need.
  • Community legal centres, legal aid organisations and not-for-profit organisations are also frequent users of FAQ bots. For them, FAQ bots are an efficient way to manage the first point of enquiry from clients. By asking questions and informing the users of the services that are available, the bots can also assist with client intake and triage.
  • Law firms, large and small, use FAQ bots to help their clients self-serve information about the firms’ services. This information is often valuable, as the insights help with the law firm’s marketing and client servicing. Larger law firms also use FAQ bots as an internal communication tool on their intranet or public websites.

Our top tips to build better FAQ bots

  • Categorise your main menu

  • Know your destination points

  • Improve your bot with data

  • Introduce your bot

Here are our top four tips for builders, making your bot go from good to great.

1. Split your main menu into categories

Most people can only process a handful of things at once, so rather than jumping to answering questions, break it down into categories. 

We don’t recommend having more than around 7 different options for any main menu, so think in categories and group similar categories together to create a user journey. 

For example, if you’re building an internal employee FAQ bot for new employees, your first question might ask the user what they want to learn about. One of the options may be: “I have a question about getting my IT set up”. By clicking on this option, a new employee wanting specific help with tech won’t have to scroll through irrelevant questions about building access, leave, payroll, and so on.

2. Know your destination

FAQ bots are about answering frequently asked questions. Figure out what these questions are and use them to map out your exit points.

Where the FAQ bot can’t provide information, or the question is too specific, direct people to a resource. Whether it’s a link to your website, a link to a policy or contract or document, or a contact email or phone number, it can make a big difference.

3. Improve your bot with data

While our second tip was about mapping out your bot and destination points, our third tip is to improve your bot by taking this a step further.

Incorporate questions in your bot which ask users for their feedback and whether they had any unanswered questions. Make sure you have their contact details if you want to follow up on any tricky responses. 

This will allow you to improve and grow your bot over time. It could be a question you hadn’t thought about, or a category you had overlooked. Many people will interact differently with bots than they will with people. In some cases, people feel more comfortable asking bots questions they would not ask humans. 

Increasingly, having this kind of live data helps legal professionals better understand their clients. Knowing what your clients ask and where they are exiting is a good way to better help and serve them (and improve your bot!).

4. Introduce yourself

You should be clear and upfront about what information your bot gives and the types of questions it asks, so users know what to expect.

For example, the perfect FAQ bot for prospective clients is probably not going to answer the common questions of your current clients, so introduce the bot and what it’s designed to do early.

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