Maximizing Virtual Assistant Efficiency: Tips & Tricks for Customer Support Chat and Knowledgebase 9625

Maximizing Virtual Assistant Efficiency: Tips & Tricks for Customer Support Chat and Knowledgebase


By integrating generative AI into our customer support chat and Knowledgebase systems, we're leveraging the vast collective wisdom within our digital resources to transform customer interactions. To further enhance your experience with gen AI in chat and Knowledgebase, we've compiled a set of tips and tricks. These guidelines are designed to help you navigate the system effectively.

At Blackbaud, we are leading the charge towards a future where customer support is proactive, personalized, and powered by innovation.

Generative AI in our support chatbot and Knowledgebase systems harnesses the collective wisdom stored within our digital resources. This is transforming the way our customers interact with us, providing you with instant, accurate information, and a seamless chat experience.

To help you get the most out of your interactions with gen AI in chat and Knowledgebase, here are some tips and tricks:
  • Be Direct and Specific: When you have a question or encounter an issue, clarity is key. Use precise language and provide any error messages verbatim. For task-related inquiries, start with "How to..." for a streamlined response.
  • Product Selection: Avoid mentioning the solution's name in your query. Instead, use the provided filters or pre-chat forms to specify the product you're inquiring about.
  • One at a Time: Focus on asking a single question per interaction. This approach allows the Virtual Assistant to provide a more accurate response. If you have additional questions, wait for the current query to be addressed before proceeding.
  • Spelling and Grammar Matter: Ensure your queries are free from spelling and grammar errors. This helps the chatbot comprehend your request without misinterpretation.
  • Rephrase if Necessary: If the initial response doesn't meet your needs, don't hesitate to rephrase your question or use alternative terminology. For instance, if "How to query on total gift amount" yields no results, try "How to query on cumulative giving."
  • Be Patient: Finding the right information might require a few attempts. If needed, repeat your question or provide additional clarification, just like you would when speaking with an agent on the phone.
  • Your Feedback is Valuable: Utilize the feedback options like thumbs up/down or yes/no to contribute to the improvement of AI-generated Knowledgebase and Virtual Assistant responses. Your input aids in the creation of new content and the enhancement of existing resources.

Introducing generative AI in virtual assistants for chat and Knowledgebase is a game-changer for customer support, offering a blend of human expertise and cutting-edge technology to deliver a superior service experience. These AI capabilities allow customers to enjoy personalized, efficient, and continuously improving support but also allows our highly trained agents to concentrate on more complex cases, with more time for testing and researching issues when needed. This ensures that every customer receives the support they need.
News Community News 06/13/2024 11:00am EDT

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Thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback with us. We appreciate you being a part of our journey as we expand our digital resources and offerings. We are committed to providing you with resources that reduce your effort to get the solution you need and increase your success with our products. We have reached out to a few customers who commented here to delve deeper into your thoughts in one-on-one conversations. If you are interested in participating in future conversations you can reply to this comment and we’ll make note for future opportunities. Thank you once again for your contribution and for being a part of our journey!

For the most part, the new AI features in chat and knowledgebase have not proven to be helpful when I have searched. I had better results typing in key words in knowledgebase. Now I find it harder to find things.

I agree with everything everyone has said here so far. This has not been a “value add” for Blackbaud customers. Sure, maybe it will get better, but this has been live for a while and has not improved or changed at all. The Support chat bot is still asking the same questions and never providing answers. I've not experienced a single situation where it was able to provide me with the information I needed or help me in any capacity. I'll echo what many have said here. If our staff are coming to support, it's because we've already researched the issue. At that point, attempting to regurgitate information to us from the knowledgebase is unhelpful. We've reached out to support to speak with a real, live, human person because the virtual resources available were insufficient. I don't mind the AI assistant in the Knowledgebase search, although it also has not been useful thus far (has never been able to answer my question). But the AI chat bot for support simply is not meeting our needs. Please consider our feedback as legitimate. If you really want to continue on with it, then start a focus group with clients to determine how it could actually be useful. I would be more than happy to participate with that if it means better service.

Sorry Blackbaud but this is not a Customer Service step forward. My experiences have been frustrating at best. As others have already said the people that contact support are mainly already power users that can't find the answer in the knowledge base or community (both which are excellent). So going through layers and layers of questioning knowing you need to speak to someone is not great. Also despite the hype, generative AI is not there yet to properly service this area. One day maybe. Sure keep it in place for those need simple help but getting rid of the ability to direct chat to an agent is a bad move. However even when I have had to do that I also voice others concern of huge waits to be able to do so. Blackbaud exceed expectations in most areas but sadly not in this one at present

These AI capabilities allow customers to enjoy personalized, efficient, and continuously improving support but also allows our highly trained agents to concentrate on more complex cases, with more time for testing and researching issues when needed. This ensures that every customer receives the support they need.

Which is great, but has anyone at Blackbaud experienced how unspeakably painful it is to have to trudge through six levels of nonsense when you know you have to get an actual person to help you with one of those complex cases? More often than not I feel like one of those people in a stereotypical commercial screaming “REPRESENTATIVE” helplessly into the void.

Just level with us and say that this is a cost cutting measure. Don't tell us that you're making our lives better by coming right out and admitting that your own customers are helping to train a support AI model! Between this and more often than not having to explain Blackbaud's own product to the frontline support reps in chat, requiring almost constant escalating of cases, I find it laughable that Blackbaud is spinning this as some sort of improvement when the past few months has shown it to be anything but.

I think generative AI can be very helpful in addressing the “low-hanging fruit," the easily-solvable and frequently-asked questions.

As long as more advanced users can still easily find their way to a human respondent, I think this can be a major improvement to Blackbaud support.

Amy Barker Amy Barker Jun '24

sigh I REALLY dislike AI generated “help." Frankly, I dislike AI generated most things. That's not support. ?

Blackbaud used to have the best customer support around. This is not a win for our industry, it is a huge loss for Advancement Services.

If you have to give your customers a checklist to follow to access support, you need to take a look at yourself. Most of the people contacting support have probably: Googled, read the knowledgebase, checked the community forum, checked Reddit, etc. Contacting Blackbaud is the step we take when we need an industry and product expert. We are not looking to train AI tools, read through and determine if the response is accurate, etc.

Blackbaud's request: Only ask one question, be patient, try again. We didn't have to worry about that when we had their excellent customer support in prior years. We are asking Blackbaud to support us when we request customer support. Many of us are strapped for time, and have limited staff resources. Blackbaud's lack of customer support, loss of industry knowledge, and lack of insight into customer needs is concerning.

Iris Calpo Iris Calpo Jun '24

The AI assistant has never been helpful for me. My questions have always been a bit more complex and I know from the get-go that a human would be more appropriate to answer. So, I typically click fast through the initial prompts to connect with a real person.

I've had good luck but mostly bad luck. The most frustrating aspect is that it's become impossible to speak with live support. I've spent upwards of a hour (while doing other work), several times and still did not connect with a live agent. I wound up calling the Support number. At least that hasn't been take away. Even so, there seems like a huge shortage of customer support. AI simply can't replace human dialogue.

This is really frustrating to see. If you have to train your users on how to ask for help, you functionally do not have a help product.

Besides which, LLMs literally by definition invent answers every time they are asked a question, with the result based solely on probabilities – is a dice roll really what you want as the frontline of your customer service? Why did you choose not to stay with a straightforward FAQ query functionality that pulls directly from consistent and vetted info, with the same ability to escalate to a human agent if needed? It's disappointing to hear that BB is trying to force the use of a product that provides nothing of actual value and seems to only waste customers' time.

So far interacting with the AI both in the knowledgebase and support chat has proven to be a useless step that I have to perform in order to actually get to the information I want from an agent. I hope it improves drastically, otherwise it's really just sad that it was deployed in such a state.

Thank you for providing this information!