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If you run a business with a website or social media presence, a chatbot is a fun and innovative way to improve your customer experience. Users can hop onto your website or their social media account and get answers to questions without requiring a human worker to reply.
The chatbot experience helps your customers get answers from your company without the added expense of a new customer service team member. With a chatbot app, you can build a responsive set of answers to common questions without any knowledge of code or the expense of hiring a developer. Follow along to learn more about how to choose the best AI chatbot app and some of the best apps to get you started.
The 8 Best AI Chatbot Apps of 2022
- Best Overall: ManyChat
- Best for Developers: PandoraBots
- Best for Facebook Messenger: Chatfuel
- Best Flowchart-Style Setup: HubSpot Chatbot Builder (formerly Motion.ai)
- Best Features: ChatBot
- Best for Enterprise Users: SAP Conversational AI (formerly Recast.AI)
- Best Hybrid (Bot and Human Support): Botsify
Best Overall : ManyChat
ManyChat is popular with bot enthusiasts for its fast and simple Facebook Messenger bots. It is ideal for someone starting out, as it offers a free account option that offers unlimited custom chatbot flows, two sequences, and three trigger keywords. The free account permits interactions with up to 1,000 contacts. The paid account starts at $15 per month and prices increase from there based upon how many contracts you engage with.
The biggest downside of ManyChat is that it is focused on the Meta owned platforms: Facebook Messanger and Instagram. Additionally, it works with SMS, Shopify, MailChimp, and other business technologies. However, Meta's Facebook Messenger is a great place to focus and one of the most most popular destinations for bots. Facebook has more than 2.8 billion monthly active users, so odds are your customers are already there.
You can get started and build a bot in six steps with no code. Using a a simple, graphical builder, you can create conversations, responses, and get your most important settings set up in with ease. Connect to your business Facebook account and you can get up and running quickly with an automated sales funnel and list builder.
Best for Developers : PandoraBots
PandoraBots offers users an API (application programming interface) that gives you or your developers the power to deploy your bot nearly anywhere. That takes your chat experience beyond Facebook to nearly any social platform or use case.
The AI platform claims over 275,000 developers, 325,000 bots, and 90 billion messages sent. You can start for free with unlimited Sandbox messages per month. The Developer platform charges $19/month and you get 10,000 messages per month included with more available for a fee. The Pro platform charges $199/month and you get 100,000 messages per month. Beyond that, you’ll need the Enterprise plan which offers custom pricing. Going from the free to a paid version also gives you API access and chat widgets, and landing pages. Third party channels are included with Pro, but cost $9 per channel with Developer.
There are some user-friendly features, but due to the nature of APIs and integrations, PandoraBots skews better for experienced computer users and developers. It may be harder to turn this into a DIY solution for your business depending on your needs. However, it can do a lot more than most others.
Best for Facebook Messenger : Chatfuel
Chatfuel supports both Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and chatbots in your business website. The website option gives users increased flexibility and the ability to keep visitors on their own site.
Chatfuel uses templates to get your bot up and running quickly. Those include publishing, real estate agent, influencer, and ecommerce bots, for example. The company offers a full-featured free account called Trial that lets you have 50 conversations. After that, you'll need the Entrepreneur plan which costs $14.99 a month for up to 500 conversations per month. Those conversations will cost 3 cents each and conversations beyond 500 will cost 6 cents each. Moving up from this there, is the Startup plan which costs $24.99 a month for 1,000 conversations per month. Those conversations costs 2.5 cents each and conversations beyond 1,000 cost 5 cents each. If you need even more conversations, you can select the Small Business plan which gives you 3,000 conversations per month at 2 cents each. After 3,000 conversations they cost 4 cents each. The Small Business plan costs $59.99 per month. There are also Enterprise plans with custom pricing.
The simplicity in getting started can’t be overstated. Just click to link your Facebook account, choose a page, and a blank template will show up on the screen. Create your sequences and you’ll be off and running in no time.
Best Flowchart-Style Setup : HubSpot Chatbot Builder (formerly Motion.ai)
Formerly known as Motion.ai, HubSpot Chatbot Builder integrates with many different platforms. It is geared toward visual workers, as the backend platform is built on a flowchart style setup.
If you are a project manager, you will find this platform easy and familiar from the start. HubSpot is a content marketing company, and it is optimized to help you do things like qualify leads, book client meetings, and respond to a growing customer base without hiring more customer service representatives to respond manually.
HubSpot offers the chatbot builder as one tool in a larger Marketing Hub package that includes many other features. Basic features are free, and plans include a $45/month start package, an $800/month professional package, and a $3,200 enterprise package. If you want all of your marketing, including your chatbot, on one integrated platform, you should look at HubSpot.
Best Features : ChatBot
A site with arguably the best name for a chatbot tool, ChatBot helps you build bots to automate your customer service needs. It integrates with a range of tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, MailChimp, Google's Apps, Slack, Twitter, and LiveChat. Accounts are free for a 14-day trial and then start at $50 per month ($42 per month when billed annually) for 1,000 conversations.
Using ChatBot gives your bot superpowers. Those include 24/7 customer service and automatic responses for programmable use cases. If someone gets stuck, you can transfer a chat to a human on the fly.
If you want help getting started, Chatbot.com offers an expert marketplace with partners you can hire to help you build and optimize your chatbot. Many apps make a do-it-yourself chatbot easy enough. However, knowing you can bring in an expert gives you a backup plan if all doesn’t go as well as expected.
Best for Enterprise Users : SAP Conversational AI (formerly Recast.AI)
Recast.AI was scooped up by SAP, one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, and it morphed into SAP Conversational AI with the change. This bot is all about enterprise-level reporting and analytics on top of the platform to build and integrate your bot.
SAP’s bot builder gives you connections to just about every chat platform you would want. Those including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, and Amazon Alex. It offers extensive developer resources and flexibility to meet virtually any use case.
Plans start at 300 Euros/month for a block of 1,000 chats. If your company needs more than that, you’ll have to work with SAP sales for a custom price quote.
Best Hybrid (Bot and Human Support) : Botsify
Botsify is built to help you start your customer service with a bot and transition to a human support agent if the bot gets stuck. This helps you avoid bot horror stories and mistakes in your automated replies.
This app charges $149 per month for the Done For You Plan after a 14-day free trial. You get a discounted rate of $1,490 per year when you pay for the full 12 months in advance. The subscription includes five chatbots, 15,000 unique users, unlimited stories; conversations; media; and forms, and a personal onboarding session.
Botsify gives you a wide range of options with over 100 integrations including Slack, Zapier, your company’s website, SMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. It also offers an educational platform ideal for teachers and schools to work with students in a unique way. Check out some templates if you want an easy route to getting started.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular AI chatbot apps on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 37 different chatbot apps overall, read over 60 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the chatbot apps themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.