7 min read

Send your chatbots to finishing school: tips and tricks for chatbot etiquette

What is chatbot etiquette


It turns out that chatbots really are just like us, in that they too must abide by politeness and decorum in the workplace. It is relatively safe to assume that customers and site visitors can get extremely irate when dealing with an inefficient and clumsy chatbot. Much of the opposition voiced against the use of automated conversations tend to be centered around the fact that chatbots are really more of a hindrance than a help and can seriously impact someone’s attempt to acquire assistance or information.

The thing about chatbots is that they can be improved, optimized and learned from - just like normal exchanges between people. A chatbot is only as good as you make it, so in a way even stumped automation could be accredited to human error. Think about some of your processes, like sales. Chances are that you worked hard on developing a flow and route that allows you to conduct your sales processes in an optimal way. Why does this logic not extend to your chatbot? If anything, creating a failsafe automated conversation is an iterative process that requires a little whittling down and configuration to be the best little chatbot it can be. 

Here is why we think manners maketh the chatbot: 

Why chatbot etiquette is good for clients

1. User satisfaction

When users feel comfortable and engaged in any conversation, be it automated or IRL, they are more likely to have a satisfying interaction with the company in question which opens up the door for recurring business. 

2. Effective communication 

By using a conversational tone, providing clear instructions, and being responsive, the chatbot can convey information more efficiently and provide answers to pressing questions at great speed and accuracy. 

3. Brand representation

Chatbots often serve as a direct interface between users and a brand or organization. They can reflect the brand's values, personality, and commitment to customer service. Use this to your advantage by making your chatbot truly representative of what it is your brand stands for and treating it as a part of the team. 

4. User engagement and retention

By being responsive, personalized, and providing helpful information, the chatbot encourages users to continue the conversation and stay engaged. If people find your chatbot to be a helpful resource, they’re likely to keep consulting it and using to answer their questions and get relevant information. 

5. Error handling and recovery 

Good etiquette enables the chatbot to handle mistakes or awkward situations gracefully, or at least seem to to the user. Polite error messages and clear instructions for rephrasing queries help users understand the issue and provide an opportunity for recovery. Plus, when users get accustomed to the troubleshooting process and learning how to make use of the chatbot on their end, they are less likely to make the same mistake again. 

6. Human-like interaction 

Chatbots aim (and sometimes fail) to simulate human-like conversation but as this is the platonic ideal of interactions this will likely continue and go on to become better and better. Good etiquette contributes to a more natural and engaging interaction and when chatbots communicate in a friendly and conversational manner, users are more likely to feel comfortable and willing to engage in the conversation.

7. User trust and confidence 

When the chatbot behaves professionally, respects privacy, and handles user information securely, users feel more comfortable sharing their queries and personal details. This is essential for all chatbots to master, as we are becoming increasingly data conscious and reluctant to provide much of anything in fear of it being malware. 

Good etiquette is important for chatbots because it enhances user satisfaction, improves communication effectiveness, strengthens brand representation, increases user engagement and retention, handles errors gracefully, creates a human-like interaction, and builds user trust and confidence. By following etiquette best practices, chatbots can provide a positive and effective user experience, ultimately benefiting both the users and the organizations deploying the chatbots.

Now you may be asking, what exactly does chatbot etiquette look like and how do you even start to implement the concept into your own automated conversations? Well, look no further:

When it comes to chatbot etiquette, there are several best practices to keep in mind to ensure a positive and effective user experience. Here are some key guidelines:

Tips for chatbot etiquette

Introduce your chatbot properly

When a user initiates a conversation, it's important to have the chatbot introduce itself and clearly state its purpose and capabilities. This helps set expectations and lets users know they are interacting with a bot.

Use a friendly and conversational tone 

Chatbots should be programmed to communicate in a friendly and conversational manner. Avoid sounding robotic or overly formal. The tone should be natural and engaging, making the user feel comfortable interacting with the bot.

Provide clear and legible instructions

Make sure your chatbot provides clear instructions to guide users on how to interact. Use simple language and provide examples if necessary. Users should understand how to communicate with the chatbot effectively in order to make the most out of the interaction.

Be responsive and prompt in your answers

Aim to provide quick responses to user queries. Slow or delayed responses can frustrate users. If the chatbot needs time to process or retrieve information, inform the user about the delay and provide an estimated time frame. Time sensitivity should always be considered when setting up conversational infrastructure as we live in a society that values immediate gratification above all else. 

Handle error messages gracefully 

Chatbots should be prepared to handle errors or misunderstandings. If the bot doesn't understand a user's input, it should respond politely and ask for clarification. Error messages should be friendly and provide guidance on how to rephrase the query. No more ‘404 no page found’ messages here!

Personalize your chatbot’s interactions

Whenever possible, personalize the conversation based on the user's information or previous interactions. Addressing users by their names and recalling relevant details can make the conversation feel more personalized and enhance the user experience.

Be concise and to the point in your appointment scheduling chatbot software

Avoid long, complex responses. Keep messages short and focused, providing the necessary information without overwhelming the user. Break down complex information into smaller, easily digestible chunks. No one is reading your chatbot because of its literary excellence, so get the point and keep the conversation flowing. 

ALWAYS offer options human escalation

If the chatbot is unable to resolve an issue or the user requests to speak with a human, provide a clear option for human escalation. This could be through transferring to a live agent or providing alternative contact methods for further assistance. Alternatively, sometimes accessing information can be critical to someone’s situation, so emergency contacts should be provided.

Respect people’s privacy and security 

Ensure that the chatbot respects user privacy and follows applicable data protection regulations. Clearly communicate the chatbot's data handling practices and give users the ability to opt-out or delete their data if necessary. Privacy and security are becoming increasingly important and people are becoming increasingly skeptical, so go the extra mile to put them at ease.

Continuously improve your scheduling chatbot 

Regularly monitor and analyze chatbot interactions to identify areas for improvement. Use user feedback to refine responses, expand the chatbot's capabilities, and address any recurring issues. Remember, if one person is having some issues with your bot, others probably are too so it is always in your best interest to make some changes for improvement.

Why you need chatbot etiquette


Remember, chatbot etiquette is about creating a positive user experience, fostering clear communication, and providing helpful and relevant information. By following these best practices, you can enhance the effectiveness and user satisfaction with your chatbot. To sign up for free and create your own chatbots, click here.