A guide to the best AI chatbots of 2023
Last updated November 21, 2023
Chatbots have been around for decades but have recently seen a surge in popularity following the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022. Now, ChatGPT alternatives are constantly popping up on the market.
The influx of these chatbots makes it easier for 77% of AI users worldwide to do their jobs, flex their creative muscles, provide outstanding customer experiences (CX), play or create games, write haikus, limericks and short stories, find information and so much more.
However, while ChatGPT is a leader in conversational, generative artificial intelligence (AI), it wasn’t purpose-built for every use case. Learn more about some of the top AI chatbots in 2023.
AI chatbot FAQAI chatbot FAQ
What are AI chatbots?
Artificial intelligence chatbots are computer programmes that simulate human interactions using machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand speech and generate human-like replies.
AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, use natural language processing to power a large language model (LLM), which can generate everything from text and images to music based on a user’s prompt.
AI chatbots that use intent models GPT-3 and above are forms of generative AI, meaning they can take in a large amount of data and create the text, images, audio and synthetic data it “thinks” the user wants to see.
Popular AI chatbots at a glance
The best way to determine which chatbot is right for you and your business is to try it yourself. Read on to learn about some popular AI chatbots across a variety of different use cases.
Content generation and summarisation
ChatGPT, Jasper, ChatSonic, Bard, copy.ai, HuggingChat, ZenoChat
Customer service and CX
Browsing the web
Bard, Bing, Perplexity
MY AI, Character.AI, Replika, Pi
Khanmigo, Socratic by Google
Character.AI, Replika, Claude
HR and recruitment
ChatGPT, Amazon CodeWhisperer
Data collection, analysis and visualisation
Bing, Rose AI
Bing, Jasper, Character.AI, ChatSonic
24 of the best AI chatbots for 2023
Below, we’ll share more information about some of the most popular AI chatbots of 2023, including their features and pricing. These AI chatbots have been evaluated based on user reviews, their general features, functionalities and performance.
Use case: Broad use cases include, but are not limited to, content creation and summarisation, coding and research
Model: GPT-3.5 and GPT-4
ChatGPT went viral in 2022, blowing users away with its conversational capabilities and capacity to understand the context of messages.
The bot also boasts impressive writing, summarisation, coding, research and parsing capabilities. ChatGPT can also integrate with other plugins to further enhance its capabilities. Some notable plugins include:
OpenTable for restaurant reservations
Kayak for hotel bookings
Link Reader for website summaries
VoxScript to summarise YouTube videos with transcripts
With new iterations of the original intent model, such as GPT-3.5 (available with free plans) and GPT-4 (available with paid plans), it’s a top contender.
However, ChatGPT wasn’t designed for every use case. Businesses should note that the bot isn’t ready to act as a customer-facing support tool. OpenAI also notes that ChatGPT’s models can sometimes “hallucinate” (display incorrect information as fact) and can reinforce social biases. It also warns users to be careful when using its models in high-stakes contexts.
Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF)
Conversation data preservation
ChatGPT Plus: $20/month
ChatGPT is free during the research preview but this might not be permanent. While OpenAI works to perfect its software, there’s a free version in exchange for response feedback to help the AI learn and continuously provide better answers.
Use case: Customer service and customer experience
Zendesk’s unique approach to Al is a game changer for customer service teams.
Unlike many solutions on the market, Zendesk chatbots are fast to set up because they don’t require technical skills to deploy. They also come pre-trained on real customer service interactions specific to your industry, saving teams the time and costs of manual setup.
A few other ways Zendesk bots help deliver exceptional customer experiences include:
Resolving customer issues over any channel without a human ever getting involved
Directing customers to help centre articles to enable them to better self-serve
Speeding up resolutions by gathering context from customers
Handing conversations to the right agent when a human is needed
Boosting sales, such as by sending a customer with a loaded shopping cart a discount code
Beyond conversational bots, Zendesk also offers generative AI tools for agents. Some AI-powered agent tools include intelligently routing requests to the right agent by language, intent (what a conversation is about), and sentiment (if it’s positive or negative) and sharing these insights with agents to provide helpful context and suggestions for how to solve the issue.
We’ve also combined the capabilities of the Zendesk Suite with the power of OpenAl to further enhance our generative AI solutions for agents. Learn more about our partnership with OpenAI.
Sentiment analysis for email bots
No-code bot builder
Customer context collection
Seamless handoffs from bots to human agents
Suite Team: $55 per agent/month
Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month
Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month
Suite Enterprise: $169 per agent/month
Enterprise Plus: $249 per agent/month
*Plans are billed annually.
Use case: Content summarisation, translations, coding
Model: Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA)
Google originally released its LaMDA-powered chatbot, Bard, to a limited audience in the UK and the US. However, it is now widely available.
Currently, people can use Bard for several use cases, including writing code and generating images from the web. It also has the ability to read responses out loud. Google is calling it a “launchpad for curiosity.” So far, the new technology seems to perform very well with maths and logic-based questions.
To its credit, Bard strives to avoid distributing false information, and many find it effective for general use. However, it doesn’t give users the same answer every time, shows some biases and is still in the experimental phase.
Like any brand-new chatbot, it’s still learning and has some flaws – but Google will be the first to tell you that. Google states that the tech can provide inaccurate information and you shouldn’t use it for legal, financial or medical advice.
Make plans and find solutions
Create drafts for various content types
Export responses as files
Generate images from the web
Export data to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail
Use case: Content creation and data analysis
Microsoft’s Bing rolled out its new AI chatbot in partnership with OpenAI to the public on 4 May, 2023. Chatbot users can also view AI-powered results using the Bing search engine or app, but you must download Microsoft Edge to get the full Bing chat conversational experience.
Generally, Bing is a good resource for those seeking well-known information and strategy or content planning assistance. Although some say it’s less conversationally creative than its competitors, the average user may find it handy for general planning, composing responses and generating images.
However, the technology has also experienced its fair share of mishaps. For example, soon after its launch, the bot, which incorrectly identified itself as Sydney, started generating inaccurate information, including trying to convince a user that it was 2022 in February of 2023.
In a recent update, Bing added a visual search and an enterprise-level chatbot that offers security features and citations for the answers it provides users within the chatbot.
Complex research capabilities
Visual search and responses
Use case: Task assistance
Model: Constitutional AI (CAI)
Claude is a generative AI chatbot from Anthropic that uses constitutional AI (CAI). The software refers to itself as “self-contained,” meaning it responds to general queries without searching the internet. Claude uses the “HHH” system architecture, which stands for “Helpful, honest, and harmless.”
Users can modify Claude’s behaviour by prompting it with background knowledge to receive the desired responses. Claude comes in two paid models – Claude Instant and Claude 2 – that can help users with text analysis, summarisation and creative content generation.
Legal document scanning
Knowledge base search
Prompt: $1.63 per 1 million tokens Completion: $5.51 per 1 million tokens
Prompt: $11.02 per 1 million tokens Completion: $32.68 per 1 million tokens
Use case: Getting answers and recommendations with sources
Perplexity AI is generally known as a reputable general knowledge chatbot because the tool provides sources and citations to back up its responses. Users should still do their due diligence to verify the accuracy of the bot’s answers, but this protects against misinformation and bot hallucinations.
Perplexity recently added two new features: Visual Perplexity and Llama Chat. Visual Perplexity allows the chatbot to respond to users using pictures and videos. Llama Chat is an AI chatbot built on Meta’s Llama 2 model to support common programming languages and help developers with code.
Co-pilot is a GPT-4-powered AI assistant feature of Perplexity that helps users get more targeted results. Users with a free account may only input five queries every four hours, while users on the paid plan get up to 600 queries. Paid-plan users can also use the “Quick Search” function more freely. It is not powered by GPT-4 and has more basic capabilities like serving up basic answers and search results to a question.
Copilot search assistant
Community Discord server access
Real-time web search
Free: $0 per month
Free: $20 per month
7. Jasper Chat
Use case: Content and reply writing
Model: GPT-4, Anthropic and Google’s models
Jasper Chat is an AI copywriting chatbot for businesses. According to the Jasper website, the AI bot helps brands maintain tone consistency, adhere to editorial guidelines and company information and streamline campaign collaboration.
To use this tool, the user just enters a prompt, refines their request if needed and exports the final result. Of course, answers should be edited and fact-checked, but the Jasper bot can serve as a starting point for businesses with limited resources.
A key benefit of this chatbot is that you can train Jasper on your data and retain ownership of its outputs or information you provide. However, users should remember that AI-generated content may not be protected under copyright law since there aren’t currently any laws or precedents regarding AI. This means that others can use the content or information you publish without consequence.
Creator: $39 per month
Teams: $99 per month
Business: Contact Jasper*Plans are billed annually.
Use case: Entertainment and conversation
Character.AI users can pick the bot they want to talk to and the bot will reply using the tone and language one would expect from that specific character. Some categories users can choose from include:
Helpers: Dating coaches, psychologists, mock interviewers and fitness coaches
Famous people: Ariana Grande, Cristiano Ronaldo, Taylor Swift, Keanu Reeves and Stephen Hawking
Game characters: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Nathan Drake and Shadow the Hedgehog
Movie and TV characters: Regina George, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain America, Eleven, Wednesday Addams and Tony Stark
Character.AI is slower than many other chatbots, but it has several different options. Users can have entertaining “conversations” with their favourite stars and characters, receive designs and images, play games or get advice.
Create a character
Create a feed
Free: $0 per month
Character.AI+: $9.99 per month
Use case:Content creation
Model: GPT-3.5 and GPT-4
ChatSonic is a generative AI chatbot that likens itself to ChatGPT which makes sense since it uses two of OpenAI’s latest intent models, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, to enhance conversational experiences.
In the platform, users can enter prompts via text or speech and request digital art outputs or content of any length, such as captions and email replies or long-form articles.
ChatSonic also offers Chrome extension plugins to make it easier for users to write and research. One way it does this is by surfacing the information you need when you Google a question so that you don’t have to open an article and sift through it.
AI art and image generation
Integrated knowledge search
Specialised personal assistants
No-code bot builder
One-click WordPress export
Business: $12.67 per month (200,000 words/month for 1 user)
Unlimited: $16 per month (unlimited words for 1 user)
Enterprise: Starts at $1,000/month
*Plans are billed annually. Pricing may increase based on the intent model, the number of words and user seats.
$0 per month (10,000 words/month for 1 user)
Use case: Compassionate conversation, entertainment and roleplaying
Model: Proprietary large language model and scripted dialogue content
Replika allows users to customise an avatar and talk to it for fun. The platform previously partnered with OpenAI to improve dialogue, context recognition and the quality of roleplay conversations but now operates on a proprietary system.
While the avatar is like a compassionate online friend, it isn’t sentient or a substitute for mental health professionals. As such, it should only be used for entertainment. It’s also incapable of operating as a true virtual assistant since it can't set reminders or answer maths equations and lacks other real-world skills.
On the free plan, users can chat with their bot, customise their avatar using the points they earn, experience coaching sessions, select games or prompts to play and read their digital friend’s diary entries. Users can also voice chat with their Replika bot and send photos, emojis and voice messages.
Users can upgrade to Replika’s paid plan to enable video calls, advanced chats or even roleplay a romantic relationship.
Augmented reality (AR)
Free: $0 per month
PRO: $5.83 per month
*Plans are billed annually
11. My AI
Use case: Entertainment and dialogue
Snapchat’s AI is called My AI and is unique because you can customise the appearance of the avatar you speak to and its outfit. A top choice for entertainment on social media, My AI lets Snapchatters ask questions about pop culture, get ideas for fun things to do and allows them to message back and forth with the bot.
Snapchat+ subscribers can send My AI a photo Snap and it will reply with a photo Snap back to the user. Additionally, users may customise My AI with a bio to tailor its personality and conversation style to their preferences.
Text and image recognition
Sticker and Bitmoji recommendations
Find new friends on Snapchat
Recommend local events
Suggest articles and news stories
Khanmigo is an AI chatbot created by Khan Academy, an educational organisation. The chatbot aims to facilitate learning by showing teachers and tutors effective strategies for teaching and engaging with pupils. It also helps teachers plan lessons and better understand pupil needs.
Furthermore, the tool is useful for pupils needing help with assignments or understanding complex topics. By leveraging the Socratic method, Khanigo can help pupils find the correct answer without doing the work for them – increasing their critical thinking skills and helping them absorb new information.
Khan Academy integration
Student progress insights and reports
Personalised AI tutoring
Monthly donation: $9 per user
Yearly donation: $9 per year
District access: Request pricing
*Encouraged to make a donation before using the chatbot.
13. Woebot Health
Use case: Mental health support and check-ins
Woebot is a chatbot that uses science, AI, and natural language processing (NLP) to monitor user moods and provide 24/7 access to mental health support, helping users work through complex emotions and reflect around the clock. The bot is trained on clinical approaches, including:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
Woebot aims to help people living with conditions like anxiety and depression or everyday stressors related to work, life or family. It can help users build healthy habits, develop coping skills and challenge harmful ways of thinking.
Use case: Recruitment
The Ideal chatbot helps recruiters effectively engage with candidates, eliminate phone screenings, qualify candidates and support general talent acquisition efforts. This tool allows hiring teams to prioritise top candidates through response screening and candidate questionnaires.
The platform also meets global compliance standards adhering to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
(OFCCP), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and more, meaning that all data stored on the platform is secure.
Job and candidate matching
Hiring and workforce insights
Pi is a friendly, curious and empathetic personal AI. The bot begins interactions with new users by explaining that you can ask it for advice and answers or just chat about whatever’s on your mind. It also declares that it has no interest in passing judgment or offering unsolicited advice, so you can also discuss more sensitive topics.
The bot is human-like and sends conversational messages – an even emojis – to emphasise its points. The bot is free to talk to, but you must make an account if you want Pi to remember the details you share.
Vast knowledge base
Free: $0 per month
Use case: Blog writing and email marketing
The copy.ai chatbot specialises in all things writing-related. For example, it can write product descriptions for online shops, marketing copy for digital ads, content for your personal blog and more.
Copy.ai comes with unlimited brand voices, pre-built prompt templates and an infobase. It can also generate content in 95+ languages.
To get started, users must enter details about their project, including the topic, context and tone. From there, they just need to sift through the bot's outputs and select their favourite option. Then, edit, add more details if needed, and publish the new content on the platform of their choice.
Intuitive doc editor
Forever free plan: $0 per month
Pro: $36 per month
Enterprise: Contact sales
*Plans are billed annually
You.com is a conversational search engine that can answer questions, write emails and code, explain complex subjects and brainstorm ideas. Unlike typical chatbots that surface articles for you to read through for an answer, You.com gets to the point and gives you the answer in the form of a message.
The platform is also free and secure and never displays invasive ads. Another benefit is that once the user enters a question or phrase, You.com allows them to click on other content types like videos, images, news, maps and social media to find answers in mediums that suit their learning styles.
Users can also set You.com as their primary search engine and personalise search experiences by integrating with apps like Medium, Amazon, Home Depot, Target and X (formerly Twitter).
Personalised responses and recommendations
Free: $0 per month
YouPro: $9.99 per month
*Plans are billed annually.
Use case: Copywriting and brainstorming
Model: GPT-4 and Sophos 2
ZenoChat is a natural language generation (NLG) tool by TextCortex. It aims to tailor each chat to the user with custom style, knowledge and communication needs for a “personalised intelligence experience.”
The software is a content generation tool for creatives who need help rewriting sentences or editing internal documents. ZenoChat’s AI was trained from over 3 billion sentences to reduce plagiarism and create unique outputs. It also supports more than 20 languages, so users can communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Copy editing and rewriting
More than 20 supported languages
Integrations on mobile and desktop
Free: $0 per month (20 creations per day, 125 words per creation)
Lite: $23.99 per month
Unlimited: $83.99 per month
*Plans are billed annually.
Use case: Coding
Amazon CodeWhisperer is a tool available with Amazon Web Services. It is an AI coding companion enabling developers to quickly build secure applications.
CodeWhisperer is built for programming and was trained on billions of lines of code. This makes it a top resource for coders looking for coding shortcuts or support throughout difficult projects.
This tool is especially useful for programmers attempting to work with unfamiliar APIs and streamlining time-intensive projects. Those in industries with known security risks may also use the CodeWhisperer to find hidden vulnerabilities in code and review suggestions to resolve them immediately.
Real-time code suggestions
15+ programming languages
Works with AWS services
Code security scans
Organisational licence and policy management
Individual tier: $0 per month
Professional: $19 per user/month
Use case: Task handling, email writing and content generation
HuggingChat is an open-source chatbot by HuggingFace that helps users complete the task at hand whether that’s coding a snake game, listing ingredients for tonight’s dinner or writing a moving checklist for a first-year university student moving into student halls.
Generally, the bot helps with tasks and writing general content using its own data. However, if you need it to surface more recent information, you can also toggle the “Search the web” button, and its outputs will align more closely with other online results.
The bot also elaborates on questions, predicting the user’s next question. Then, if the user has an account, they can refer back to the thread for details later – even if they’ve made another query since then.
HF Hub: Free
Pro: $9 per month
Enterprise: $20 per user/month
21. Rose AI
Use case: Data cleaning and visualisation
Rose AI is a conversational data search engine and visualisation tool that rides the line between traditional AI and a bot. It allows data scientists to quickly find, clean and visualise data. Rose can also think critically about investments, understand mathematical logic, connect to third-party databases and share digestible answers in visual or written form.
Rose’s outputs are less conversational than some of the bots in our round-up, but it does reply to conversational prompts with answers and visualisations. The bot lets users find contextual answers by immediately surfacing metadata and original sources.
Contact to register
Contact to inquire
Models: Google AI and search technologies
Socratic by Google is a search-based chatbot for learners of all ages. Whether you’re trying to get through tedious homework or just want to learn something new, Socratic can help you meet your goal.
The learning tool was designed for ages 12 and older. With its “Speak a question” function, younger learners can leverage it for assistance (under adult supervision). Users may also choose to type in a question if they desire.
Regardless, Socratic will share a top match from Google and a detailed explanation after entering a query, often with visualisations. Aside from that, the app also provides links to reputable online resources and study guides written by experts to enhance learning experiences.
Free app and study guides
Search engine chatbot
Model: GPT-3 and Dall-E
ChatSpot is HubSpot’s AI-powered marketing assistant (although, you don’t need to use HubSpot to use this bot). The Public Beta version of the bot helps marketing teams draft emails, write social media captions, generate blog topics and develop effective calls to action.
It also comes with pre-built templates that make marketing work a faster process. Some of these templates are for YouTube video summaries and news subscriptions. It even allows users to scrape websites to determine which technologies a site uses.
However, the tool does have a few limitations. For example, the vendor notes that the bot is still learning and won’t always deliver accurate results. Also, it can’t reference old messages – even if you’re still in the same thread. Additionally, the result accuracy decreases in languages other than English.
Integrated content generation
Use case: Sales and e-commerce
Model: OpenAI technologies
Certainly’s chatbot enables businesses to mimic their top revenue-driving salesperson. The bot was built using online sales data, giving it unique insight into the e-commerce industry. It also comes with pre-made templates, provides accurate data, and also integrates with Zendesk.
It aims to be a tool for deflection, data collection and customer engagement. With the ability to understand customers and the context behind their messages, this chatbot can learn to deflect tickets to sales reps when tickets need a human touch.
Natural language understanding
Smooth agent handovers
Starter: Get a quote
Pro: Get a quote
Premium: Get a quote
What to look for in an AI chatbot
The chatbot you select will depend on several factors. Let’s explore some questions you can ask yourself to better understand your needs and limitations.
1. What will I use it for?
The first things to consider when choosing your preferred chatbot are your goals and intended use cases. All bots worth their salt should have standard features like AI and NLP. Beyond that, essential features will depend heavily on the industry.
Here are a few common questions businesses in different industries should ask before investing in an AI chatbot:
What model was the chatbot trained on?
Does the chatbot need information about recent data or news?
Do you need to generate images, code, music and videos or only text?
Can the chatbot back up statements with sources?
2. What are my goals?
Assessing your goals is crucial when choosing the right AI chatbot for your business. If you need to stay on top of your data security, spending money on a reputable AI chatbot may be necessary. Key requirements like security and advanced features are often only available with paid chatbot plans.
Different goals businesses may have when looking for a chatbot include:
Editing internal documents
Enhancing customer service
If your business goals revolve around improving your customer experience but your team doesn’t have a background of highly technical knowledge, Zendesk is your best bet.
3. Does the solution integrate with my key systems?
Businesses will need a chatbot with plenty of integrations. Before you commit to a chatbot, verify that it can integrate with the other systems your teams rely on.
These systems may include your customer service software, CRM and marketing automation tools. Ideally, you will find a chatbot like Zendesk that allows administrators to easily configure integrations and customise the bot with a no-code builder.
These capabilities are especially ideal for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that don’t have the resources to hire a third-party developer or an in-house team.
4. Which channels do I need to deploy on?
Select a chatbot that can deploy on every communication platform you use to amplify your reach no matter your industry. Look for a bot that you can introduce on your website, messaging apps and social media channels. For example, you may choose to deploy a chatbot on platforms like:
5. Is the solution easy to set up, use and train?
Often, chatbots require extensive coding to customise, train and configure. These are solutions that require large IT and dev teams, and the average person will struggle to manage them. Sometimes, clunky, code-dependent bots may be necessary, but they often aren’t needed and come with hefty expenses.
Instead, you should focus on solutions like Zendesk that allow users with little technical expertise to configure, train, deploy and maintain their bots. Better yet, choose a bot built on relevant industry data to negate the need for manual training.
Frequently asked questions about AI chatbots
Finally, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about AI chatbots.
What are some use cases for chatbots?
It’s true that AI applications like ChatGPT and Google Bard promise to change the way we work. But for as many jobs whose functions can be automated, real humans will still play an integral part – especially in customer service roles, where real expertise and empathy cannot be replaced by AI.
Here are some simple yet effective use cases for chatbots.
Chatbots can answer FAQs
A bot is especially useful for automating basic, repetitive questions – the kinds of questions your team has grown to expect and can resolve in one touch.
Customers prefer to use chatbots for simple issues, giving agents their time back to focus on high-stakes tasks and offering more meaningful support.
Because bots aren’t meant to handle every issue, they work alongside your agents – routing customers and providing context – to arm them with all the information they need to jump in and resolve issues faster.
Chatbots can bolster self-service
Most customers check online resources first if they run into trouble because they want to solve problems on their own. AI chatbots can highlight your self-service options by recommending help centre pages to customers in the chat interface.
Rather than sifting through a huge catalogue of support articles, customers can ask chatbots a question and the AI will scan your knowledge base for keywords related to their query. Once the chatbot finds the most relevant resource, it will direct your customer to it.
Over time, as your chatbot has more interactions and receives more feedback, it becomes better at serving your customers. As a result, your live agents have more time to deal with complex customer queries, even during peak times.
Upwork, a popular freelancer marketplace, can attest to this. Brent Pliskow, the VP of customer support at Upwork, says: “Integrating Forethought with Zendesk has resolved 58% of our chat interactions, leaving only 42% to be handled by our support team.”
Chatbots can help provide global support
You can also integrate bots into global support efforts and ease the need for international hiring and training. They’re a cost-effective way to deliver instant support in every time zone.
AI chatbots can provide customers with answers in every language, too. A chatbot can ask your customers what language they prefer at the start of a conversation or determine what language a customer speaks from their input phrases.
This is especially beneficial for global brands like Fútbol Emotion, a specialist sporting goods retailer operating out of Spain and Portugal. Using Zendesk Suite and Sunshine Conversations, the company provides outstanding conversational support at scale. Fútbol Emotion also introduced a multilingual experience to serve a larger audience, which was essential as it expanded to serve Africa, Greater Europe and the Middle East.
“The combination of synchronous and asynchronous channels in Zendesk allowed us to reduce the agent learning curve because we divided the complexity of work by channels and languages,” explains Daniel Hsu, the e-commerce manager at Fútbol Emotion.
Chatbots can help with ticket spikes and fluctuations
Since chatbots never sleep, they can support your customers when your agents are off the clock – over the weekend, late at night or on holidays. And as customers’ e-commerce habits fluctuate heavily based on seasonal trends, chatbots can mitigate the need for companies to bring on seasonal workers to deal with high ticket volumes.
For instance, a chatbot can help customers on Black Friday or other high-traffic holidays. It could also take some pressure off your support team after product updates or launches and during events.
Take Spartan Race, for example: an extreme wellness platform that deployed a Zendesk chatbot to help its small team of agents tackle spikes in customer requests during races. Spartan Race has seen a 9.5% decrease in chat volume, extending its team’s live chat availability by three hours every day.
Chatbots for sales
Beyond customer service use cases, you can use chatbots for prospecting.
A chatbot can help with lead generation by capturing leads across multiple channels. It can also pass a prospective customer to the next step in the sales process, whether via a human sales agent or an email and phone number capture.
For example, a bot can welcome website visitors and ask them if they want to contact sales. Prospects can leave their contact information and a note about their needs, and the bot can pass on the details to the right team.
A chatbot can ask qualifying questions such as:
How large is your company?
What is your job title?
What features do you need?
What problem are you experiencing?
You can integrate a bot into your sales CRM the same way you integrate it into your customer service software. This ensures seamless handoffs between bots and sales representatives, equipping sales teams with context and conversation history.
Chatbots for marketing
Similar to sales chatbots, chatbots for marketing can scale your customer acquisition efforts by collecting key information and insights from potential customers. They can also be strategically placed on website pages to increase conversion rates.
Marketing teams can use chatbots as a tool for customer engagement, too. Mattress brand Casper, for instance, created a chatbot for people who have trouble sleeping and want a late-night friend to talk to. The bot’s single purpose is to bring people closer to the Casper brand. And since AI-powered chatbots can learn your brand voice, they can converse with customers in a way that feels familiar.
Chatbots for abandoned baskets
Shopping basket abandonment happens when online shoppers add items to their baskets but leave before buying. The worldwide shopping basket abandonment rate is nearly 70% and this number has only been increasing over the years. Customers abandon their baskets due to unexpected delivery costs, complicated checkout processes or a lack of trust.
Chatbots can be a great way to answer any questions a customer might have to give them the confidence to purchase or upgrade their account. Even if a customer isn’t ready to connect, providing a quick and convenient option to get in touch builds trust.
An abandoned basket chatbot can also offer customers a discount to provide a purchase incentive. The chatbot just needs access to customer context that tells it when a customer has an item in their basket, so it knows when to offer that discount.
AI takes the abandoned basket workflow further with intelligent, personalised recommendations. So instead of simply trying to save a sale, an AI chatbot can also help increase the total value of a customer’s basket.
Chatbots for internal support
Businesses can even use chatbots to support employees. A chatbot is a handy addition to any internal support strategy, especially when paired with self-service.
Many IT teams use a knowledge base to mitigate repetitive questions and empower employees to self-serve. A chatbot can help scale your internal self-service efforts by directing employees to help centre articles, which can be particularly helpful during employee onboarding or company-wide changes.
IT and other internal teams can also use a bot to answer FAQs over convenient channels such as Slack or email. Similar to chatbots for external support, internal support chatbots ensure employees get fast help around the clock, making them useful for global companies and remote teams with employees in different time zones.
What are some AI chatbot trends?
If your organisation hasn’t started using AI bots to assist your customer service team and streamline support, start considering it. Since the emergence of ChatGPT, chatbot technology has continued to progress and customers increasingly expect quick and convenient resolutions. It's safe to say that AI is here to stay.
Not sold yet? Here are some AI stats, trends and predictions that may change your mind.
The strides ChatGPT made in 2022 with creating humanistic text ushered in other major AI advancements like Microsoft’s Bing AI, which utilises the powerful tech. (CNBC)
Google is currently testing “Apprentice Bard” – a new AI chatbot that went into development in response to the sweeping success of ChatGPT last year. (CNBC)
65% of business leaders believe bots are becoming more human-like. (Zendesk)
67% of customers believe that bots provide mostly correct information. (Zendesk)
An AI bot can hold and close a customer conversation in six messages or less. (Tido)
The chatbot market is expected to be worth $5.9 billion by 2032. (Precedence research)
77% of customers report that AI bots are useful for resolving simple problems. (Zendesk)
62% of customers would rather use a service bot for faster support than wait for a customer service representative. (Tidio)
Which AI chatbot is right for you?
The right chatbot software for your business depends on a few different factors. Primarily, your current support needs and available resources.
If you need a bot that works for your business and the customers you serve, ensure your customer service solution offers user-friendly customisation capabilities, whether they’re built-in, third-party integrations or custom-coded.
Try answering the following questions to find a chatbot solution that makes sense for your support team’s operational needs.
What problem are you looking to solve – and what resources do you need to solve it?
Before using a bot, identify pain points within your organisation and take stock of the resources you already have to solve them. Here are some things to pay attention to:
The number of support requests you receive daily
Recurring questions and repetitive tasks
Employee efficiency and downtime
Current bot capabilities
Wait times for agents with special skills
Reasons behind long wait times
From there, you can determine what resource gaps you’re dealing with and select a chatbot with the right functionalities to fill them.
Is your chatbot flexible enough to work across different channels?
Customers expect to receive support over their preferred channels – whether they’re interacting with a human or a bot. They also expect options.
As such, it’s important for your chatbot to work across a range of channels, making omnichannel deployment for AI chatbots a must-have.
Ideally, your bot should be able to communicate on all the digital channels your customers use, including:
What level of context will your chatbot need?
If your support centre is relatively small or doesn’t handle high volumes of support requests, your bot won’t need as much data to provide solutions.
However, contact centres and robust customer service departments should select chatbots with machine learning that can learn and improve over time. Keep in mind that you will need to continue training your chatbot to make sure its outputs are accurate.
“While AI technologies are growing ever ‘smarter’ at understanding customer inputs, what you tell your bot to output is just like any other content your business manages – it must be monitored, kept up to date and audited frequently for performance and relevance,” says Madison Hoffman, director of self-service and automation at Zendesk.
A key component of any artificial intelligence solution is data – the more data you have, the faster your AI chatbot can learn and improve. In short, more context leads to better chatbots and more personalised conversations.
How will you manage conversations between chatbots and agents?
If you’re already thinking about ways to improve the flow of contextual
information between sales and support representatives, an AI bot can be the perfect way to ensure accurate customer data collection and logging.
Businesses need tools to deploy chatbot conversations on the front end and manage them on the back end. This helps agents understand the intent behind every conversation and streamlines handoffs between agents and chatbots.
Do you already have resources that your AI bot can recommend to customers or use to learn?
If you have a knowledge base, a good place to start is with a bot that suggests articles from your existing help centre content and captures basic customer context for the fastest time to value.
If you want a little more control, look for a bot builder with a visual interface. This allows you to design customised bot conversations without writing any code.
A bot is nothing without its knowledge base. If you were to try implementing a bot into your workflow without it, you would risk giving users incorrect information.
Meanwhile, systems that can’t pull information from the internet wouldn’t have any data to pull from to make decisions or have conversations.
Frequently asked questions about chatbots
Ready to try a ChatGPT alternative?
There are countless ChatGPT alternatives, many of which excel in different areas. However, if you’re looking for the best bot for customer service, your best bet is Zendesk. Zendesk bots were trained on trillions of customer service data points to ensure they can enhance the customer experience.