How Coveo’s new Generative AI feature works: Turning site search into a GenAI ignition switch

Ignition Switch

If you follow the talk about Generative AI closely, you know the conversations center not on its coolness or its potential. (That was put to rest long ago).Instead, the debate about Generative AI has to do with privacy and trust. Users want to have trust that their data will not be used in a way that violates their privacy or introduces unexpected intrusions into their lives.Salesforce has used a Trust Layer argument as a market differentiator in the AI space. It is using its Customer 360 Data Model and its SaaS security structure to create Grounded AI prompts that are programmed to protect user data and privacy.Now, Coveo is doing the same, revving its already powerful AI-ML engine to add Generative Answers, a feature that enables GenAI through the site search experience.

What is Generative Answers?

Generative Answers turns your site search box into a GenAI-enabled search experience. When you write a query into the search box, and that data is sourced into Coveo effectively, the answer can be returned to the user in a GenAI format.The feature, which is being released out of Beta this month, is enabled on Coveo’s documentation site,, if you want to check it out.

The feature will allow HTML and PDFs (English for now) sourced into Coveo to act as the Generative AI data layer, so that the Generative AI responses provided to users are grounded in an organization’s sourced information, not information curated through public and sometimes legally dubious sources.If you follow the GenAI ethics debate closely, you understand that one of the biggest downsides of “Open AI,” which uses data curated over the Internet, is applications can hallucinate and make false statements due to the nature of their data foundation.Closed AI systems, however, use data curated for the purpose of AI specifically. And that gives the enterprise users what they most need with AI – control over the data that powers AI in any organization. 

How GenAI can help with case deflection, self service

Xero, a company that piloted Generative Answers in September, has seen the following results: A 21 percent reduction in cases per 1,000 searches and a 44 percent reduction of time spent on the search page. In addition, they experienced a six percent increase in session duration for users leveraging search.**These results were based on A/B testing of a search experience without GenAI and with it. Xero measured cases based on how many people clicked the Submit Case button during the search session.For Salesforce customers who use Coveo’s product in Service Cloud, Generative AI will improve issue avoidance and deliver relevant answers and recommendations to users, improving self-service success.In addition, Generative AI can be enabled in Coveo’s In Product Experience, a chatbot like experience that can be implemented in websites and applications quickly and easily.At Horizontal Digital, we understand that enterprise AI is a journey and a destination. We’d love to help you along the way. Call us for an AI Readiness Assessment today.