Personality breathes life into your chatbot. Similar to a remarkable real-time interaction with a live agent, exceptional chatbot experiences drive better customer engagement. If you are looking for a chatbot design guide to constructing an attention-grabbing chatbot experience for your customers, look no further. In this blog, we’ve listed some of HappyFox’s tried and tested techniques for building conversational interface and personas.
Why does your chatbot need a personality?
In the age of personal assistants like Siris and Alexas, what differentiates a terrific chatbot conversational experience from a good one is personality. Personality is what makes a conversation with a bot impactful and engaging. Increased customer engagement means increased customer retention. With the exponential growth across multiple platforms such as bots on Websites and mobile apps, messaging apps like Facebook messenger bots, Slack, and WhatsApp – Chatbots are here for the long run.
The design process and development of a conversational flow that doesn’t feel robotic can foster long term brand loyalty and drive user adoption. Thankfully with the advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), giving chatbots a human touch is not a far-fetched dream. Organizations around the globe are leveraging the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and predictive analytics to intelligently understand the conversations and the intent of the customer’s needs.
Techniques to add personality to a chatbot
- Understanding the purpose of your chatbot
- Tap into your target audience
- Give a name to your chatbot
- Empathy and emotions
- Handling unexpected questions
1. Understanding the purpose of your chatbot
One of the precursory steps of chatbot implementation is to determine the true purpose and functionality of your chatbot. Analyzing what issues your customers and visitors face and how you can use this channel to bring awareness and make their lives easier is imperative.
Not having an idea of why your company needs a chatbot can prove detrimental to your business. While a chatbot can transform your customer service practices by automating mundane tasks, you need to know and assess if your bot is answering time-sensitive questions, selling things or if it aims to just provide a fun experience for your visitor. For instance, Sephora uses chatbot and augmented reality to color match foundations for its visitors.
2. Tap into your target audience
Another important thing to consider when implementing a chatbot is to understand your audience when developing a chatbot persona. If your major demographic is 25-50 years old men, giving it a teenage feel wouldn’t be appropriate. It is always a good idea to emulate the personality of one of your existing service employees.
For example, if you are implementing a chatbot for a cleaning service, you could add playfulness to your persona. On the other hand, if you’re creating a chatbot for a high-end luxury resort, the tone can be more professional and ‘high-end’ (imagine the desk clerk at the Plaza Hotel in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York!). Don’t forget that this chatbot persona must match the persona of your other communication channels.
3. Give a name to your chatbot
Giving a name to your chatbot adds another touch of personality. Make your bot stand out by naming it something unique, something that says something about your brand. When your bot starts a conversation by introducing itself, it creates the impression that a customer is receiving immediate help from a service rep.
It is a proven fact that human beings love a personal touch to things. Would you rather have a bot be called by a name like “Buzz” that is catchy and familiar or “Chatbot4” which is machine-like? We agree, naming can seem confusing but fret not, we have exactly what you need. Check our blog to name your bot in 5 simple steps.
4. Empathy and emotions
Most people appreciate a chatbot that shows empathy in their responses. A simple acknowledgment of their issue can go a long way, reiterating to your customers that their voice matters and finding them a resolution is your company’s top priority.
Another proven method of giving personality to your bot is by adding emojis and gifs to your conversations. Compelling user research shows that roughly 20% of the messenger chatbot end-users emojis in their conversation flows. Adding a touch of emotional intelligence to Artificial intelligence enables us to detect intent and emotions from a conversation and to respond accordingly.
5. Handling unexpected questions
Even a human customer support agent can get flustered when shot a question out of the blue but best practice entails assuring that the visitor’s questions are valid and a resolution will come. Similarly, when a bot is thrown at unknown user input, it must still be able to offer a reply, or find another way to direct the user to the right person. It is never a good user experience to say “I do not understand” and abruptly end the chat.
While the goal must be to cover all possible use cases, to provide visitors with a great customer experience, AI-powered bots today allow training to ensure it can understand what people are asking, also known as the “intent” and respond with the most relevant solution.
Building a chatbot with a personality can seem like a daunting product design task at first, but while it is a complex task, it is well worth your time and effort. A chatbot that goes with your target audience is a key step in UX design and we’re here to help. If you’re interested to learn more about building strong and striking chatbots, feel free to get in touch with us.