AI Answers in Front Chat

Edited

Overview

Front’s new AI Answers feature gives your customers the ability to self-serve with immediate responses to questions and dramatically improves your team’s efficiency. AI Answers attempts to resolve Front Chat inquiries with natural language responses generated by AI based on your selected knowledge source. AI Answers can be added as a new step in any Front Chat chatbot. 

The benefits of AI Answers include:

  • Giving customers a more immediate resolution instead of waiting to chat with a team member

  • Saving teams time from resolving basic and repetitive inquiries

  • Saving admins time setting up lengthy chatbot flows to resolve specific questions

  • Saving admins time updating chatbot flows because the chatbot stays up to date with your knowledge source at all times

Take a Front Academy course here to learn more about leveraging chatbots to achieve your goals.


How it works

AI Answers is offered as a new step in any chatbot flow. The only requirement is that a knowledge source is selected in the chatbot settings as the designated source for content the AI will use to respond to chat visitors.

General logic

Once AI Answers is added to a chatbot in a live Front Chat channel, AI will:

  • Ask for clarity, up to 3 times per AI Answers step, if a visitor's question is unclear.

  • Respond, in natural language, to a visitor's questions based on the selected knowledge source.

  • Provide a link to between 1 and 3 sources used to generate the response.

  • Ask a confirmation question "Did that answer your question?" followed by 2 multiple choice responses:

    • "Yes, that helped"

    • "No, get more help"

Yes or No branch logic

The chat visitor can then select "Yes" or "No"- each of which will continue into the flows you've set up for each branch. Additional details:

  • AI Answers can only respond once per AI Answers step in the chatbot flow.

  • There are scenarios where AI Answers will automatically direct the chat visitor down the “No, get more help” branch:

    • If the answer in your knowledge source is to contact your team about the topic in question

    • If the chat visitor asks to speak with a representative

  • Additionally, there are scenarios where AI Answers will automatically direct the visitor down the “No, get more help” and respond with “Sorry, I cannot find an answer”:

    • If AI Answers cannot find an answer in your knowledge source

    • If any issue arises in your Front billing, you reach the AI Answers limit you requested be put in place, or if you reach the limit in your AI Answers trial

    • If there are chat widget or network-related issues


Prerequisites

To enable AI Answers in Front Chat, you must have the following:


Features still in beta

While AI Answers is live, certain features are still in a testing phase. This means that they may not work as expected and we are seeking additional feedback to further refine the feature. These include:


Instructions

Part 1: Select knowledge source to use with AI Answers

Step 1

Navigate to the Front Chat channel where you want to set up AI Answers, then click the Automation tab at the top.

Step 2

Scroll to the AI knowledge source setting, then use the dropdown menu to choose either a Front knowledge base that you want AI to use to respond to chat inquiries or a third-party knowledge source. See this article for guidance on using a 3rd party knowledge source, then return to this article to continue with the steps below.

Part 2: Add AI Answers to your chatbot

Step 3

Navigate to your chatbot flow builder and decide where you want to place your AI Answers step. We highly recommend reading the best practices below, before deciding how to incorporate AI Answers.

Step 4

At the appropriate step in your flow, check to see if you have an open-ended question step at a previous step in that path, as AI Answers must follow an open-ended question step.

  • If you don't have an open-ended question: Click a plus sign anywhere previously along the path to add an open-ended question step, then go back and add an AI Answers step

  • If you do have an open-ended question: Click the plus sign to add an AI Answers step

Step 5

The AI Answers step will be connected to two paths based on the multiple choice question: “Did that answer your question?” AI Answers does not respond to the visitors Yes/No response, instead relying on message steps that are included by default when AI answers is first added.

  • A default message step that says "Glad that it's helpful!" will be placed on the resolved path.

  • A default message step that says "Let's get you more help!" will be placed on the unresolved path.

Step 6

Continue building out the chatbot flow for the “Yes” path and the “No” path. You can reorder these paths and add additional steps to your chatbot flow.

For the message step in your "No" path, we recommend adding text that informs your chat visitors on what to expect next AND complements the automated reply from AI Answers (see here for applicable scenarios). Example messages:

  • Let's try again to find an answer.

  • Can you add more details to your request?

  • Can you provide more information?

  • Passing you to an agent to help!

Step 7

You can also preview your AI Answers flow using the Preview chatbot feature. The preview will display real answers using AI, but this does not appear in analytics, count towards deflection, or impact your billing.

Step 8

When you're ready to use your chatbot flow, make sure the Chatbot is active setting is enabled, then save your changes.


Best practices

Minimize inquiries passed to AI where knowledge source content is unlikely to resolve.

Include a multiple choice question before the AI Answers step to filter out inquiries that are unlikely to be resolved by your knowledge source content. Consider creating non-AI paths to gather relevant information to help your team resolve. Examples:

  • Technical bugs or troubleshooting issues

  • Payment or billing questions specific to a particular account

  • Status updates related to a specific customer, order, project, etc. 

  • Any other common customer request that is not found in your knowledge source

Encourage users to ask a detailed and complete question with your open-ended question prompt.

The chat visitor needs to ask a complete and specific question. The more detail the user provides, the more accurately AI can respond effectively. In your open-ended question step, before the AI Answers step, use a prompt like "Please ask a specific question about [company X]" rather than something more general like "Hi! How can we help?"

Consolidate similar concepts on the same page when building out your knowledge source.

As you build out your knowledge base/help center, your main priority should be building it in a way that makes it easy for your customers to use. However, to optimize for AI, try consolidating similar concepts in the same article. AI Answers identifies up to 3 of the most relevant articles/pages and generates a response based on that content. If articles across your knowledge source are very short, you may find scenarios where AI Answers missed a key part of a response contained in a 4th page that was also relevant.


FAQ

What risk is there that AI Answers will respond with something I wouldn’t approve of?

AI Answers uses only articles published in your designated knowledge source identified in the Front Chat channel settings where the chatbot is live. However, AI hallucinations may occur. Front has placed safeguards in AI Answers so hallucinations are less likely to happen, but they cannot be prevented 100% of the time.

How often can AI Answers resolve issues?

AI Answers will only ever use content in your knowledge source to respond, but there are some cases where it can't resolve the issue. AI Answers may not resolve an issue for one of the following reasons:

  1. Information required to resolve the inquiry is not currently contained in your knowledge source. You will always be able to improve the resolution rate by continuously building out your knowledge source with new answers to new questions.

  2. AI Answers misunderstood the question. AI models we employ are constantly being improved to ensure better AI understanding and responses.

  3. The question cannot be resolved solely with information from a knowledge source.

  4. A user may not be able to articulate their issue/question clearly enough for AI to accurately understand.

If AI Answers does not find a relevant answer it will say so.

Are changes to my knowledge source immediately available for AI to use?

Yes. Article additions and updates to your Front Knowledge Base will be available to AI within minutes of the update. Third-party knowledge sources require you to click "sync now" in the channel settings to push updates to AI Answers. Learn more here.

Can I use AI Answers in other channels besides Front Chat?

No. Currently AI Answers is only available through Front Chat.

Can I select more than one knowledge source per chatbot?

No. You can choose either a Front Knowledge Base OR third-party knowledge source, but not both for each chatbot.

How many AI Answers steps can I add to a single path?

You can add up to 3 AI Answers steps in a single path.

Can AI respond in a different language?

AI Answers can only respond in English currently.

If my knowledge source says to contact our team for an issue, will that still count as a resolution if AI Answers provides that response?

No. We have built in filters that will prevent AI Answers from responding with "contact our team." If that is the best answer from your knowledge source, then the visitor will be automatically directed down the "did not resolve path".

How is my data processed? Is my data protected?

While we may use the data to further train an AI model, each model will be specific to your company. Your data will never be cross-contaminated with other companies' data. Furthermore, we have extensive data processing agreements in place with our AI providers to ensure that they're not training their foundational models on any data that we send to them.

Is my data stored anywhere?

No. Zero data retention is applied to every API request. Data is not saved anywhere within OpenAI after an API request has been completed.


Pricing

AI Answers will be priced at $0.70 per resolution and billed on a monthly basis. A resolution is counted when a chat conversation ends after an AI response and the customer either:

  • Selects "Yes, that helped" for the confirmation question “Did that answer your question?”

  • Leaves the chat without selecting an answer to the confirmation question

Billing information

To purchase the AI Answers add-on (available to the latest Growth plan or above), navigate to your billing settings page to activate it.

The add-on will remain on your subscription and will auto-renew unless updated within the Upcoming plan at renewal tab in your billing settings. You can view the price and number of resolutions per month at any time once the add-on is activated.

  • By default, there will be no limit to the number of AI calls allowed per month.

  • If you would like to set a monthly cap for AI Answers to stay within budget or update your maximum, please contact us.

Once the monthly maximum is reached, your AI Answers will be disabled. Front reserves the right to disable AI Answers if resolutions are not resulting from the feature as expected. In both cases the chat will follow the “AI doesn't resolve the inquiry” path.

To learn more about plan changes related to add-ons, see this article.

Start a free trial

To try AI Answers for free, click the Free trial button when hovering over the AI Answers option in the chatbot flow builder. This will start a 14-day trial with 1000 resolutions.