Tone of voice is incredibly important when writing a bot, as it makes the conversation engaging and interesting to the user. The more engaged, the user is, the more likely they are to interact with the bot and complete their required tasks.
Where to start
A good way to establish your tone of voice (if you haven't already got one), is to think of what will engage your audience the most. For example, if you're creating a leadership Q&A bot, adopt a straightforward and explanatory tone of voice to get the most thoughtful and serious answers from your users. Now, let's compare that to a bot which is collecting information for a Christmas party. The tone of voice would be more casual, punchy, and include emojis/GIFs to get the user excited for the upcoming festivities. Tone of voice requires incorporating and having knowledge of how your user likes to be spoken to, and what they are most likely to understand and enjoy interacting with. You are setting the scene for the user's conversation so that you can both get the most out of the bot flow.
We'd recommend coming up with a list of words to describe your tone of voice and your ideal audience before creating a script for your bot. You can do this using our bot planning worksheet. Remember to keep an eye of your personas and KPIs to ensure that they all work together to suit the conversation you are about to build.
If you already have established brand guidelines, then incorporate those into your bot to create a familiar tone of voice for the user. Company mascots and logos can also be used as inspiration for your bot's tone of voice.
Here are some tone of voice guidelines:
it's super important to consider language and voice for audience
use terms that your audience know
use active voice rather than passive e.g. “Breaking news is delivered by BBC” is not as clear, short or simple as, “BBC delivers breaking news.”
be transparent, descriptive and informative with interactions
be direct about capabilities
hand hold people through the journey
confirm their actions
show you’re listening
don’t keep people waiting for a response, if you don’t know the answer acknowledge it
people need to understand how to interact to stay engaged
consider all conversation routes
not all words / phrases translate in text form
be deliberate about language, editorial voice, length of messages, and even speed of response.
And remember, tone of voice isn't just about how you sound to your user, it's how you make them feel. Getting your tone of voice on point goes hand in hand with a successful, exciting and engaging bot.