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Conversational design - how to make it a key part of your 2019 marketing strategy

Written by Will Troup

10 | 09 | 19

Chatbots  |  
4 minute read

Chatbots are one of the leading examples of conversational design and many companies have begun to leverage them into their strategies in recent years. Here’s how you can start to do the same.

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What is conversational design?

Before we start, let’s talk about what conversational design actually is. (If you already know what it is, just skip to the next section!

Conversational design is a design language which is based on human conversation. It includes a combination of design disciplines such as: voice user interface design, interaction design, visual design, motion design, audio design and UX writing.

It’s the process of designing a natural, two-way interaction between a user and a system (via voice or text) based on the principles of human-to-human conversation.

So now that’s been covered, it’s time to move onto how you can build a bot with personality. Ready?

Building a bot with personality using conversational design

When building your chatbot, conversational design is an important aspect which needs to be given plenty of attention. It’s basically the process of deciding how your chatbot will speak, the conversation paths it will follow and the overall personality it will have. 

According to HubSpot, the purpose of a bot is to provide a service people actually want to use time and time again. Therefore, if you want people to continually use your bot you need to ensure that it has a warm and likeable personality. Its personality needs to resonate with your customers, making them feel welcomed from the moment they reach your website.

The people behind the conversational design of your chatbot need to really immerse themselves in the creation of these artificial personalities. Here are nine awesome examples of big brands who have been able to create their very own successful chatbots.

Building a bot using conversational design for customer service

Customer service is one of the most common reasons why companies begin using chatbots within their marketing strategy. Statistics from Chatbots Magazine show that a company can reduce costs by up to 30% through using chatbots for customer service. 

Chatbots are active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They allow your customers to get the answers to their questions immediately at any given time. This not only soothes their frustrations and issues instantly but also makes your customers feel like you care about them. They’ll most likely continue using your service because of that.

Therefore, when you’re designing your customer service conversation, you need to take a range of things into consideration, such as:

  • The way in which you word your questions. You need to ensure that you are catching the right intent from your customers.
  • Your chatbot must never lead to a dead-end street. The worst possible outcome is to leave your customer with no response. 
  • Using persuasive principles. This will offer reassurance to the customer and give them confidence that you’ll be able to solve their problem.

Building a bot using conversational design for managing customer emotions

This ties in closely with using conversational design for your customer service. In many instances, people will reach out to your chatbot to convey some kind of emotion. 

They may be unhappy with the quality of a product, or received an unsatisfactory level of service. This will lead them to your chatbot where they may use some negative text which your chatbot will need to be prepared for. 

In Aaron Walter’s book, he discusses the idea that emotional design is your insurance to maintain audience trust when things aren’t going your way. Here are a few tips which will help you with your conversational design for managing customer emotions:

  • When designing your chatbot’s conversation, try and use writing techniques which will make the customer feel as though your bot is going to try its best to salvage the situation.
  • Always ensure that your bot will have a response for a customer. This was touched on earlier but it’s so important. The last thing an unhappy customer wants is to be ignored.
  • The customer is always right. Your chatbot’s responses should never disagree or contradict what the user is saying.

Building a bot using conversational design for sales and persuasion

In some cases, people will navigate towards your bot to make a complaint. In other cases, they’ll be interested in your product or service. Therefore, you need to consider using conversational design for persuasive purposes too.

Always avoid using big blocks of texts. Try and use simple questions or responses which are straight to the point. The way in which you word your bot’s responses could be the difference between closing a deal and losing a contact.

There will be cases where a user may not respond, so we suggest sending one follow-up message to try and keep hold of their attention. Never send more than one message as this will be seen as intrusive and annoying. 

Here are a few more tips to consider when using conversational design for sales and persuasion:

  • Determine the goal of your sales chatbot. Do you want the bot to close a deal itself or will the situation require the customer a book a meeting or phone call?
  • Connect with the customer. Use a friendly welcome message which will set the tone of the conversation.
  • I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s important to reiterate one last time. Always ensure that your bot is going to respond. You’ve little chance of closing a deal if your bot doesn’t get back to the customer.

Learn more about the world of conversational marketing today

Conversational design can be used for lots of different aspects, including managing customer emotions and customer persuasion. However, there’s plenty more which needs to be taken into consideration.

We’ve put together a playbook which touches on all things conversational marketing. From how to create an effective strategy to the best practices, we guarantee that our playbook will help you take a step in the right direction.

Download your very own free version and become a champion of conversational marketing by clicking on the link below.

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