Recently, there has been much talk about building chatbots with personality. This is a key feature of the technology, making them accessible, memorable and approachable. However, the chatbot needs to be able to get on with the user who has a personality of their own, something that many businesses forget. 

Many brands spend great effort defining their consumers’ personalities, so the bot needs to be able to match up. Brands love to segment and define their audience. From the broad brushstrokes of ABC1s in media demographics to defining specific traits or personas such as “outgoing, self-assured and imaginative” – all good for brands that want lots of social media sharing and content creation, there are plenty of ways to do it.

Some companies know their audience at a very personal level, to others all they have is masses of anonymised data. Either way, these businesses are starting to use chatbots, if they build one that is more compatible, or adaptable, to the personality of their customers, they are more likely to see positive responses, more successful outcomes and sales.

Defining Roles & Personality

Most services or businesses will see their chatbots defined by role. A medical appointment or digital concierge chatbot is more likely to be successful with a touch of the gentle butler about it. Brands are more likely to offer some fun with engagement around a product or event, and license to riff on the overall brand personality.

While researching what brand to talk about, M&Ms came to mind with the jolly red and yellow beans packed full of fun, and surprisingly mature messages in their TV marketing. Checking them out, I found this video about their movie recommendation Messenger bot from last year.

Here’s a perfect example of off-the-cuff, brand-aware, fun-laden usage for a bot. While your brand might need to focus on the job at hand (be it making appointments, selling goods or rearranging flights), some innate personality of the brand or a character can make the bot more appealing.

In this case, the questions help to categorise the users’ personality, by whittling down the type of movie they want to watch. In some cases, that can be all the information you need to know. In others, a different set of questions are needed.

What Bot Is Best For The Customer?

A customer service chatbot may need to know how the user is feeling before diving into their questions. Starting out with “Are you having a good day?” Can help set the bot’s tone based around a response.

Similarly, metropolitan-style hotel chatbots with a wide variety of guests should be able to discern if people are booking for a holiday, a business trip or as part of a journey. That can help set the tone of the conversation and requires minimal effort to ascertain, knowing the difference can also make the conversation more useful, such as:

Holiday – “Do you need some entertainment ideas near the hotel?” (Utility)

Business – “Do you want to access our business suite? (Upselling)  

Journey – “Can I book you a massage appointment?” or “Do you need an alarm call?” (Helpfui)

That’s the simplest level of engagement that allows a bot to learn more about the customer, and match the conversation to their needs. Advanced bots will have greater knowledge of the customer, plus situational awareness from a mobile or social media app, these can all be used to refine the conversation to drive success.

Whatever the business function and role of the chatbot, finding out more about the customer will help the company better define the personality of its own bot. The distinctions can be minor or large, but still have a major impact. It is not hard to imagine that a plumber’s merchant chatbot would be radically different to one offering plumbing services to the local community.

Whatever the bot’s purpose, aligning it to the needs of the end user is easily done with a dedicated service such as SnatchBot, with its cloud-based approach and use of natural language processing (NLP) that can pick keywords out of the conversation and help derive meaning or intent from the user.

However the bot is built, ensure it meets both the need and mood of your customer to get the best response and to drive the highest level of success.