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LibChat: Create and manage Question Bank questions for use in Chatbot flows

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The Question Bank is a set of questions that can be reused when adding Ask Question actions to a Chatbot Flow. Any users in LibAnswers that have access to LibChat can create questions for the bank—with the choice to make the questions available only for their own private use in flows or to be available to any users creating flows. Creating and adding questions that are frequently used in your Chatbot flows to the Question Bank can be a huge time saver, and help to ensure that questions being asked to your patrons are consistently formatted.

This includes things like:

  • The relevant department/affiliation/status/membership, etc., the patron has.
  • The kind of assistance the patron will need/request—circulation questions, reference inquiries, etc.
  • ID numbers for library cards, student IDs, etc.
  • Relevant information relating to their university or public library consortium.  

Setting up your frequently used questions will help you in making sure the Chatbot can lead your patrons down the right set of actions via if/then rule branches that you've set up and/or to ensure that your chat operators have all of the necessary information when picking up a chat with the patron.  

The responses that patrons provide for questions in a Chatbot Flow will be recorded in the Chatbot's transcript, included in the details sent on to a chat operator if the interaction is sent to chat, and/or in the details of a ticket if the interaction results in a ticket being submitted.

screenshot of the question bank
Question bank questions can be reused in your Chatbot flows

Add a question to the bank

Questions can be added to the bank from the LibChat > Question Bank page, or while adding an Ask Question action to a flow.

From the Question Bank

  1. Go to LibChat > Question Bank.
  2. Click on the Add New Question button.
Clicking the Add Question to Bank button
  1. On the Create a Question modal, set the Short Name for the question.
    • This name will be used to identify the question in the Question Bank and when selecting a question from the bank for an Ask Question action.
  2. Enter the text of the Question.
    • This text is what a patron will initially see when this action is displayed in the Chatbot flow.
  3. Select the Question Type, choosing between Free Response and Multiple Choice.
    • Free Response questions allow the patron to enter any text of their choosing and can be set up with If/Then rules based on the response they give.
      • If/Then rules for these questions allow you to provide follow-up actions based on the text they give in their response (matching any or all words entered, or automatically running a search for results in LibAnswers, LibCal, or LibGuides).
    • Multiple Choice questions allow the patron to choose from one of the response options you've set up (these questions are single-select only, not multi-select) and can be set up with If/Then rules based on the response they choose.
      • If/Then rules for these questions allow you to provide follow-up actions based on the response chosen as well as an optional free response "Other" choice that can be configured with the same If/Then rules as a Free Response question.
  4. If Multiple Choice was selected as the Question Type, use the Response Options for Patrons section to configure the responses for the question.
    1. Enter the choices for the question in each New Response field.
      • Leave a field blank if it is not needed, or clear out a field to delete an existing response (and save your changes).
    2. If more than the initial four responses are needed, click the Add a Response button to add more response fields.
    3. Click the New Response label for a response and drag it to a new position to reorder the options.
    4. Check the Allow Free Response? (Shown to Patrons as an "Other" option.) checkbox to include a free response choice for your patrons to select when answering the question.
      • Reminder: This "Other" choice can be configured with the same If/Then rules as a Free Response question.
  5. Use the Add to Question Bank? to determine how the question should be stored in the Question Bank. Choosing from:
    • Yes - Private: The question will only be available to be reused by you in Ask Questions that you add to flows.
      • In the Question Bank the Short Name will be italicized and a "(p)" will be listed after the Short Name to indicate that it is a private question.
      • You can choose to make the question available System-Wide later.
    • Yes - System-Wide: The question will be available to anyone adding an Ask Question action to a flow.
      • You can choose to make the question Private later.
  6. Click Save to create the question.
Selecting a question type and its responses

From the Chatbot Flow Builder

When adding an Ask Question action to a flow, in addition to selecting an existing Question Bank question, you can also create a new question from scratch. The questions created while in the flow builder can either be added to the Question Bank (Private or System-Wide) or excluded from the Question Bank altogether—creating a flow-specific question that cannot be reused in any other actions.

Learn more

Add a field from the Question Bank

Once questions have been added to the Question Bank, any user is able to reuse those questions that are available System-Wide, and you are able to reuse your Private questions from the bank. 

To reuse a question from the Question Bank in an Ask Question action:

  1. While editing your flow, click on the Add New Action button.
    • Reminder: New actions can also be added when setting the Next Action for an existing action.
  2. From the Questions Menu panel, select the Ask Question action.
adding a new question action to a flow
  1. From the Edit Action panel, adjust the Action Name as needed. 
    • The name set here will be used to label the action in the flow builder—this name is not visible to patrons interacting with the Chatbot.
  2. Select the question from the Select Question from Question Bank dropdown.
  3. Click the Next button to go to the If/Then Rules panel where you can configure rules for the question's responses and select the next action in the flow.
Reusing a question from the Question Bank

Manage the Question Bank

Admin users with LibChat active can manage all System-Wide questions added to the Question Bank and their own private questions, and Regular users with LibChat active can manage the questions they've created (System-Wide and Private).

From LibChat > Question Bank you can:

  1. Use the Active and Archived buttons to toggle between viewing questions that are currently reusable (Active) and those that are no longer in use (Archived).
  2. Questions that are set to Private and only visible, and reusable, by you will have their Short Name italicized and be followed by a "(p)"
    • Private questions can be made available to all users by editing the question and setting it to System-Wide.
  3. Click on a question's Edit () link in the Actions column to edit it.
  4. Click the See Mappings () icon to open a modal window that will list the ID and Name of each Chatbot Flow where the question has been added.
  5. Click the Archive Question () icon to send a question to the Question Bank Archived tab.
    • Questions should be archived if it is no longer needed for new Chatbot flows but were used in existing flows.
      • Note: Questions that are in use by a flow or have transcripts/statistics associated with them cannot be deleted, so if they are not needed for future development, they should be archived.
    • Archived questions are hidden from view when adding a new Ask Question action to a flow.
  6. Click on a question's Delete () link in the Actions column to delete it.
    • Questions can only be deleted if they are not in use in a flow and they have no transcripts or statistics associated with them.
    • Archiving questions that are already in use in a flow or statistics is strongly recommended to retain historical data.
Managing the Question Bank