Word Choice

Perhaps the most over-looked aspect of bots is their personality - or lack thereof. Said another way, text conversations have many components, and tone, word choice, and timing are everything. I learned a lot about how to phrase text messages for Gainful. How you word a text can make all the difference. For example, when we want to engage with students and encourage studying, we don't ask "Are you studying?" Instead, we ask "Where are you studying?" It's subtle, but our response data shows us that the former sounds like nagging and the latter, more like conversation. Plus the unexpected question causes students to pause and give it thought, thus starting the planning wheels turning.

The words used in responses are also just as important. Crisis Text Line has done a lot of work parsing what words indicate more at risk users.