Too Informal? How a Chatbot’s Communication Style Affects Brand Attitude and Quality of Interaction

C. Liebrecht, Lena Sander, Charlotte van Hooijdonk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This study investigated the effects of (in)formal chatbot responses and brand familiarity on social presence, appropriateness, brand attitude, and quality of interaction. An online experiment using a 2 (Communication Style: informal vs. formal) by 2 (Brand: familiar vs. unfamiliar) between subject design was conducted in which participants performed customer service tasks with the assistance of chatbots developed for the study. Subsequently, they filled out an online questionnaire. An indirect effect of communication style on brand attitude and quality of interaction through social presence was found. Thus, a chatbot’s informal communication style induced a higher perceived social presence which in turn positively influenced quality of the interaction and brand attitude. However, brand familiarity did not enhance perceptions of appropriateness, indicating participants do not assign different roles to chatbots as communication partner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChatbot Research and Design
Subtitle of host publication4th International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2020, Virtual Event, November 23–24, 2020, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAsbjørn Følstad, Theo Araujo, Symeon Papadopoulos, Effie L.-C. Law, Ewa Luger, Morten Goodwin, Petter Bae Brandtzaeg
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030682880
ISBN (Print)9783030682873
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chatbots
  • communication style
  • brand attitude
  • Customer service
  • brand familiarity
  • appropriateness


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