Chatbots are in their early days. There is some very worthy hype surrounding them but as I’ve said in other blogs they won’t replace apps or websites. They compliment our digital experiences.
#Websites are the best solution from a desktop where you need to consume a lot of information – like reading or research
#Apps are the best solution for a repetitive single experience wherever you are – like messaging or fitness
#Chatbots are the best solution for instant access to personalised information
Chatbots on the Messenger platform are so easy to try. No need to sign in or sign up – within seconds you can ask a question or take part in the bots interactions.
Our conversations in daily life have infinite possibilities – in that sense building a chatbot offers infinite possibilities. Our business name does not contain the words Google or Apple so we aren’t going to try and build something for everyone.
We offer a really effective bot for businesses that is completely unique. Unlike some agencies we won’t simply load up a template and start charging you. As a small agency, creativity is vital. It is common when new tech comes along to try and make current solutions fit.
Developers first made websites like books or magazines. Then apps were made like websites. We will try to avoid the mistake of making an app into a chatbot. Conversation offers us something different.
Let’s look at what we can do:
BOTS WITH PERSONALITY
Conversation is wired into our DNA unlike the digital skills we have all developed in the last twenty years browsing websites or more recently using apps and smartphones.
Everyone feels they can communicate effectively with words which creates a lot expectation for the performance of a chatbot. If a bot doesn’t understand we feel the bot is wrong. If an app or webpage goes wrong we tend to blame ourselves for not using the right process, swipe or pinch!
With this in mind we almost always like to give our bots a personality. It might as little as some obvious language style that represents the business. It could be creating a fictional employee or virtual assistant such as Vino Vicenza below a wine connoisseur!
Or you could go as far as using a character like those below! These characters are the whole reason behind the products success. The whole product message revolves around them and their personality.
It’s rather expensive for a local business to have a massive marketing campaign. But with a bot you can create a character like those above and bring him to life through conversation rather than expensive digital production.
The ability for a first time customer to remember your business is obviously rather important. Will they still remember the experience months after? Is it unique or original enough to tell a friend?
Creating a personality allows your bot to stand out from the crowd.
If you want to dive deeply on the subject here is a fascinating article on our emotions towards self driving cars. Chatbots of course don’t have the serious implications of self driving cars but the psychology remains.
The best summary though comes from Google’s design guide.
“Many people feel foolish or awkward interacting with devices that don’t seem to share their level of conversational experience. And because of the intimate, personal nature of human language, we generally won’t use a conversational UI that offers no clear advantage over other modes of communication. UI design should be tailored to a person’s mental model of the assistant (or any other character taking on the manufactured role in the conversation). User research will lead the way to understanding that model. So we need to design for people, and let the devices follow.”
So how does this personality create results?
Poncho is perhaps the most famous character in the bot world. His personality is brought to life with his comments alongside a weather forecast each day. And this is the biggest value bots offer. Being interesting enough that people are happy to receive your updates AND engage with them.
This falls under the banner of content marketing. But instead of a long form blog post, writing a short sassy message to your users is simpler to do and easier to process.
Simply put they become emotionally invested in you. When faced with the choice of choosing a new phone, furniture or new makeup – who do you think the customer will choose in 2018?
A company with an old fashioned webpage, a sometimes maintained Facebook page with forms and phone calls. Or will they check out the company who actively engages them and can provide instant responses 24/7?
Don’t try and make price the reason that your customer buys from you.
Create loyalty and get them to buy from you by offering a service with a huge dose of personality!
Also published on Medium.