Today’s savvy customers are busy, and providing them with instant responses is key.
More than 82% of them expect a quick answer from the support team they reached out to. Well, who wants to wait an hour just to get a simple, probably frequently-asked question like, “do you ship worldwide?”
Thanks to chatbots. You don’t have to burn the customer support team out to provide round-the-clock service.
No matter what time it is and where your potential customers come from, this powerful tool can help you answer queries in a matter of seconds.
To take full advantage of it, you’ll need robust chatbot software, and we’ve listed some of the best of them below.
Let’s brush up on the basics first. Why should chatbots be a must-have in your marketing tool in the first place?
We’ve slightly mentioned that it can help answer queries immediately.
Here are some other benefits you’ll get if you add a chatbot to your marketing arsenal.
Cut the marketing cost
You don’t need to expand your customer support team by hiring more people just to take the service to the next level. Chatbots can do that for you.
It can take on multiple tasks, from appointment scheduling to lead qualification and even content personalization. You’ll be able to focus your budget on other important marketing areas with the help of a chatbot.
Think long-term relationship
When customers get their questions answered quickly, they tend to develop a good relationship with the company.
It helps build trust and credibility, which are essential in any business-customer interaction.
By providing timely support, you can turn a one-time customer into a lifelong fan of your brand.
Increase your team’s productivity
Since chatbots can help with mundane, repetitive tasks, it frees up your team’s time so they can focus on other important tasks that require real human interaction and creativity, like developing new marketing strategies or reaching out to potential prospects.
Close more deals
Not only will a chatbot help you answer some queries in seconds, but it will also be a digital assistant for your potential customers to do something, from signing up to your email list to purchasing a product.
It walks them through a step-by-step guide and even sends them a tutorial or training video. This helps you to get more deals and conversions.
The difference between Chatbots and Conversational AI
Before we go into the top chatbot solutions on the market, we also want to give a short introduction about what Conversation AI is and how that is different from Chatbots. In short, a Conversational AI solution is more sophisticated and a natural next step when you want to power up your customer service and chatbots can’t get the job done.
Conversational AI: What is it?
Any system that allows users to speak or type and then receive a response is considered conversational AI. Conversational AI comes in various forms, including those used by conventional chatbots, smart home assistants, and some customer support software.
However, in this context, we’re using the term especially to describe sophisticated communication software that adapts over time to enhance interactions and choose when to pass things forward to a human response.
Natural language understanding (NLU) is a major component of conversational AI and is its key differentiator.
key attributes of conversational AI:
Conversational AI’s key attributes include:
- Systems for training: Supervised and semi-supervised learning options let your customer care representatives go over NLU findings and offer comments. This gradually changes the AI so that it can comprehend and react to the particular preferences of your business.
- User-friendly interfaces: Because AI has a contemporary, graphical interface, anyone can understand or upgrade the system without needing to know how to code.
- Extensions: Extensions are conversational plug-and-play modules that can offer immediate assistance for daily needs without requiring user-driven AI development. See what you may expect by integrating a Conversational AI platform with robotic process automation (RPA) for quicker customer service in the video below.
- Automated testing: This can assist you to make sure that, even after altering your AI, your business objectives are still being met.
- Multi-language: Conversational AI systems can operate simultaneously in several languages while utilizing the same general logic and connections.
8 Top Chatbot Software in the Market
Now that we know the reasons why you need a chatbot, it’s time to move on to the next step: finding the right software. Here are some of our top picks.
When it comes to providing an amazing customer experience, Drift is one of the top chatbot software you can find in the market.
It has a wide range of features that allow you to do things, from qualifying leads to scheduling appointments. You can also use it to send personalized messages to your potential customers based on their behavior on your website.
What makes Drift stand out is that it’s very easy to use. You don’t need any coding skills to create a chatbot. Just enter the questions you want your chatbot to answer, and you’re good to go.
It also has a visual builder that makes it easy to design your chatbot’s conversation flow.
Intercom is one of the most popular customer support tools. And for a good reason.
It has a wide range of features that allow you to do things like qualifying leads, providing customer support, and even sending targeted messages.
What sets Intercom apart is its ability to segment your audience so you can send them different messages based on their behavior.
For example, you can send a message to people who haven’t used your product in a while to try and get them to come back.
Tidio is a good option if you’re looking for straightforward chatbot software but still has all the chatbot-building features you need. You can use this software not only for your website but also for Facebook Messenger as well.
One stand-out feature this software offers is the flexibility when it comes to the pricing options. They give users the chance to pay for only the features they need to use. Not to mention that the interface is user-friendly, too– making it a worth-considering option for small businesses.
LivePerson is probably the most robust and feature-packed chatbot software on this list. There’s a reason why it’s in our top spot. LivePerson’s chatbot software can integrate with your messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat.
You can fully customize your chatbot in terms of its personality, language, tone, and even name. You can also set triggers and conditions that will allow you to automate the response flow.
This feature, along with the ability to integrate with third-party apps, allows businesses to create highly customized engagement experiences for customers.
The only caveat is that all of this power comes at a high price. Beginner and small-scale businesses might find LivePerson a bit overkill for their needs.
Freshchat is a reasonably priced, feature-rich, and robust business chatbot software that can fit into any business’s budget. Freshchat allows you to create a comprehensive and diverse bot that can help you manage your online presence and drive sales.
You can use the bot to provide personalized recommendations, manage your social media channels, and even process orders. This is one of the most feature-packed and versatile chatbot software on our list.
However, it does lack features like real-time communication and integrations with other apps. So if those are important to you, you might want to move on and look at another option on this list.
ManyChat is a robust, easy-to-use, and reasonably priced chatbot software that helps businesses create and engage with customers through Facebook Messenger.
ManyChat helps businesses create branded chatbots to engage with their customers through Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps.
The software comes with features like built-in analytics, an easy-to-use interface, chatbot templates, and integrations with third-party apps.
ManyChat is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use, quick-to-implement chatbot software. It has all the core features you need to create a fully functional chatbot. Although, at a quick glance, it doesn’t look as robust as LivePerson.
If you’re looking for a quick way to create a simple and no-frills chatbot, then Chatfuel is a great option. You can create a basic chatbot that can help you manage your online presence for as little as $9 per month.
This is the most basic version of the Chatfuel chatbot software. It is best suited for businesses that want to create a simple chatbot without much technical expertise quickly.
If you’re looking for high-end, feature-rich, and robust chatbot software, you might want to skip Chatfuel. It has some limitations and doesn’t allow you to create a fully custom bot.
MobileMonkey is an all-in-one web and app builder that lets you create a fully functional bot using its drag-and-drop builder. It comes with a set of pre-built chatbot templates that you can customize to create a functional bot.
However, its real strength lies in the ability to create a custom chatbot from scratch. You can use its robust set of tools and features to design a fully custom bot that can help you manage your online presence and drive sales.
MobileMonkey is a great option if you’re looking for robust and fully customizable chatbot software. However, if you just want to create a basic chatbot, you’ll find its features to be a bit overwhelming and overkill.
Gone are days when a potential customer has to wait hours or even days to get their question answered. Chatbots offer a solution where customers are satisfied while keeping the customer support team empowered.
Think of it like a Swiss Army. From answering some basics to helping a customer complete a purchase, chatbot makes repetitive tasks easy. Now that you have a quick list of popular chatbot software in the market, you can choose the right one that meets your business needs, preferences, and budget.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro