Chatbots

How to Name Your Chatbot: Tips to Consider and Creative Chatbot Name Ideas

8 min read
Nov 8, 2022
a girl with a reading glass

In 2014, Nicholas Epley, a psychologist from the University of Chicago, conducted a study to check whether giving technology humanlike features can impact its perception. The test’s participants were divided into groups where some used a driving simulator that mirrored a normal vehicle while others used an autonomous car that was given a gender, voice, and name. The study revealed that the people who used the car with a personality considered it to be more competent and reliable.  

Epley’s study shows that anthropomorphization -  attributing human characteristics to objects -  is not only effective for creating children’s stories but for creating better digital products, such as chatbots.

Giving your AI agent a name that’s a part of its personality can help evoke positive connotations, improve user engagement, and build trust. 

However, searching for the right bot name can be daunting, especially when you don’t know where to start. To give you a leg up, I’ve prepared some tips to help you decide and a few chatbot name ideas as a bonus. 

But before we get into that, let’s understand why you should care about looking for a good bot name.

Why should you name your chatbot?

In today's competitive market, standing out is crucial for success. If you give your bot a name and design its responses in a unique and consistent tone, customers will more likely engage with it. 

Customers will also perceive your chatbot character as your brand character. Therefore, ensuring your bot’s personality corresponds with your brand image will boost brand recognition.

Moreover, the bot name can give customers a sense of familiarity; rather than being referred to as "the chatbot," naming your bot helps customers connect with it on a personal level.

Last but not least, chatbots can improve customer satisfaction and retention. A conversational agent with a likable or relatable character is likelier to create a positive sentiment toward the brand, build long-lasting customer relationships, and prompt repeat purchases.  

How do you choose a chatbot name?

When naming your chatbot, you should consider the following aspects.

The bot's purpose: what is the bot's main task or goal?

Chatbots can help brands handle various tasks, such as streamlining business operations and automating internal processes. You can use them to help your customers quickly access information or transact through messaging. 

While creating your chatbot personality, you should also consider the task the bot will handle and try to match it with a corresponding name. 

For instance, if you use a bot to let users book calls with your sales team, you can use a functional name such as “Call Scheduling Bot.” This way, users will know immediately how the bot can help them.

However, if you are looking for a name for gym services, you can consider fictional names from ancient mythologies that are associated with power and strength, such as “Hercules Bot” or “Zeus Bot.” 

You can also use dictionary bot names that refer to the universal terms of objects, colors, or feelings. Examples of dictionary bot names are “Emerald Bot,” “Mellow Bot,” “Pepper Bot,” “Wellness Bot,” or “Happiness Bot.” 

The bot's personality: what kind of identity and gender do you want the bot to have?

A good chatbot name conveys its personality and sets the tone. It might be friendly, formal, or humorous — it's up to you. It'll achieve its goal as long as it makes the user experience memorable and consistent. 

Another identity aspect to consider is gender. The gender of your bot will impact its grammar and acceptance among the target group.

The UNESCO study on gender bias in chatbot design showed that most voice bots are designed to be female. There seem to be two main reasons behind that. 

Firstly, since male employees still dominate the tech industry, they often bring their subconscious biases into conversation design, which leads to creating female names and personalities for computer programs designed to assist humans. 

The second reason is how people of different cultures perceive genders. According to Clifford Nass, a Stanford University professor, the human brain considers female voices friendlier and warmer, making us prefer them over male voices in certain situations. 

This factor led Amazon to name its voice bot “Alexa.” The female name and identity were perceived as more sympathetic and pleasing for a home assistant during Amazon’s tests than their male counterparts.

On the other hand, studies show that when dealing with a male bot, people often perceive it as a problem solver or a decision-maker. This perception intensifies if the user comes from a masculine society where men are perceived to carry such character traits. 

These dependencies show that the cultural biases and roles that men and women carry in society might significantly impact how users perceive gendered technology. Knowing your target group culture and the biases in that group can help you decide which gender and bot name can help you build user trust and boost the chatbot’s adoption. 

The bot's target audience: who will be using the bot?

As I already mentioned above, when creating a name for your bot, you should also ensure that it matches your users’ culture, language, and preferences. To do so, you can start by analyzing your user persona and looking for hints regarding your users’ likes, dislikes, and interests. 

For instance, if you create a bot that targets Gen Z, you can come up with a name that refers to characters from movies, comics, or songs that are popular among this generation. That can help you make your bot more approachable. 

Moreover, the name you’ve chosen should be easy to pronounce and remember for every user, regardless of their language background and nationality. Therefore, avoid using acronyms or made-up words that might be ambiguous or hard to remember and say.

It would also help if you looked for a name with a universal meaning. Words that seem fine or funny in one language might have secondary meanings in another. It’ll be helpful to double-check all the meanings of the word you’ve chosen. If you overlook unwanted meanings, customers may create different connotations with your bot which may negatively impact your chatbot engagement

What are some interesting chatbot name ideas?

Personality is an integral part of a chatbot because it makes the user experience more enjoyable. Let’s see what some industry-specific creative bot names are. 

Customer service bot name ideas

A bot’s name can say a lot about your brand and the service the customers can receive. Functional names that tell the user what they can achieve are a good choice in customer support because they speed up customer understanding. Some popular customer service bot names are:

However, you can also choose playful names like "TechyMcSupportFace," or "Joyce CustomerAssistant,’’ as long as they align with your chatbot and brand personality and improve the user experience. 

Bot names for sales teams

As technology advances, more and more businesses are turning to chatbots to improve their sales process. Chatbots can quickly answer customer questions, collect leads, and even close deals.

A playful or clever name may seem enticing for sales teams, but choosing a name that reflects your brand and industry can be more helpful. You can, for instance, use your company or product name to help reinforce your brand and clarify what your chatbot can help with, such as “DecentLoans Bot,’’ or “GoodPharmacy Bot.”

Alternatively, you can use industry-related terms:

You can also consider some human names that build trust: 

What’s essential — if you decide to use a human name, inform users that they're chatting with a computer in the chatbot welcome message. Don’t use a human avatar, either. 

If you pretend your chatbot is human and users realize they’re talking with a machine, you will lose their trust. It’s also worth mentioning that in states like California, the law forbids using bots that pretend to be human. 

Catchy chatbot names for marketing

Naming a chatbot for marketing purposes can be tricky. While choosing a memorable and attention-grabbing name is essential, it must also be relevant to the brand or product.

Catchy bot names might include wordplays such as: 

Other options include using puns or incorporating the company's mission, such as "GreenGoodsBot" or "FriendFinderBot." A clever, unique name will make your chatbot stand out and strengthen its branding potential.

How do you test your chatbot name?

If you’re unsure whether you chose the best bot name, ask your friends or co-workers for their opinion. Show them a few options and see which fits your brand best. 

If possible, get feedback from your customers or your online community on what they think. At the end of the day, customers should like your chatbot name the most. 

Go ahead and try writing some creative bot names

Naming your chatbot is the first step in creating a personality for your virtual assistant and giving it a unique identity. If you're looking for a chatbot name that's both memorable and professional, try one of our tips. Otherwise, feel free to experiment and have fun.