A Handy Guide to Writing Effective Chatbot Copy 

Making an incredible bot takes more than just building the flow. You also need effective chatbot copy to ensure that users don’t feel like they’re talking to, well, a robot. To that end, we asked Lucy Samuel, a copywriter who’s done great work with Certainly clients Feastables and Roadrunner, to walk us through the process of writing copy that’ll match your brand’s voice, be informative, and entertain users. Enjoy! 

Writing Effective Chatbot Copy

So you’ve been tasked with writing the content for, or the “voice of,” a chatbot. Lucky you- it’s a fun project, combining conversational writing skills with effective customer support copy. But where do you start? How do you ensure that the conversational flows match the company’s needs? How do you make sure you’re effectively engaging with the end user?  

Some effective chatbot copy

Step 1: Learn the Brand 

In order to build a chatbot that represents a brand’s customer support team, you’ll need to become familiar with their commonly-asked questions, automated responses, and overall brand voice. Check in with the CS team to request access to whatever platform they use (Kustomer, Gorgias, Zendesk, etc.) and poke around in their shortcut response database to get a feel for the types of conversations they’re having with customers. Ask the marketing team for any brand materials that will help you get to know their brand voice.  

Using the marketing materials you’re given, try to get the clearest possible picture of the end user so that you can write for that person. As a copywriter, you’re probably familiar with writing for a specific audience. Gen Z gamer types? Pepper in some internet slang. Hyper-feminine beauty brand? A flower emoji goes a long way.  

Step 2: Get to Know the Provider 

Set up a time to talk with the brand and their bot platform (Certainly, for instance) rep to get familiar with the canvas and learn how to input your content. That way, you can edit and update the chatbot without needing to go through anyone else.

Step 3: Familiarize Yourself With the Flows 

Once the brand’s working “sandbox” chatbot has been built, you can go in and begin editing copy. LucidChart is an excellent third-party platform you and your team can use to map out conversational flows before adding them to your bot.  

Step 4: Give the Bot a Personality

This one’s easy, especially if you already nailed the brand’s voice in step 1. For some companies, giving the chatbot a name and an avatar can help boost engagement and improve the user’s experience. Try making the bot’s greeting something that feels personal and fun. Here’s a great example from RoadRunner Scooters chatbot, Scooter:  

The introduction conversation from Scooter, Roadrunner Scooter's chatbot.
Say hi to Scooter, Roadrunner’s chatbot

If your client is up for it, you can start having fun with the bot once you’ve built the critical pieces. For example, FeastyBot, Feastables‘ bot, offers a “Secret Door” option. This leads to fun facts about the brand, a link to the company’s social media channels, and even a few jokes.    

FeastyBot's hidden door option; an example of effective chatbot copy that isn't purely functional.
Sometimes effective chatbot copy can be fun!

Step 5: Post-launch Maintenance 

Before you launch the bot, make sure to set up a plan about maintaining it with your team or client. Certainly does a fantastic job of following up after launch to provide insight into how the bot is performing, which sometimes creates the need for new content. Expect to be available for content edits and additions for at least a month after the bot goes live.  

Writing a chatbot is a great way to flex your customer-facing creative writing chops while significantly impacting your client’s customer support capabilities. Have fun!

If you’re interested in finding out more about writing the best chatbot copy. In that case, you should check out these blog posts on the ten user experience mistakes to avoid and the reasons why a conversational UI is perfect for ecommerce

This article was written by Lucy Samuel with visuals by George Radu. It was edited by Fergus Doyle.