5 Unbeatable Customer Service Chatbots

Customer experience experts built sky-high expectations on the "Age of Artificial Intelligence" for years, and chatbots are now less “robotic" and highly coveted in customer service.

Advanced, intelligent customer service chatbots were in development before ChatGPT became a household name. Today’s chatbots are just assisting support agents better than before.

This post will share our top support chatbot provider picks, popular use cases plus potential disadvantages and what you can do to avoid them.

The best platforms for chatbot support

Chatbot asking for feedback from customer

When choosing chatbot software, don’t just consider “what can this technology do?” Instead, focus on your pain points and how this technology can help. Some features may sound modern and neat, but serve no real purpose — or the chatbot may be too simple and limiting.

Here’s what to look for when shopping for a support chatbot:

  • Chatbot type: Does the chatbot understand context and learn from customer interactions (AI-supported)?
  • Ease of use: Is it simple to get started and build your bot? Does it improve business processes? Does it have a user-friendly design for both customers and agents?
  • Apps & integrations: Can you use the bot with existing software, such as a CRM, and popular messaging channels?
  • Price: Is the chatbot worth its price tag based on features, message allowance and integrations? Is it a reasonable option for your business size?

Here’s our top picks based on this criteria:

  1. Userlike - chatbot for customer service & sales
  2. BOTfriends - chatbot for purchase automation
  3. Cognigy - chatbot for advanced conversational AI
  4. Ada - chatbot for simple use cases
  5. Dashly - chatbot for lead generation

Userlike - chatbot for customer service & sales

Userlike’s AI chatbot is a self-learning solution that pulls its answers from your central Userlike knowledge base, which grows and improves over time from conversations.

It’s one module of the AI Automation Hub, a powerful collection of support automation features.

Chatbot forwards conversation to available agent
Keep chatbots and agents connected without outside software.

The AI chatbot is an ideal solution for making first contact with site visitors, or helping customers at crucial parts in their buyer journey.

If your agents are overloaded with common questions and requests, a Userlike chatbot can proactively answer these chats and only forward the most difficult questions to your team.

Chatbot forwards conversation to available agent
German cookware company Fissler uses their Userlike chatbot Cooky to navigate users to the products they’re looking for.

In the chat, you can also display button options and carousels to help customers quickly find what they’re looking for. In-chat media also makes it easier to send important documents — such as applications and invoices — or a catalog of your products.

Automation software with built-in live chat is rare to come by, which is surprising since it’s the perfect combination of tools for customer service and sales.

  • Chatbot type: Contextual/AI
  • Automation features: AI chatbot, Smart FAQ, Contact Form Suggestions, smart routing, canned responses, live translations, WhatsApp newsletter (coming soon)
  • Compatible apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Threema, SMS, Instagram (as of summer 2023)
  • Bot-to-human handover: Yes
  • Monthly price: €490 for 10 users (includes Corporate plan and AI Hub add-on)

BOTfriends - chatbot for purchase automation

BOTfriends is a Germany-based intuitive chatbot solution that specializes in helping customers with purchases.

The bot builder provides easy-to-use templates for different use cases and industries, and integrates with common enterprise software, such as SAP, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Paypal.

Energy chatbot offers assistance to user
Energy provider EnviaM uses their chatbot Paul to assist customers with meter readings, account management and more.

For bot-to-human handover, as well as using messaging apps like WhatsApp, SMS and Instagram, you need to connect BOTfriends to a customer messaging system like Userlike.

In addition to text-based customer communication via chat, BOTfriends also offers voice bots that can be used via telephone automation systems, for example, and clarify concerns without escalating to customer support.

  • Chatbot type: Contextual/AI
  • Automation features: AI chatbot, voicebot
  • Compatible apps: Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Line
  • Bot-to-human handover: Via live chat third party only
  • Monthly price: Must inquire for pricing

Cognigy - chatbot for advanced conversational AI

Cognigy is a conversational AI platform for an advanced chatbot setup. You can design humanlike conversations using its low-code conversation editor.

Cognigy chatbot conversation flow editor

The German chatbot provider is omni-channel compatible, which means you can connect it to your live chat provider’s API, like Userlike’s HTTP framework.

With Cognigy, you have unlimited scalability and deep-learning algorithms for better performance. It’s an ideal solution if you have the development team to build an advanced setup to meet your service demands.

  • Chatbot type: Contextual/AI
  • Automation features: AI chatbot, conversational IVR, agent assistance, auto CRM updates
  • Compatible apps: Integrates with CRMs, ERPs, RPAs and more
  • Bot-to-human handover: Via live chat third party only
  • Monthly price: Must inquire for pricing

Ada - chatbot for simple use cases

Ada is a no-code chatbot that connects seamlessly to your live chat provider and popular messaging apps. Conversations with Ada aren’t scripted, keeping the exchange fresh every time.

Ada gives you an easy blueprint to follow when building your bot. You can design conversations with AI that learns from your customers and can understand typos, jargon and any other keywords you define. To make sure your chatbot is offering high quality service, Ada lets you A/B test conversations.

Chatbot editor in Ada

The conversational chatbot randomizes greetings and responses for a new conversation experience customer to customer, making it feel more human-like and pleasant to use.

  • Chatbot type: Decision tree/contextual capabilities
  • Automation features: AI chatbot, voice automation
  • Compatible apps: Live chat providers , Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Salesforce, SMS
  • Bot-to-human handover: Via live chat third party only
  • Monthly price: Must inquire for pricing

Dashly - chatbot for lead generation

If you want to improve your lead generation, Dashly offers an intuitive chatbot builder with smart automation features. You can create a custom, rule-based chatbot for collecting visitors’ contact information, which is directly transferred to your CRM or other customer management software.

Dashly Pipedrive integration
Connect Dashly to Pipedrive to manage leads.

From there, you can use your Dashly chatbot to guide your customer through your sales funnel by answering FAQs and asking qualifying questions. Promising prospects are then easily handed over to your support team for follow-up.

  • Chatbot type: Decision tree/contextual capabilities
  • Automation features: AI chatbot, pop-ups, email/marketing campaigns, push notifications
  • Compatible apps: Facebook Messenger
  • Bot-to-human handover: Via live chat third party only
  • Monthly price: Starts at $31 a month depending on your website traffic and support/feature needs

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Practical customer service chatbot use cases

Offer support after hours. Chatbots can provide instant, real-time assistance whenever. If your customers are active after business hours, chatbots can assist by answering simple questions and recommending product pages, blog posts and tutorials.

Automate tasks and FAQs. Chatbots are not meant to replace your service agents, but they do make great assistants. They can take over tasks such as scheduling appointments or answering FAQs, which could reduce your service costs by up to 30%.

Increase customer engagement. Chatbots respond instantly and are capable of having conversations in real-time. Responsive chatbots connected to your knowledge base are valuable to your customers — from making product recommendations to guiding them through your site. Plus chatbots can retarget visitors who previously engaged your website or chat.

AI chatbot cartoon

Collect and qualify leads. Chatbots can ask qualifying questions or offer relevant lead magnets (whitepapers, ebooks, webinars) in exchange for the customer’s contact info. Those who sign up help filter out your target audience and are the potential leads your chatbot generated for further nurturing.

Promote offers and discounts. Chatbots can engage your customer and lead to a sale before they even leave your website. For example, you can bring attention to time-sensitive offers and promote new items. If a customer starts the conversation with your chatbot, you could also “reward” the exchange by offering a discount at the end of the conversation — “Thanks for chatting with me today. Enjoy 15% off your next order: code”

Upsell products and plans. If you use a chatbot connected to live chat, you can trigger it after a visitor has spent a specified amount of time on a page, such as your pricing page. The chatbot could state that X amount of customers are currently using X plan, for example, and highlight price-worthy addons.

Schedule demos, appointments and calls. AI customer service chatbots are great for scheduling appointments when chatting isn’t enough. You don’t even need to use a special chatbot scheduling feature — you can link the user to your online scheduling service, such as Calendly.

The downsides of support chatbots

Can’t bend the rules. Bots are loyal servants that stick to your knowledge base. Which is fine — most of the time. The reason that businesses have clear policies is so they don't need to reinvent the wheel for each individual case. But sometimes, you might have to stray from the given path to make your customer happy. That’s why it’s important to connect your chatbot to your live chat so the conversation can be forwarded to an agent at any time.

Doesn’t have all the answers. A good support agent knows how to handle even the trickiest situations in support and find the right answers to exceptional circumstances. This is hard for chatbots to replicate, which is why they are only good at covering common questions and situations. No matter how vast your chatbot’s information source, it will still run into walls from time to time. Avoid frustrating your customers by communicating the chatbot’s capabilities at the start of the chat.

Misunderstands questions. Machine learning algorithms are increasing chatbots’ understanding of freely typed inquiries, but misunderstandings still happen. With chatbots, you often need to know exactly what you want to ask and phrase it simply. Avoid this issue by creating multiple entries for questions with similar or the same answers. Modern chatbots, like Userlike's, will learn from conversations over time and increase its understanding.

AI chatbot recognizes keywords in inquiry

Interactions can feel unnatural. Like all machines, bots force you to interact with them in a way they understand. Mostly, that may mean clicking through path dependencies to express your interests. Instead of a natural dialogue, it feels more like an interrogative question-answer situation. We recommend using a modern chatbot that uses conversational AI to sound more human-like.

Can be too overwhelming. Sending multiple messages at rapid fire not only feels unnatural, but can overload the user. Use a platform that provides a “typing…” feature and/or delay message delivery by a few seconds. For questions that need long explanations, link to articles or relevant pages on your website.

Userlike: support chatbot that won’t annoy your customers

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, sounds cool but is still not the best support chatbot solution.

A platform like Userlike’s AI Automation Hub was built to fix common struggles in customer service:

  • Chat influx
  • Not enough agents
  • Slow service
  • Lost leads

Why start from scratch with an unstable, expensive solution when sophisticated support chatbots are already available.

At Userlike, we built our AI Automation Hub so businesses could have a centralized knowledge base connected to powerful AI features. The hub powers three modules: an AI chatbot, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions.

Automation modules powered by a central knowledge base

The AI chatbot picks up conversations where customers left off — a perk not every chatbot platform provides. Most chatbots “reset” once you leave the website, but customers can see their previous conversation with the AI chatbot before deciding to continue it or start a new one.

Just like our AI chatbot mentioned above, our Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions pull answers from the knowledge base full of your business data and improve its answers over time.

To learn more about our automation features, read our post, “Automation with AI: introducing new powerful AI features.”

Need more proof? Our team is here for you. Reach out to us in the chat on our website so we can discuss your chatbot plans!