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Driving engagement in a world of falling attention spans

Elizabeth Zink
Jun 16, 2023

Between smartphones, our laptops, and our televisions it’s really no wonder that we’re struggling to stay focused. In 2004, the average attention span when looking at a screen was measured at 2.5 minutes. Now, in a world of Instagram Reels and Tik Toks, our attention spans are measured, on average, at 47 seconds. This might not seem like the end of the world. For many, staying focused is a matter of limiting the amount of time spent on our phones during the workday.

But, when it comes to your chatbot, these types of statistics are especially concerning.

When you employ a chatbot on your website you want to ensure that your customers are locked in and engaged with the service you are providing them. However, when it seems like no one wants to pay attention, how do you attract wandering eyes?

After years of developing striking chatbots, we’ve learned a few key ways to drive engagement in a world of falling attention spans.

Keep it concise and conversational

Don’t beat around the bush and avoid frilly language. Your customers want answers to questions and solutions to problems and they want them quickly. One of the key ways to ensure engagement is by capitalizing on the time your customer spends with your chatbot – however short that may be.

By keeping your messaging concise (without sacrificing friendliness!) you can be certain that your customer will reach the end of their chosen workflow before their attention span runs out. This will also increase the likelihood of brand loyalty as customers will recognize your brand as one that values their time and services them efficiently.

Implement visual elements
Robust visuals can help keep your customer engaged with your chatbot for longer. Check out our article about it here!

Humans are incredibly intelligent. Humans are also drawn to pretty, shiny things. By implementing robust visuals, like pictures, graphics, gifs, and videos, you can not only enhance the user experience but also keep the attention of your user as they make their way through their chosen use case. Attractive visuals are eye-catching and entice your customer to spend more time with you.

Furthermore, by adding these elements you switch up the flow. Where other chatbots often waste their time with a customer by feeding them block after block of text, you let the customer take a break from reading to appreciate the visual before returning to the messaging. You can also use visual elements to convey what might normally be text. Graphics can convey concepts that are hard to explain via text which can also be a strength in your chatbot.

Use interactive elements

As we just discussed, users do not want to read long winded, purely text messaging. In fact, one of the easiest ways to lose your customer’s attention, in our world of constantly shifting imagery, is by offering fully text-based, one-sided experiences.

Users want to click and swipe. They don’t want to read. By providing users with the chance to interact with your chatbot by selecting buttons and scrolling through carousels, for example, you make the conversation more engaging and more interesting. If your users are interested they’re considerably less likely to click away or drop-off before finishing what they came to your chatbot to accomplish.

Multichannel availability

Customers expect your chatbot to be always on, wherever they go. Users don’t want to have to search high and low to receive the assistance they deserve and if they need to work hard to access that assistance there’s a strong chance they won’t be willing to put in that effort. If you can’t provide service on a multitude of channels, you risk losing both loyal customers and prospective customers. Being available on different channels including your website (both desktop and mobile) and social media helps your customers find you when they want to find you without struggle.

Additionally, if they know they’ll never have to go to great lengths to receive customer service they’ll return time and time again.

Continuously improve with user feedback

They say that practice makes perfect. In the world of chatbots the saying is more like “feedback makes perfect”. You’re likely not going to knock it out of the park with your chatbot on day one. There will be hiccups and oversights that you don’t expect and will need to fix.

And that’s okay!

By constantly taking user feedback and traversal paths and building off of that you can perfect your workflows and use cases to provide your customers with the exceptional service they expect. If your customers are satisfied they will stay engaged and they will always come back.


Attention spans are falling and it’s highly unlikely that they will improve. In fact, they may only get worse. While that’s a scary thought it doesn’t have to be the death knell for your chatbot. You can be competitive in a world of diminished focus. All you need is the desire to make the best chatbot you possibly can and a team of experts to back you up.

That’s where Pypestream comes in. We know chatbots. With our knowledgeable team of designers we can build and deploy a chatbot that is sure to keep the eyes of your customers.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with us today!