Using chatbots is a great way to streamline your business processes and offer quick customer support. A good script will enable a chatbot to provide effective help and leave your customer with a positive experience from interaction with your brand.
Along with this, writing a script involves some prediction skills and deep knowledge of your audience. So, here are the key tips for building a chatbot that speaks well.
1. Define your chatbot’s purpose.
Will your chatbot serve to solve a customer’s problem, provide information or assist in making a purchase? List out all the duties a chatbot will perform and sketch the basic ways it will execute those tasks. Next, formulate a CTA that will state this purpose and encourage a user to perform the expected action. For example, here is a chatbot asking a user to purchase an ebook:
And the Tidio chatbot offers customer assistance in navigating the company’s website, searching products and making purchases:
And Mitzuku bot serves for entertainment:
2. Create a decision tree
Think what phrases will start a conversation, which will end it, and what possible nodes could there be. Will your chatbot always be the first to invite into a dialogue? Here, you will need to have a basic understanding of what kind of a person your user might be and brainstorm the reasons for which they may want to start a conversation.
Look at your customer support recordings and choose the most often used phrases clients initiated a dialogue with.
Here is an example of Acquire’s chatbot decision tree:
Remember that different people will describe their problem using different words and sentence structure. For instance, a simple request to find a bus ticket may read as “I want to get a bus ticket”, “Could you find me a bus ticket please?”, or “Are there any tickets to Paris?”. Think of the possible variants and make sure your chatbot will be able to address them. By the way, it is okay if your bot will respond to all the alternative phrases with the same response.
The dialogue flow structure will differ depending on your industry and chatbot’s purpose, but the general elements are the following:
- A phrase to start a conversation.
- To encourage a user further into the conversation or to collect information.
- Providing relevant information.
- Going through order details to make sure everything is correct.
- What a chatbot will say if it can’t process a request.
- Presenting a user with options to choose from.
- An end of the conversation.
3. Open-ended and closed-ended questions
Since the goal is to make the chatbot as human-like as possible, it is reasonable to let users formulate their responses as they wish. However, this places certain challenges as there will be many unpredictable phrases that your chatbot will have to address.
People like to play with chatbots and expect a humorous answer. So, unless you use AI, it is better to keep a few open-ended questions and mostly use closed-ended ones. For example, your bot may ask for a user’s name or list out possible options of what they might want to do next and ask if any of these is true.
4. Choose the tone of voice
At this step, you may want to create a CV for your chatbot to better imagine what personality it would have if it was a person. Think of someone you would want to represent your brand. What should they look like? How informal should they be?
To answer this question, look at your audience. What kind of questions do they usually ask of your customer support? What tone do they usually use? If you don’t have a buyer persona for your business, it is the perfect time to create it and design your chatbot as if you personally are having a dialogue with this person.
Some business owners may find that their target audience cannot be generalized to just one buyer persona. If your audience consists of people in dramatically different social circles, you might want to stick with more of a formal style of conversation.
Formality suggests using more of passive voice, but most bot builders prefer their bots to use active voice since it helps to establish trust between a customer and a company. In case you need some help with adapting the tone of voice to your audience, you can always turn to professional writers. Experienced writing services such as TrustMyPaper and BestEssaysEducation can match you with a writer who can form the tone of voice based on your audience personas.
5. Don’t forget about personalization
Different chatbot platforms provide different data about their users. Yet, almost all of them let you know the first name of your user so let the chatbot use it in the conversation.
The number of times a person registers their name used in a conversation is strongly associated with how important they feel they are for the other person (or a company, in case of a chatbot). However, overusing it provokes the feeling of insincerity. Most chatbots limit a user’s name input to salutation and goodbye messages.
6. Use industry jargon appropriately
Industry jargon helps to explain certain concepts easier. However, while in many cases using jargon provides clarity, in other – it may leave users confused.
One way to not go overboard using jargon is to remember that those who work in the industry tend to use industry-related jargon more often than customers. Let your chatbot use only those industry-specific words that are hard to replace with more common concepts so that a person from aside can understand what they are being told.
7. Use audio and visual content
Visuals also work great to explain complex concepts that your customers might need to know in order to better understand your product or service. Look at how Sephora chatbot helps a customer to choose a beauty product:
It is up to you whether or not your chatbot will use emojis, but it certainly has to understand them. Look at how Izvor made their Chatbot friendlier and more human-like by visualizing the emotional aspect of the conversation:
8. Keep it short
People turn to a chatbot to solve a specific problem, and they expect a fast and effective solution. If you need more information from a user to help them, do it in several questions, probably with a few options to choose from. If you still have to send a lengthy chunk of text, break it into pieces to make it easier to read. Look at these two examples:
While the lengthy response can seem overwhelming, the sectioned response increases readability. You can always ask editors to help you with this part. Editors from professional writing services such as ClassyEssay and GrabMyEssay can assist you with shortening and structuring the responses.
9. Sound human
While you should not make a user think they are talking to a real human, a conversation with a bot doesn’t have to be “robotic”. It is OK to say “hmm” or “let me see” when your bot needs some time to process information, just like a person would.
There also will be times when your bot is going to fail to meet a user’s expectations. Instead of trying to make a user figure out what exactly is wrong with their request, let your bot admit its imperfection and suggest a decision regarding what to do next. For instance, the chatbot “Julie” by Amtrak admits its failure to help and provides a user with clear options:
10. Leave space for improvement
Don’t forget about your chatbot after it goes running. After several weeks you will probably want to tweak the script. You will see that some questions were not answered or could be handled better. Then you can add more conversation nodes, alternative phrases, do some tone refinement and more.
Chatbots are a great tool to improve your business image and performance in a conversational way. Here’s how you can make your chatbot pleasant to speak with:
- Use the user’s name and speak directly to them.
- Active voice creates more impact, but passive voice enhances the formality of the conversation.
- Try to predict what a user may feel at different stages of a conversation and address their feelings. In the event that your chatbot fails to understand a user, make it admit its flaw and let them know what they can do next.
Use analytics, your customer support recordings, recall your personal experience of communicating with a chatbot, and don’t forget to test it out. With the right script, not only will your chatbot generate leads but also invest in trust and loyalty of your existing clients.
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- 10 Keys to Writing a Script That Will Make Your Chatbot Pleasant to Talk To - September 10, 2020