How to Scale Chat Experiences Without Sounding Like a Robot (Even When You’re Using One)

Would your chat experience pass the Turing Test?

Hey there, it’s Tim! I run Drift at Drift 👋

If you’re not familiar with the Turing Test, no worries. Long story short, back in the 1950s a smart guy named Alan Turing came up with a test to see if a machine could exhibit intelligence indistinguishable from a human.

Now, the word “intelligence” here is a bit misleading. Because, well, humans don’t always behave intelligently…

What Alan Turing was really doing was assessing if a machine could behave and respond like a human. So much so that it could fool you or me.

When you customize a chatbot, particularly an AI chatbot, you’re trying to achieve a similar effect. Your goal is to make your AI chatbot independent enough to take people down certain paths, and charming enough to get them to respond. Over time, it learns and grows.

But moving buyers through your funnel also requires a more…human approach. A poor hook will sink a bot conversation like it would sink any SDR or AE outreach. So, how can you make sure your chat experience is as compelling as your sales team – while also reaping the benefits AI chatbots have to offer?

Let’s get into it:

Define Your Brand Voice & Build a Personality Around It

Your chatbot (like all your marketing channels) should be a reflection of your brand. This is true whether we’re talking about AI chatbots or rule-based chatbots.

In A New Funnel for a New Decade, LeadIQ’s VP of Growth and Marketing, Ryan O’Hara, described the 12 different brand archetypes. The idea being that most brands fall into one of these “personalities.”

Before you start building your chatbots, you need to give them the right voice and personality. Like Ryan mentions here, deviating too far from your company’s brand voice is confusing to buyers and customers:

According to Carl Jung, if you changed archetypes – for example, let’s say one day I’m a Rebel and I break the rules and then the next week I’m a Sage delivering wisdom – it actually hurts your brand because you’re not giving people consistency and authenticity.”

– Ryan O’Hara, VP of Growth & Marketing, LeadIQ

Work with your team to define what your brand voice is before you build anything.

Personality: Design Chatbots to Be Engaging Conversationalists

We’re big proponents of “write like you talk” here at Drift. And that policy extends to our chatbots as well. We keep our language casual and try to avoid as much jargon as possible. We use emojis and are more likely to greet you with a “hey” than a “hello.”

Because we’ve defined our brand guidelines, it’s easy for anyone on the team to build a “Drift-like” chatbot. Outside of using brand guidelines as guardrails, here’s how to give your chatbot some more personality:

  • Focus on helping vs. selling: Your chatbot should focus on helping buyers find solutions to their problems, whether or not that means speaking to sales.
  • Remember your end goal: Every chatbot should have a defined goal – like booking a meeting, registering a visitor for a webinar, etc. Keep CTAs at the top of your conversation and make sure your CTA is clear. Play with your hooks and see what drives the most conversions.
  • Lean on design: Whether it’s celebrating a holiday or supporting a social cause, we like to dress our bots up for the occasion. It’s just another way to get your website visitors to pay attention and engage with you!

chatbots

  • Don’t be afraid to have a little fun: Chatbots don’t have to be all business all the time. We’ve designed chatbots that are simply meant to entertain buyers and customers. Below is our “Uncle Larry” Thanksgiving bot – to help navigate those awkward family dinner conversations. It’s silly, but also a great conversation-starter for our sales team.

Personalization: Customize Chat Experiences for Buyers

Context is everything in a conversation. And context is key to creating a personalized buying experience.

Because Drift can connect to your CRM, marketing automation, and data enrichment software, it’s easier to design contextual conversations. Using personalization in chat, you can:

  • Roll out the red carpet for target accounts
  • Acknowledge past activities and behavior 👇

Drift Virtual Selling Assistants

  • Greet buyers and accounts by name
  • Build conversations for certain webpages (i.e., pricing page, product pages, demo page, etc.)

Tailored buying experiences not only drive more conversions, but accelerates buyers through your funnel.

Scaling Your Go-to-Market Strategy with Virtual Selling Assistants

According to Accenture, sellers in high-tech companies spend at least 20% of their time on administrative tasks. That’s a lot of time that could be spent selling.

That’s why we built Drift Virtual Selling Assistants 👇

Drift Virtual Selling Assistants

Virtual Selling Assistants (VSAs) are AI chatbots that engage with and qualify your website visitors – no matter the time of day. They’re multilingual and work alongside your sales team to build qualified pipeline so reps can focus on closing deals.

Interested in learning more about how Drift Virtual Selling Assistants can help you build pipeline and accelerate revenue? Schedule your demo today.