Chatbot Personas Bring AI to Life

In our most recent blog, we covered ways that AI can elevate your customer service. AI can be leveraged to provide invaluable support to agents, structure customer interactions through intelligent routing, and adapt to a fast-moving marketplace. In terms of technology, it’s a huge leap forward, but sometimes we lose track of what ‘AI’ actually means.

Because all AI is not created equal. Much has been made in recent years of ‘generative AI’; that is, a particular AI technology specialized in generating content, be that text, image, or video. Generative AI has many powerful uses, but it’s not the totality of the AI landscape. In fact, it might not even be the best on offer.

Because you probably shouldn’t put generative AI in front of your customers. Doing so can lead to embarrassing slip-ups. Remember, generative AI is not a chatbot; it’s here to generate content, not answer questions reliably, or even be personable. If you want to deploy AI in a customer-facing capacity, you need structured chatbots with adaptive personas.

But what does a chatbot persona imply?

  • A conversational chatbot, that responds to customers flexibly, but within structured limits, is a powerful tool in your Customer Experience (CX) arsenal. Chatbots can answer the simplest questions, sparing your agents the repetitive and boring tasks.

  • What a chatbot persona does differently is that it adapts. It changes its language and approach based on how the customer acts, inferring how best to handle an interaction. This adaptive capacity is similar to what can be achieved with generative AI; the difference is that it is structured.

  • And chatbot personas have serious advantages. They set the customer at ease, without the risks associated with generative AI. They allow for hyper-personalization, without the risk of being knocked off course

Before we go on, the AI transformation goes far beyond just chatbot personas. To go in-depth on this complex and evolving issue, download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Brace for Impact: Preparing Your Business for the Generative AI Tidal Wave.

The Advantages of Demographic Chatbot Personas

We live in a rapidly changing world. Generational divides are perhaps more stark than they have ever been. Different generations use different technologies to communicate, have different preferences in how they interact with businesses, and use different language and syntax. The difference is clear through texting: What strikes the older generation as police and earnest often comes across as rigid, strict, and critical to younger generations.

  • Gen Z is an experience-focused generation. They don’t care so much about ‘stuff’, they care about experiences and the memories they leave behind. In a society that has so much, having more stuff doesn’t really matter. The important takeaway is that younger people care less about what your business provides, but about how your business makes them feel.

  • And in some aspects, chatbots have advantages. Younger customers are sensitive to the idea of being manipulated. They don’t automatically trust a human. Sometimes a chatbot offers a sense of passive objectivity that a person doesn’t offer. The point is to be tactical; to deploy your tools in the right place, at the right time.

So, when it comes to chatbot personas, what does a strategic deployment look like? The answer is to be found in instant personalization.

Instant Personalization Through Chatbot Personas

The benefit of a demographic chatbot persona is that it can adapt its communication style in response to the style of the customer. If the customer uses reduced punctuation, communicates in brief sentences, and states their intention abruptly, it’s likely that they want a speedy solution, and don’t want to play to game of pretending to care about a machine’s feelings.

In a case like this, the chatbot can pare down their language. They can drop punctuation, and respond as briefly and clearly as they can, to match the energy being given off by the customer. The point here isn’t to adapt to the language of the customer through slang or syntax; it’s to give the customer what they’re looking for, without the customer having to ask.

  • We live in a fast-moving world. Customers want a speedy answer, a solution to their problem, and once that’s sorted, they don’t want to stick around. This seriously limits opportunities for up-sell. To effectively up-sell to customers, you need ways of grabbing and holding attention. You need to immediately personalize interactions, to show the customer that you can be trusted.

  • Chatbot personas are instrumental here. Creating an affinity with your customers from the first moment of contact, and preserving that affinity through a longer interaction is only possible if you tailor your communication style to the particular customer.

Tailoring interactions to customers isn’t new; indeed, humans automatically tailor their language to the people around them. It’s a basic principle of human life. Indeed, one of the main reasons that customers often struggle to relate to chatbots is that they’re not able to adapt in the way humans instinctively do. They stick out like a sore thumb.

To get the most from your chatbot personas, you need to make them work as part of a broader CX ecosystem. Chatbots are just one stage of the customer journey; but what do they achieve, and what comes afterwards?

Situate a Chatbot Persona Within the Customer Journey

A chatbot is a powerful tool, but it’s not universal. Even when empowered by personas, chatbots are good at some things, and less good at others. A structured logic is good at keeping a chatbot on task, but limits the complexity of the tasks it can take on. Chatbots also can’t offer the level of empathy customers expect; some things are just better solved by a human.

There are, however, several places where a chatbot persona can make all the difference:

  • As a first point of contact on a website – chatbots are great at breaking the ice, and automatically inviting visitors to your business into a customer journey. They can answer simple questions, offer useful information, and escalate to a human agent when the customer is ready to take that next step.

  • Chatbots don’t just operate over webchat, however, they can work over voice calls as well. And they can gather powerful data while they do. When a customer reaches out, a chatbot, employing an amenable persona, can gather customer information and intention data that can then inform routing decisions.

  • This speeds up the process of reaching a resolution – you can automatically gather a hamper of useful customer information before the customer even reaches a human agent. This keeps the customer engaged and cuts down the time taken to reach a resolution. A chatbot persona keeps the customer on side throughout the entire process.

But, as previously stated, all AI is not created equal. If you’re interested in chatbot personas and ready to begin your AI journey, you need to pick your AI partners carefully.

Picking the Right Chatbot with Content Guru

Content Guru has over two decades of experience designing custom AI CX solutions for global organizations. In essence, Content Guru functions as an AI broker, bringing together the best of AI from across the industry, and constructing AI-powered solutions tailored to your needs. With broad partner networks and a comprehensive library of AI integrations, Content Guru is ready to kick-start your AI transformation.

Want to learn more about how Content Guru supports businesses through their AI adoption processes? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Brace for Impact: Preparing Your Business for the Generative AI Tidal Wave.