What can a chatbot offer you on your website? Your prospects can have answers to their questions at any time, greater customer satisfaction and a better user experience.
Especially if you have an online store, it is best to choose the most suitable chatbot software from the start. This allows you to optimize all marketing, sales and customer service processes with a single application.
There are solutions for all tastes and budgets: from AI chatbots to hybrid and rules-based chatbots for customer service.
What is the most suitable chatbot tool for your business? To help you choose yours, we have created this list of the best chatbot solutions highlighting both advantages and disadvantages.
What is a chatbot software?
A chatbot is an application capable of having online conversations with people (that is, visitors to your website). The communication takes place in a chat widget that is usually in the lower right corner of the website.
Today’s solutions ease the setup process and allow you to easily create chatbots without having to touch code.
There are three main types of chatbots:
- Rule-based chatbots. They are also known as “decision tree bots” and work with conversations based on predefined flows. Therefore, they serve to maintain basic conversations and solve simple and frequent problems.
- AI chatbots. These chatbots rely on artificial intelligence to hold human-like conversations using natural language processing (NLP) and can more or less function on their own.
- Hybrid chatbots. They combine the functions of a chatbot, but allow one person to take over the conversation. In a hybrid model, there are rules that define whether the conversation is held by a bot or should be passed to an agent.
Generally, rule-based chatbots are a good fit for the hybrid model, as it is the best way to provide a positive user experience and save agents time.
Advantages of chatbot software for businesses
Up until this point, you’ve likely been communicating with customers via email or live chat. What do you need a chatbot tool for then?
You will need it if you want to do the following:
- optimize answers to frequently asked questions,
- help your customers outside of business hours,
- take workload off the support team,
- save labor costs,
- increase customer satisfaction,
- personalize the customer experience,
- Proactively generate leads
- let the support team focus on the most important conversations,
- increase the rate of solved problems.
A chatbot will take your customer service one step further.
What features should an effective chatbot have?
It is very important to define what criteria the tool should meet before choosing one.
The best chatbots have the following characteristics:
- Easy to implement. Make it a solution that does not necessarily involve being a developer to install it.
- That allows you to create intuitive flows. It should be easy to plan conversations and possible scenarios in just a few clicks.
- Access to templates. If you don’t know where to start creating chat flows, the software should guide you through the most common situations and provide you with the necessary templates to help you.
- Possibility to customize your chat. The chatbot is part of your brand identity. It should be easy to design a widget that fits your brand and website.
- Chat statistics. A useful chatbot software provides chat statistics to the support team so that they can easily assess the effectiveness of virtual assistants.
- Hybrid control (automatic and human). You can’t trust bots with EVERY customer question. Agents should be able to take control of conversations whenever necessary, and especially when there are difficult questions.
Comparison table of the best chatbot software
These are the 11 best chatbot platforms on the market. Some are ideal for small businesses; and others, for medium-sized companies and organizations. You will surely find one that suits your needs.
|Solution||ideal use||free plan||starting price|
|chatra||Small business, e-commerce||Yes||€21/month|
|drift||B2B companies||Yes||Prices available upon request|
|SnapEngage||SaaS, NGOs, Healthcare Organizations||Nope||Prices available upon request|
|Intercom||SaaS, midsize companies||Nope||$74/month (billed annually)|
|ada||Ecommerce, SaaS, financial technology||Nope||Prices available upon request|
|Zendesk||growing companies||Nope||€49/month (annual billing)|
|Tydius||Small and medium businesses||Yes||€49/month|
|freshdesk||SaaS, small and medium businesses||Yes||€18/month|
The 11 best chatbot services for your website
Chatra combines live chat and chatbot features in one tool. The platform enables businesses to automate conversations with customers using behavior-triggered messages. These messages are easily configured by dragging and dropping items into a chat workflow.
What other functions does Chatra have?
- proactive chat,
- real-time visitor monitoring,
- visitor information,
- chat reports,
- lead capture bots,
- integrations with CMS and CRM systems.
Chatra Pricing – The tool comes with an unlimited free plan where users can access basic chatbot features and some popular integrations (WordPress and Shopify). Paid plans include deeper analytics, targeted messaging, advanced lead capture, and other powerful features starting at €21/month per agent.
2. Hub Spot
HubSpot offers chatbot creation software as part of Sales Hub. The free version includes basic features, while the paid ones have advanced chatbot features to automate customer interactions.
HubSpot’s chatbot builder allows users to do the following:
- customize the chat widget,
- schedule meetings,
- qualify leads automatically,
- create chatbot sequences easily,
- set up behavior-triggered email sequences,
- integrate chat data with HubSpot’s CRM system.
The most important drawback of the tool is the price. If you need more than a basic bot (which is very likely), the upgrade will cost a lot.
HubSpot Chatbot Builder Pricing: The free version includes basic features such as ticket creation, lead qualification, and meeting scheduling bots. It then comes with more features, such as custom branching logic and advanced segmentation, which are available on the Professional plan (€460/month, 5 users included).
Although the cheapest Sales Hub plan costs €18/month, it still offers the same basic chatbot features as the free plan. But the good thing is that, once you are a Professional user, you can not only use chatbot functions, but also access a sophisticated CRM solution.
Therefore, there are two cases in which the HubSpot chatbot builder will be the most suitable option for your company: a) you need a free chatbot and you do not plan to scale; b) you are looking for an end-to-end business CRM solution that can be used by your sales and customer service teams.
Drift is conversational marketing software with chatbot features. Drift’s sophisticated chatbot solution offers a range of highly useful features for marketing, sales and customer service teams:
- rule-based customizable chatbots,
- AI chatbots,
- audience information,
- reporting dashboards,
- lead qualification,
- meeting schedule,
- A/B testing,
- lead routing,
- integration with Salesforce,
- several languages available.
In addition to the typical features of a chatbot, Drift offers outstanding features such as A/B testing and lead routing.
The most common complaints from Drift users are the complexity of the tool’s configuration and its price.
Drift Pricing: Basic Drift chat features are available for free. The payment plans are customized according to the needs of each company, that is why the prices are not publicly shown. Early-stage startups with fewer than 50 employees can request a custom plan at a higher discount.
ChatBot is a dedicated platform that offers tools to create, manage and optimize chatbots.
What will you find in ChatBot?:
- a visual bot builder (no code);
- AI chatbots;
- A/B testing of the chatbot flow;
- chatbot analytics (including a heatmap of peak times);
- team collaboration features;
- templates for marketing, sales, and support teams;
- integrations with Shopify and WordPress.
Sounds good, but does it have any drawbacks? The creator of ChatBot is LiveChat, the provider of live chat software. Therefore, if you want to combine human attention with chatbots, you first have to integrate these two applications. That’s how it is. This also means that you have to pay for both apps to access the Live Chat Agent feature.
ChatBot Pricing: Does not offer free plans. Users can try the software for free for 14 days, after which they will have to choose one of the paid plans (starting at $50/month). On the Starter plan, you can run up to 1,000 chats per month and have only one active chatbot. To extend this limit, you must upgrade to the Team ($149/mo), Business ($499/mo), or Enterprise (custom pricing) plan.
SnapEngage is a customer engagement platform that combines live chat and chatbot solutions in one interface. TeamSupport, a customer support software, recently purchased the product. This means that users can also access SnapEngage chats through TeamSupport plans.
These are some of its features:
- AI chatbot;
- chatbot flow templates;
- proactive chats;
- offline and pre-chat forms;
- chat transcripts;
- live chat;
- chatbot API;
- integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot and other CRM solutions.
The tool is especially perfect for non-profits, SaaS, and healthcare organizations. The company has created HealthEngage, a HIPAA-compliant live chat, to help healthcare organizations engage with their patients securely.
SnapEngage Pricing: It does not have a free plan and does not provide pricing information on the website. At G2, we see SnapEngage plans starting at $16/month per user. However, the pricing model may have changed following the acquisition of TeamSupport.
Intercom is the famous business messaging software for SaaS. In addition to live chat features, the tool has several bots to hold conversations based on predefined flows or machine learning .
You’ll find a combination of live chat and chatbot features in the Intercom Business Messenger tool, which also has features like these:
- custom bots without code,
- A/B testing,
- automatic meeting scheduling,
- conversation routing rules,
- account-based allocations,
- income and performance reports,
- Intercom chat for mobile devices,
- 300+ integrations with other apps.
Users love Intercom bots for how easy it is to engage users and generate leads through a chat widget. In addition, their Resolution Bot is a simple yet effective solution that offers customer self-service so they can quickly find a solution to their problem.
Intercom Pricing: The cheapest “small business” plan is $74/month on the annual billing model. The plan allows for 1,000 conversations per month, with the ability to include an additional 1,000 chats for $50 per month. Like Drift, Intercom also offers a discounted plan for early-stage startups: companies opting into the solution can access the product’s advanced features for $65/month for one year.
Ada is an AI-based automation platform with chatbot features. AI chatbot manages conversations with customers in ecommerce, fintech, SaaS, and other industries.
Ada fully automates more than 80% of brand interactions thanks to its powerful AI-based technology. Companies, in addition to having precise solutions to various problems, will have detailed reports on the performance of the chatbot. Some customers comment that the Ada chatbot is easy to install, customizable and scalable.
Although product prices are not publicly displayed, Ada is known for its high and non-transparent prices.
Ada prices: it is necessary to request information.
Zendesk is an all-in-one customer experience platform with live chat and chatbot capabilities.
Zendesk chat software is ideal for fast-growing businesses.
Their chatbot, called Answer Bot, provides users with the following tools:
- flow builder that allows drag and drop elements,
- proactive Messaging,
- group messages,
- self Service Support,
- reports and analysis,
- integrations with third-party applications,
- I relieve an agent.
Also, if you have a knowledge base or help articles, Answer Bot will use it to gather information and provide detailed answers to customer questions.
Zendesk pricing: Zendesk does not have a free plan, just a trial period for new users. Answer Bot is available on all plans, with the cheapest one costing €49/month per agent.
Tidio is a customer service platform that offers chatbot and live chat services. Small and medium-sized businesses often choose Tidio because it allows them to welcome website visitors, retain abandoners, and offer personalized product recommendations.
With Tidio you have access to all these features:
- chatbot with AI,
- proactive Messaging,
- predefined workflows,
- searchable transcripts,
- applications for computer and mobile,
- automatic responses,
- real-time user monitoring,
- team performance reports,
- chat metrics.
Tidio Pricing: Tidio offers one of the most feature-rich free plans. It supports two agents and includes up to 100 chatbot conversations, but also provides users with access to AI chatbots. For €49/month, users can increase the limit of automated conversations to 2,000.
Chatfuel is a customer service and sales automation software. One of its key tools is a simple, no-code chatbot builder for lead generation, sales personalization, and customer support.
Chatfuel’s primary goal is to help small businesses deliver exceptional customer service, without the need for expensive and complicated technology. The tool allows you to do the following:
- easily install rule-based chatbots,
- automate customer support conversations,
- automatically schedule meetings,
- qualify leads on the go,
- take over from an agent in the chat,
- Analyze repetitive conversations.
It’s an affordable solution for small businesses that want a basic chatbot to streamline the customer journey to the sale. You won’t find AI among Chatfuel’s features, but you can use it by integrating the software with an AI solution like Google’s Dialogflow.
Chatfuel Pricing: Chatfuel ‘s pricing model is the simplest of all the solutions mentioned. Users can access all the features of the platform and hold up to 50 conversations for free. The cheapest paid plan is $14.99/month and includes up to 500 conversations. Then there are more expensive plans where the user simply gets more chat credits.
Freshdesk Messaging (formerly Freshchat) is an omnichannel messaging platform that offers instant customer support through live chat. Like other advanced solutions, Freshdesk Messaging combines artificial intelligence with human intervention for companies to provide exceptional support to their customers.
These are some of its most outstanding features:
- automated troubleshooting,
- chatbot templates ready for immediate use,
- multilingual robots,
- bot performance analysis,
- relay to an agent,
- Conversation API.
Freshchat Pricing: Freshchat Messaging offers a free plan for up to 10 agents. However, to access chatbot features, free plan users need to purchase credits: 1,000 bot sessions cost €75. The cheapest payment plan is priced at €18/month per agent. Conversational AI bots are only included in the Enterprise plan, priced at €95/month per agent.