Read on to learn about the best AI-chatbot options for your business!
We all expect a quick answer or result for almost everything today, especially if it’s online.
Unlike the pre-internet age, customers of the 21st century have many options. They also have an increasing desire for quick and efficient service round the clock, and brands are doing their best to adapt to their needs.
AI Chatbots (Artificial Intelligence) have evolved over the same time to meet this demand.
The fact that customers could instantly be assisted with their queries by an ai bot that can handle moderately sophisticated conversations most humanly has made the adoption of AI chatbots skyrocket.
The demand has risen so high that the AI chatbot market is projected to reach $9.4 billion by 2024.
So what’s the big deal with these AI chatbots?
Are they better than rule-based chatbots?
If they are, what are the best AI-chatbot options for your business?
Let’s discuss these in more detail.
What is an AI chatbot?
An AI chatbot is a computer program that simulates or mimics the conversation of a real person through Natural Language Processing (NLP) and is mainly used to respond to specific questions with pre-programmed answers.
Chatbots automate repetitive tasks, answer FAQs, or provide information about products and services. Major industries implementing chatbots within their business channels include customer service, marketing, and online education.
While most chatbots are custom-built for an organization’s specific assistance or support use cases, we have recently witnessed the rise of AI-powered chatbots that can generate responses based on the user’s input.
This flexibility is made possible by leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology within the chatbot architecture that delivers more nuances responses to typed enquiries.
Now that you have a general overview of AI chatbots let’s look at some of the top AI Chatbots.
Best AI Chatbots
TARS is an AI chatbot designed to help marketing and customer service teams optimize their conversion funnels, automate customer service interactions, and redefine customer experience using chatbots.
TARS constantly learns and evolves and is constantly subjected to new features and capabilities.
TARS is also highly scalable and hosts the most extensive chatbot template library in the world, with more than 950+ chatbot templates across industries and use cases.
- Digital Experience Platforms (DXP)
- Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
- Mobile Forms Automation
- Web Accessibility
TARS offer three pricing plans – Business, Premium, and Enterprise.
The rates for all three plans can be obtained via the website.
Manychat has proven itself a prominent fixture in the AI chatbot industry. It focuses mainly on Facebook Messenger, but they do have support for Instagram Direct as well.
Manychat is a comprehensive platform that provides users with everything they need to create and manage their chatbot, including templates, tutorials, support, and more.
Plus, the company is always adding new features and integrations to keep up with the latest trends in the chatbot industry.
- Multi-Channel Communication
- Activity Dashboard
- Email Management
- Third-Party Integrations
- Customizable Branding
Manychat offers a free plan as well as a paid plan.
The paid plan comes at a flat rate of $15/month.
As a leading provider of AI-powered chatbots, LivePerson is uniquely positioned to help brands drive the marketing, sales, and customer care results to greater ROI.
With 20+ years of live chat and messaging data, LivePerson’s Conversational AI technology can detect consumer intents in real time and help brands fulfill the same intents through popular messaging channels.
On top of that, LivePerson’s automation-first mentality enables brands to efficiently design, manage, and optimize all consumer conversations.
- Speedy interactions
- Asynchronous loading
- Tailored customer experience
- Efficient site visitor targets
- Personalized invitation
Free trial – Available
Standard – $40/user/month
Premium – $90/user/month
Enterprise – By Quote
Zoho SalesIQ is an all-in-one customer engagement, live chat, and analytics software for corporate organizations.
The platform provides detailed information about your website visitors, such as their location, site behavior, and new or returning visitors/contacts.
This information can identify hot prospects and priority customers to engage them in chat at the most optimal time proactively.
- Automate customer engagement with Bots
- Native Mobile SDK for iOS and Android apps
- Live chat for customer support
Free: 3 users – Connect with 10k visitors/month
Basic: $10/ month / user – Connect with 50K visitors/month
Professional: $17/ month/ user – Connect with 100K visitors/month
Enterprise: $25/ month / user – Connect with 200k visitors/month
Freshchat is an AI-powered chatbot available across all major messaging platforms, including web, mobile, in-app, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and many more.
With Freshchat, businesses can easily provide more intelligent self-service to their customers, guiding them through informational and transactional queries.
Additionally, Freshchat helps businesses to operate more efficiently, scaling customer service without linearly scaling the team size.
- Process/Workflow Automation
- Remote Support
- Augmented Analytics
- Automated Responses
Free plan – Available
Growth – $15 per user/month, billed annually
Pro – $49 per user/month, billed annually
Enterprise – $79 per user/month, billed annually
Drift is an AI chatbot platform that helps businesses automate their lead capture and customer engagement efforts.
Drift is powered by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), which allows it to comprehend human conversation and generate appropriate answers.
Businesses can use Drift to schedule meeting times with potential customers, send automated follow-ups, or even set up automatic sales reminders.
- Language Detection
- Automated Responses
- AB Testing
- Activity tracking
Available upon request through the website
Common Features of an AI-Chatbot
One of the most important attributes of a chatbot or a self-learning solution, in general, is the ability to recognize patterns.
It enables the software to identify the purpose of a conversation and respond accordingly. Pattern recognition also helps chatbots to comprehend the customer’s state of mind through verbal inputs provided within the conversation.
By recognizing specific keywords or phrases, the chatbot can provide a more personalized experience by offering different ways to resolve the issue.
Deduction is another key feature of AI chatbots that helps them to comprehend the user query and provide an appropriate solution.
It involves breaking down a question into smaller chunks to identify the key information required to solve the query.
For instance, if a customer asks a chatbot about the delivery time regarding a specific product, it will identify the keywords in the question, such as “delivery time” and “product.”
The AI bot would then probe through its database to see if it could find an appropriate answer. If not, it requests the customer to clarify their question further.
Natural Language Processing
Chatbots leverage the power of natural language processing (NLP), a branch of artificial intelligence that deals with understanding human language.
It involves analyzing sentence structure, grammar, and word-to-word meaning to interpret the customer’s input and generate an appropriate response.
NLP-enabled chatbots can perform common tasks, including sentiment analysis, text classification, and topic detection.
Probabilistic reasoning allows the chatbot to analyze the chances of certain events occurring based on past data.
It is particularly useful when a chatbot needs to make recommendations or suggestions relevant to the customer query.
For example, suppose a customer asks about the likelihood of it raining tomorrow. In that case, the chatbot can generate a suitable response based on inputs such as past weather patterns, current conditions, and forecast data.
Generative modeling is the ability of an AI chatbot to create a realistic response based on limited data.
For instance, if a customer service chatbot is trained with a small dataset of customer queries, generative models can be used to create new queries similar to the ones in the dataset.
This expanded dataset can then train the chatbot to better handle customer queries.
It is achieved by analyzing the conversation data available to the chatbot database. It includes understanding the context of the conversation, identifying key phrases, and extracting relevant information.
How to Choose the Best AI Chatbot for Your Needs?
A Chatbot with constantly optimized inputs and a huge database can be a great asset to your marketing arsenal.
But with many available options in the market, which one do you choose?
Let’s set apart the features different chatbots offer to resolve this issue and assess your needs.
1 – Do you need an AI chatbot or a rule-based chatbot?
As the name suggests, rule-based chatbots work on a set of pre-defined rules and regulations.
While rule-based bots don’t offer many features, they could balance out for your business if you don’t receive support requests very often or if yours is a small-midsize enterprise offering a limited number of products or services.
On the other hand, AI chatbots are powered by high-end features that could assist with an extensive catalog of products, and machine learning enables AI chatbots to manage support requests optimally as the catalog grows with time.
Brands with high catalogs and support tickets would likely invest in an AI chatbot where small-mid-size businesses can easily make up with rule-based chatbots.
2 – Pricing Model for your Chatbot
AI chatbots’ most common pricing models are Per-User, Per-Month, and Pay As You Go.
In this model, the company charges a certain amount for each user interacting with the chatbot.
It can be a great choice if you have a limited but loyal customer base.
In this model, the company charges a monthly fee for using the chatbot regardless of how many users interact.
It is ideal if you wish to cut costs in the long run and expect a consistent customer volume month-on-month.
Pay As You Go
The company charges each message between the customer and the chatbot in this model.
Go for this if you’re expecting sudden spikes in customer volume or if you have an inconsistent customer base.
Whichever pricing model you choose, make sure it aligns with your business’s feature requirements and your budget.
3 – Does the AI chatbot need training?
Some chatbots come pre-trained with general intents, while some require training from scratch.
As a business owner, you need to decide on the kind of support provided through the chatbot and then look for a potential match that addresses all your requirements.
For instance, if you need a customer support chatbot for your e-commerce store, look for a chatbot with e-commerce intents or that can be trained to handle such requests.
On the other hand, if you need a chatbot for a travel website, look for one with travel intents or that can be trained to handle such requests. It’s important to consider pre-trained AI chatbots because training one from scratch can be time-consuming and costly.
Are AI Chatbots Better Than Rule-Based Chatbots?
Rule-based chatbots are more straightforward, have a specific target user base, and are cheaper when compared to AI chatbots.
AI chatbots, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. They are expensive and are used to resolve customers’ issues on a larger scale as the product catalog increase in size and numbers.
Also, rule-based bots are limited by keywords or typos that people might use. This leads to high chances of errors; hence, rule-based chatbots require more data for automated customer service training.
Another limitation of rule-based chatbots is the complexity level that they can handle. These bots use decision trees and have a limited number of queries for which they are programmed to provide clear and concise answers.
Ask a rule-based chatbot more than just ordering a snack, and replies might not be as anticipated by the customer.
It would be quite a biased answer to say that rule-based chatbots are worse than AI chatbots.
They are simply built differently to serve a different user base, and comparison without defining the user’s requirements would be futile.
Benefits of AI Chatbots for Business
Chatbots can automate a lot of tasks that would otherwise need human intervention. They can reduce labor costs and improve efficiency.
Improved Customer Service
Chatbots can provide 24/365 customer support and resolve regular queries instantly. It leads to improved customer satisfaction and long-term retention.
Increased Sales and ROI
By providing engaging content and personalized recommendations, chatbots can increase sales and conversions for the business.
Improved Lead Nurturing
Chatbots can collect data about leads and customers (through interactive sessions) and use it to score and segment them. It helps businesses send targeted outreach content for generating qualifying leads.
It’s without a doubt that an AI chatbot can unlock incredible efficiency in terms of customer loyalty, sales, and many more factors that help leverage your brand value.
It all comes down to having clearly defined goals that enable teams to adopt the right choice, prioritizing end-user experience, customer support, and other potential factors expected through an AI chatbot for their organization.
Define what you need, allocate a budget for the same, and go for that ideal AI chatbot!