How Should Chatbots Speak To Humans?


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How Should Chatbots Speak To Humans
Source: Wizu

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbots are a service using structured conversations, or artificial intelligence, to interact with users via a chat interface.

A bot could be used to answer questions on the weather, help you shop online, give you personal advice or ask you for feedback on a recent experience.

Should You Be Using One?

Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular as they offer an opportunity for companies to interact more with their customers while not having to increase resources. Consumers are comfortable with chat interfaces as they are spending more time on messenger apps.

How Should They Talk?

Creating good bot dialogue is tricky but if done correctly can have big results on increasing engagement. Think of your own experience with bots. I can think of a number of examples where I have found it really limited, impersonal and frustrating. Then other occasions where it has been a fantastic, engaging experience that just made me wish bots were being used in more situations.

At the moment there really is a wide scale of how well bot dialogues are being created. Bots are being utilised for customer service, entertainment, news, utilities and of course Wizu is used for customer feedback. The type of language a bot uses will differ depending on its purpose and the target audience but there are some fundamental rules all can follow.

Ways to Improve Bots

Add Emojis

Designed by Freepik

Using emojis can improve engagement as it helps add personality to your bot and also helps apply a tone and emotion to what the bot is saying. It is also a way in which a large amount of your customers use to communicate.

Use Active Voice

Designed by Freepik

Instead of using a passive voice for your bot, try using an active one. Instead of ‘You have been selected to answer some questions’ – try ‘I would like you ask you some questions today’. This makes the conversation feel more personal.

Use Visual Cues

Designed by Freepik

Try to avoid a 100% text based conversation. Buttons can be an easy way for people to interact with bots. Remove the hassle of typing coming answers such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and allow them to simply press a button. It is also easier to keep users down the conversation track by constraining their answers from the buttons shown.

Add Images To Responses

Source: Img Flip

As well as using emojis it can be interesting to add images to bot responses such as gifs and memes that can engage and entertain customers. This can help break up the chat interface from being too text heavy too.

Use a Welcome Message

Designed by Freepik

Not every customer has used a chatbot before so it is important to include a welcome message that explains what the bot is and what the conversation is going to be about. It is always beneficial to ensure customers don’t enter into the conversation thinking they are speaking to a live agent as this can lead to frustrations.

Test Thoroughly

Designed by Freepik

Any chatbot conversation you set up should be tested and improved based on feedback from your users. If your bot is utilising AI and open text questions, then there are potentially a huge number of possible edge cases. You can’t account for them all but can certainly adjust for common uses.

Keep it Simple

Designed by Freepik

Always keep your users in mind when creating your bot. They should be user friendly and the conversational interface should be simple and easy to use.

Mimic Humans

Designed by Freepik

Although you should be making it clear users are not talking to a human, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to replicate human behaviour. Using the active voice, having delays in the conversation and having a name will all help.


Designed by Freepik

If possible, try and add context to the conversation and personal the dialogue for each user. Even simply calling them by their name just adds a touch of personalization that can improve engagement.


So when it comes to creating your bot, no matter what the purpose, there are some core features you should look to improve. Customers are embracing the rise of chatbots and the better the user experience the more useful the bot becomes.

Martin Powton
I have over 13 years' experience in digital marketing and am interested in all areas of marketing, customer experience and employee wellbeing.


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