How to sound conversational online

Crafting conversational questions online is like creating a comforting tone with a familiar voice, it’s an art. Asking good questions is important for getting useful information from surveys or helping users with chatbots.


Crafting conversational questions online is like creating a comforting tone with a familiar voice, it’s an art.

Asking good questions is important for getting useful information from surveys or helping users with chatbots.

This article delves into the secrets of creating online interactions that mimic the warmth of a genuine conversation.

Here’s your interactive guide to sounding more engaging, personal, and human.

Why should you type the way you talk?

Sounding conversational online isn’t just about being friendly; it comes with great perks. In this section, we’ll highlight the top benefits that will surely convince you to give it a shot.

Let’s explore why speaking naturally in your digital interactions makes a real difference.

  • Engagement: Conversational language is more engaging. People are more likely to engage in conversation and stay interested in your content when they feel it is genuine. This includes joining in and replying to the conversation.
  • Increased response rates: People are more likely to respond to questions, surveys, or chatbots that feel like real conversations. This can lead to better data collection and more valuable insights.
  • Trust and credibility: Conversational language can also help establish trust and credibility. It makes your brand or content seem more authentic and genuine.

Proven tips for better online conversations

1- Make a good first impression

When people start a conversation online, they usually have some questions in their minds. To make a good first impression and build trust, it’s essential to address these unspoken questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What value can you offer me?
  • Why should I care?
  • How should I feel about you?
  • Why should I trust you?
  • What’s the next step you’d like me to take?

Start by introducing yourself and the survey’s purpose. Saying “Hello” might be obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many online conversations don’t use a greeting.

sound conversational online

Highlight the value of participants’ input and how it aligns with their interests. Emphasize your credibility and commitment to data privacy, ensuring confidentiality and compliance with regulations, it’s important.

Lastly, guide participants on what to expect post-survey, including how you will use their responses. This transparent and reassuring approach lays the foundation for trust in your survey.

Now, you can start asking your first question. Give something up before you ask for something in return.

2- Call your user by their name

Addressing users by their names in a survey adds a personal touch and engages your audience. It signals authenticity, builds trust, and often results in higher response rates. Users are more likely to provide honest feedback when they feel the survey is genuinely directed at them.

In Formaloo, you can use answer piping for that. Ask for your user name in the beginning then recall it sparingly.

3- Ask questions the right way

Start by using everyday language, ensuring that questions are expressed in clear, simple terms, free from jargon or complexity. Keep questions concise and direct, steering clear of lengthy preambles to keep respondents focused.

Good practice: How often do you exercise in a typical week?

Common mistake: What is the frequency of your physical activities on a weekly basis?

Include open-ended questions to encourage detailed, expressive responses rather than mere “yes” or “no” answers. Always ask one question at a time, ensuring each addresses a specific issue to prevent confusion.

Use positive language whenever possible to elicit more favorable responses, but avoid leading questions that may introduce bias.

Also, transition between questions with phrases like “moving on” or “now, let’s talk about.” Additionally, diversify response options to accommodate various preferences, including multiple-choice, scale ratings, and text entry.

4- Make One-on-One conversations

In online conversations, aim for a one-on-one feel to create a sense of intimacy. Employ personal pronouns like ‘I,’ ‘you,’ and ‘your’—just as you would in a real chat.

Using ‘we’ can make someone uncomfortable if it seems like the whole company is watching in the background. So, maintain that 1:1 approach to cultivate an intimate atmosphere and sound more conversational in online surveys.

Opting for chatbots over forms is a best practice that goes a long way in improving the user experience. It makes users feel actively engaged in a conversation rather than merely filling out a questionnaire.

5- Follow a common objective

In natural conversations, people engage in a collaborative process to achieve a mutually fulfilling goal. To reach this goal, offer options or responses to the user and let the conversation progress.

Giving options allows the other person to participate in the conversation and steer it towards a mutually beneficial solution.

6- Steer clear from the jargon

While ‘ROI’ may be known in your organization, it’s important to remember that not everyone understands it.

Instead of saying, ‘What’s the ROI of this project?’ consider phrasing it as, ‘What benefits can we expect from this project in terms of its overall value and returns?’

Using easy words helps everyone on the team understand your message, no matter how much they know about the industry.

7- Embrace real-life language

In everyday conversations, we don’t typically over-extend our words. To provide a smoother online experience, consider mirroring this natural flow in your digital interactions.

For example, rather than asking, ‘What is your full name?’ you can simply say, ‘What’s your name?’ It’s a small change, but it makes the conversation feel more natural and approachable.

Ask for the user's name

8- Keep it simple and stay on point

In online conversations, remember, less is more. Share what you need without overwhelming your listener. Here’s how to do it:

To-Do: Say, “How satisfied are you with our service?”

Not to Do: Avoid saying, “How satisfied are you with our service, including the speed of response, the courtesy of our staff, the quality of our products, and our overall performance?”

By avoiding ‘Too Much Information,’ you make your message clear and respectful of your listener’s time and attention.

9- Avoid the essay’s vocabulary

Big words like ‘thus,’ ‘hitherto,’ and ‘aforementioned’ clutter academic essays, but most people don’t use them in everyday talk. It’s time to simplify.

Instead of saying, “We sincerely apologize. Nevertheless, we would still very much like the opportunity to ascertain your opinion,” consider the more approachable, “Sorry to hear that. We’d love to know more.”

Improve your online interactions

In conclusion, being conversational online involves both the words you use and expressing your personality in conversations.

Emojis, gifs, and a touch of character can go a long way in humanizing your online conversations. After all, nobody wants to converse with a faceless corporate entity.

Embrace being yourself online and see how it makes your conversations more interesting, relatable, and successful.

Sign up for free and try out the best conversational surveys and chatbots. For more tips and tricks, Follow us on our YouTube channel.

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How to sound conversational online