Why does ANNA say ‘we’ and not ‘I’?

ANNA is a chat-based business current account app which helps with invoicing and deals with your pesky work admin. ANNA stands for ‘Absolutely No Nonsense Admin’.

We imagined an experience, powered by intelligence and context, where you simply type a few words to get things done. Phrases like ‘Invoice NB Studio 5 days at my usual rate’‘How’s my cash flow looking?’‘When’s my VAT bill due?’‘Order another replacement card for Boris’ would be responded to in no-nonsense dialogue within the ANNA app.

Chat and dialogue are at the heart of the interaction experience and this throws up some product design challenges. One such hurdle is about the identity of ANNA — specifically whether the automated part of ANNA should talk in a singular voice ‘I’, or as a collective voice ‘we’.

Phrases in ANNA are written as ‘we’ and ‘us’, rather than ‘I’ and ‘me’

ANNA isn’t just an assistant chatbot, it’s a whole bunch of people working behind-the-scenes to provide an excellent customer experience

The ANNA team releases features on a weekly basis. Beyond core banking, our approach to new product features, like tax reminders, is to first build tools for our customer service team to complete customer requests. We call this ‘agents-before-automation’.

ANNA is Human Intelligence with AI

When the ANNA AI fails to understand what a customer is asking, it will hand over to our team of agents — who are on hand 24/7 — to use their human intelligence to solve your business admin tasks. These direct conversations result in our customers getting a personal service, and it also allows our product team to learn how to build the automated version with empathy and nuance.

This ANNA team isn’t just a chatbot

“Hi, welcome to ANNA. We’re here to help with your business banking and admin”

As a customer, you’re talking to our team, not just a chatbot. ANNA isn’t an individual, and we don’t want to pretend that ANNA is a singular automated bot. We’d rather our customers know and trust there’s a group of experts behind ANNA, with our AI agent as one part of that team. And so we chose ‘we’ over ‘I’ when it comes to dialogue in the chat.

What do you think?