One of the most important features of your chatbot is its personality. Since your digital assistant chats with customers in a one-on-one setting, it represents your company on a personal level.
If your chatbot doesn’t have an attractive personality, it will provide a tepid and robotic user experience. According to a Statista survey, almost 50% of respondents stated that their biggest issue with digital assistants was that they prevented them from speaking to a live person.
A chatbot with a well-designed personality will ensure your customers have an enjoyable experience, leading them to the right member of your team before they get frustrated. Here is what you need to do to create a fun and engaging chatbot personality.
The Perfect Mix of Human and Robot
Most businesses want their chatbots to pass as humans. However, not letting your website visitors know they are speaking to a robot is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Have your new digital assistant introduce itself as a chatbot. Your website users will be more open to the idea of chatting with a machine if you are transparent from the start.
For example, your chatbot can start every conversation with, “Hi Ann! Mr. Android here. I can help you get a quote, schedule an appointment, or connect you with an agent.”
The welcome message should make it clear that the prospect is talking to a machine. It’s true that you need to aim for human experience to win over customers, but a robot with a human face and name is not the way to go.
Consider the Use Cases
The behavior and personality of your new digital assistant should be in line with its purpose. How you should design your chatbot’s personality largely depends on your line of business.
So, one of the first things you need to do is predict the use cases for your chatbot. For instance, if you are an insurance provider, the use cases for your insurance digital assistant can be helping people file claims, change policies, and find quick answers in an emergency.
For such use cases, when the chatbot is expected to conduct serious conversations, you don’t want a digital assistant that gives clever and witty responses. Instead, it should be straightforward and efficient when asking and answering questions.
Consider the Personality of Your Buyer Persona
You should keep in mind the key personality traits of the end-user when designing the personality of your chatbot. Writers often write in the way their audience speaks, mirroring their personality. You can do the same with your chatbot.
For instance, if your customer base is made of middle-aged adults, you don’t want to create a chatbot with a teenage-like persona. Take the time to learn about the personality of your target audience.
For starters, you will need to create a buyer persona. If the personality of your chatbot mirrors that of your clients or customers, it will be more likable.
Take time to learn about the day-to-day language habits, pop culture interests, and life experiences of your customers. It will help you decide how much info, humor, and friendliness you chatbot should use.
For instance, the Wall Street Journal knows that their average reader is a middle-aged person that earns $200k a year, so they designed their chatbot to greet readers with a simple “Hello!” and quickly move into news choices. Since WSJ’s buyer persona is a busy professional, this is an ideal choice.
However, if you are targeting Millennials and gen Zers, you might want a digital assistant that is less formal. For example, Domino’s designed their chatbot to be a bit goofy because their target audience responds well to humor.
When you chat up DOM the Pizza Bot, it will greet you with a message saying “I’m just here for the dough, so let’s get you a pizza, yeah?” If the personality of your chatbot matches that of your customers, it will put your site visitors at ease.
Choose the Appropriate Personality Traits
You can add a bit of friendliness or playfulness into the mix in addition to offering a helpful conversation, provided that your target audience will respond well to it. The name of your chatbot should reflect its personality.
If you decide to go with a playful approach, you can give your chatbot a name like “Mr. Botty” or “DOM The Pizza Bot.” A simple name like “WSJ Messenger” will do if you want your digital assistant to be more formal.
Do you want your chatbot to be a woman, man, or gender-neutral? Where will it live? How old will it be? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the style of communication.
Try to stick as close as you can to your company’s personality; always have your brand’s style guide in mind. But, if you want to make things more interesting, you can amplify your brand’s style. Here are a few personality traits you can consider:
Don’t feel pressured to design a chatbot with street-smarts and a sense of humor. Some may prefer it, but not all audiences crave those traits.
Your bot doesn’t necessarily have to “chat up” your customers. A simple, polite, and helpful chatbot is the best solution for many businesses. Some audiences don’t want a chatbot with too much personality.
Prepare for Unrelated Questions
No matter how smart your chatbot is, it won’t have the answer to everything. People will ask your chatbot questions unrelated to the info it is designed to provide.
Use this opportunity to create a connection. Your digital assistant doesn’t have to respond with a chatbot version of a blank stare. People love assistants like Siri and Cortana because of the ways they respond to random and silly questions.
Your chatbot should be well prepared for situations in which it can’t provide a useful answer. To bring your digital assistant to life, program it to answer off-topic questions in a certain way. Digital assistants don’t have to be dull or dry.
The best chatbot is not the one that pretends to be a human; it is a robot with a personality. To design the perfect digital assistant for your business, you need to consider your buyer’s persona, brand style, and the use cases for your chatbot. The deeper you dig, the better the results will be.