Alterra Answers: Getting Started Guide

How to create, train, test, and launch an AI-powered bot that can automatically answer your customers’ common questions.

Irina Peregud
Jul 16, 2020 · 5 min read

With Alterra Answers you can automatically answer frequently asked questions across many channels. It works on your website, in-app, on social media, via email and chat.

This article will show you how to train an intelligent bot that will instantly answer your visitors’ questions and will save you hours of work every week.

Alterra Answers is a no-code platform, so you’ll be able to create an AI-powered bot for your business without writing a single line of code. Here’s how to get started:

Step 1. Create your Alterra Answers account

If you haven’t already, create your Alterra account here. You can try Alterra Answers free for 30 days.

Step 2. Create your bot

For the bot to work, you should add your FAQ to the system. There are 4 ways to do it. Please choose the one that works best for you:

  • Start with a pre-trained template
  • Type your own FAQs in Alterra FAQ editor
  • Upload your FAQ file
  • Import your Zendesk Guide knowledge base (for Zendesk users only).

Start with a pre-trained FAQ template

The easiest way to get started is to use our pre-trained template with common questions that website visitors typically ask. E.g. “What are your products and services?”, “What is the price?”, “What kind of payment does your company accept?”, etc.

  1. Go to SETTINGS > Common Corpora.
  2. Add the “company” FAQ by clicking the respective ADD button.
  3. Go to the EDIT tab to complete the answers with your company info, customize every message to fit your brand’s voice, and delete questions that might be irrelevant for your business.
  4. Click the TRAIN button to save the changes.

There are also templates to quickly train your bot to collect visitors’ contact details, answer small talk questions, and handle non-textual messages like emojis and URLs.

Add your own FAQs

  1. Go to the EDIT tab and type a list of frequently asked questions in the QUESTION column.
  2. Then in the ANSWERS column write answers that address these questions.
  3. Click the TRAIN button to save the changes.

30–40 Q&A pairs would allow you to gain a strong understanding of the ins and outs of Alterra Answers.

Upload your FAQ file

If you have your FAQs collected in a spreadsheet (Excel, Google Sheets, etc), you can upload your file in the CSV format in the Import/Export tab.

A note for Zendesk users

With Alterra Answers app for Zendesk, you can import your Zendesk Guide knowledge base to Alterra in one click. Go to the Zendesk integration page, connect your Zendesk and Alterra Answers accounts and click on the IMPORT GUIDE button.

Step 3. Train your bot

Train your bot to correctly recognize questions even when people ask them differently. There are 2 ways to do it:

a) Add similar questions in the EDIT tab. Click on the down arrow next to a question and type variations of this question that come to mind.

Try to rephrase the question, so your bot can recognize questions that sound differently but have the same answer. For example, “What is your phone number?” and “How can I call you?”.

We recommend adding at least 10 examples. The more examples you add the better your bot will work.

b) Upload a list of your customers’ questions in the TXT format in the Import/Export tab. Then go to the LABEL tab, select a question from the query log and tick the right answer in the right-hand part of the screen. The question will be automatically added to the right FAQ article.

Step 4. Test your bot

Test your bot to see what works and what doesn’t.

  1. Go to the LABEL tab and click on Test your bot.
  2. Type any question.
  3. Check if the first FAQ article displayed on the right is correct. Confirm by checking the box.
  4. If the first answer is irrelevant you can correct the bot by checking the box next to the right FAQ article.
  5. Click on the TRAIN button to save the changes.

Step 5. Set it live

  1. Add Alterra Answers chat widget to your website or set up integration with Drift, Facebook, Telegram, Slack or any other channel of your choice.
  2. If you want to mute your bot when you and your team are online, you can specify your working hours, so the bot will automatically answer questions only when you’re away from your desk.
  3. Unmute your bot.
  4. Click the TRAIN button to save the changes.

Once you’ve done that, the bot will start answering your visitors’ questions.

Step 6. Keep training your bot to successfully answer more customer questions

Review past conversations with visitors in the CONVERSATIONS tab to see which answers successfully resolved visitors’ questions and which didn’t work. Then fix the underperforming answers in the EDIT tab.

If you notice your bot has replied with an irrelevant answer, go to the LABEL tab and select the correct answer. If you haven’t created an answer for this specific question yet, you should first add it to your training corpus in the EDIT tab.

AI will learn from your feedback, and next time the bot will give the right answer.

Don’t forget to click the Train button to save the changes.

8. Measure Alterra Answers performance

Dig into your conversation data in the ANALYTICS tab to understand what your visitors are asking about most often, and track how the performance of your bot changes over time.

To learn more about Alterra Answers and how to build your bot please see the manual or just ask the bot.

You can also write to us at info@alterra.ai or schedule a call with us here.

We can’t wait to see your bot live!

Chat about chat — Alterra.ai

Alterra.ai blog: Deep Learning, NLP, chatbots and friends