Conversation is natural. It’s the way we communicate and understand one another. Bad communication is toxic and can derail a situation quickly. With the rise of chatbots and voice assistants, the industry is searching for the best way to reach their users. Companies are beginning to realize that though these communication vehicles don’t require a real human, the success of bots still depends greatly on personality.
The First Date
Think about the last first date you went on. What was the objective? What were you looking to gain from the encounter? You probably didn’t expect to fall in love. You weren’t looking to become best friends with your date. Odds are you didn’t show the truest version of yourself in the beginning. Initially, communication begins with the exchanging of information. You ask for a person’s name, their birthday, and the different types of things they enjoy doing. Slowly, as you develop trust and camaraderie your communication becomes stronger and more fluid.
The same phenomena apply when designing and developing chatbots. You should not immediately expect a user to trust your bot. They don’t know anything about this inanimate object they’re talking to. Why should they engage? What compels your user to communicate with something that isn’t “real”?
Think of it this way. Put yourself back at that dinner table on the first date. How would you feel if your date spoke to you as if they already know who you are? What if they used slang and other jargon they believed you’d like without even asking your name? This person knows nothing about you and yet here they are pretending they know what you enjoy. It’s almost infuriating.
Get to know your users. Being quirky and conversational is fun, but baby steps.
You can’t ask a user to commit to a task so serious like purchasing airline tickets or planning a trip without gathering basic information about who the person is, and what they are attempting to achieve. Save the wow factor for a later stage in the relationship.
Looking within one’s self
User experience is very important. It’s one of the core tenants to the success of virtual assistants, apps, and bots. Nobody wants to engage with something that is dull and hard to navigate or understand. While it’s important to make your user a priority, the most important thing is to know exactly what you want to achieve as a brand. Who are you? What does your company do and why? How have you worked towards these objectives in the past?
An authoritative voice may work for one company, but if you’re targeting a younger audience you might see opposite results. Maybe one of the most successful bots in your industry used lots of color and imagery to reach a group of young designers. Another company targeting that same audience may be met with confusion if their product is only slightly different. While designers are very visual people, they want something with a clean cut and intuitive UI to work on.
Knowing who you are as a company and brand, is the most important part in crafting an experience that really puts your user first. Nobody wants to engage with a bot that’s clearly experiencing an identity crisis.
Design your perfect bot persona today. Create a free prototype using Botsociety and watch your project command the crowd!