At the core of the communication experience for AdmitHub partners is the Knowledge Base, a repository of questions and answers specific to each school. When a student asks a question, the chatbot’s artificial intelligence figures out what information they’re after and provides it to the user — but keeping your answers accurate is key to continued engagement.
One of AdmitHub’s newest features – Knowledge Base “Attributes” – is designed specifically to help partners maintain those answers with reusable information. These Attribute best practices can help you get the most out of your Knowledge Base:
1. Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY)
The “DRY” approach is all about reusing something rather than re-doing it. Attributes are snippets of reusable information that you can plug into as many Knowledge Base answers as you want. Rather than typing out long-form URLs a dozen times or triple-checking a particular department’s phone number in every answer, just save it as an Attribute. That also means you only need to update it in one place, which leads us to our next tip…
2. Update a Few Attributes, Not a Lot of Answers
Your Knowledge Base will grow and change along with your school. Old web pages are retired, new staff join the team, and before you know it, inaccuracies may crop up in answers. That’s where a well-structured Knowledge Base comes in: think of your answers like a Mad-lib, with Attributes filling in the placeholders. The templates may be evergreen, but the numbers, emails, and URLs will change, so why not make a habit of reviewing the Attributes manager for accuracy every semester? That’s right – all of these snippets can be edited from a single page, but the changes will propagate out to all the answers they touch. For example, there might be 20 different answers with the application deadline, but you shouldn’t have to make 20 edits!
3. Get Up and Running Faster
This focus on templates with changing variables led AdmitHub to rebuild the Knowledge Base “seed” from the ground up. The new default Knowledge Base has hundreds of pre-written answers referencing Attributes. This reduces the time it takes to build a fresh Knowledge Base, and populating answers becomes more manageable. Partners can always customize their communication, of course, but Attributes can cut down on onboarding effort.
4. Stay Up-to-Date in a Changing World
It’s no secret that policies and timelines shift constantly. Templatizing answers and leaving a placeholder for due dates means updating the Attribute instantly affects all the answers referencing it. Your school might have a dozen Knowledge Base answers about campus reopening amid COVID-19, and that date is subject to change as new developments occur. This presents the perfect opportunity to keep everyone on the same page with an Attribute.
5. Standardize Your Institutional Brand Voice
Attributes come in a variety of validated types— numbers, email addresses, URLs, etc.— which adds an extra check on the info you’re adding. But the no-assumptions “text” type can be (and is!) put to some creative uses. For example, you can write out a block of information— step-by-step instructions for accessing the student portal, a reminder of particular deadlines, even a college motto— and easily insert it anywhere you want. It’s a great way to enforce consistency in language and information across your Knowledge Base.
What’s Coming Next?
Everything covered above is about Organization-Level Attributes— information specific to your school, but shared across the entire student body. What about individual Attributes? The AdmitHub platform already includes a flexible system of custom fields (and an API and integrations to let you sync that data with external platforms like Salesforce and Hubspot). But what’s coming next will put that information to use: plugging contact-level Attributes into Knowledge Base answers. Now when students ask about their particular situation, such as their application status or academic advisor’s email, the info already on file can be included in the answer.
Attributes can help all colleges streamline process, develop consistency, and better serve their students. Schedule a meeting with one of our product experts and see how Attributes can add to your institution’s existing Knowledge Base or rapidly develop a new KB.