Generic bots are out, unique bots are in. Finding the right chatbot persona for your brand takes effort, but it’ll help make the rest of the design process flow.
Chatbots often give a first impression of your company. Whether it’s greeting your website visitors or helping customers with their orders or inquiries, chatbots communicate with your customers in a direct, personal way.
Coming up with a unique persona will not only help you build stronger personal connections with your customers, but it will add fun and clarity to your development process. This post will cover why a chatbot persona is so necessary and steps for getting started.
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Why chatbots need a persona
Chatbots are for humans, by humans.
People naturally project human traits onto everything. If you cut corners on your bot’s persona, chances are users will assign it one anyway. But the results could be unfavorable.
A rich persona is memorable and can make your bot feel more like an extension of your team. In return, this could help reduce workload for your human employees because users will feel more comfortable speaking to it instead of asking to be forwarded.
Personas make script writing easier
When creating your chatbot conversation flow, a backstory and persona will make it easier to find its voice. It’s an approach often used by screenwriters and authors to help drive their character’s dialogue and actions.
A chatbot persona doesn’t need a whole family tree and fabricated trauma to perform well, but a motive, experience and possibly even age will add character.
Take Cleverbot as an example. We don’t know how old it is (I asked and all I got was a “Good. How are you”) nor its background, but we do know that it’s clever in every dry sense of the word. This fuels its interactions. If you try to ask anything personal, it deflects with some witty remark. Its persona is simple but clearly defines its conversation style.
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Promote your brand’s identity
Technology can’t replace the human need for personal connections. Intelligent AI may be your solution to pain-free chatbot service interactions, but people want more than that.
Without a persona, a chatbot can seem empty and cold. Creating an identity modeled after your brand builds empathy with users and mirrors the personalized engagement they receive from your team.
If your business is online or rarely ever customer-facing, then a likable chatbot person may help your brand stick in a customer’s memory. They likely won’t remember the exact conversation they had with your bot, but they will remember how pleasant — or irritating — it was.
The industry demands it
We’re surrounded by Conversational UI. Chances are one of the devices you own has a digital assistant built into it, likely with a pre-determined persona like Siri or Bixby.
It’s no real surprise, especially once you consider that consumers prefer text communication over phone calls and face-to-face service.
But it’s not easy to write for Conversational UI. That’s why more and more companies are putting out job ads in search for conversation designers to do the tedious creative work for them. Every chatbot writer and creator needs a jumping point though, which is where personas come in handy.
Link to the rest at Userlike
PG understands that some existing chatbots are so engaging that some individuals (undoubtedly possessing closely-related personality types) have been spending more and more time with their chatbots and less and less time with human beings.
Of course, some individuals possessing an authoritarian temperament want one or more government agencies to regulate videogames and chatbots and everything else so modernity never causes uneasiness in their minds. These are the same people who wanted to regulate the Internet for the same reason a couple of decades ago. PG suggests they’re no match for even a moderately intelligent AI.
Most of us already know one or more individuals who have become addicted to playing one or more videogames (teenage boys, of course, but also an increasing number of other groups of people) and spend a great deal of their spare time playing videogames. To the point that the virtual world seems more engaging than the actual world (“meatspace”).
PG doesn’t regard himself as a member of this cohort, but will admit to interacting with Alexa on a regular basis for the purpose of giving her the task of reminding him of things like an appointment with one of the small fleet of physicians who minister to PG’s aging physical self.
Or even more important, Alexa reminds PG about birthdays, to-do lists and when he needs to pick up Mrs. PG from one of her outside-of-Casa-PG pursuits.