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5 Compelling Tips To Make Your Bot Humanlike

Because we all agree that talking to machines is no fun at all…

Chatbots have been all the craze in recent years. As companies are now increasingly customer centric, they are making attempts to leverage the customer service operation through artificial intelligent support tools. Chatbots help to enhance customer experience by providing them effective communication channels, giving them quick answers they demand on any terms, at any time.

When building a chatbot, creating a humanlike bot should be a priority since people appreciate interactive conversations. Humanlike chatbots make them feel comfortable, understood and listened to. The hype of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant has led to users’ growing expectation of how chatbots should perform like a person in the conversation. Wonder how to humanize your bot? Read ahead to discover stunning tips that give your chatbots a sense of realness.

1. Personalize welcome message

Nothing creates as big an impression as a welcome message. When customers land into your site, a greeting as a first-touch interaction plays an important role in determining whether they will buy from you or walk away. Knowing how to start off a conversation on the right foot is key to keep your customer on site and maintain customer engagement.

It goes without saying that people buy from those whom they trust in. To build credibility, try to give your bot a name and let it introduce itself. Simple names such as Alex, Joy or Dean or names related to your brand are perfect to have a friendly warm message. If your company sells homeware and furniture, a message like “Hey, I’m Woody – your new decision-buddy. Are you ready to go on shopping with me?” is more likely to catch your attention than “Hello, I’m a Wouter’s chatbot assistant. I’m here to assist you”. A memorable name will make customers feel like they are talking to someone who understands and cares about them.

Another way to make your chatbots more life-like is to greet customers with their names. One of the challenges when building a bot is that it chats with all different types of people, and just calling them by ‘you’ or ‘customers’ never helps engaging them. Instead of that, create a personalized message using {{first_name}} attributes and add call to action buttons below to trigger responses. You can easily do that in BotStar Flow Editor.

2. Define bot personality

Rather than annoy customers with robotic replies, you can make experience with your chatbot enjoyable by adding personality to a bot. A bot with a specific style and tone of voice gets more chances to stand out from the crowd. When we talk about Siri, for example, we all can relate to its playfulness yet so full of charm and feminism. Or Alexa of Amazon with a nerdy friendly joke. These defined characters make these 2 AI chatbots steal all the spotlights in the industry.

So how can I give my bot a personality? The first thing you need to consider is to circle your buyer persona. Are my customers teenagers or over 45? Do they work in academic institutions or musical theaters? Did they hear about you from their co-worker or a random technical site? After mapping out your prospects’ segmentation, think of a trait that matches your brand’s personality. A good thing for you is most personalities can be categorized into existing archetypes with the most well-known one called Jungian Archetypes. This model can give you some inspiration on defining your brand’s personality to speak to your customer’s emotional language.

Having a clear brand’s personality adds in creating a particular trait that resonates the most with it. Some traits you can take into consideration are caring, witty, sweet or geeky. A simple, helpful and polite chatbot is the best choice for most brands, normally. But if you sell fidget cubes to teenager boys, inserting a little bit of playfulness to your bots can help. Once you have an idea of how your bots are and whom they are talking to, you feel more at ease to develop a script and design your chatbots.

3. Speak your customer language

Conversational experiences have to be personal. Brands do need quality conversations to engage the audience and get high conversion rates. This requires strong emotional connection between the bots and users, which can be achieved by chatbots understanding different contexts. There are times when your bots need to repeat information, for instance telling users to wait for admin contact. It would be super irritating to hear the same phrase over and over again. As our human nature doesn’t like that, your chatbots shouldn’t either. In that way, try to vary bot responses by adding more random text. As seen in the picture below, chatbots are equipped with 3 different replies when customers don’t understand the message. If you provide your bots with adequate information and tools to tackle unexpected problems, it will go a long way in making people happy.

One more tip to humanize your bots is to speak to your customer’s language. To be regional is to be relatable.The reality is, many companies are struggling to connect to their customers beyond the borders. It can boil down to one simple thing: translation. A research from Harvard Business Review found that there is an incredibly strong link between the language a chatbot uses and the likelihood of people making a purchase on displayed items (72.4% of the surveyors said they would be more likely to buy products which have information in their own language). Offering regional chatbot services to your customers, especially if you are running an international business, improves customer satisfaction, enhances the shopping experience and encourages them to pay more. You can easily add translation in the Language Section in BotStar app.

4. Set up typing time

Chatbots are loved by their speed and adaptability. They can give instant replies when being asked. Talking to a bot, you neither have to wait nor even book an appointment. Chatbots are really a cool tech tool in the modern fast-paced world.

However, if a response is too quick, it may feel quite robotic. Imagine you are online chatting with a friend. You don’t expect a quick answer from your friend as soon as you’ve done talking, do you? The same goes for chatbots. Obviously, people know they are talking to a bot and we don’t want to trick them into thinking they are not, either, since attempting to do so could do more harm than good.

Setting up a response time is a simple way to keep the conversation in balance. A 1 or 2 second wait is ideal to give a reply that is more objective than an agent but not too quick to make users feel overwhelmed. Three little dots before showing the answer let people know the bot is typing a reply that will be coming out in a couple of seconds. Talking with a bot is indeed a positive experience since we don’t get into the scenario of seeing these little dots but never getting a reply.

5. Able to answer disrupted questions

To close the gap with human performance, chatbots should be capable of dealing with unexpected questions that may arise in the conversation. Users sometimes might want to exit the current conversation and ask your bot other topics which flash through their minds. It would be frustrating to get replies “Sorry I don’t understand that. Do you want to talk to the admin?” repeated, which ends up in broken emotional connections and users opting out of the chat.

Wit.ai is an AI tool that helps your chatbots focus on understanding the context of the conversation to provide a sensible reply. It works as a smart engine in generating answers based on specific keywords recognized. For instance, the bot equipped with Wit.ai and the keyword “weather” can automatically respond to both of these requests “What’s the weather like?” and “Can I go swimming today?” by showing the weather forecast instead of rejecting the later one. The more keywords you add to your bots, the more intelligent it becomes.

More often than not, users type what they have in mind and send a text message to your bots instead of using the quick reply or clicking the button given to them in the chat. This may lead to confusion and delay from a predefined bot. Dialogflow integration supports chatbots to wisely give a direct response to any requests without following the preset design. By focusing on the sensibleness and specificity, chatbots can surprise users with their savvy and handle unplanned situations, thus increasing customer satisfaction with a bot.

Chatbots without DialogFlow vs with DialogFlow

6. To sum up

Even though we are living in a screen-obsessed world where technology makes a huge presence in every aspect of life, we always appreciate human interaction. These tips above, hopefully, can help you have some ideas on making your bot sound more human. We, at BotStar, value effectiveness in chatbots and strive to smooth your chatbot experience with friendly bots.

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Krystal D

Krystal.D is the Growth Marketer at BotStar working with businesses to stimulate their growth through conceptualizing, implementing, and optimizing marketing strategies. In her free time, she is a hug fan of her cats and swimming pools.