Earle Dickson invented bandaids in 1920 in an attempt to help his wife dress (without assistance) cuts she got while cooking. It’s been a century and now chatbots are taking their place in history as a way to address customer service gaps without assistance. From bandaids to bantering bots one thing’s for sure: we’ve come a long way. According to a survey by Oracle, 78% of brands say they have already implemented or are planning to implement artificial intelligence and virtual reality by 2020 to better serve customers. Chatbots are essential for today’s customer care, and we know there are a number of companies who are already competing and winning the chatbot game. But how do brands know which chatbot is best for their specific needs? Here’s a list of 4 of the best AI chatbots available today, and what sets each apart from the rest.
Best for Facebook Messenger bots
Using a drag and drop builder, ManyChat enables users to customize a Facebook Messenger bot in minutes, with no coding experience necessary. Users can begin utilizing ManyChat for free, but paid accounts open up interactions as subscribers grow. Though ManyChat is limited to Facebook Messenger, 1.3 billion people use Messenger daily — it’s more likely that your brand’s reach won’t be affected. One of the best things about the ManyChat website is that it offers many examples of how other brands have created bots. Users who aren’t as familiar with bots can have a better visual understanding of the capabilities of these bots.
Best for flowchart-style setup
Hubspot Chatbot Builder
Project managers will find Hubspot Chatbot Builder familiar from the start because the backend platform is built on a flowchart-style setup. This bot integrates with Facebook Messenger, Slack, SMS, email, and the web to allow for versatility in use. Since these bots are only one tool in a larger marketing package from Hubspot, companies can choose the package that best meets their overall strategies. According to the Hubspot website, Hubspot Chatbot Builder enables brands that are looking to lighten the customer service load to easily create bots that qualify leads, book meetings, provide answers to common customer support questions, and more, so your team has more time to focus on the conversations that matter most.
Best for capturing brand voice
The best thing about Imperson is its ability to customize a chatbot to capture brand voice. For instance, Jack in the Box uses Imperson to “speak” to customers using the voice of its fast food mascot, Jack. Imperson also uses end-to-end cloud deployment for integration across most messaging platforms, which makes it one of the more versatile bots available for platform flexibility. As one of the higher-end chatbot builders when it comes to price, Imperson isn’t necessarily the best fit for small businesses, but it should be one of the first choices for large brands looking to level up in the chatbot game.
Best for true chatbot beginners
Chatfuel is one of the best chatbots for beginners because no knowledge of coding is required to use it. In fact, it’s one of the leading chatbots used on Facebook Messenger. And the basic features are completely free, which means anyone who wants to use it can (as long as they don’t mind the Chatfuel logo displayed on the bottom). Plus, premium users only pay $15 a month for services, which makes it one of the most cost-effective tools. A downside to Chatfuel is that its construction isn’t flexible in real-time. Most errors that happen in the bot can’t be fixed by the end-user and must be resolved by the company. It’s also not as easy to get started as some of the other messenger bots out there. But, for any company interested in exploring with chatbots, Chatfuel is a great way to start.
Many other chatbot builders exist, and one of the first steps to integrating a chatbot with your marketing strategy is researching to find the bot builder that best suits the needs of your brand. Some things to consider include: cost, ease of use, voice, platform integration, coding knowledge, and what your brand hopes to achieve from bot interactions. If your brand’s goal is to funnel simple questions back to the website, paying for a high-end bot isn’t the best investment strategy. Or, if your customers respond best to bot games or quizzes, a simple bot may leave the engagement falling flat. The biggest thing to consider when choosing a bot builder is how the experience will enhance your brand’s overall marketing strategy. If you need help choosing a chatbot and executing with an AI strategy for your brand, Social Factor is here to help.