The best chatbots for business are the ones that deliver bottom-line business success — making money or saving money.
The business world is experiencing three concurrent trends related to chatbots — chatbots are more popular than ever, chatbots are more advanced than ever, and there are more chatbot providers than ever.
As a result, a lot of people are completely confused about the best chatbots for business.
Read this article, and the confusion will disappear:
- You’ll know the six features to look for in a free chatbot builder for business (with our recommendation).
- You’ll understand precisely what the best chatbots for business should be able to do.
- You’ll be able to experience hands-on how chatbots for business look and feel.
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Create the Best Chatbots for Business by Selecting the Best Chatbot Builder
The question of best chatbots for business boils down to a single critical element — selecting the best chatbot builder.
Chatbot builders are apps that allow you to create and deploy chatbots. They function one or more platforms (e.g., Messenger) and can perform certain features. A chatbot builder often uses an interface that looks something like this.
When you select a chatbot builder for business, you should be focusing on six selection criteria:
1. The best chatbot builders for business have an affordable cost.
There should be a low financial barrier to entry for a chatbot builder. Expect to pay for scale or premium features, but look for something that costs less than $1k per month when you’re starting out. Customers.ai, one of the leading chatbot platforms on the market, offers free accounts or Pro accounts for less than $50 per month.
2. The best chatbot builders for business have plenty of features.
Chatbot builders should be feature-rich, but not so complex that they’re impossible to learn. It should be easy to get started by using chatbot templates.
3. The best chatbot builders for business are focused on Facebook Messenger chatbots.
Select a chatbot builder that uses Facebook Messenger. Messenger, which is being merged with WhatsApp and Instagram, has the largest user base, most versatility, and highest potential among all the messaging platforms.
4. The best chatbot builders for business are easy to learn.
Your selected chatbot builder should be straightforward and easy to learn and use. If the chatbot builder requires an understanding of NLP or requires coding or programming skills, avoid it.
5. The best chatbot builders for business have robust support.
Always make a chatbot decision based on the help you can get if you’re stuck. Choose chatbot builders that have an active social community or customer support team.
6. The best chatbot builders for business have an agency plan.
You should also prefer chatbot builders that cater to marketing agencies. Why? Because these chatbot builders generally have the strongest features and ultimate scalability — elements you need to have with the best chatbots for business. Check out Customers.ai’s agency plan for details on the types of features that should be available to agencies.
Customers.ai is the best chatbot builder for business based both on its adherence to this list and the testimonials of its users. Marketing luminaries like Neil Patel, Mari Smith, and Brian Dean have selected it as their top choice for a chatbot builder.
Get started with Customers.ai now, and you won’t even have to read the rest of this article. 🙂
The Best Chatbots for Business Use Facebook Messenger
There are different types of chatbots, but every chatbot is specific to a certain platform.
For example, you’ve probably interacted with a chatbot on a website before. That’s one type of chatbot.
Maybe you use Slack for work. Slack has an integrated chatbot but also enables interaction with other chatbots.
The best chatbots for business, however, use Facebook Messenger as their platform.
There are several reasons why Facebook Messenger is the ideal platform for businesses that are getting started with chatbots:
- Facebook Messenger and its integration with Instagram Messages and WhatsApp will be the largest messaging platform in the world.
- Facebook announced that the entire Facebook ecosystem is focusing on Facebook Messenger, making it the go-to app for group interactions and online social connection.
- Facebook Messenger supports a wide range of chatbot functionality and versatility. You can do just about anything with a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
- Chatbot builders that use Facebook Messenger support thousands of integrations. More than likely, your chatbots will want to talk to your CRM, your databases, your scheduling software, or your supply department. That’s where the power and value of Messenger chatbot integrations comes into play. These integrations are possible with Facebook Messenger.
- Facebook Messenger is the optimal platform for website chat widgets. If you’re wanting to put a chatbot widget on your website so potential customers can message you, Facebook Messenger is the ideal way to do it. Customers are already familiar with the platform, and the chat history is saved across all their devices. The leading chat widget for WordPress sites is WP-Chatbot.
What Do the Best Chatbots for Business Actually Do?
As versatile and omnipotent as they are, what do chatbots actually do?
The not-so-helpful answer is everything. Chatbots are capable of tasks as mundane as reminding you to pick up your dry cleaning to the romantic — helping you meet the love of your life.
There are several main categories of chatbot functionality that are relevant to the subject of the best chatbots for business
- AI Chatbots – Artificial Intelligence chatbots are those that can facilitate human-like conversation. They are useful and have their place, but most businesses can do fine without an AI chatbot.
- Marketing Chatbots – Marketing chatbots take the place of many conventional marketing tasks such as lead generation, customer segmentation, surveys, list building, drip campaigns, telling customers about new content, etc. When businesses want to use chatbots, these are generally the kind of features that deliver the highest level of power and results.
- Customer Service Chatbots – Customer service chatbots are those that handle routine customer interactions. Shipping updates, coupons, receipts, FAQ answers, store directions, store hours. Customer service chatbots can save businesses hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.
6 Examples of the Best Chatbots for Business
One of the best ways to understand what chatbots do is to actually experiment with them to gain a first-hand understanding of their features and functionality.
Check out these chatbots — all of them alive and active — to gain an experiential understanding of chatbots.
Lead Generation bot – discover how a bot can drive leads for a business, including collecting information like an email address and phone number.
Personal Coach bot – experiment with a bot that helps coaches and trainers get more clients and better clients.
Survey bot – This bot shows you the power of a survey sent via Messenger (way better than email).
News bot – This bot from the Wall Street Journal helps you interact with news headlines, market conditions, and company news.
Beauty bot – Users can try new beauty looks, book an appointment with a specialist, or chat online.
Restaurant bot – If you’re hungry after reading this article, go ahead and order a pizza from Domino’s using their Messenger bot.
The Best Chatbots for Business: 3 Things to Know
In summary, here are the three things everyone needs to know about the best chatbots for business:
- Use the best chatbot builder available.
- Use Facebook Messenger as the chatbot platform.
- Use chatbots to address important business functions such as marketing and customer service.
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The Best Chatbots for Business: Next Steps
If your business isn’t using chatbots yet, it’s not too late. Even though chatbot marketing is at an all-time high, its popularity and effectiveness are not in decline.
That being said, now is the time to act.
Here are 3 things you should do immediately: