Setup a Slack Autoresponder

Do people in your Slack ask a lot of repetitive questions you’re tired of answering? You need an Auto-Responder!

You can say: Slack has a built-in @slackbot, why should I use OneBar? Sure, you can configure @slackbot to automatically reply to simple messages like “What’s our wifi password?” or “How to order food?”.

It’s straightforward to use, but the functionality is basic. You have to define all possible variants of the question explicitly (e.g., “What is X?”, “What’s X?”, “What does X do?”). Moreover, it will have the same behavior for all channels.

With OneBar, you can break free of the @slackbot limitations, and set up advanced Autoresponders for all your channels. Below you’ll find everything that you’ll need to know to configure OneBar for your workspace.

Create an F.A.Q.

Let’s assume that you manage the #hr channel in your company — a place where employees ask all kinds of HR-related questions. A lot of them are simple things like “What’s our wifi password,” “How to order lunch?” or “How many paid off-days do I have per year?”. Some are more complicated than the others, but regardless, you’d like to have a bot that could resolve most of them automatically. To use OneBar for this purpose, you’ll first need to create a F.A.Q. — a group of OneBar questions that share the same tag, for example, #hr-faq.

Add as many Questions as you want to create a complete F.A.Q. You can have as many F.A.Qs as you want for all your different support channels.

Configure OneBar bot

The F.A.Q. is ready, and you can try searching through it using the search bar in the web app; however, it’s not yet connected to your #hr channel. To do that, first, you need to invite the @onebar bot to the channel. Just type /invite @onebar in the message bar, the bot will join the channel and post a greeting message. You can start asking questions right away by mentioning @onebar on your messages, but to enable an autoreply — go back to the OneBar web UI and open the bot settings under the Slack section.

There are 5 levels of the bot verbosity that you can choose from:

  • Silent — the bot never automatically responds to anything
  • High Certainty — the bot will only reply automatically if it has a very good match for the question (e.g., an exact match in the question title)
  • Medium Certainty — the bot will respond if it has a rather OK match, even though it may be wrong
  • Medium + All Questions — same as Medium, but if there was no good match found and the message looks like a question, the bot will suggest to post it on OneBar
  • Always Reply — the bot will reply to every message on the channel. This option is useful when you want to create a shared “OneBar” channel. People would come to such a channel only to talk to the OneBar bot without explicitly mentioning it in every message.

For most channels, we advise starting with High Certainty option. But if you want a bot to respond even when all your team members are not available - choose Medium Certainty+All Questions. In this case, the bot will try to answer if the question is somewhat similar to the one from KB or if a message looks like a question (starts with wh-word or ends with a question mark).

OneBar doesn’t just look for an exact match when searching for an answer, but rather tries to match each question to each record in the F.A.Q. semantically.

You can limit bot automatic answers to the #hr-faq tag.

Additionally, you can subscribe the channel to a tag (or a few tags), so when someone posts a new question on OneBar marked with this tag, the channel will automatically receive a notification.

After you’ve configured the autoreply behavior, you can start asking questions on your channel, and the bot will begin responding automatically.

Bonus point: reply with OneBar in DM

Even though it's not entirely automatic, it's often handy: use /onebar command to quickly bring up frequent responses when responding to someone's question in Direct Messages.

Stop wasting time on repetitive questions!

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