Know you need a Chatbot, but not sure where to start?
You’re in luck.
In this article, I’ve listed out some of the best chatbot software on the market to help you get up and running.
- Flow XO
Before making any decisions, it’s important to know that different Chatbot software is designed to suit different business needs.
Some are specific to Facebook Messenger. Others will run both on Facebook and your website.
Often, these will offer free or “light” plans, and allow you to pre-set standard conversations, set appointments, take reservations, etc.
And still others offer a full-on AI experience, with machine learning designed to learn from conversations and respond naturally.
These are the ones designed to hold entire conversations and field customer inquiries, and – unsurprisingly – generally come with a much heftier price tag.
I’ve included some of best of each below, and it’s up to you to decide which type best fits your needs.
Botsify is a popular platform that works for Facebook Messenger and websites.
Its biggest benefit may be in its set up, which is made easy with a drag and drop formula and accessible for to without developers on hand.
And, if your bot encounters a conversation it can’t answer, you can easily hand the chat off to a customer service or other live agent with its human takeover function.
That way, you can monitor conversations and take over when needed with a click.
Botsify provides in-app integration and can be used on websites, with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Your first chatbot is free; for more, you’ll have to sign up for a payment plan.
Also, and this is a recurring theme with many of these options, you can test-drive Botsify on the website’s home page.
Unsurprisingly, Botsify runs its own chatbot on its site. Use it to get a feel for how well the software operates.
Go ahead and start “talking” to it as though you were speaking to a real human being. Ask it questions. Ask more questions based on the answers it gives you.
There’s no better way to “try before you buy” than to use it as though you’re the customer.
Because when it comes to shopping for chatbots, you are the customer.
Chatfuel is another extremely popular Chatbots platform that allows you to build bots without any coding knowledge.
According to the company website, 46% of all messenger bots run on Chatfuel. The company’s customer list includes high-profile names such as:
- ABC News
- Leeds Beckett University
- Sesame Street
The website also lists how some of those brands improved their metrics with Chatfuel chatbot software.
For example, LEGO’s saw a 3.4x return on ad spend (ROAS) and a 71% reduction in cost per conversion.
Leeds Beckett University generated $3.1 million in new tuition in a single day thanks to Chatfuel. That’s twice the performance of the call center.
Hello Fresh saw a 44% increase in total conversations and 38% reduction in customer wait time.
Chatfuel is currently the largest platform for supplying Facebook Messenger chatbots, used for over 300,000 bots, including Adidas, Buzzfeed, TechCrunch and more.
HubSpot (Formerly Motion.ai)
An extremely popular builder in its own right, Motion.ai was recently acquired by HubSpot.
It’s another seamless, easy to set up bot, but separates itself with its flowchart set up, designed to let you see how a conversation could play out with potential visitors.
And, because it’s now part of HubSpot’s larger marketing suite, it will integrate easily with HubSpot’s other marketing and sales software, making it ideal for anyone already familiar with and using the platform.
Easy to use and set up for the even the least tech-savvy, Flow XO’s real claim to fame is its impressive number of integrations – over 100.
Collect data from answers and responses from chats, and then collect and send your data to over 100 apps like Google Sheets and Trello.
Flow XO also plugs easily into your email or helpdesk software for added functionality, allowing you to chat via bot or human takeover.
Flow XO pricing starts at $19/month.
TARS allows you to create bots for both your website and Facebook.
What’s cool about TARS is its integration with your AdWords PPC ads. Instead of sending users to a static landing page, you can instead direct them to your Chatbot Conversation URL.
Use that as your landing page URL in your campaigns, and you can better engage customers as they click.
Any leads collected will be stored in your TARS Analytics dashboard. You can view it there or send it to an existing CRM or marketing app.
It’s website is full of case study successes, and pricing starts at $499/month.
ManyChat is made specifically for Facebook Messenger.
It claims you can be up and running in just two minutes – no coding required.
Using the software, you can send Broadcasts (the same Chat to multiple recipients), and automate the process based on triggers like user actions or a time delay.
And, if there’s a conversation that needs your personal attention, ManyChat will notify you that your attention is needed.
ManyChat offers a free plan limited a plan as well as a Pro plan with advanced features and integrations. For pricing information, visit their page.
Wit.ai is a developer platform that creates bots, apps, wearable devices, and home automation sequences.
For bots, it allows you to easily create either voice or text-based bots on your preferred messaging platform.
It will learn new human language from every interaction, and share it across developers to improve communication with your customers.
The best part? The software all comes free.
BotKit features a visual conversation builder, built-in stats and metrics, and dozens of plugins.
But one of BotKit’s best features is its wealth of resources. Not only does it feature the Talkabot conference, but it hosts on an open community on Slack of nearly 5,000 developers willing to aid as you build your own bot.
Created by Wordstream founder Larry Kim, the platform is Facebook Messenger-specific software that lets you grow your list, segment your list audience, and build your own messenger funnels that opt people into audiences.
It comes with a wealth of features, including its own chat blaster (schedule bulk-send content), Click-to-Messenger ad integration, custom landing pages, automated chat drip campaigns, templates, and much more.
MobileMonkey also hosts a number of live webinars designed to highlight many of its features and benefits.
One final thing about this MobileMonkey review: the service offers a free plan (without the ability to schedule blasts and drip campaigns), as well as a paid pro plan.
LivePerson allows you to create, launch, manage and optimize your Chatbots.
Signing up for a plan includes automatic reporting and analytics insight, real-time sentiment analysis through LivePerson’s Meaningful Connection Score, the ability to tap into the topics your audience is talking about, as well as Smart Routing to the right customer service agents when needed.
LivePerson is a full on AI-powered technology, which means it can process natural language and understand consumer intents, and comes with several AI brains to suit different cases.
For information on LivePerson’s pricing, contact them here.
Drift is designed to live on your website (and you’ll see them pop up all over small business sites).
It will perform all the customary functions of greeting and helping users as they land on your site.
Drift pays special attention to lead generation and even created a special bot for it called LeadBot.
LeadBot lets you qualify leads on your site without using any forms, and will book meetings, share content, etc. It even comes with pre-packaged Playbooks with tons of best practices and conversation prompts to get you started.
Bottr is another website-friendly solution designed to handle customer communications for your brand.
With Bottr, you can hold FAQs and AMAs via chat (just sit back and let the Bottr bot go to work answering questions), or act as a virtual storefront, assisting visitors as they shop and even making product suggestions.
Bottr can also work across multiple social media platforms, forming just one unified Chatbot for your audience to interact with across channels.
To find out more about Bottr and pricing plans, visit the site here.
Smooch is a slightly different kind of software.
It focuses more on connecting your existing business apps (Slack, ZenDesk, etc.) with messenger apps like Facebook Messenger.
Once connected, all incoming Messenger or similar chat notifications will be automatically be sent to your business app, making it easy to see and respond to all incoming messages and conversations.
While that’s great for ease of communication in the workplace, Smooch also lets you build Chatbots to respond to customers. That way, if you’re using multiple apps like Messenger and WeChat, for example, you’ll have one centralized location for all incoming messages, allowing you quicker communication across channels.
Smooch offers a free trial, with subscriptions starting at $145/month.
Recast.ai is a one-stop shop where you can create and build intelligent bots, train, deploy, and monitor them over time.
Recast.ai takes users through an in-depth set-up process.
First, you can utilize the Recast community and build your bot from a template.
Then, use its unique API to understand customer queries and intent. You only enter the code once.
After that, enter a conversational flow. Recast helps you fine tune each interaction by providing sentiment analysis and language detection.
Once your bot is live, its impressive set of analytics will help you monitor conversation metrics and compare conversation flows.
Meokay is geared primarily towards Facebook Messenger, and is one of the top tools for building conversational bots in the biz.
One of its biggest benefits is its easy, intuitive builder that makes it easy for developers and non-developers alike to create a bot with intuitive conversation flows.
Meokay also highlights the following features:
- Push offers and deals to users on demand
- Recognize variations of your trigger words/phrases
- Can take orders from Messenger and comments
- Integrate with Stripe and other major payment platforms
For more information, visit their website here.
Botnation is another software that counts simplicity as one of its major benefits.
You can sign up and create as many Chatbots as you’d like for free (but you can’t publish any to your website or messaging app without a paid plan).
It’s multi-language friendly so you can engage your audience no matter where they are and is compatible with web, messaging apps, and voice search.
Its integrated NLP module will learn and understand as it engages with your audience over time, and it offers capabilities to run Push notification campaigns to your users.
For information on pricing, visit their website here.
Intercom offers messaging products, marketing, and customer service – all in one place.
It’s live chat feature, like many above, will allow you to qualify and convert leads more quickly (and uses powerful machine learning and AI), it takes things a step further by the incorporating onboarding and customer engagement technology as well as self-service support.
Keep in mind, this platform is designed to be used together, and while it’s possible to only use the live chat feature, for best results and a full set of features you’ll need to invest in the full version.
Messaging alone on Intercom starts at $49/month; the full suite runs at $155/month.
Olark is another software that claims a simple set-up and ease of use as one of its primary benefits, and includes real-time reporting, automated messaging, and team management tools.
One of its more unique features is its searchable transcripts, which let you easily search for and pinpoint andy key customer data.
Keep in mind, Olark is sitll geared more towards the live chat, human-t0-human interaction, but it does offer automated messaging based on visitor behavior on your site.
Olark also integrates easily with your other marketing tools like Salesforce, HelpScout, HubSpot, MailChimp, etc.
Pricing for Olark coms in at $17/month.
Bold360’s claim to fame is their innovative and complex AI software.
Because of that, it’s personalization features are tough to beat when it comes to live chat.
Bold360 will consolidate your customer data, provide insights to support teams, and direct customers to resources they need.
Do keep in mind, because Bold360 is so focused on AI, its price tag reflects that. Anyone looking for a simpler, more straightforward experience may not need all the functions that come with this live chat software.
For information on Bold360 pricing and to request a quote, click here.
Wrapping Up Live Chat Software
As you can see, live chat software varies in its capabilities.
But whether you’re looking for a simple Facebook Messenger Chatbot or a complete AI software, offering a live chat experience is something every business should be considering and implementing.