Most Powerful Chatbot Solutions for Any Type of Business

Most Powerful Chatbot Solutions for Any Type of Business
15 April, 2024 • ... • 62 views
Arina Topoleva
by Arina Topoleva

Chatbots have become indispensable tools for companies seeking to improve customer experience, optimize processes, and boost overall efficiency. The market is awash with various chatbot builders, each offering unique features and capabilities. But how to choose the best chatbot platform for your needs to build yourself the most effective assistant? 

In case you’re feeling lost, we have compiled a list of some of the top chatbot platforms and solutions suitable for any type of business.

What is a chatbot?

So, what is a chatbot? It’s a program designed to simulate a natural and human-like conversation with users. This program can perform various functions such as answering frequently asked questions in live chat or offering quick solutions based on the collected information. 

Chatbots help businesses improve communications with customers. They automate routine tasks, allowing staff to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their work. You can integrate them into messaging platforms, websites, mobile apps, and other software. They provide customers with automated assistance, answer questions, complete tasks, or manage transactions.

Types of chatbots

There are two types of chatbots with different “anatomies” and business capabilities: rule-based and AI-based. None of these types is better than the other — they simply exist for different purposes. Let’s explore!

Rule-based chatbots

Rule-based chatbots, also known as script or decision tree chatbots, follow a structured flowchart or decision tree where each node represents a question or invitation, and branches dictate the further dialog development based on user input.

Rule-based chatbots are commonly used for simpler tasks:

  • Answering frequently asked questions
  • Providing customers with pre-made content
  • Guiding customers through simple processes such as making appointments and ordering
  • Providing basic customer support

Some rule-based chatbots can perform more complex tasks too — you can even make a game! Akinator, the game where a bot asks you questions to guess the character, is a great example.

Akinator screenshot, the bot asks the question “Does your character really exist?”

Rule-based chatbots are a common tendency in customer service. What’s interesting in the world of emails though? Check out Selzy’s extensive overview of email marketing trends to watch out for in 2024.

Artificial intelligence-based chatbots

Chatbots based on artificial intelligence (AI) are relatively new and far more capable compared to rule-based chatbots. Thanks to natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), AI-based chatbots can:

  • Answer more complex questions beyond pre-written scripts
  • Understand and interpret the context of the whole conversation
  • Learn from new data and user interactions

ChatGPT is probably the most prominent AI-based chatbot example — its API is used in other AI chatbots and chatbot builders for business. This algorithm can do many things, for example, recommend a movie.

An example of a ChatGPT dialog where a person asks for movie recommendations a gets a bunch of choices
🌳 Decision tree chatbots 🤖 AI chatbots
Functionality Keyword-driven Context-driven
Mechanism Scripts created manually Created automatically based on the historical data
Ease to start Easy & quick Takes time
Costs Lower Higher
Scalability Not easy to scale, the script may get convoluted Easier to scale as it learns from user input
Resources to maintain Requires human interaction for logical chains Requires intense human training at the beginning, then learning proceeds based on the historical data
Personalization Very limited Great potential for more personalized experiences

Both types of chatbots help you optimize many business processes and cut response time, for example, in customer service and customer support. While AI chatbots are a lot more capable, the right choice depends on your objectives.

Top chatbot solutions

As the demand for chatbot solutions continues to grow, many vendors have entered the market offering a wide range of new platforms with various features and pricing options. Choosing the best chatbot platform must be a tough challenge as plenty of chatbot builders suggest different software solutions for different purposes.

Here’s an overview of the chatbot-building platforms to help you choose the one for your business.

Selzy

Selzy is a marketing automation platform known for its user-friendly interface and robust features. Although the tool specializes in email marketing, its recent update includes a no-code Telegram chatbot builder. 

It may seem counterintuitive but chatbots and emails are more connected than you think — for example, businesses can use a chatbot for list growth. With Selzy’s messaging app integration, you can provide convenient and efficient customer support, send automated notifications, and drive sales through a conversational mechanic.

Selzy chatbot builder landing page screenshot that claims to offer 24/7 availability via automated responses

Features: Decision tree scenario builder, personalized and segmented interactions

Free plan: Included in the Standard plan (see the pricing below) + a 14-day free trial for all users

Pricing: Starts at $11/month ($126 annually)

HubSpot Chatbot Builder

HubSpot’s Chatbot Builder is a part of the comprehensive HubSpot CRM suite. The platform is knownfor its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and seamless integrations with other HubSpot tools. It’s an amazing choice for companies seeking to leverage chatbots for lead generation, customer support, and marketing automation. 

HubBot chatbot builder demonstration: the live chat option

Features: Advanced Messenger bot branching and reporting, website traffic analytics, multi-language content creation, omnichannel marketing automation

Free plan: Free for up to 5 users

Pricing: Starts at $15/month per user for individuals, and $90/month per user for organizations (if paid annually)

Flow XO

Flow XO is a platform that excels in building complex chatbots that are capable of performing non-trivial tasks. It supports integration with various third-party apps and services, making it a suitable choice for businesses with diverse needs.

Flow XO’s visual chatbot builder makes the bot-developing process a lot easier and more accessible to users with varying technical expertise.

Explainer how to create a chatbot with Flow XO

Features: Live chat transitions, payment transactions, lead maximizer, data analysis, personalized communication tools

Free plan: You can start for free and then update to a paid plan

Pricing: Starts at $25/month

SnatchBot

Snatchbot is a robust and versatile chatbot platform suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Its AI capabilities, including natural language processing (NLP), empower businesses to create intelligent and context-aware chatbots.

SnatchBot also offers multi-language support, making it an ideal choice for companies with a global presence.

SnatchBot chatbot builder templates like data importing, playlist creation, Google Sheets, and customer support

Features: Live chat transitions, sentiment analysis, voice recognition, synonym analysis

Free plan: Basic features and a limit of 2,000 messages per account

Pricing: Starts at $79/month (billed yearly)

Intercom

Intercom is renowned for its customer messaging platform, and its chatbot capabilities are no exception. It offers many solutions for automating and optimizing customer support, including a simpler rule-based chatbot builder, a shared inbox for the team, and more cool stuff. But this platform is on the list for a different reason.

Fin is the new Intercom AI Chatbot. It is designed to solve customer problems with secure, accurate, real-time responses based on your customer service content.

It communicates with your customers across multiple channels from the web to WhatsApp, can automatically interact with users in 43 languages, and integrates with the tools you use every day.

Intercom Chatbot ad claiming to resolve 50% of support questions instantly

Features: Natural language conversations, data-based learning, multiple content sources and content targeting, personalized and connected customer experiences. Aside from AI chatbot building, Intercom also offers customer support-related features like rule-based chatbots for repeated questions, shared inbox, ticketing, public help center, basic automation, etc.

Free plan: Free trial for 14 days

Pricing: Starts at $39/month + $0.99 per issue resolved by Fin (paid separately)

Manychat

Manychat is a popular choice for those using Meta messengers, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram for customer interactions. It offers a user-friendly interface, a range of templates, and a simplified chatbot builder.

Manychat’s focus on Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs makes it a go-to platform for businesses aiming to make the most of their social media marketing efforts.

Manychat automatic reply chatbot landing page screenshot claiming to automatically respond to every message

Features: Automate conversations, Acquire new customers, Segment your contacts

Free plan: Access to basic features to engage up to 1,000 contacts

Pricing: Starts at $15/month

Botsify

Botsify is an AI-powered chatbot platform that stands out for its natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities. It can build you a chatbot for a website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other platforms.

Botsify’s emphasis on human-like interactions makes it a compelling choice for brands prioritizing customer experience.

Botsify chatbot ad showing different options like a website chatbot with multiple CTAs displayed as a carousel

Features: Lead generation conversational forms, integration with several third-party apps like Slack, WooCommerce, etc., multilingual support, chatbot development services, white label solution 

Free plan: 14-day free trial

Pricing: Starts at $49/month

Drift

Drift is a conversational marketing platform that combines chatbots with smooth transitions to live chat. It can engage website visitors, offer personalized experiences, and capture leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Drift’s focus on conversational marketing makes it a solid investment for businesses aiming to drive sales and skyrocket customer engagement.

Drift conversational AI ad that claims to increase the pipeline by 30% with 30% less work

Features: Conversational AI, multilingual communication, real-time notifications, lead scoring

Free plan: No

Pricing: Starts at $2,500/month, contact sales reps for more info on other plans

WotNot

WotNot is an AI-powered chatbot platform that gained traction for its versatility and scalability. It offers integration with messaging platforms, websites, and CRM systems. 

WotNot’s AI and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities enable businesses to build smart and context-aware chatbots for many use cases, like lead generation and customer support.

WotNot ChatBot solutions for popular messaging platforms that include ChatGPT API, a chat widget, live chat transitions, analytics, and more

Features: Chatbot builder, appointment booking, WhatsApp chatbots, personalized chat integrated into Slack, Google Calendar, etc., FAQ builder

Free plan: Basic features

Pricing: Starts at $950/year

Octane AI

Octane AI is an AI marketing platform tailored for e-commerce businesses and personalized marketing analytics. Chatbot-wise, it offers AI-powered quizzes for interactive shopping.

You can make these quizzes via the E-commerce Quiz Maker. It generates quizzes based on your online store catalog, supports integrations with popular e-commerce platforms, requires no coding skills, and lets you make your AI quizzes as complex as you wish. The tool’s main focus on enhancing the online shopping experience makes it a valuable asset for retailers.

Octane AI quizzes landing page screenshot claiming to transform Shopify stores by turning passive browsing into shopping journeys

Features: AI-powered quiz builder, lead generation, customer data collection and analysis

Free plan: 14-day free trial

Pricing: Starts at $50/month

Tidio

Tidio is a user-friendly chatbot platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers a range of customizable templates, making it easy for users to create chatbots without coding skills. 

The platform offers Lyro, a conversational AI you can use to reduce first response time and decrease the amount of repetitive questions. Note that Lyro is designed specifically for tech support automation — for example, if you need a chatbot for generating leads, Tidio might not be your first choice.

Tidio live chat and bot builder interface illustration

Features: Live chat and messenger integrations, chatbot personality customization, small task automation

Free plan: 50 free Lyro conversations (lifetime limit) and most of the platform’s features

Pricing: Lyro AI pricing starts at $32.5/month (billed annually)

Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce Einstein is an AI-powered platform that seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CRM.

It offers intelligent chatbot capabilities for businesses looking to enhance customer relationships. Salesforce Einstein’s deep integration with customer data ensures personalized and context-aware interactions across various channels.

Salesforce Einstein chatbot ad claiming ethical AI development and an AI you can trust

Features: Generative and predictive AI for sales, customer service, and marketing, a custom AI assistant for a CRM, Prompt templates for workplace processes optimization, and more

Free plan: 30-day free trial

Pricing: It’s a paid add-on to the Service Cloud that starts from $75/month per user

How to choose the best chatbot platform for your needs

Selecting the best chatbot platform for your business is not as easy as it seems. There’s a bunch of factors to consider, from ease of use and customization options to integration capabilities, scalability, pricing, and customer support. 

Let’s learn to choose the best chatbot platform that fits in your business needs. 

Determine your aim and capabilities

It all starts with a “why”. So, the first step is to clearly define the purpose of your chatbot, whether it’s for customer support, lead generation, or marketing automation. For example, why spend a fortune on AI development if you only need a chatbot to support daily communications or to gather contacts? 

However, if you want to scale your business and offer customers more targeted solutions, consider an AI-powered chatbot. In this case, make sure that your team has the time, financial, and technical resources to set it up with NLP and integrate it with your business. 

Integrations

Your company already uses business software like CRM so check out the compatibility of the chatbot platform with your current tools. A platform that offers better integrationswith your CRM, marketing automation, and other apps will ensure a frictionless workflow.

For example, if you need a chatbot to collect emails for your email marketing campaigns, choosing a platform that integrates with your email service provider (ESP) would be advantageous. This integration will simplify the process of gathering potential customers. Emails are automatically sent to your ESP for campaign deployment, saving you time and effort.

AI capabilities

As we mentioned earlier, you may need an AI chatbot if you need deeper, more personalized, and context-driven integrations with customers. To make this work, evaluate the platform’s AI capabilities: natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and deep contextual understanding. Advanced AI features enhance the chatbot’s ability to provide meaningful and personalized interactions.

Artificial intelligence chatbots can be irreplaceable in various scenarios where complex tasks require human-like reasoning, decision-making, or interaction. They can also be useful for analyzing huge amounts of customer data to identify trends, preferences, and behaviors. Finally, they can help you fully automate routine tasks.

For example, if you use an AI-powered chatbot for tech support, you can leave the simpler and more repetitive questions to an AI, while your human team will focus on more complex issues.

Pricing

Different chatbot platforms offer different pricing models, including subscription-based pricing plans, pay-per-use options, and customized pricing packages. Choosing a chatbot based on pricing assumes that you will get the best value for money and stay within your budget. Here’s what to consider:

  • Limits. Many platforms enforce limits on conversations, AI credits, users, etc. on different pricing plans. Choose a plan where you won’t overpay for extra bits of everything that your business can’t use at full capacity yet. It’s especially important for small businesses!
  • Key features. In many chatbot platforms, pricing plans differ by the functions they suggest, so you can choose a chatbot that provides the features you need to achieve your marketing goals. Include the most important features such as dialog creation tools, integration capabilities, analytics, and customer support.
  • Scalability. Consider the needs for future business growth. Choose a provider that allows you to upgrade or downgrade your plan as your business develops. 
  • Hidden costs. Be aware of any additional fees or hidden costs associated with using the chatbot platform, such as installation fees, transaction fees, or premium fees.

Final thoughts

The right chatbot platform can make a drastic difference to your business by improving customer engagement, increasing efficiency, and driving growth. With many options available, it is important to choose a platform that suits both your business goals and technical capabilities.

Whether you prefer beginner-friendly tools, advanced artificial intelligence capabilities and natural language processing, or seamless integrations, the chatbot platforms mentioned above meet a wide variety of needs, making them powerful tools for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Choose wisely, implement strategically, and watch your chatbot change the way you interact with your audience.

15 April, 2024
Article by
Arina Topoleva
At the core of my professional identity is a passion for global connections, communications and digital marketing. With a vision based on an inspiring aesthetic, I am trying to bring a unique flavor to all my projects, creating content that would contribute to a user-based perspective in content marketing.
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