Once live, continue to help your chatbot grow with these best practices. 

  • Are there Question Templates that you have not yet answered for your department? It may be because Ocelot has added more along the way!

Complete or ignore any new Question Templates, which Ocelot adds on a monthly basis based on our monitoring of global trends across all Ocelot clients. This is the easiest and most-effective way to increase the quality of the chatbot’s conversations. 

  • Unsure if the chatbot already has an answer to the template’s question? Test the bot. 

  • Don’t want to answer the question template? Just hit the Ignore button.

  • Does the question template belong to another department/office? Ask them to get in there and take care of business!

  • Set aside 10-15 minutes per week to monitor the IDKs ("I Don't Knows”) and add new questions that the chatbot should be able to answer. 

  • BTW, don’t worry about those IDKs that the chatbot is not designed to answer. A higher education chatbot should not know the answer to “Why do people put pineapple on pizza?” Many humans don’t even know the answer to that question.

How do you find those IDKs?!? 

In the Interactions area, filter by response type and choose “IDK” to review IDK interactions.

  • You might also want to filter by the response type “Search.” 

This will show you the questions where the chatbot provided the user with a suggested link instead of a Knowledge base response. If you do not believe this link is helpful, you should consider adding this as a new question. 


Your chatbot is not perfect. Keep the following limitations in mind:

  • Your chatbot is a great listener. It will listen to you talk all day long. Unfortunately, that encourages long-winded questions. The chatbot will not be able to answer ‘life-story’ questions that include multiple questions together and/or multiple layers of contextual details. Focus on the simple questions. The chatbot will respond to the life-story questions in the same way.

  • Your chatbot will not be able to answer questions outside of the scope of the departments in your contract. While you can add up to 30 out-of-library questions for content libraries in the contract, consider adding additional content libraries to the contract if students are asking lots of questions related to those areas.

  • Test your chatbot prior to customizing the content. 

If your chatbot answers the question correctly, gives relevant suggestions, and/or search results from your website that answer the question, the chatbot is functioning well and no further action is needed. Call it good!

If an IDK ("I Don't Know") response occurs for a question that the chatbot is designed to answer (i.e. content related to the areas set up in the contract: Admissions, Financial Aid, etc.), then you can add a new custom question so that the chatbot answers that question in the future. Consider the following before adding new custom questions:

  • Prioritize topics over comprehensive details. You do not need to add every possible version of the IDK into your custom questions. Let the AI do the work. Add one main new question that addresses what the chatbot was not answering and let the AI do the rest.

  • Let the AI do the heavy lifting. It is strong. For the most part, you’ll want to avoid using the exact wording of the IDK. While many search terms and keywords will produce answers, the chatbot is not designed to be a query for search terms. Therefore, Jeopardy rules apply: all custom questions should be in the form of a question. RIP Alex Trebek.

  • Avoid using misspelled words, slang (i.e. “y’all”, “howdy”, or other amazing words like that), or another texting language (i.e. “u” for “you”), even if you find them used in the IDK. These have already been built into the foundation of the AI and will be accounted for when your new question is used in a conversation. The AI is strong. Let it do the heavy lifting.

  • Ignore smalltalk IDKs (i.e. “How old are you?”, “What is your favorite movie?”, etc.). The chatbot’s smalltalk is already built-in and is usually not further customizable due to limitations with the way the AI was built to effectively understand and speak higher education language. The chatbot was not designed to answer every question under the sun. Focus on content related to the areas in your chatbot’s contract (i.e. Admissions, Financial Aid, etc.). Students and parents usually aren’t looking for a new best friend (emphasis on “usually”), rather they just need to receive answers to their higher ed questions or at least be directed to the area where they can get answers.

  • Do not include acronyms or specific location names in your questions. This is a limitation of the AI. 

  • Find additional custom question best practices in the "Customize Based on Testing" section.

  • ¡El chatbot puede hablar español! 

When reviewing the Interactions, watch for other languages and content related to additional departments. Let us know what you find … we have content for many other departments and translations for languages beyond English.

  • Monitor your incoming calls/emails and watch for new FAQ themes that should be added to the chatbot’s Knowledge base. First test the chatbot with these new FAQs and then customize as needed. 

  • Get the word out! Ensure that the 24/7 availability of the chatbot is being highlighted to students as you respond to their calls and emails so that they know they can use that resource for future questions. We want to help! Continue to get the word out through these promotional ideas.

  • Notify your Client Success Manager if your main URL domain is changed. If your primary URL domain/subdomain changes (i.e. centennial.edu/admissions), we will need to refresh your website index to ensure the correct pages are being returned in the website search feature.