Stop Overwhelming Your Customers with Support Options
The New Search Skill in Watson Assistant Lets You Consolidate Self-Service Paths for Help
When your customers land on your site to solve a problem, they’re often confronted with a myriad of options. We like to equate this experience to a set of mystery doors on a game show — each has a different potential outcome (some good, some bad, some just dead ends).
And while the dialog skill within a Watson Assistant is great at providing quick, concise, and personalized responses to an end user’s problem— things can fall flat when a question goes outside the scope of training within that skill.
Before now, when a user asked one of these “out of scope” questions, they would’ve been escalated to a human agent (or left to hunt for an answer in another channel), bypassing any self-service content that may have helped the user solve their problem on their own. This is problematic for a few reasons:
- Users shouldn’t ever have to state their problem to a business more than one time
- Most users are willing to self serve, assuming reasonable content exists to help them out
- Many businesses have already made a considerable effort in self-service help content, and shouldn’t have to spend the time to build an intent/dialog pair within an assistant for every single help article
- Human agents shouldn’t have to handle simple requests that have a clear response within existing help content
Watson Assistant is a centralized place for your users to solve their problems—not yet another channel for a user to decide between. And that’s precisely why we’re introducing the search skill!
How it Works
At its core, the search skill crawls and indexes all of your FAQs, customer support articles, and/or product manuals and then provides search results when a user asks a question. Think of the search skill as a fallback when your dialog does not have a confident response. This is especially useful when you’re just getting started with dialog or when a user asks an especially nuanced question.
We think of this balance between dialog and search in terms of what we call “short tail” and “long tail:”
Today, when anyone starts to build out an assistant, they first focus on the short tail: explicit responses to the most frequently asked questions (within the dialog skill). The search skill now helps to tackle the long tail by providing relevant links to content when dialog nodes do not match the user’s question. And the decision to route between the dialog skill or the search skill is handled by the Assistant automatically.
The search skill can crawl your publicly facing web content, ingest content from your existing knowledge management tools, or index custom content that you have uploaded yourself (i.e. PDFs). And under the covers, the search skill connects to Watson Discovery, IBM’s AI-powered search and content analytics engine.
The search skill is now available on Watson Assistant’s Plus and Premium plans! To get started on plus or premium or to start a 30 day free trial, visit the Watson Assistant pricing page. To learn more about the search skill, check out the documentation or watch the short video that walks you through the setup process: