One of the key factors for creating better conversational user experiences (CUX) and driving chatbot user adoption is the chatbot personality. Having the right personality enables the chatbot to conduct human-like, rich, personalized and relatable conversations with users and establishes an emotional connection with the user.
If the chatbot is built for a customer-facing function, its personality should ideally mirror that of your company’s and should be tailored keeping the end-user in mind. This is crucial as your bots are a representation of what your brand stands for and the experiences you want to deliver to your customers.
Humans are usually hard to please but can be frustrated easily. Hence, your chatbot’s personality should be consistent at every stage of the conversation – right from customer greeting, query handling, providing information to conversation sign-off.
When designing your chatbot personality, keep in mind the demographic, age group and other key personality traits of the end-user the chatbot interacts with. For instance, if the majority of your end-users/customers are between 25 – 40 years, giving the chatbot an adolescent-like persona isn’t the best fit. Understanding the personality of the audience, their oft-used colloquial/slang language, verbatim, habits, mannerisms, interests, etc. can help in tailoring the personality of the chatbot to the customer base.
It is very important to design the personality of the chatbot according to its purpose. If the chatbot is built to conduct serious conversations like handling customer complaints or helping customers with time-sensitive actions, the chatbot should be efficient and straightforward with questions and responses. Trying to be clever with witty responses is the last thing the chatbot should be doing in such a situation.
Brands often use a specific Tone-of-Voice in order to successfully communicate their personality to the consumer. Maintaining a consistent tone of voice across all platforms of communication such as social media, marketing brochures, websites, etc., helps establish how the consumer perceives the brand.
Similarly, when developing a personality for the chatbot, it is important to factor in the tone-of-voice since users tend to perceive the brand through the chatbot. Maintaining consistency between the brand tone of voice and the chatbot’s use of it will inculcate user trust.
One of the typical strategies used when rolling out chatbots in multiple countries and languages is building the chatbot personality at a global level. This is not only incorrect but also risky for a chatbot roll out.
Cultures differ with regions. Some conversations that are polite in one country aren’t deemed the same way in another country. The word “crazy” might sound funny in the UK but it’s offensive in the US. So, it’s very important for Conversational Architects to build a chatbot personality at a country level than at a global level.
This means having a single Conversational Architect for a multilingual chatbot wouldn’t be enough – even if he/she has an exceptional cross-cultural understanding. Having a cross-cultural team of Conversational Designers is a better bet. This will help to bring in the flair of language in conversations which might be very locale-specific at times.
The greeting or the first message (first interaction) the bot sends to the customer is a crucial element of conveying the bot’s personality. Ideally, the bot should not only introduce itself but also convey the different services it offers. Instead of greeting with open-ended questions like “How can I help you”, the bot should send specific messages like “I can help you with raising an HR ticket, answering common HR questions, or connecting with an HR agent”
There are several ways of opening a conversation – “Hello”, “Hi”, “Yo”, “Greetings” etc. and all these reflect different personalities.
Even when a human asks the bot a random question or something that has nothing to do with your offerings, the chatbot must still be able to offer a reply, no matter how rudimentary the question is. This characteristic, in turn, helps the human form an emotional connection with the chatbot. The chatbot should also have multiple none-intent responses. Sending a standard “Sorry, I didn’t get that” response every time a user asks an unknown question leads to bad CUX.
Just as in everyday social interactions, humor tends to have a positive effect on how humans perceive conversations. It helps engage the user, especially in interactions or processes that may be long and arduous. A chatbot that is capable of humorous parlance helps the human user get more involved in the communication and perceive the chatbot as an emotionally intelligent entity. With the help of machine learning and NLP, enterprise chatbots can be trained to recognise humorous expressions, assess the user’s mood and respond appropriately.
Designing a personality for your chatbot seems like a lot of work, but a chatbot with a great personality ultimately enhances the user experience for your customers who interacts with it. This, in turn, promotes greater user adoption, customer experience, and sales.
If you’re interested to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our chatbot consultants.