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Microsoft

As organizations grow, they amass tons of tribal knowledge that often sits within documents, SharePoint sites and FAQ manuals. Not everyone is interested in everything and it becomes tricky to find the information quickly. This forces employees to switch context between applications or deal with the specialists / subject matter experts directly which causes frustration for both.

An FAQ bot can solve the problem and with Microsoft’s QnA Maker tool it is simple to create a powerful chatbot rather quickly without writing a single line of code. However, there are two areas of opportunity to better the experience for employees:

 

  • Meet employees where they live: The best place for providing support is in the moment when one needs help. When employees spend most of their time collaborating and working within Teams – it makes sense to surface that information within Teams so that there is no costly context switching.
  • Bring in a human in complex scenarios: Employee needs for information are so varied that it is impossible to handle every scenario. It negatively impacts employee experience when the bot fails, and the employee doesn’t have anywhere else to go to. Therefore, there needs to be an easy way to bring a human in the loop when that happens.

We’re excited to bring to you the FAQ Plus app template that capitalizes on both the areas of opportunities above to deliver a rich employee experience. In addition, creating your own employee facing bot using the template requires no coding and deploys in minutes.

 

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you’ve used the template to create a Teams adoption bot that answers all employee questions on using Teams while you’re rolling Teams in your organization.

Now the employee has a question about a new Teams feature and needs instant help. It is as easy as asking a friend through a quick chat message.

 

FAQ Plus End user.gif

 

Change of any kind is hard and it requires careful hand-holding and human support. With this template it becomes simple to bring a human in the loop when the bot can’t help. If the employee has a question that the bot couldn’t help with – instead of having a dead-end with the bot – it is able to bring a human in the loop seamlessly! It posts a real time notification in the Team of subject matter experts using which the experts can directly provide help in the moment.

 

FAQ Plus Experts View.gif

 

What’s so powerful about this experience is that one – it delights employees by providing help when and where they need it; two – by posting real time in the experts team, it is helping the team get real time feedback and gets the process on the path of continual improvement without requiring expensive and cumbersome context switching for experts – a true win-win.

 

Finally, as a bonus, there is lightweight ticketing built within the experts’ team experience so managing incoming influx of requests becomes easy and contextual. For example, I can quickly see a list of requests assigned to me or look at all unassigned request – all within the same team, without having to go to a separate application.

 

There are so many ways this template can be used to deliver delightful employee experiences. A few that we believe are particularly suitable include HR FAQs, IT Helpdesk and Change management for new internal initiatives.

 

As with all app templates, these are open-source production ready apps that don’t require writing any line of code, deploy to Teams in minutes and are easily customizable in branding and functionality.

 

We’d love for you to give this a try – Build your powerful bot today by following this link and share with us your feedback here.

 

Also see:

Demo video of FAQ Plus App Template

Other useful App Templates for employee productivity scenarios

 

8 Comments

This is very cool! It was easy to deploy the solution even as a non-developer too. I wrote an article that shows how the interaction with the bot works that may be helpful - https://ucgeek.co/2019/08/creating-a-qa-bot-for-microsoft-teams/

Microsoft

Hi @Andrew Morpeth, Thank you. great to hear your feedback! glad you found it useful and are going to deploy it within your organization :) . Your blog is also very useful and informative. A small pointer - the bot today supports images if they are URLs and accessible. 

Contributor

@NidhiShandilya Really cool stuff!! good to see such nice step by step guide with the practical use case. Thank you so much for sharing :).

Microsoft

Thank you @hariom jindal appreciate the kind words!

Senior Member

@NidhiShandilya  what's the syntax for the picture to work ? as i've tried different syntax without any luck.

 

like for example :  Test : ![whatevertext](https://myurl.test/test.png)

 

It always show my as hyper link with the ! just before. 

Microsoft

@Andrew Morpeth @Michaël Joss , I stand corrected. Images are not supported on markdown in adaptive cards (Which we use for FAQ Plus). So images won't work sadly :(

 

Qnamaker, however does support images with markdown and the syntax is: ![Image](https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2018/03/11/20/42/mammals-3218028__340.jpg)

You could add that capability fairly easily. I started to play around with that possibility but haven't quite finished it. This article gave me the pointers required and includes a sample project - https://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/add-rich-card-to-azure-bot-with-bot-framework-sdk-v4/

 

Then I just integrated the sample project in to the FAQPlus Bot. Then in QnA maker you enter your answers in this format:

Hero Example;This is a hero card example;Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla;https://ucgeek.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/img_5d2a65242188c.png;https://ucgeek.co/2019/07/microso...

 

See an example of the result at the bottom of this post -  https://ucgeek.co/2019/08/creating-a-qa-bot-for-microsoft-teams/

Contributor
I tried to deploy the app under free subscription but got the following error "statusCode": "BadRequest", "statusMessage": "{\"error\":{\"code\":\"InvalidTemplate\",\"message\":\"Unable to process template language expressions for resource '/subscriptions/xxxxxxx-yyyy-zzzz-vvvv-nnnnnnnnn/resourceGroups/msft-teams-faqplusplus-rg/providers/Microsoft.CognitiveServices/accounts/msft-teams-faqplusplus-base-resource/providers/Microsoft.Insights/diagnosticSettings/setByPolicy' at line '1' and column '564'. 'The template variable 'westus' is not found. Please see https://aka.ms/arm-template/#variables for usage details.'\",\"additionalInfo\":[{\"type\":\"TemplateViolation\",\"info\":{\"lineNumber\":1,\"positionNumber\":564,\"snippet\":\"\"}}]}}" any idea how to fix it ?