How to Decide Your Chatbot’s Personality
Designing a chatbot’s personality is akin to crafting a fictional character with voice, tone, dialogues and traits.
Chatbots are increasingly gaining currency in today’s online landscape. There are at least 100,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger alone! From helping you find solutions to scientific questions to troubleshooting your PC, chatbots are upgrading the way many organizations interact with their clients.
Chatbots mimic human interaction. Since they are just programs, they do not have an inherent personality of their own. Hence, conversations with a chatbot, even if they seem almost human, lack a certain degree of character. This gives rise to the question whether chatbots should be assigned a personality depending on their intended application in the industry.
In contrast to humans, a chatbot’s personality, often referred to as a “botsanality”, is not characterized by its upbringing or surroundings. It is a function of its user interface or User Experience [UX]. So how do you decide what personality your chatbot should have? Should it be a soft-spoken, helpful assistant providing quick answers and solutions, or would you want a sarcastic chatbot who could parry your wit?
Here are some factors you should consider to give a soul to your chatbot:
Lucid and Logical
Spouting a series of generalities won’t make the chatbot anymore helpful; neither should the chatbot follow a completely artificial logic. A chatbot is a machine program and to be understood, it needs to follow human logic and language. Airlines like KLM use chatbots to interact with its flyers. So, they need all the information regarding flights at a glance and to communicate that information to human clients. Whereas a chatbot deployed by the food chain Pizza Hut is used to enhance interaction and advertise their products and offerings. A chatbot should provide information not just with the aim of fulfilling a function, rather also creating an experience for the customers.
Make it Alive
A chatbot that fails to adapt to the requirements of the conversation fails to be a true chatbot. Humans often pose difficult questions or frame their questions differently. The chatbot should adapt to this difference in the manner of expression. A chatbot should be able to reply to a generic “How do you do?”, as well as a complicated question like “What time is my flight and what food will be served on it?” equally well. To form such a dynamic intelligence within the program, it is imperative to keep on testing and refining the program. A human-like approach would entice users to interact more with the chatbot and thus deliver a more satisfying user experience.
The criterion for selecting a personality should be relevance to its purpose. The industry where the chatbot is to be used should be the deciding factor. Is the chatbot intended to keep you engrossed in conversation as entertainment, or helping you with a medical diagnosis? The replies given by the chatbot should be relevant to the domain; the user should feel as if he is speaking with an industry expert. Such a personality-driven chatbot will be easier to interact with. The tone of the replies should be inviting. For instance, H&M chatbot on Kik is designed to cater to the millennial audience. Hence, it uses language which millennials can identify with.
Don’t Give Your Personality to a Chatbot
Humans are flawed characters, with differing motivations, tolerances and reactions to situations. On the contrary, a chatbot should be an engaging conversationalist, without the flaw of been frustrating or irritating to your end clientele. This is an advantage of using a chatbot, but a difficult thing to achieve. A chatbot that has not been sufficiently tested might project personal characteristics of its developers into its replies. This can only be avoided through careful testing and constant adaptation. How your chatbot responds has a direct impact on how your services or products are viewed by the customers.
Designing a chatbot’s personality is akin to crafting a fictional character with voice, tone, dialogues and traits. A chatbot has to hold a conversation with humans, respond to their queries and reply quickly and purposefully: a tall order for any mere program. Keeping these pointers in mind will help craft a chatbot of your digital dreams.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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