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Do you want an engaging chatbot? Give it a name!

1 min 4. 10. 2022

"Terminator” or “Maria?” And should a chatbot even have a name? For that matter, why do people name their cars? And why do the most famous virtual assistants, like Siri and Alexa, have names?

It’s called anthropomorphism. People humanise inanimate objects, forces of nature, animals and more. We naturally attribute the same weaknesses and qualities to imaginary characters that we ourselves have. By naming an inanimate object or a machine, we automatically gain control over it.

Normally customers read a site’s FAQ or communicate with it interactively via a sterile chatbot. But that’s pretty boring, isn’t it? How about offering your customers a distinctive chatbotthat’s fun as well?

“Giving a chatbot a personality and an overall communication style will create a sense of authenticity for customers.”

But it’s not about just being funny at all costs. Your chatbot’s personality must respect your target audience and fit the goals it’s meant to fulfil. If it’s meant to handle complaints, the empathetic and helpful “Maria” is probably a better choice than “Terminator.”

A chatbot has no emotions, so an angry customer will never upset it. But that doesn’t mean it should talk like a machine. It can be cheerful, empathetic, pointed, funny or even sarcastic. After all, it was created by humans!

Let’s look at a simple example in practice: a chatbot at a flight school. Which opening greeting works better for you? Who would you rather talk to?

Add human characteristics

In most cases, the chatbot will be the first team member to interact with your customers. And be honest here. Do you want them to hear an impersonal robot? That’s the same as waiting for Operator 35 to reconnect…

The goal is not to convince customers that they’re speaking with a live person. The customer will eventually see through a trick like that anyway. The goal is to introduce people to a unique chatbot that will evoke emotions and feel trustworthy.

You can go for an engaging chatbot that will entertain your customers and send them jokes. On the other hand, you can create an intelligent chatbot to educate your customers. But no matter what, create a personality and give it human qualities.

5 tips to help you define your chatbot’s personality and communication style:

  1. Define the goals you want the chatbot to fulfil.
  2. Choose a name for it. Take inspiration from the names of robots, or use the names of personalities associated with your business.
  3. Think about whether the chatbot will speak informally, use a dialect, and/or utilise formal expressions.
  4. Invent its character – create its story. Will it be friendly? Ironic? Playful? Formal?
  5. Think about how it will look. A distinctive icon in the chat is enough.

Will it really work?

Test it!

Make a list of all your ideas and share them with your colleagues and friends. Focus on creating a persona that will fit the target audience and your purpose for building the chatbot.

You don’t need to personify a chatbot using childhood traumas and a a whole family tree for it to work! It’s enough to choose a name, character traits and appearance (an icon). Remember that you’ll later be working with this when creating your scripts.

A poorly designed chatbot can do more harm than no chatbot. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow best practice or entrust chatbot creation to a chatbot-creating company. products are designed for simplicity and usability. However, if you don’t feel like creating content on your own or just don’t have the time, we’ll be happy to craft a customised chatbot to your specifications.

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