I recently started playing with Amazon’s voice recognition machine Alexa.
It’s one of those gizmos like Siri on an iPhone where you can just talk to it and ask for the weather or to buy things or to tell you a joke.
Alexa is full of personality and my almost 5 year old daughter thinks it tells the best jokes. Ask it about fake noodles and it will go on at length about impastas. It also knows how much wood a woodchuck can handle.
I look forward to serving our robot overlord masters one day but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. Today I want to talk about robot tone – some people call these shopping cart messages.
When’s the last time you made a tyop or omission when placing an order online?
What did the message then say?
Was it something like “the email is is a required field” or more like “Whoops, looks like we need just a bit more information, please fill in your email above.”
Matter of Fact?
Written by our Robot Overlords? (you may not proceed to the next step until required field email has been validated)
You have little messages and prompts like this all over your website. From the messaging around email signup to your FAQ page.
Ever wonder who writes all that stuff ?
I can usually tell who was in charge when I visit a website and the impact it has on conversion – positive or negative – always makes me smile.
What you should seek is the middle way.
If marketing is in charge the messages can get overly sexy, too playful, and they stop being useful.
Aka what they heck are you talking about?
If customer service is your author you frequently get things that are overly matter of fact and hurt sales.
Aka I know shipping is expensive but never call it that.
If the machine (your development folks) are in charge you usually get a strange mix that only does one thing reliably, hurt conversion.
Aka geeks and machines are just plain awkward.
Here’s the bottom line for Internet Entrepreneurs: you should pay attention to all of those little messages on your website. See if you can tell if marketing or customer service or robot people wrote them – then make adjustments as needed.
In the meantime I think I’m going to go read some classic science fiction, that’s full of robots I love.