August 24, 2018

Take a Page from Casting in Building Chatbots

Have you ever noticed how some people in commercials look a lot like famous actors? The advertiser may not explicitly be presenting that individual as the star, but the person nonetheless appears and talks a whole lot like Ryan Gosling, Leslie Mann, or Timothee Chalamet.

If ad agencies do actively select commercial actors based on their similarities to the rich and famous, and I think they do, it would not come as a surprise. Individuals with specific qualities have already proven their appeal with the public. And the agencies are only giving the people what they want, or what they think they want.

Chatbot developers can do the same thing.

Businesses developing or working with others to birth chatbots may want to consider what actors or other personalities – or personality types – best convey the images and values that they themselves embody or wish to convey. Then they can create chatbots with some of those characteristics.

The first step is looking in mirror and considering what the brand represents. Then the brand should think about what kind of person best fits with that positioning. That should be informed by what characteristics or personality types would most appeal to their target audience.

The creative teams and developers may want to think about actors, athletes, or influencers from whom their chatbot effort could draw inspiration. Or they could begin their exercise by asking themselves a few of the following questions about what their chatbot would be and do were he, she, or it human:

• Is your chatbot male or female?

• Is it animal, mineral, or vegetable?

• Where would the chatbot live if it existed in the physical world? (In an apartment in Paris? In a little cabin in the woods? In a nest? In a yurt?)

• What does your human chatbot do for work?

• What do they know about, care about?

• How does the chatbot communicate? (Would he or she greet a customer with a formal and somewhat foreign saying like “Top of the Morning”, a very casual introduction like “Hey”, or your standard “Hello, how can I help you”?

• And what is the one thing that best defines this chatbot’s personality type?

Building your chatbot with these considerations and questions (and answers) in mind can allow your business to more effectively create automated solutions that all you to create stronger connections with your customers. At the same time, you can lower your costs and have virtual staff members you know will be there first thing in the morning, in the afternoon or evening, or at any time of night – with personality.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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