Finding software can be overwhelming. Chatbot software is a tool that can help various industries in offering better customer service and improve knowledge sharing among employees.

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LiveHelpNow

LiveHelpNow multi channel help desk/call center software facilitates real-time customer service communications via the following channels: Live chat, Chat Bot, SMS/Text, Email, Facebook, VoIP(Phone) as well as provides abilit... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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yellow.ai

Trusted by over 100 enterprises, Yellow Messenger is a conversational AI platform that utilizes cognitive engagement technology to help businesses implement human-like chatbots across voice and text communication channels. With en... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Velaro

Velaro is a SaaS engagement solution designed for sales, marketing and customer care teams sizes up to Enterprise organizations designed to facilitate personalized customer journey interactions. Key features include live chat, con... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol... Read more

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ExecVision

ExecVision is a cloud-based conversation intelligence platform that helps organizations train sales teams and monitor performance. It is primarily designed to transcribe calls and provide managers key metrics. Firms can use t... Read more

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Drift

Drift is a cloud-based solution designed to help businesses automate sales processes by adding live chat windows to websites for increased customer experience and loyalty. Key features include chatbots, geo-targeting, offline acce... Read more

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Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is a collaboration solution that helps businesses work remotely through audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, live chat and more. It comes with a real-time message translation tool, which allows users to communicat... Read more

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SnapEngage

SnapEngage is a HIPAA compliant live chat solution that caters to businesses across various industry verticals such as travel, hospitality, real estate, health care, insurance, education and more. Key features include SMS-to-chat,... Read more

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Comm100 Live Chat

Comm100 Live Chat is used by small, mid-size, and large organizations in every industry to connect with their customers on their websites and mobile apps. Your customers can use traditional text-based chat with auto-translation in... Read more

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Freshdesk Messaging

Freshdesk Messaging(Formerly Freshchat) is an AI-powered customer messaging software used by businesses of all sizes to offer digital-first customer service across various channels like WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Mess... Read more

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Zoho SalesIQ

Zoho SalesIQ is a cloud-based customer engagement platform that helps businesses to monitor website traffic in real-time, initiate proactive conversations with prospects and customers based on available data, automate the conversa... Read more

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Customerly

Customerly is a live chat software designed to help businesses of all sizes connect and communicate with customers or prospects in multiple languages. It enables administrators to create a knowledge base including videos, GIFs and... Read more

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ChangeGear

ChangeGear is an IT help desk program that is available across both web-based and on-premise deployment models. The system interfaces with multiple third-party services and helps automate IT processes and internal workflows.... Read more

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True Lark

Powered by in-house AI technology, Sasha by True Lark is a responsive conversational AI chatbot that is used by businesses in the fitness & wellness, beauty and dental markets to automate front-desk communications. With 24/7 cover... Read more

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Chaport

Chaport is a cloud-based live chat and chatbot solution for websites that also enables businesses to communicate with clients across various channels such as Facebook, Viber, and Telegram. It provides desktop apps for Windows and ... Read more

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Chatbot

ChatBot is a customer service management solution that helps businesses create, launch and manage virtual assistants to streamline communication across websites, Facebook pages and messaging applications. It offers a visual builde... Read more

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INSIDE

INSIDE is a live chat solution designed to help businesses in eCommerce, retail, travel, government and finance sectors connect with customers via chatbot, email, SMS, video call and other communication channels. Agents can target... Read more

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Conversational Cloud

LivePerson's Conversational Cloud offers live chat and messaging on a variety of digital channels including messaging directly on your business’s website or mobile app, SMS, Email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat... Read more

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Kommunicate

Kommunicate is a live chat solution that enables businesses to streamline processes related to customer communications, chatbots, contact management and more. Professionals can create a knowledge base with a customizable interface... Read more

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Quiq Messaging

Quiq is a cloud-based solution that helps small to large organizations automate customer communication processes on business websites using artificial intelligence (AI). It provides a live chat module, which allows IT professional... Read more

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Buyers guide

As technology advances, businesses find more effective ways to engage and interact with customers. Live chat software is a telling example that improves upon email interactions and helps businesses offer instant responses to customer queries.

However, the biggest limitation of live chat platforms is that they require a substantial workforce to address all incoming customer inquiries in a timely manner. And replying to similar queries repeatedly is a low-productive task at best that can easily get frustrating for customer service executives.

Chatbot software can solve these challenges. It can serve as the bridge between providing optimal customer service and saving customer service executives' bandwidth for more discerning tasks.

In this buyers guide, we’ll look at what exactly a chatbot solution is, what are its common features, and other factors to keep in mind when buying one.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is chatbot software?

Chatbot software is a computer program with conversational interface that allows it to hold conversations with human users via textual (and auditory in some advanced cases) methods. Typically, these programs can be set up as widgets on websites, messaging platforms, social media sites, and mobile apps.

Based on their complexity, chatbot software can be basic tools that offer responses based on pre-built scripts or more advanced solutions such as virtual assistants that perform transactions on the behalf of human users.

Defining vehicle and mobile workforce rules in High Point GPS software

Chatbot builder in Landbot.io (Source)

Common features of chatbot software

Chatbot software allows users to easily create chatbots, set them up on the web or mobile apps, and derive customer insights. Let’s look at some of the common features of the tool.

Chatbot builder Create scripted responses and actions for the chatbot to execute during a conversation with human users. Build responses using visual elements such as cards, carousels, checkboxes, and multiple-choice answers.
Templates Use premade chatbot templates for different industry verticals and use cases such as lead generation, customer service, ecommerce, and HR recruitment.
Training Improve the performance of the chatbot by applying machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze conversations.
Chat widget Add a chat widget to your website by copying and pasting automatically generated code.
Integration Embed the chatbot on various social channels and messaging platforms, such as Slack or Facebook Messenger, using built-in integrations or via APIs.
Analytics Gain business insights by viewing and analyzing reports on the average number of chats, popular conversations topics, peak hours, etc.

What type of buyer are you?

The buyer groups for chatbot software are largely based on their IT budget and business needs. Let's look at the chief concerns of these two buyer groups:

  • Large businesses: These buyers typically have substantial budget and in-house IT expertise, which allows them to invest in building chatbots with extensive functionalities, such as NLP capabilities. These buyers can explore chatbot development frameworks such as Facebook's Wit.ai and Microsoft Bot Framework to build their own chatbots.

  • Small and midsize businesses: These buyers typically lack deep in-house IT expertise and sizeable budget. As a result, they should begin with the services of cloud-based chatbot software vendors that help users create chatbots using drag-and-drop interfaces without any coding. Using cloud-based chatbot solutions that come with monthly/annual subscription fees is also a low-risk way for SMBs to explore chatbots.

Key considerations

Before buying chatbot software, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind.

  • Security concerns: The majority of chatbot solutions on the market are cloud-based instead of on-premise. As a result, data security and privacy can be a concern, especially for businesses that work in highly-regulated industries such as finance and healthcare. Moreover, with new privacy regulations such as GDPR, businesses should thoroughly investigate cloud-based chatbot vendors on their privacy and data protection measures.

  • Capability concerns: Chatbot solutions vary greatly when it comes to capabilities. There are basic chatbot solutions, known as scripted chatbots, that are easy to create, come at a low cost, but can only offer pre-programmed answers. On the other end are contextual chatbots with NLP capabilities, which can not only understand nuanced language but can also execute tasks on the behalf of users. However, businesses that want such capabilities in their chatbots need to have the right IT team with specialized domain knowledge.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.