Did you know chatbots had got their start in 1966, far before the Facebook Messenger captured the vast populace?
NLP and NLU run their course, and today more and more brands bet on chatbots to design conversational experience for consumers and therefore reach their marketing goals. To be substantive, more than 11000 active chatbots are active on the Facebook Messenger today.
Still in doubt whether you need one?
According to Maruti Techlabs, you have at least seven reasons to design a chatbot for your business:
Thousands of users will interact with your chatbot in the Facebook Messenger, so designing it requires a set of best skills and practices. You need to take into consideration a personality of your chatbot, its tone of voice, value it provides to users, ways in which it personifies your brand and more.
With all that in mind, a question appears:
How to write a scenario for the Facebook Messenger chatbot so it would help customers achieve goals and make a brand come to life?
Easier say than do.
The skills of a creative writer, a UX-copywriter, and a UX-designer are what you need to develop a chatbot that would stand out from the crowd. With all creative methods you know to boost Facebook organic reach, you’ll need to make a chatbot sound like an interlocutor in a real-life conversation. You will need to consider unexpected scenarios and ambiguities that might happen in a user journey.
Imagine a user the protagonist and a chatbot – the second character of your play, and write down all possible scenes with their conversation.
Long story short, here go fundamental components to writing a scenario for your Facebook Messenger chatbot.
1) Define Goals and Audience
Your Facebook Messenger chatbot should help users get from start to finish. Write a dialogue with their purpose in mind. Every sentence you craft needs to bring a customer closer to their goal.
What can it be?
- They want a chatbot to answer a question.
- They want a chatbot to help them solve a problem.
- They want to make a purchase and want your chatbot to help with that.
Knowing your audience is a key to writing original texts for a Facebook Messenger chatbot. So, ensure it will add value. Two methods to do that are interviews and jobs-to-be-done.
First and foremost:
Never ask what they want.
Back in 2014, Senior User Researcher at Helix Chuck Liu made it clear: you need no more than five people for a perfect interview, and you should never ask them what they want as it leads to wrong insights. He recommends three alternative questions, in particular:
- What are you trying to get done? (Gather context)
- How do you currently do this? (Analyze workflow)
- What could be better about how you do this? (Find opportunities)
It will help to get background information, step into user’s shoes, and understand what you can improve to help them solve a problem.
Jobs to Be Done (JTBD)
In 1990’s, the theory emerged saying that customers didn’t need products but what those products did for them.
Known as the Jobs-to-be-Done Theory today, it makes marketers concentrate on situations, motivations, and outcomes of their product/service for consumers in order to improve it accordingly and fulfill their needs.
In his book When Coffee and Kale Compete, Alan Klement explains the technique of replacing the user story with the job story for marketers to get context and focus on consumer’s motivation of using a particular product.
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Once you’ve defined the goals of your audience and their expectations from a conversation with your Facebook Messenger chatbot, it’s time to identify who they are. It will help to decide what language to assign to your chatbot so it could speak to your customers naturally.
- Know their geography. The Facebook Messenger is the second most popular app, covering the US, Canada, and Australia.
- Know demographics. It’s more women than men who use the Facebook Messenger.
- Know the platform capabilities to decide where you can go without long dialogues but using buttons instead. For instance, in the Facebook Messenger, you can dispense consumers with the necessity of writing down their answers. With that in mind, your scenarios for a chatbot will change accordingly.
Based on demographics, literacy levels, and context of the conversation, you will need to revise chatbot scenario so it would speak the same language as your audience. Your well-written dialogue should meet customer experience.
2) Think of Your Facebook Messenger Chatbot’s Personality
Your chatbot needs to build trust as well as help customers. It’s a representative of your brand on Facebook, so ensure it has a personality and own voice.
Make it live. Write conversations that would make a chatbot sound like a real person rather than a robot. It’s the trick novelists and screenwriters practice on a regular basis: “if something sounds like it’s written – rewrite it.”
Consider your Facebook Messenger chatbot another creative social media campaign you need to complete like a boss. Create a list of what it can do for users to understand what to expect from it when they start a conversation. Also, make sure to align a chatbot’s personality with your brand’s voice.
Decide whether you want a chatbot to be entertaining. If you plan it as utilitarian, writing a couple of witty answers will be enough to satisfy users who like asking catchy questions. The entertainment-driven chatbot requires a strong personality and complex scenarios with dozens of algorithms to prescribe.
It’s a matter of balance: too little personality will turn your chatbot into another faceless robot, while too many traits and “clever” jokes can make it sound like you try hard to pretend someone you aren’t.
Write a personality guide for your chatbot. (It’s okay to use your brand book and website style guide to shape it.) Imagine your bot a fictional character who has a name, an avatar, and a back-story. The more details, the more engaging your Facebook Messenger bot will be.
You are welcome to use emojis in conversations but try to avoid setting a gender so users could focus on a chatbot’s activity rather than drawing attention to its personality.
Make your chatbot patient, friendly, and helpful. Users should enjoy interacting with it. Avoid sarcasm and context humor in scenarios, as they are too subjective and your bot may offend a person in this way.
3) Consider Its Tone of Voice
Your Facebook Messenger chatbot needs a versatile vocabulary so it wouldn’t sound too robotic and unnatural. Its character should develop all the time, based on your brand’s voice and tone. Analyze how users interact with the chatbot and revise dialogues accordingly to get higher conversions.
Every word your chatbot says is a chance to engage, inform, and help customers. Its emotions, invitations to talk, reactions – they all matter for positive conversations.
Trick: include a ‘”typing” indicator to make it seem like a user talks to a real person, not a bot.
Key points to consider when developing a tone of voice for your chatbot:
- Remember about your brand’s voice.
- Keep answers short.
- Use simple language, stick to words everybody knows.
- Write conversations supposing one-on-one talks.
- Craft step-by-step advice.
- Be careful with humor.
- Make a bot sympathetic and responding.
4) Pay Attention to Its Welcome Message
This one is the most concise yet significant subhead here.
When starting to write a scenario for your Facebook Messenger chatbot, concentrate on its welcome message as it will allow users to understand how to interact with the bot and what it can do to help them.
Don’t forget to add a line ensuring people the bot understands them. Also, provide them with an ability to restart a conversation.
5) Specify All Possible Algorithms of Chatbot Conversation
What if a user decides to change a topic?
What will your chatbot do then?
Writing a scenario, work through all possible situations:
- dealing with interruptions;
- providing suggestions;
- dealing with ambiguities.
But first, create a flowchart of the chatbot dialogue to overview all the directions a conversation can go. Mind the context. Start with an optimal scenario where a user is happy with your chatbot’s work and where it satisfies all their needs. Ideally, it would take under three steps.
Then, craft all possible side paths where misunderstandings or some stupid questions might take place. Write phrases your chatbot will use in those cases.
Think of the obstacles users might face on their way, questions they might ask, or information they might need to complete an action. Craft a chatbot’s answers for each case. Regardless the option a user chooses, you should have a meaningful dialogue for it.
Write each fragment separately and then add it to your Facebook messenger chatbot’s conversation flows.
The last but not least
You know your Facebook Messenger chatbot’s personality. You create conversation flows to follow your brand’s voice and engage customers. You consider all possible algorithms and write a scenario for each of them.
And yet, one tiny detail is still here to consider:
Remember about A/B testing.
To write compelling dialogues and improve your chatbot, test words and emoticons it uses. Test the use of multimedia content such as images, videos, and gifs. Check how long your chatbot pretends to be typing. Test when to trigger a dialogue and how to do that. And think of adding selection buttons.
In plain English, test everything you can. Analyze your chatbot interactions, make it learn new words and options, and optimize it for customer positive experience with your brand.