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This section of the user guide is focused on creating clarifying questions. To help you navigate the article we have broken it down into the following sections:

What are clarifying questions?

Clarifying questions are associated with individual chatbot knowledge base questions and present the user with a set of choices/answers in response to the question asked. Once the user chooses one of the associated clarifying questions, the bot responds with a custom response, thus enabling institutions to have more influence over the bot's conversational direction.

Without clarifying questions, the chatbot typically responds to each question with the best possible single response:With clarifying questions, the chatbot will ask additional questions prior to providing a response that is more specific to the user's profile and/or situation. The two-step process includes setting up the clarifying questions ...
... and customizing each response for the questions they are attached to:

Who can create and manage clarifying questions?

The clarifying questions feature is available to individuals with the following permissions: 

For more information on user permissions, review the User Roles & Permissions article.

When should clarifying questions be used?

Questions that require additional information to provide an accurate response should be supplemented with clarifying questions.

Example: You can build clarifiers for various student populations, so that the chatbot clarifies which population the user represents prior to providing a response. For example, you may want to build the following student profile options:
  • 1st yr undergrad
  • Current undergrad
  • Transfer
  • Graduate
  • Non-credit
  • International

Once these clarifiers are attached to a specific knowledge base question, the bot will then require the user to select a population prior to providing a response.

Clarifying questions can be used across multiple offices/departments, therefore, we recommend making them generic and not specific to one area. Once the generic questions are built, then office/department specific responses can be customized for each knowledge base question they get attached to.

Where can clarifying questions be used?

Clarifying questions can be added to almost any question within the knowledge base, with one current exception: Questions that have pre-built clarifiers.

Pre-built clarifiers are identified by the applicable details displayed on the right-hand side of the General Library view (in addition to the presence of multiple versions of the same question), as displayed in the example below:

Note: For questions integrated with your Student Information System (SIS), personalized responses (via webhooks) can only be added to the default response of a clarified question.

Creating clarifying questions

To help you get started, we have created a Clarifying Questions Workbook. This tool will help you outline all of the steps you need to build a clarifying question and attach it to a knowledge base question. This resource can be found at the bottom of the article as an attachment.

Under the Chatbot section, select Knowledge base > Clarifying Questions Library.

The Clarifying Questions Library will display the following columns:

  • Title: This column shows the title you gave the clarifying question (purely used for organizational purposes).
  • Question: This column shows the clarifying question presented to the chatbot user.
  • Choices: This column shows the choices that will be presented to the chatbot user.
  • Used In: This column shows the number of questions the question has been added to. If you select the hyperlink, it will navigate you to the Custom Questions page, pre-filtered to the questions with the corresponding clarifying question. 
  • Modified date: This column shows the last time the clarifying question was modified. If you hover over the person icon, it will display the last user to modify the clarifying question.
  • Actions
    • Preview: This lets you view how the clarifying question will be presented to the chatbot user. None of the buttons within the preview can be selected.
    • If you select the dropdown next to the Preview button, two selections may appear:
      • Edit 
      • Choices can be edited at any time. The edits will be reflected in the associated custom questions. 
      • Choices that are in use cannot be deleted. If the choice is not in use, it may be deleted.
      • Delete
        • If the clarifying question is not in use within a custom question, the clarifying question can be deleted.
        • This option will be greyed out, if the clarifying question is used in a custom question.

How to Create Clarifying Questions

  1. Select the plus icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the Clarifying Questions Library.
  2. Complete the following fields, and then select Save:
  • Title: This is the name associated with the clarifying question that may be used for organizational purposes.
  • Clarifying Question: This is the question that will be asked to the chatbot user.
  • Possible choices: These are the choices that will be presented to the chatbot user. At least two choices are required. They will be displayed to the chatbot user in the order they are listed here. You can use the arrow buttons to the left of the choices to change their order.

Once you have created your clarifying question, it can now be added to a general library or custom question in the knowledge base. 

How to Add Clarifying Questions to Knowledge Base Questions

For steps on how to add a clarifying question to a knowledge base question, review the Adding Clarifying Questions to a Knowledge Base Question article.

Select the attachment below to access the Clarifying Questions Workbook.