Chatbots are the software applications used by people or companies to conduct online conversations with others in place of humans. The developers design these applications so that they can tell the customer’s intent and answer them accordingly.
With the advancement of technology, online platforms are becoming more popular, hence customer needs and queries. Therefore, it has become humanly impossible to manage these queries quickly daily. Moreover, the customers do not want to wait for the whole day for them to answer their queries. Even though customer care cannot provide support to every customer, they can predict the pattern in which people ask questions and the questions that are mostly asked.
So, the chatbots reduce the hassle of employing many customer support staff and replying to similar queries by replying to them themselves. For instance, the banking application’s bot can guide the customers on making transactions, their current balance, how they can pay bills, find their bank statement, and make bank appointments for them.
The chatbots could be of different types. Following are the basic types of chatbots:
These chatbots work on specific predefined rules. These chatbots take some predefined rules, make a flow chart and predict the conversation’s flow with the users. Therefore, they cannot answer any question that the users ask outside of the inputted rules. These are fast to train because they do not rely on any prior data or machine learning to work.
Additionally, the results of machine learning can be unpredictable. However, these chatbots have a predefined flow and the answers they use to reply to the queries. It is beneficial for the highly anticipated and controlled conversations where the data is not significant enough. For instance, the pizza restaurant website bot, banking bot. (and you do not want the bot to give any out of the box replies)
These bots are artificially intelligent and use machine learning in their work. They learn from every conversation and become more competent with every interaction they have. Therefore, they can handle the questions the users have not inputted into them. They work best in scenarios that involve significant data to process. Moreover, the users do not want to modify the rules again and again. Although these bots take a long time to learn and become very good, they prove to be good in the long run by learning independently and saving time to give them data every once in a while.
Hybrid chatbots utilize both AI-based and rule-based along with living chat to provide their users with a personalized experience. These chatbots use the inputted data to reply to the user queries, and the customer care team can also jump in anytime to talk directly to the customers. These bots use the stored use cases to determine the user’ and include the human element in their conversations to provide a comfortable and open user experience.
Following are some of the popular platforms that enable building powerful chatbots for automated conversations:
Intercom is a live chat module that helps in communicating with the users. It is a live chat system that covers areas such as support, sales, and marketing. This platform claims to solve more than 80 percent of customer queries. Apart from solving users’ queries independently, the chatbots are intelligent enough to automatically assign the conversation to a human resource on the team.
Chatbots on this platform possess features like live chat, integration with other communication channels, routing, lead cards, and a broad built-in knowledge base. For instance, the Growave application, a loyalty program for Shopify stores, use the intercom chatbot to interact with its users.
Dialogflow is a Google platform to design and develop chatbots and their interfaces for various applications, devices, and interactive voice response systems. It is a natural language-based (NLP) platform that supports more than fifty languages for text-only chat, speech-to-text, audio input or output conversations, and intelligent talks.
Additionally, the users can train the bot to have AI-based conversations and become more competent as the input data increases. Also, it can do sentiment analysis to understand the user’s intent, and the developers can check the analytics and logs to input the answers to the previous questions that the bot did not answer correctly.
Furthermore, the users can easily integrate it with their databases such as firebase to get and store real-time data. Various popular chatbots use Dialogflow in their development, such as Google’s famous virtual assistant, Google Assistant. The users can use its trial version for free that can last up to a year depending on the need. The CX Agent (2021-09) costs around $0.007 per text request and $0.06 per minute for audio input/output.
Rasa is one of the leading conversational AI platforms. It allows personalized conversations at scale. The platform also helps develop AI-powered and industrial-grade chatbots. It is one of the most powerful platforms popular in the developer community all over the world. Developers can create chatbots and contextual assistants using Rasa. There is no need to have prior knowledge of machine learning. Being familiar with Python is the only requirement here. Rasa uses open course NLP tools whose primary focus is to automate chatbots and make them cost and time-efficient.
WotNot is a no-code chatbot-building platform beneficial for business environments. This platform proves helpful in creating intelligent, interactive, and customized chatbots to engage the consumers of the product, which results in retaining more customers.
The platform allows integration with various social media platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and allows integration of Salesforce, Airtable, and human handover in the conversation. Wotnot bots are famous in the areas such as Financial Services, Retail, Ecommerce, Manufacturing, Insurance, and Banking. The pricing for chatbots starts at $99.00 per month. However, WotNot offers a free trial for a specific period also.
Landbot.io is one of the most powerful chatbot-building platforms. It is a full-scale no-code automatic conversational platform. The users can build chatbot assistants for various communication platforms such as Messenger, Whatsapp, and Web. Moreover, this platform allows using an API or any other third-party application to build a chatbot. With the help of Landbot.io, users can create chatbots for their landing pages to enhance their user engagement rates. The pricing for Landbot starts at $30 per feature per month. However, the platform allows a free trial and a free version of the chatbot.
Flow Xo is a platform that provides a user-friendly AI chatbot that possesses different AI features. It helps in creating code-free online chatbots without much effort. The platform allows the hosting and deployment of chatbots across different platforms. Moreover, the chatbots are usually for messaging platforms such as Messenger, Slack, and Telegram. As the name suggests, the platform allows flows of the customized scripts for hosted chatbots. Flow Xo gives a headshot to the customers by providing them with a free start of the platform, and later the users can upgrade to add more functionalities according to their requirements.
Chatfuel is one of the biggest platforms when it comes to developing a chatbot for Facebook messenger. These chatbots prove helpful in sales and marketing funnel automation, customer support, communication, and lead generation. Famous companies like Adidas, TechCrunch, T-Mobile, Golden State Warriors, LEGO, and other reputable companies utilize chatbots from Chatfuel for automated conversations with their customers.
This self-service and free chatbot platform helps in creating an interactive chatbot by simple drag and drop interface. Moreover, Chatfuel provides a free plan for up to 5000 subscribers with all features. There is also an option to remove the branding starting from $15 per month for 500 customers.
Botsify is an intuitive no-code chatbot-building platform. Botsify provides customization and complete management of chatbots for different websites. It proves helpful in automating customer support and improving the marketing of the company. Botsify chatbots include data storage, media blocks, greeting page messaging, story trees, acquiring commenters, Conversational forms, live chat, and Conversation in multiple languages.
These chatbots are pretty beneficial for Websites, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and SMS. The clients of Botsify include Apple, Shazam, and Universal Media Group. The free plan of Botsify allows unlimited messages, and the other pricing plans offer integration with Medium and WordPress.
AWS Lex is an Amazon service to develop conversational interfaces for various platforms and devices. In addition to using natural language processing (NLP), it uses natural language understanding (NLU) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) in its bot building. Therefore, Lex-based bots can understand the users’ intents and translate speech to text inputs/outputs and vice versa. The users can also integrate it with Amazon Alexa and its other services for work automation.
Moreover, its benefits include ease of use, time and cost-effectiveness, AWS integrations, and one-click deployment. It also provides CLI-based development for its integrated applications. However, it is not entirely free, and the users have to pay for premium services such as notification service and security hub. It costs around $0.004 for a single speech request and $0.00075 per text request.