Before creating a persona for your chatbot, listen to your users.

Two young women in conversation

When writing the script for a chatbot, you’ll want to give some thought to its persona.

Is your chatbot formal, or more relaxed and playful?

If it were a real person, would it have the voice and vocabulary of a 20-year old or a 40-year old?

And if you could picture your bot as a person, sitting across the table from you, what would he or she look like?

These are all good steps to take. You need to develop a persona for your bot and keep it consistent.

But you shouldn’t rely just on your own imagination and creativity to develop the bot’s character, vocabulary and tone.

Before you get carried away, think about the brand

When designing and writing your scripts, it’s natural to want to build the bot’s personality and voice from the ground up.

But a company’s bot doesn’t exist in isolation. It represents your business or organization.

In other words, its voice should match your brand.

This doesn’t mean your bot has to sound stuffy and formal.

The banking and insurance industries have a reputation for being very formal. But there are bots out there… like the bot for the insurance company, Lemonade, for example… that have informal and empathetic voices.

So yes, it’s possible to be on-brand and conversational at the same time.

Just keep in mind that your bot does represent the brand… and write accordingly.

Most of all, listen to the conversations you’ve already had

Before you unleash your creativity, or refer back to your brand identity, study the conversations you’ve already had with your prospects and customers.

The best-case scenario is if you’ve already been using a chatbot interface with live customer support. This will have given you a large library of frequently asked questions.

More important still, from our point of view, that library of questions will reveal the kind of language your users are using. It will also give you important clues as to the emotional high and low points of those conversations.

This gives you a rich resource when it comes to building a persona for your bot and figuring out the vocabulary it will use, and its tone of voice.

If you don’t have a library of customer service conversations, the next best thing is to study your social media conversations on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

These interactions on social media will do the same for you, to a degree… identifying the language and emotional highs and lows of your users.

Take what you learn and bake it into your bot’s persona.

Create a chatbot persona that mirrors your users

Any good conversation depends on cooperation and empathy.

And one of the best ways to create good conversations is to mirror the language of the other person.

In other words, repeat the words, phrases and questions of your users.

By all means, be creative in developing your bot persona.

And make sure it’s also on-brand.

But – more than anything else – build your bot on a foundation of previous user conversations.

NOTE: Creating a persona is just one step in the process we would follow to create a chatbot for your business or organization. For more about our services, contact us here.