Knowledge Base Chatbots: What are They and How to Build Them

Three workers crowded around a computer chatting.

Despite all the excitement around automation, the prospect of bringing AI into your support might still feel daunting. Luckily, knowledge base chatbots are exceptionally easy to use. In fact, by the time you finish reading this you’ll have the know-how to try it out for yourself. 

It's no small wonder that between the ease of use, accessibility, and potential to supercharge your support, forward-thinking businesses across a range of industries are integrating generative AI into their customer support. In fact, the gen AI market is now valued at $42.6 billion in 2023

But from ChatGPT to gen AI to LLMs, the proliferation of artificial intelligence buzzwords may well be making your head spin. Enter another term into that constellation: the knowledge base chatbot. Thankfully, these concepts are all closely linked. And with this new generation of automation technology, you can build your own chatbot in minutes – no coding skills required. 

Let’s dive into the specifics of why you should incorporate one into your support, and how to get started.

What is a knowledge base chatbot? 

The short answer is that it’s a kind of chatbot that uses gen AI to pull info from your knowledge base to instantly answer customer questions. But let’s take a step back. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page about what kind of tech we’re talking about, here’s a quick explainer. 

What makes knowledge base chatbots gen AI so revolutionary is that they use large language models (LLMs) to instantly and simultaneously analyze data inputs, rather than doing so sequentially as is the case with previous iterations of AI-powered chatbots. This capacity to holistically process vast amounts of information means that gen AI chatbots can bring more context into conversations, allowing them to generate natural, human-like responses instead of simply giving stiff, pre-programmed answers. 

But the kicker is that this flashy, futuristic tech is only as useful as the contents of the knowledge base it’s drawing from. When it comes to CX automation, therefore, the actual contents of the responses given are only as accurate and helpful as the knowledge base these bots are connected to. This knowledge base can be your FAQs page, your help center, product catalog, or some combination of the three. Your knowledge base chatbot will draw on these sources using generative AI technology to summarize these data sources and turning them into coherent conversational answers. As a result, your knowledge base chatbot will instantly produce enhanced support experiences, as well as speedy time to value. 


Why you should use a knowledge base chatbot

You may have heard such promises before, but it’s worth exploring the specifics of why knowledge base chatbots can deliver so much value to your support. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of incorporating a knowledge base chatbot into your support stack.

Offer 24/7, multilingual customer care

With the help of a chatbot, customers no longer have to wait hours or days to receive the help they need. With a knowledge base chatbot specifically, you can offer them instant assistance without having to sacrifice on quality conversational experiences. Since these bots are powered by generative AI, they can provide answers tailored to your brand’s tone of voice. They can also answer queries in your customers’ language of choice – all while being connected to your existing monolingual knowledge base. Yep, you read that right. it can really speak any language.

Scale your support, without hiring new agents 

Let’s face it, as we make our way out of the recent recession, support teams are still faced with the challenge of doing more with less. As business picks up, it is simply not feasible to continuously hire and train new agents where budgets are still tight. The benefits of knowledge base chatbots is that you can start automating without any technical know-how, so your existing team can easily implement it, automate their most repetitive queries, and start clearing ticket backlogs. In other words, it’ll make their lives a whole lot easier.

Future-proof your contact center 

Between a recession and a pandemic, support teams are not strangers to the necessity of making themselves resilient against the unexpected. A quality automation tool like a knowledge base chatbot can help to offset those unexpected surges in support volumes – without increasing agent workload. 

Teleclinic, Germany’s leading provider of telemedicine, offers a case in point. They turned to automation during Covid-19 and have incorporated gen AI tech into their support, knowing full well this will help them handle whatever challenges might be around the corner in their industry. You can read their full story here

Need more advice on how to future-proof your support? Check out these 3 ways to improve your customer service.

Get started within minutes, no training required

Finally, the low barrier to getting started with a knowledge base chatbot is something worth emphasizing. With just a few clicks you can connect your knowledge base to your gen AI provider and you’re already ready to go. Virtually anyone can do it, and gone are the days where you’d have to painstakingly build out dialogue flows for every use case

And without further ado, let’s break down how to get started.

How to build a knowledge base chatbot?

So we’ve claimed you can launch a bot in minutes without any prior coding knowledge, but now it’s time we prove it to you. Follow these simple steps and you’re ready to make your knowledge base chatbot into another valued member of your support team.

  1. Pull up the URL to your knowledge base, whether that be your FAQs or help center page. You can also import it via CSV file.
  2. Use this link to connect to your gen AI provider’s API integration. That’s it, now you’re ready to start automating.
  3. Now, try out a few test chats and make some tweaks like setting your bot tone of voice to match your brand.  

That’s really all it takes, as your knowledge base chatbot will do the rest of the work for you. No need for additional dialogue building that requires advanced technical training, or having to  painstakingly train your bot over weeks or months to get it up and running. 

If you’re a Zendesk user, you can connect your knowledge base to UltimateGPT in just a few clicks. Click here to try it out yourself.

Best practices in knowledge base chatbot building 

Okay okay, if you’d like to dig a little deeper there are some additional considerations you might want to make when launching your bot.

Prep your knowledge base

First of all, you’ll want to get your knowledge base into top form. It’s worth spending some time making sure that all information is up to date and there aren’t duplicate or contradictory answers that might confuse your bot. Also keep in mind that the bot can only analyze text-based inputs so it won’t be able to understand things like videos or images. Using content tags will also help your bot to give more precise answers to different user segments, say, based on region.

Select the right automation provider 

As the tech behind knowledge base chatbots matures, automation providers will also become more verticalized. For example, our COO Sarah predicted in a recent event, “The modern outsourcing company: Bringing human & AI agents together,” those large language models we mentioned before will become more moderately sized and specialized to focus on specific industry niches. You’ll get the most out of your bot if you can opt for a provider with experience in your industry who has full knowledge of possible use cases and can support you in mapping out your automation journey. 

For more information on selecting the right automation provider for your business needs, check out our roundup of the top 15 AI chatbots for customer support.

Put guardrails in place 

Finally, it’s important to note that while this tech is getting better every day, it’s best to proceed with caution by putting some guardrails in place before you release it out into the wild. What we mean here is that you’ll want to set some parameters around the kinds of questions your bot can answer and what sorts of answers it can give. You don’t want it to wind up digressing into a diatribe about UFOs or reproducing your FAQs in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. Luckily, any quality knowledge base chatbot will have settings for you to set parameters accordingly.  

And there you have it, you now know how to build your own knowledge base chatbot. That means that in just a few minutes, you can start reaping the benefits of automation: from improving your CX to making your human agents’ lives easier to saving time, money, and resources. Now all you have to do is connect to the best tool to get started. We can help with that too. 

Build a knowledge base chatbot yourself