By Published On: May 20th, 2021Categories: Blog

Admit it – you cried during WALL-E. There’s no shame in it.

Who would have thought that a robot could give you the case of the feels? WALL-E created a connection with us. How was he able to do this? By having a personality.

It’s the same for your chatbot. Giving your bot a personality is more than science fiction –  it builds relationships with your users.

So what is chatbot personality, anyway? Read on to learn more. 

Why does my chatbot need a personality?

Is it really a big deal if your bot doesn’t have a personality? It is just a piece of software, after all. The short answer – absolutely. So why is chatbot personality so important?

To improve user experience.

Chances are, you’ve interacted with a chatbot before. And we bet you knew it was a bot, right? It’s not hard – all those automated responses, misunderstood answers, and general robot-like replies. *Cue 80s inspired robot noises*.

Talking to something that is quite clearly a bot doesn’t exactly help with user experience. It’s downright frustrating. Your customers want to feel heard and listened to. They won’t get that experience from a bot.

Giving your chatbot a personality creates a stronger, deeper connection between your brand and your consumer. After all, it’s personality that allows your bot to appear more life-like, intimate and empathic. By creating a detailed and multi-faceted personality for your chatbot, you ensure that your bot is more relatable, believable, and relevant to your users.   

To be a true representation of your brand.

Ever been served by a rude waiter or been snubbed off by a grumpy assistant? You know that one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bunch – but that one interaction kinda changes the way you see the entire company, right? 

It’s the same for your chatbot. The role of bots is changing as they become more popular. Instead of being used to answer users’ questions or resolve customers’ issues, they are now an extension of the brand itself. 

Think about it – when was the last time you called a business or travelled to the store when you had a quick question? Ain’t nobody got time for that. You probably looked online first, right? More often than not, your first interaction with a company isn’t with a person. It’s with a chatbot. 

Chatbots are the ambassador of your brand. And just like another other employee interaction, the conversations your bot has with your consumers must be on point. It’s like the saying goes, ‘first impressions last a lifetime.’ That’s certainly true for your little bot.

 

How do I create my chatbot’s personality?

Creating a personality from scratch is pretty daunting. You want your bot to be funny but not sarcastic. Sympathetic, but not a pushover. It’s like raising your very own virtual baby.

There are two critical things to consider when building your bot’s personality – target audience and job role.

Target audience

First things first – figure out who your target audience is. Are you marketing to young teens or mid-aged professionals? Maybe you’re aiming for people working in a specific industry or people from a particular culture.

Each group has their own needs, wants, fears and frustrations. So craft a personality for your chatbot that relates to them. Your bot should embody your target user. That way, you’ll create a much stronger connection and better user experience.

Your target audience also has their own language and way of communicating. A teenager isn’t going to speak the way an older man would. Can you imagine your bot asking a middle-aged woman to ‘chill out’? Yikes. That’s a bad review for sure. So choose a personality for your bot that speaks the way your audience does.    

Job role

How did you decide on your job? Did you become a gardener because you loved the outdoors? Or are you an accountant with an affinity for numbers? Chances are you picked a job that suited your personality. Bot personalities are built in reverse. First you decide their job role and create their personality from there.

There are two job roles for chatbots – generalist and specialist. 

  • Bots like Siri and Alexa are generalists. They answer a wide range of questions on just about anything. 
  • Specialists are knowledgeable about one topic or industry – and boy oh boy, they know their stuff. 

Now go back to your target audience. Will they want quick answers and simple solutions? Or will they want to chat away and build a connection? Once you have established your target audience and your bot’s job role, you can then create your bot’s personality.

 

 

What should my chatbot say?

So you understand how important chatbot personality is. You know your target audience and your bot’s job role. Now you just gotta translate your bot’s personality into dialogue. Easy, right? Er, not really.

Choose the right words.

Think of your chatbot as a real human. A person with a backstory, history and experiences – the whole lot. Your users won’t need to know the ins and outs of your chatbots life. It’s just a simple exercise for you. 

Having a backstory for your bot allows for personality development. In short, it will help you craft your bot’s personality. When programming your chatbot’s dialogue, ask yourself, ‘would they say that?’ Then write a response that relates to the persona you have created for your bot. 

Focus on tone

Remember that text you got? You didn’t know if they were joking or being seriously rude. That’s because it’s hard to read tone.  

If you’re not careful, your helpful, professional bot can come off as cold and uncaring. Developing a detailed backstory and strong persona for your bot will influence its tone. But there certainly is an art to it.

Be meaningful and deliberate with each word. For example, ‘Let me fix that for you’ sounds much nicer than ‘contact customer service to resolve this issue.’ 

Avoid phrases that sound patronising, such as:

  • ‘Nice work making a selection!’
  • ‘Now click the ‘Call Now’ button to call now.’
  • ‘You’re doing a great job!’

A personality for your chatbot isn’t all sci-fi and lasers – it’s very much real, and it can give your business the edge you’re looking for. Champing at the bit to get started, but still have some questions? No problem! Chatbots are our thing. Schedule a complimentary 1 hour meeting here with our team to learn more.

About the Author: Ivan Vantagiato

Co-Founder and Director of Digital Marketing Tribe, with over 10 years’ experience in customer relations and digital marketing. Ivan is a competitive individual, someone who strives to bring his clients the best possible outcomes in a results driven market.