Every organization that is implementing a chatbot must start with a chatbot script – which will define the bot’s personality and user experience. With so many chatbots out there, users’ perception of a chatbot is no more robotic, like it was in the earlier times. Hence you need to learn how to write a good chatbot script to give an engaging experience for your users.
In this article, we are going to share some tips with you on “How to write your first chatbot script”. Along with that, we are also going to share a few components of flow design, which are relevant, as both Flow design & Script design go hand in hand.
Understanding your user-
Before you start writing your chatbot script, it is very important to understand the users who would be using the bot.
Ask yourself the below questions and always keep the answers in mind while designing the bot. While noting down the answers, keep 1 typical user in mind instead of thinking for all users, which might confuse you.
- What are the demographics of my user?– Age, Gender, Socio-economic status (Community, Income etc), Place they belong too (City, Village etc)
- How did my user first know about the program? Is there a offline touch point or are they getting to know only through chatbot?
- How comfortable is my user with Technology– Chatbots/ Whatsapp features?
- What time of the day will my user have access to a mobile phone?
Creating your bot’s persona-
As you now understand who your target users are, create a persona of your bot which will be your north star while writing the script. Start by thinking on the below aspects while defining the persona-
- Is it personified or purely a robot? What’s the age, gender or personality type if it’s personified?
- What kind of language will bot use? Formal, Informal or Semi-formal? (If the bot is personified, make every effort to talk like a real person, but never pretend your bot is a real person)
- What would be the user name & display picture (DP) for your bot?- nobody likes to interact with an unknown entity.
Writing Simple messages-
Be concise- Do not use long messages. Each message should not exceed three lines of text on mobile devices (60 to 90 characters). Break up your messages into different small messages, mimicking a real conversation. Use bold, italics, appropriate emojis wherever necessary, for the ease of reading.
Be consistent- Once you created a persona for your bot, stay consistent in your speaking style, vocabulary, and tone. In the below example, you can’t send these 2 types of messages from the same bot as it represents a different bot persona.
But do not confuse it with using the same messages/ responses every time. Consider adding different variations of similar messages/ using different media types to not sound robotic.
Sound natural- Always imagine you are writing for a specific person, not for a vague target audience. Keep it conversational & add the right amount of emotional appeal wherever required.
Start strong- In your first conversation with your user, always introduce yourself (i.e bot) and ask users for their name to build a connect/ trust relationship at the beginning. Refer users with their names in the rest of the conversations to sustain that connection.
Let your user speak- Engage your users often in the conversations. On a regular basis, check for their understanding or ask questions to get their opinion/ thoughts.
Prepare yourself for interruptions- Always design your flow assuming that the user might not follow the happy path that you planned. So be prepared with the messages that you would want to send, if a user says/asks something else in the middle of the conversation. Also, do ensure there is no dead end for the user who lost the way within the bot. Communicate with them on how or whom they can ask for help if stuck.
End the conversation strong- Make a lasting impact while ending conversation with a warm ending message. Also, whenever possible, let your user know when (day & time) you will interact with them next, so that the chances of them staying connected with the bot is higher.
Other useful information- Here are few platforms that are used by different NGOs to maintain & collaborate (within team) for chatbot scripts-
We hope you create amazing chatbot scripts and the best user experience for all your users!