If you want to keep your business up-to-date and walk hand-in-hand with the latest technology, you have already definitely considered building a chatbot for your company.
However, if you go as far as to google “a platform for building chatbots”, you’d be overwhelmed by choices and options. Choosing a platform that fits gets really, really hard.
To make it easier, I decided to analyze 7 most popular platforms for bot building. Here are those I’ve chosen
- Flow XO
- QnA Maker
- Recast.AI | Collaborative Bot Platform
Every platform will be reviewed by specific criteria to make it easier to understand which one is the best for you. I’ll take these points into account:
- subscription cost and pricing plans;
- bot elements: after you’ve built a bot, what will you able to do with it?
- features for e-commerce (can a bot collect payments?);
- analytics a bot collects;
- bot vs human integration (if needed, can a human take over a chat);
- integration with popular platforms and CRMs;
Let’s get the review started, shall we?
For the last 3 years, Chatfuel has become one of the most popular and easy-to-use chatbot building platforms. They started off building bots for Telegram but became truly famous only after they’ve added a possibility to create bots for Facebook.
Free plans and pricing: there’s a free plan which gives you access to all the basic features. However, your bot will have “powered by Chatfuel” written on it.
If you want to use all the features freely, there are a few paid plans. Pro plans will cost $30 approximately.
Bot elements: a bot can display video, audio, and pictures. Also, you can delay answers up to 20 seconds. There’s a share button and a call button as well.
Features for e-commerce: a bot powered by Chatfuel can accept payments: those within and the ones worldwide.
- track down the open rates and the clickability of messages;
- the statistics for user input and retention;
- reports for subscribers and unsubscribe rates.
Bot vs human integration: you can create answer templates though there isn’t a feature that allows a human to take over the bot.
Integrations with tools and CRMs: Chatfuel has a rich list of tools to interact with. Here’s but a few to make:
- Google Site Search: display the site search in your bot.
- Zapier: add the content from you bot to Instagram, Google Docs, Youtube, etc.
- Subscription lists: with GDPR around, the possibility to unsubscribe from a digest sent by a bot is a huge advantage.
2. Botsify 77
Botsify 77 is another bot building platform that can be worth a developer’s while. The reason why a lot of bot makers choose it instead of more famous alternatives is that of no coding skills required to create a bot. That’s an advantage, indeed.
Pricing and subscription plans: you can create a bot using a free plan. However, if one wants to build a few, there are a few paid plans as well starting from $10 per month.
Bot elements: there’s a shade of innovation in Botsify bots — they are powered by machine learning. You can record all the messages your bots didn’t get to answer and teach it to answer those questions the way you want. This feature gives so much food for a developer’s thought.
Features for e–commerce: Botsify bots can integrate with all popular payment systems. You could also make them push promotions demanded by a customer.
Analytics a bot collects: after interacting with a customer, Bot 77 gives a lot of data to track and analyze. You can integrate the system with popular analytics systems like Dashbot. Also, based on bot’s talks, a manager can extract the location of a user, names a customer has used. Based on this info, you can make your bot more intelligent.
Bot vs human interaction: good news about bots from Botsify is that there’s a feature of human fallback. If your bot gets kinky and doesn’t answer in the right way, a human support agent can take over.
Integrations with tools and CRMs: you can set up an integration but yourself in nothing but a few clicks.
3. Flow XO
Flow XO is quite a controversial bot building platform. Some great editorials say the platform is getting it all wrong. However, it’s still on my top list and the reason for that is its easy-to-use editor. Let’s start from the beginning though.
Pricing and subscription plans: there’s a free plan for 500 interactions: it allows you to create 5 bots, enables 500 interactions with users, and two weeks of logs. For the unlimited amount of bots, you can buy a paid account that varies from $19 to $144.
Bot elements: a bot can be used to carry out complex tasks like booking appointments. Also, as soon as there’s a ready digest, a bot will notify users. You can execute your own Java scripts, push on-demand content, or delay a message for a specific time frame.
Features for e–commerce: a bot can push notifications and on-demand content to grow conversions.
Analytics: you can save your data to analyze and track it to Google Sheets and Trello.
Bot vs human integration: you can make a fully automated bot for your company and talk to humans via your chatbot as well.
Integrations vs platforms and CRM: a platform has over 100 built-in modules and integrations.
Free plans and subscriptions: Manychat has a free plan with limited features (a customer will see Maychat’s branding while talking to a bot). If you want to look as custom as possible, consider getting a subscription. It’s pretty affordable — the minimal rate is $15 per month.
Bot elements: galleries, attachments, built-in emoji keyboard, quick and delayed replies, call button.
Features for e-commerce: unfortunately, Manychat doesn’t accept payments, so you’d have to re-direct a user to your website.
Analytics: you can see tracking reports for sent and open messages. Also, you can see the statistics by your subscribers and those who unsubscribed.
Bot vs human intergration: you can turn the bot off so it doesn’t disrupt your conversation with a client.
Integrations with platforms and CRMs: there are integrations with all the popular platforms:
- JSON/API Webhook;
- Google Site Search;
- RSS Feed;
Pricing and plans: Chattypeople is 100% free bot builder for Messenger.
Bot elements: Chattypeople bots are pretty simple, nevertheless, they do a need job a customer support agents.
Features for e-commerce: a bot could be integrated with Shopify to monetize Facebook fan pages.
Analytics: the system offers no advanced analytics;
Bot vs human integration: you can use a bot as well as disable it and use a human operator instead.
Integrations: Shopify, Facebook Messenger.
6. QnA Maker
Subscriptions and plans: there’s a basic free plan to try out the platform. You can also get a paid subscription for $10 per month.
Bot elements: QnA is an AI-powered bot that answers customers’ questions in a conversational way. You can train the bot based on the history of previous interactions. Also, you can create a familiar interface.
Features for e-commerce: as the bot is a simple Q&A, there aren’t any advanced e-commerce feature (if I missed any, let me know).
Analytics: you can track down your question records and see the story of bot-human interactions.
Bots vs human interactions: a bot is trained to be fully automated.
Integrations: you can integrate the bot into your app.
7. Recast AI
Pricing: Recast AI has one of the most liberal free plan with unlimited amount of bots. However, if you want to get access to advanced analytics, get a custom subscription for businesses.
Bot features: the tool uses natural language processing so that it’s comfortable for a user to chat with a bot. Also, you can connect your bot to any communication channel.
Features for e-commerce: the bot can accept payments.
Analytics a bot collects: you’ll get all the kinds of metrics regarding your bot’s training process so you can make it smarter.
Bot vs human integration: Recast AI allows human to have as much control as possible. However, I haven’t seen any feature that allows a human fallback.
Integrations with platforms and tools: to make integrations easier, Recast AI developers have created a tool called Bot Connector — it allows you to integrate a bot into whatever channel you want.
That was just about it — my review of 7 popular bot builders on the market. Being relatively new to the topic of chatbots, I’d absolutely love to hear what tools and platforms you use and why you’ve chosen them.
Also, if there are any other things I could review, don’t forget to mention those as well.
Thanks for stopping by!