Chatbots can be helpful tools for automating customer service and capturing leads. That’s why it is important to pick the right tool to suit your needs.
With so many products available, it is tough to decide which ones are the top chatbot tools. To make your life easier we spent hours going through dozens of products and putting together a carefully curated list of top 30 chatbot software platforms - from simple bot builders to more comprehensive no-code and low-code AI chatbot products.
Chatbot is an automated interface through which the user can obtain information from a machine. The interface is usually in written form (chat) and in many cases the chatbot presents the user information with a simple multiple choice type of option.
Chatbots are used in multilingual customer support, lead generation and sales automation across a variety of channels (e.g. websites, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS).
Conversational AI is the umbrella term for various types of chatbots. Below we have highlighted some of the forms of different chatbots.
The simplest form of Conversational AI is a chatbot. In many cases the chatbot presents the user information with simple Yes/No type of options. These if-else type statements are essentially decision trees where the user picks an answer. Upon the selection of that answer the user is given a follow-up question with a choice of answers again.
Such solutions are useful because they are usually operated through a clickable interface. The user is presented with buttons and by clicking on the buttons the user confirms its choices and receives information. It is a quick way of showing info to users. The challenge, however, is that while the user is directed towards the answer, the chatbots at times do not provide a specific answer to the question that the user is looking for.
Virtual Customer Assistants
An advancement from a chatbot is a Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA). These intelligent agents are not only capable of presenting a multiple choice selection of answers to the user but also understand user intent from free text. Understanding natural language is a significant leap. Many times users are looking to articulate their specific concern to the machine in a similar manner they would do to a human. User has a question and asks that specific question from the machine e.g. “Who built you?” and the VCA gives a specific answer.
The third Conversational AI category can be defined as an agent assist system. These solutions do not directly interact with users. Rather they help customer service agents in giving accurate and timely answers to users.
As an example, such agent-assist systems listen in on what users are telling customer service agents. The system is not responding to users directly. Instead, the system is telling things to the customer service agent that she should tell the user.
One can think of these systems as smart advisors that give advice on what to tell users. It is up to the agent whether to take the advice or not. An example of this system can be a so-called co-pilot mode in live chat products.
Voicebots are like Virtual Customer Assistants only instead of typing questions to them you can ask your questions by simply speaking. Users can speak to various hardware devices (e.g. Google Home, Amazon Alexa), smartwatches (e.g. Apple Watch), smartphones (Siri, Google Assistant) and also through website chat widgets (those that have a button where users can click and then speak to).
Natural Language Generation
NLG refers to the ability of the computers to generate text on their own. In the context of a Virtual Customer Assistant it means that the computer generates the answer to the question that the user is asking.
For example, if the user asks “Where is my payment?” then the algorithms generate an answer on their own such as “Your payment will arrive in 4 hours”. In most AI solutions, the answers are pre-written. Meaning once the intent match is made, the answer is pulled from the database and presented to the user. NLG makes things more open-ended as the algorithms themselves generate text that will be used as an answer.
Usually NLG algorithms are trained on a vast set of text. The algorithms create answers that are served to users’ intent based questions. The drawback of using NLG in Conversational AI solutions is that the answer can be inaccurate or poorly worded. As most companies want to use their own language and message when communicating with customers, pre-written answers dominate over computer generated answers. One of the recent best known algorithms is GPT-3 developed by OpenAI.
Increase Self-service In Customer Support.
When you build yourself a chatbot then they can replace human customer service agents on Facebook Messenger as well as on messaging channels such as website chat, WhatsApp, RCS and Apple Business Chat. As a result of that, customers are finding solutions to their problems on their own through bots that understand their issues and provide helpful answers.
Reduce Customer Support Agent Workload.
Customer service agents can continue to focus on complex interactions with higher rated customers instead of handling a higher volume of cases. This is a clear benefit of chatbots in customer service.
Higher rated customers that get answers to their complex questions from human agents quickly are more likely to return to a company, which ultimately increases revenue and leads to more profitable customer support interactions.
Capture Leads From Your Website.
If your ecommerce website has lead forms, you can get new customers but you will get only those leads who fulfill the product/service requirements. If you choose to offer live chat with a bot on your website, you can actually capture leads before they leave the website.
This is because in the current scenario, live chat is becoming more and more common in most of the ecommerce websites. In fact, most of the popular ecommerce websites offer a live chat option. This will ensure you capture the correct leads. Use multi-linguality to appeal to a global audience.
Before choosing a chatbot platform make sure you know the following as this will make it easier for you to choose the vendor and get a more detailed price quote.
Chatbot prices differ because the complexity of a chatbot differs. They can run from simple if-else statement based bots to complex natural language understanding bots capable of authenticating users and retrieving and writing data into your back-end systems.
In general there are the following pricing tiers for bots:
AlphaChat is a no-code Conversational AI platform allowing anyone to build Natural Language Understanding chatbots and Virtual Assistants.
What’s special about this tool: Powerful tool with insights into customer conversations (topics discussed, customer satisfaction) and statistics on bot performance. SLA and AlphaOS for developers to write their own custom code (e.g. to authenticate, write/retrieve data to/from database) available for enterprise chatbots.
Pricing: 10-day free trial. €399/month.
Qualified allows building chatbots with their no-code product for automating your support and sales.
What’s special about this tool: Qualified provides live chat, chatbots and voice calls.
Pricing: Paid plans from $1200/month.
Chatfuel is a no-code chatbot development platform for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger for increasing sales, reducing cost and automating support. One of the top chatbot companies in terms of popularity.
What’s special about this tool: Chatfuel works with Facebook products and allows to create chatbots to engage with users on their platforms.
Pricing: Free plan limited to 50 users, paid plans from $15/month.
Tars is a chatbot platform allowing you to create conversational landing pages to improve your PPC conversion rate. It provides a suite of templates for conversation-based lead generation.
What’s special about this tool: Tars is a good option for those seeking to convert leads better from their advertising campaigns.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial available, paid plans from $499/month.
Xenioo is an omnichannel chatbot platform for building natural language understanding chatbots.
What’s special about this tool: Xenioo allows you to train and build your chatbot with a drag and drop interface.
Pricing: Free up to 500 messages per month. Paid plans from €29/month.
ManyChat is one of the top chatbot companies building chatbots for Facebook Messenger and SMS. The product is geared towards driving sales, getting more leads and engaging with customers.
What’s special about this tool: Manychat is one of chatbot software companies with a large community and specializes in sales and marketing chatbots in Facebook.
Pricing: Free up to 1,000 contacts. Paid plans starting from $10/month.
SnapEngage is a chatbot tool for building customer service and engagement automation through Answer and Guide Bot modules.
What’s special about this tool: SnapEngage offers Twitter, Facebook Messenger, SMS and WeChat integrations.
Pricing: Paid plans from €15/user/month (plus platform fee, billed annually).
Drift is a chatbot builder that helps companies capture leads from your website and convert them to paying customers.
What’s special about this tool: Drift is focused on conversational sales and marketing through automation, chat and video chat.
Pricing: Price available on request.
MobileMonkey is a chatbot platform for marketing, sales and customer support for Facebook, SMS and websites.
What’s special about this tool: MobileMonkey integrates with various channels and has extensive features suitable for marketing agencies.
Pricing: Free plan available, paid plans from $21/month.
Smartloop is one of chatbot software companies with a product for building lead generation and sales chatbots in Facebook Messenger that also connects with their live chat tool.
What’s special about this tool: Smartloop connects with Facebook and provides their own live chat for cases that need to be escalated to human agents.
Pricing: Free (up to 100 subscribers), paid plans starting from $10/month.
Chatbot.com is a platform for building conversational chatbots without coding and connecting them to live chat.
What’s special about this tool: Chatbot.com enables building chatbots for various use cases and connecting them with live agents.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial available. Paid plans starting from $50/month.
Userlike is one of the best chatbot solutions with a live chat product that also offers the ability to build chatbots for automation.
What’s special about this tool: Handover to human agents in live chat and ability to connect your own bot to the product.
Pricing: Chatbot available with the paid Business plan from €720/month.
Freshchat is a chatbot product from the freshworks family that also provides CRM and customer support software.
What’s special about this tool: Freshchat operates within the freshworks family of products that provide a variety of features.
Pricing: Paid plans starting from €69/month.
Engati is a product for supporting and retaining customers with bots and live chats on 14+ platforms.
What’s special about this tool: Engati brings the power of chatbots and live chat into a single product and integrates across several social platforms.
Pricing: Free up to 1,000 interactions. Paid plans price available on request.
Pandorabots is a chatbot platform that comes with an IDE and allows to build code-based and no-code chatbots according to open standards.
What’s special about this tool: Comprehensive platform for building chatbots and writing your own code with plenty of flexibility.
Pricing: Free sandbox. Paid plans starting from $19/month.
Flow XO is a chatbot builder allowing users to build chatbots code-free to communicate with customers and connect them to live chat when needed.
What’s special about this tool: Flow XO allows accepting payments via the chatbot and is integrated to a variety of tools.
Pricing: Free for 500 interactions. Paid plans starting from $19/month.
Tidio is a live chat provider that also offers a chatbot builder for automating lead generation and customer support.
What’s special about this tool: Tidio product has email marketing background making sales and lead generation well thought through.
Pricing: Free up to 100 chats. Paid plans starting from €18/month.
SnatchBot is a feature-rich platform for building and training chatbots for a variety of industries.
What’s special about this tool: SnatchBot offers several features like voice and NLP model training to make this suitable for more advanced users.
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans starting from $30/month.
Olark is a live chat product that also offers the creation of chatbots.
What’s special about this tool: Olark connects with a live chat product so that agents can take over when the bot cannot answer questions.
Pricing: Chatbot available with Olark Pro plan. Price available on request.
Quriobot is a drag and drop chatbot designer for companies seeking to create conversations that match your brand.
What’s special about this tool: Quriobot has user access management and reporting available for agencies to use their tool conveniently for several customers.
Pricing: Free up to 500 chats per month. Paid plans from €9 per month.
Ada is a chatbot platform for customer service and marketing automation and with a no code solution.
What’s special about this tool: Ada enables different service levels for people when routing from the bot to the agents based on customer profile.
Pricing: Paid plans price available on request.
Botsify allows creating chatbots for websites, SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook.
What’s special about this tool: Botsify provides the ability to integrate bots into WhatsApp, Messenger and SMS.
Pricing: 14-day free trial. Paid plans starting from $40/month.
Imperson is one of the best chatbot tools for building chatbots that understand natural language for marketing and customer support.
What’s special about this tool: Imperson provides online retailers a chatbot solution for quicker response times and increased sales.
Pricing: Paid plans price available on request.
Itsalive provides a product for building Facebook Messenger chatbots.
What’s special about this tool: Itsalive is focused on Facebook Messenger bots with a variety of tools for customer service automation and marketing.
Pricing: Free up to 1,000 messages per month. Paid plans from $19/month.
Octane.ai is one of the best chatbot tools for chat automation and conversion enhancement platform aimed for ecommerce companies.
What’s special about this tool: Octane.ai is focused on ecommerce companies looking to increase their growth through conversion tools like shop quiz, opt-ins and messaging automation.
Pricing: 14-day free trial. Paid plans from $29/month.