Conversational Design: How to say hello
Hello, it’s nice to meet you.
Those welcoming words are signs of respect, the words will differ from country to country, the way we say them will depend on the context or the conversation.
Words are powerful.
Greetings matter, they’re our first point of contact with a world that hasn’t met us yet.
The way we say hello is evolving
In life, when someone you don’t know says ‘Hello’, the way you say ‘Hey’ back reveals a lot about you.
In my industry, the way a company greets me, tells me a lot about their conversational design.
Good conversational design means you're always ready to say hello.
In customer experience (CX), a hello is an opportunity to begin something new. A hello can be turned into a sales conversion, a good review, a ticket completion. The opportunities are endless.
As a copywriter focusing on conversational AI and customer experience, I talk with technology, helping it learn to talk with customers.
When designing a Conversational Flow for a client, remember it takes confidence to say the first hello.
Human-centred conversational design considers customers' needs by understanding first, replying with specificity if it can, but responding with something at least.
It's funny that some businesses still reply to a hello with a wait time. Imagine a friend who did that to you!
Listening to data first, talking second
Instead of just collecting data and replying later, conversational AI helps you listen and reply simultaneously.
Natural language processing (NLP) understands meaningful data from your customers' greetings and intent, and it can provide automated follow-ups through your company's knowledge base.
Even if you aren't talking, your data can always be listening.
In-person customer service, call centre data, chat logs, website data, and user interviews become sources of truth to better communicate with your customer. A failed hello creates wait times, unclear communication means too little or too many calls and confusing conversations means drop-off or disconnected experiences.
Using these data points and organising them into data sets that work for your organisation, you can start to see which channel, which conversation, which piece of communication is sending the wrong messages.
Find communication styles for the channels you use
The way you communicate is unique to you, the way you talk on email versus your phone conversation will differ. Different people have different styles of communication, businesses should be the same.
Picking your communication style and how that translates to your channels is essential. Some businesses can afford to be available all the time, like an extrovert, while other businesses prefer more specific communication, imagine someone who doesn’t like conversations at parties.
Choose the channel that’s right for the conversation and the outcome of your customer service. Is it possible to complete an action in one conversation, will your conversation move across channels, or will your customers need to get comfortable first?
Using conversational design to organise your communication
Conversational design is a process that evolved around the same time as computational automation and speech/text AI began to help us create programmed communication.
Conversational design helps you see your conversation in one place. It’s the process of building a service around your customers’ conversation.
Start with pen and paper or build an online prototype. You can have a look at ways to start here.
Conversational design shows you how complicated conversations can be; simplicity and satisfaction are always the intention. Still, humans’ limitless conversational ability is limited by the computational logic that is evolving with us.
Service skills suit different industries - it's the same in conversational design.
Services need different channels for different conversations. A conversation might be sales-based, which means you need to turn it into a conversion — did I mention I can make you a chatbot?
For a support service, having a 24/7 chatbot ready to provide support for key and common customer enquiries, would be handy.
Or it might simply be starting the conversation and being ready to reply to your customer's hello, so nobody's left waiting.
Are you ready to start your conversational journey? Wondering where to start? Speak to our conversational experts today.