From Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to C-3PO and WALL-E, robots real and fictional always have a name. When it comes to chatbots, the same rule applies. Although some businesses simply use their company title as their bot’s name, many others put careful thought into coming up with a new, unique one. The name you select can have an impact on how people view your bot or even who chooses to interact with it in the first place, so it pays to spend some time making your decision. If you’re wondering how to name a chatbot for your brand, read on for our top tips and key considerations.
Why your chatbot’s name matters
Think of the name as the cherry on top of a well-built Facebook chatbot. Your first priority should be to make sure you have a functional, helpful bot—one that assists users in solving a problem or gaining information. Creating a chatbot simply because you have a great name idea won’t get you very far. However, adding a great name can make an already-useful bot even more effective.
Chatbots are still a relatively new technology, so it’s important to remember that your bot may be the first one a user has ever interacted with. That’s why it’s wise to choose a name that feels personable rather than daunting. Siri, for example, sounds more warm and friendly to chat with than “Apple Smartphone Robot.” You want your chatbot’s name to welcome and maybe even intrigue users, but not to intimidate or confuse them.
Plus, if customers are looking for your bot in their Messenger inbox, a memorable name will make it easier to find. If you have a bot that offers tips and advice on dog training, for instance, a user is far more likely to remember and search for “BarkBot” rather than “Dog Obedience Bot” or “Train Your Dog Bot.” A chatbot’s name is a relatively small detail, but it can be the difference between a new user trying out your bot or not—or, an existing user reengaging with your bot, or moving on.
Four types of chatbot names
When choosing what to name your chatbot, there are a few different styles. The type you select depends on your industry, the tone of your business, the purpose of your bot, and how you want customers to view your brand. A list of a few common categories of chatbot names includes:
- A human name, like Lisa or Everett. These types of names are often a good choice for businesses in more serious industries, like for banking, taxes, medical, or law. They offer a bit more formality, and don’t distract from the topic at hand.
- A robot name, like Bolt or Alpha. Names like these make it clear that the user is chatting with a bot rather than a human, which can help avoid any confusion. You might consider a robot name if you’re in an industry like tech, education, or finance.
- A descriptive name, like “Calorie-TrackBot” for one that helps users build healthy eating habits, or “Book Club Bot” for one that offers book recommendations. The advantage of this naming style is that the user already understands the purpose of the bot before interacting with it. Although these names aren’t always quite as personable and approachable, the clarity they offer may appeal to some users.
- A clever name, like Penny for a personal-finance advice chatbot, or PAM as a name for a bot that provides Prayer And Meditation tips. This type of chatbot name is best for businesses in fields like travel, fitness, food, or beauty, because they reflect a fun, casual style. They’re also good for brands in traditionally formal fields that want to make their topic easier to understand or more engaging, like a finance-advice chatbot for millennials. A clever name will also ensure that your bot stands out, and is likely to endear users to your brand and topic a bit more too.
Tips on how to choose the right name for your brand’s chatbot
The name is the first thing a new user will learn about your bot, so you want to make the right impression by choosing a good one. Although it’s possible to change your chatbot’s name, it’s best to pick a great one the first time so you don’t have to confuse users by updating it later on. Keep these tips in mind as you make your selection:
- Reflect the tone and style of your brand. Both the name and persona of your bot should match how your business normally communicates with prospects and customers. If your blog, social media pages, and customer support messages are full of puns and emoji, for example, it makes sense to give your bot a clever name and a casual persona. If not, you lose consistency, decrease brand recognition, and risk confusing your users.
- Be descriptive, but not boring. It’s not a bad idea to have the name for your chatbot offer a clue about its function, but avoid being overly descriptive and dry. For example, “Travel Deals and Booking Bot” isn’t very engaging—but “Dr.Travel,” “Global Adventure Bot,” or “Hop, The Travel Agent” are ideas for names that get the same message across in a more interesting way.
- Have your bot introduce itself. Especially if you give your bot a human-sounding name, users might be unsure as to whether they’re dealing with a bot or an actual person. To avoid the resulting frustration or confusion, make sure your bot lets users know right away that it’s a bot. Then, if a human agent on your team takes over for your chatbot at any point, Chatfuel’s Persona feature will automatically let the user know. That way, they’re always aware of who exactly they’re speaking with.
A bot by any other name…
We’ll say it once more: What you name your chatbot doesn’t matter if the bot itself doesn’t assist users in a helpful way. However, if you’ve built a great bot, the perfect name might be just the finishing touch it needs to be even more engaging.
Don’t have a Messenger chat bot yet? No problem! It’s free and easy to get started with the Chatfuel platform—no coding knowledge or credit card required. Check out our how-to articles or our intro video to get started, or join our active Facebook community for tips, advice, and stories.