10 Keys to Writing a Script That Will Make Your Chatbot Pleasant to Talk To

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 give your customer a positive experience from interacting with your brand.

Also, writing a script involves 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 all the duties a chatbot will perform and sketch the primary ways it will execute those tasks. Next, formulate a CTA to 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:

chat box feature
Image: Source

And the Tidio chatbot offers customer assistance in navigating the company’s website, searching products, and making purchases:

Tidio chatbot
Image: Tidio chatbot – Source

And Mitzuku bot serves for entertainment:

Mitzuku chatbot
Image: Mitzuku chatbot –Source

2.  Create a decision tree

Think about what phrases will start a conversation, which will end it, and what possible nodes there could be.

Will your chatbot always be the first to invite you 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 they may want to start a conversation.

Look at your customer support recordings and choose the most often used phrases clients initiate dialogue with.

Here is an example of Acquire’s chatbot decision tree:

Acquire's chatbot decision tree
Image: Acquire’s chatbot decision tree –Source

Remember that different people will describe their problems using different words and sentence structures.

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 responds to all the alternative phrases with the same response.

The dialogue flow structure will differ depending on your industry and the 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 imagine better what personality it would have if it were 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 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 a more formal conversation style.

Image: Choosing your chatbot's tone of voice
Image: Image: Choosing your chatbot’s tone of voice

Formality suggests using more 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.

If you need some help 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’s personas.

5.  Don’t forget about personalization

Different chatbot platforms provide different data about their users. Yet, almost all of them let you know your user’s first name 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 the case of a chatbot).

However, overusing it provokes a 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 others – 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

According to the TechSmith survey, the human brain tends to process visual information faster than any other way of communication. So emojis, GIF’s and short videos will continue to grow in popularity.

Visuals also work great to explain complex concepts that your customers might need to know to understand your product or service better.

Look at how the Sephora chatbot helps a customer to choose a beauty product:

Image: Sephora chatbot

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:

Izyor chatbot
Image: Izyor chatbot – Source

8.  Keep it short

People turn to a chatbot to solve a specific problem and 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:

Keep chatbot messages short
Image: Keep chatbot messages short – Source
Concise chatbot messages work best
Image: Concise chatbot messages work best – Source

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 an actual 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 time to process information, just like a person would.

There also will be times when your bot will 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:

Amtrak chatbot
Image: Amtrak chatbot – Source

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, and alternative phrases, 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. If your chatbot fails to understand a user, make it admit its flaw and let them know what they can do next.

Use analytics, and your customer support recordings, recall your personal experience of communicating with a chatbot and don’t forget to test it out.

With the proper script, your chatbot will generate leads and invest in the trust and loyalty of your existing clients.

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Kristin Savage
Latest posts by Kristin Savage (see all)

6 thoughts on “10 Keys to Writing a Script That Will Make Your Chatbot Pleasant to Talk To”

    • Thanks, John. There isn’t much worse (at least as far as digital experiences go) than when you connect with a terrible chat bot. A positive, well-developed bot can make a huge difference for your business.

      Reply
    • It’s definitely all about the experience. Some chatbots can be extremely frustrating and turn people away. It’s so important to put a ton of thought and time into creating the right chatbot with the right answers, the right tone and voice, etc.

      Reply

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