How to Create a Chatbot That Users Will Love

SeaKnight By SeaKnight, 6th Nov 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

A guide to how chatbots need to be made more personable to provide the user with the desire to interact, and come back to the bot.

Business chatbots need not be robots

With huge numbers of chatbots appearing on websites, Facebook Messenger and other portals, yours needs to stand out. Here’s a few great ways to add a little love to your that will engage and charm users.

The rush is on to build chatbots to make customer or user interactions more entertaining and engaging. That means lots of businesses or developers that have never made a bot before are taking the plunge and building one based on what they’ve seen elsewhere or what they think one should be like.

For a simple chatbot, one can be made in less than an hour through rules-based design. But anyone building one need to ask what their bot should do, how that will benefit the business and then consider how it can engage, aka the human element.

The basics of a chatbot

Consider the typical conversation you have with a customer in your line of business. There are the pleasantries, then you need to find out what they want and provide them with an answer. Then you might cheer them on their way with a hearty salutation. Follow that basic template for your chatbot and you can’t go far wrong.

If you really want to think about it, then there is a long five-part read on emotional design of chatbots that will help you consider the deeper points, but it is the tone and style of how you build that chat that will define how the customer feels about talking to a robot.

Making people feel welcome

Any trained receptionist will put on a bright smile for a visitor, and your chatbot should do the same, even if it can’t smile. You might think a smiley emoji would do the job, but in a business setting, that might not be what a customer or user is expecting.

As an alternative, most chatbots let you have an avatar graphic, which can be the business logo or something less formal and more welcoming. That first smile out of the way, you can then consider those first phrases.
A firm “hello, how can I help you?” is fine, but chatbots are interactive creatures, and you might be better off asking who the visitor is. Going “hello, what is your name please?” creates that first interaction and provides a frame of reference for the rest of the conversation, making it less impersonal.

Add some love to your chatbot

The first pitfall for most chatbots is a lack of options or interaction. Once you’ve built a chatbot skeleton that does what you need it to, run through it and find out where you can add some love.

Look for short and punchy language that fits in the limited space that most chatbots provide. People don’t want to be reading a novel to get to where they need to be.

Ensure that it works and provides information instead of recycling to the same set of options. Always add an email or talk to customer support option, so users don’t feel trapped with the bot.

Add some joy. Once a chatbot task is complete, don’t be afraid to go a little off-message with a cheery thank you, or a little personality to let people know the bot is more than just an updated answering machine. A “did you know” relevant to your business or a “In case you were wondering…” is a great way to link people to useful things or events, and brighten their day in some small way.

Don’t be a robot. It might seem natural to give the chatbot a robotic persona, but as with virtual personal assistants and other gadgets, the race is on to move as far away as possible from seeming like just another cog in the machine.

Making chatbots is easy

If you’ve never considered a chatbot for your site, building one is easy using a cloud-based services like SnatchBot, you can build your bot using simple rules, add all the fun or love you think it needs and publish it on your site, app or social media communications platform like Messenger, Skype and so on.

Just remember the appropriate tone for your site or business, and consider the level of politeness or efficiency you would expect when using it. Use your bot analytics tools to see where people give up or get lost and update the bot so that it is more useful for future users.

In the race to make your chatbot useful, don’t forget to make it fun and engaging too to keep visitors coming back and sharing their new-found friend.


Business, Chatbots, Engagement, Messenger, Skype, Social Media

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author avatar SeaKnight
Tech writer focused on how it can change the world, for better or worse

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