How to search Confluence from Slack – a better way to manage FAQs for internal support

Confluence is a popular wiki for both technical and customer facing teams. A challenge that many teams encounter with Confluence is its limited native integration with Slack, where so many support questions are asked and answers are given every day. A common workflow pattern that arises in any internal support function is when an issue is raised by a customer and an agent either can’t recall the answer to the query off the top of their head or they need to copy/paste a script for a response. The answer might exist in Confluence, but they lack confidence in it’s search functionality or in the general accuracy of the content, so they just ask for another agent’s help in Slack instead. This is a very unfortunate outcome for a number of reasons:

  • 📉 The knowledge base (Confluence) is underutilized (low ROI)
  • 🛑 The agent’s productivity is halted because they are awaiting a response from another agent
  • ⏲ The customer is left waiting for a resolution, thereby reducing time to resolution and customer satisfaction
  • 😠 The other agent who responds to the internal support request is distracted from their workload (compounding productivity losses!)
  • 🕳 A knowledge gap for a frequently asked question is ignored thereby reducing the quality of the Confluence knowledge repository

Had Confluence been better integrated with Slack, the agent might have been able to self-serve support and resolve the customer issue faster. There are handful of different ways a deeper integration between Confluence and Slack could have improved the resolution of this support issue:

  • 🔍 Enable search of Confluence from Slack
  • 🤝 Faster and better sharing of Confluence content within Slack (directly from search results)
  • 📵 Faster workflows by limiting app switching
  • 🏗 Identify knowledge gaps and share requests for knowledge to build out missing content in Confluence

Confluence integration for Slack

Obie bridges this gap between the knowledge and the communication, and dramatically improves this workflow issue with a Confluence app for Slack. The workflow improvements that are created by the Obie app are as follows:

  • Search Confluence content directly from the Slack message bar using the /obie command followed by one or more keywords
  • Improve Confluence search accuracy with Machine Learning powered search algorithm
  • Content previews of Confluence content
  • AI-powered suggestions that to answer questions before anyone else has to do it
  • Identify knowledge gaps in Confluence with Obie analytics

Let’s analyze each enhancement that Obie brings to connect Slack to Confluence.

Search Confluence from Slack

Injecting Confluence search into Slack is a workflow optimization tactic for when teams see patterns of frequently asked questions occurring in Slack channels instead of the desired behavior of self-serving knowledge directly from Confluence. By enabling Confluence search in Slack, teams can avoid repeated interruptions for FAQs with the hopes that instead of asking the question in the first place, the support seeker simply asks Obie. There are two ways to directly invoke a Confluence search from Slack with Obie:

  • With the /obie command along with one or more keywords
  • Via DM with Obie – just type a few keywords and he will return relevant resources and knowledge

Bonus points: Obie doesn’t just search Confluence – he searches everywhere else you might store your knowledge with federated search technology too 🎉

Improve Confluence search accuracy

If Confluence’s native search algorithm is insufficient for your team needs, Obie improves on it by applying machine learning principles via simple upvotes/downvotes. This helps refine search results for Confluence articles so much so that you may never need to use the Confluence search bar again!

Obie suggest enhancements

Confluence content previews in Slack

Obie returns links to Confluence articles that are relevant to the search query, but it goes one step further to accelerate self-serve support workflows. Obie returns enhanced content previews that are extracted from the article and shown the Slack search results. This eliminates app switching and enables access exactly where it is needed.

Obie intelligent previews from Confluence in Slack

The benefit of content previews is to eliminate the need to open the confluence article in another browser tab and just view the most important part of the article directly from Slack. Content previews are also available to Obie’s native knowledge formats: Obie Wiki and Obie FAQs.

AI-powered suggestions for relevant Confluence articles

There is actually a third way to invoke a Confluence search in Slack, albeit indirectly. In Slack channels where he is invited, Obie uses AI to sense question patterns in Slack messages (using Natural Language Processing – NLP). When confidence is high that Obie can return a result, he provide relevant Confluence articles that help the question-asker. For example, when a Slack user asks “Does anyone know the guest wifi password?“, in the background Obie will search for a relevant Confluence article and return a result privately to the question asker. If the result is relevant to the asker, Obie offers an opportunity to upvote/downvote the result (thereby further improving search results) and optionally share the result publicly. If one isn’t found, all is not lost – Obie logs the event as a knowledge gap for admins to author the appropriate knowledge at a future date.

Obie AI-powered suggestions in Slack

Identify knowledge gaps in Confluence

Obie’s most powerful admin feature is his ability to actively analyze search query feedback as well as questions asked in Slack and create a report containing knowledge gaps in your Confluence wiki. You will no longer need to comb through Slack looking for unanswered questions to support requests – Obie does that for you automatically.

Obie AI suggest training

Not only is Obie the missing bridge between Slack and one of the most popular wikis available on the market – Confluence, but the Obie-Slack-Confluence integration unlocks the investment that your organization has made in Confluence and further enhances the overall process of knowledge management.

Are you dissatisfied with Confluence’s search capabilities or would you like to connect your Confluence wiki to Slack? Book a demo to see all of the ways Obie enhances organizational knowledge management with a workflow-centric approach.