Imagine having an instant helper ready to support customers 24/7. It doesn’t need sleep and can respond to questions right away.
You guessed it—we’re talking about customer service chatbots.
These virtual agents are capable of automating routine tasks and can answer anything from consumers’ queries to solving specific issues. As such, they’re continuously changing the game of client service.
But how do you make them work for your specific needs?
Join us as we dive into the topic of a customer service chatbot and showcase how you can use it to supercharge your interactions with clients.
In this article:
- What is a chatbot for customer service
- Benefits of using them for your needs
- Real-life customer service chatbot examples
- A list of the best customer service chatbots
- Tips to make the most of your virtual assistant
- Steps you can take to build your own
- Frequently Asked Questions
Improve customer service and increase sales with chatbots
Do you want to learn more about chatbots? Check out these articles:
- What Is a Chatbot and What Are Chatbots Used For?
- Chatbot Marketing: Fast and Easy Guide
- Top Ecommerce Chatbots For Your Business [+ Examples]
First things first—
What is a customer service chatbot?
A customer service chatbot is a conversational tool usually powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that engages in conversations with clients. It helps automate your customer support by providing assistance, answering questions, and resolving issues. These bots can be used for anything from scheduling appointments to offering information about products and services.
Also, they easily recognize common speech patterns of visitors at different stages of their customer journey. Moreover, they’re able to provide relevant information, freeing up human customer service agents to handle more complex tasks.
Bots in customer service can be integrated into various communication channels like websites, messaging apps, and social media platforms.
Now, you should note that there are two types of chatbots most commonly used for customer service: rule-based and AI-powered bots.
Rule-based bots are particularly useful for handling predictable client requests, queries, or tasks. That’s because they operate based on predefined sets of rules and decision trees. They excel at providing quick responses to frequently asked customer questions, offering basic information, and guiding users through simple processes.
On the other hand, AI chatbots leverage advanced technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to simulate human-like interactions. These bots can learn from interactions over time, becoming skilled at understanding context and user intent. This makes them ideal for addressing a wide range of customer needs and resolving more complex issues.
Tidio’s Lyro is a great example of an AI chatbot for customer service. It’s capable of learning from previous conversations and delivering human-like answers within seconds.
Read more: Explore various chatbot types and learn more about the best ways you can use them for your business.
Provide frictionless customer experiences with conversational AI
Now you know the basics of how customer service bots operate. But what are the true benefits they can bring to your business?
Let’s explore this in more detail.
Customer service chatbot benefits
A customer service bot is a powerful tool. It can help you improve lead generation, shorten waiting times, increase client satisfaction, alleviate the workload of your agents, and much more.
So, here are the top advantages of using chatbots for customer service:
- They provide better customer communication
An AI customer service bot is able to collect relevant data about clients and use it to improve customer satisfaction. Personalized and targeted support combined with fast response times is a sure way to boost sales and improve the overall user experience. In fact, as many as 40% of people will spend more than planned after a highly personalized experience.
Read more: Check out different tips and strategies you can implement to improve your customer relationship.
- They are available 24/7
Modern-day customers want to get answers to their questions quickly. The good news—bots can send instant replies to user inquiries. Such efficient communication is a great way to convert website visitors into paying customers. And the fact that a whopping 64% of consumers think that bots’ 24-hour service is one of their top benefits is further proof of that.
Read more: Check out the Lyro case study to learn how this powerful AI assistant helped Tidio’s support team automate 58% of their conversations.
- They save money
Not only does an AI customer service chatbot boost your sales, but it can also save your brand some money. Namely, installing this type of software is much cheaper than employing and training customer service teams. And many chatbot builders and bot templates are even available free of charge.
Moreover, the Business Insider Intelligence report estimates that global retail consumer spending via bots will reach $142 billion this year. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
- They speak multiple languages
According to statistics, 75% of customers prefer to shop in their own language. And nobody wants to lose potential customers because of friction in client interactions. The great news for companies is that AI customer service chatbots running on NLP technology are able to easily understand different languages and respond to visitors accordingly.
- They give your brand a unique voice
Well-designed NLP bots make your brand more human and give people a feeling they are engaging with something more than a robot. Plus, adding a bit of personality to a chatbot is sure to attract more visitors. In fact, our chatbot personality study revealed that as many as 53% of consumers build positive associations around brands whose bots use quick-witted comebacks.
- They come with multiple integrations
It doesn’t matter what platform your website operates on—Shopify, Wix, WordPress, or WooCommerce. There are definitely plenty of solutions available for you to choose from. On top of that, a chatbot doesn’t have to be present only on your website. There are Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp chatbots that can help you stay in touch with your shoppers whenever they need assistance.
It’s now clear what the key benefits of chatbots in customer service are.
So, it’s time to check out what these chatbots look like in action.
Customer service bot examples
Are there any big companies that are actively using AI customer service bots?
The answer is yes, of course. Numerous companies are leveraging the power of service bots to enhance their interactions with users and streamline operations. These AI-powered tools provide businesses with a competitive edge, offering 24/7 assistance, quick responses to queries, and efficient problem-solving.
Here are a few notable examples of popular brands’ chatbot use cases for customer service.
Endeksa, a real estate analytics platform, uses the help of the Tidio support chatbot to transform the customer service experience for their clients. They successfully implemented two different umbrellas for the queries—client support and sales. In this customer service chatbot example, there are smart pre-chat surveys to collect new leads and a bot that asks for user feedback so that the company can learn and improve from clients’ impressions.
Domino’s Pizza employs a chatbot on its website and app to simplify the process of ordering a meal. Customers can interact with the virtual assistant, provide their preferences, select toppings, and complete their orders seamlessly through natural language conversation. This customer support AI chatbot ensures a smooth and efficient ordering experience without the need to navigate through complex menus.
Bank of America’s virtual assistant Erica helps clients with their account inquiries. Customers can ask about their account balance and recent transactions, or even set up alerts for specific activities. The finance bot provides quick and accurate responses, saving customers time and reducing the need to visit a physical branch or wait on hold for assistance.
Here’s another company that used the help of Tidio bots to enhance clients’ experience. The brand set up rule-based chatbots on its homepage, thanks to which users can successfully choose a specific department or get answers to simple questions. There’s also a discount message that pops up to new visitors and shows special offers, which is an excellent tactic for enhancing customer loyalty.
Read more: Learn all about how this global tech and security company received a boost in customer satisfaction with Tidio.
H&M’s virtual shopping assistant engages with customers seeking fashion advice. Users can describe their preferences and style, and the AI will suggest outfits or clothing items from the store’s collection. This interactive experience can help customers make confident purchasing decisions and offers a personalized shopping assistant.
Read more: Learn how to recreate online in-store experiences and effectively engage clients using chatbots.
Sephora doesn’t have just a regular customer service bot—it’s also a virtual beauty guru, offering makeup and skincare advice. Customers can describe their skin type, concerns, and desired looks, and the AI recommends products, application techniques, and even tutorials. This virtual assistant enhances the customer’s shopping journey and provides expertise right at their fingertips.
This customer service chatbot example allows users to simplify the process of ordering their drink. How? Starbucks virtual assistant guides the shopper through the steps of placing an order either via text or voice. It supports natural language processing, completes the payment process with the linked credit card or gift card, and sends a request to a nearby coffee shop to be made. Once the drink is ready for pickup, the bot sends a notification to the client.
KLM’s virtual assistant keeps travelers informed about their flights. Customers receive real-time updates on flight statuses, gate changes, and baggage information through a messaging app. This customer service AI chatbot helps to ease travel uncertainties and provides convenience by quickly delivering all the crucial information.
InboundLabs uses a bot with a knowledge base, allowing the visitors to receive all relevant information they’re interested in. A user can also select a specific department they need assistance from within the chat dropdown. The LabsBot will then ask for a user’s name and email address, successfully collecting leads in the process.
Dollar Shave Club’s customer support bot provides users with assistance when it comes to most common issues. All they need to do is select the category most relevant to their problem and then keep choosing from the options available in the chat window. For example, if clients need help with their subscriptions, they can ask more about how to change payment info, add or remove products, cancel their subscriptions, etc.
The above-mentioned customer service chatbot use cases all showcase how these bots enhance various aspects of the user experience, from simplifying ordering processes to providing personalized assistance.
But you might be wondering—which providers in this category offer the richest array of features?
Best customer service chatbot software
Now that you know about all the perks of having a virtual assistant and are familiar with some real-life examples, let’s check out the top customer support chatbot software on the market.
These tools are great because they contribute to delivering stellar client service and boosting client experiences. Also, CS chatbots help automate many of the mundane tasks and reduce the workload of your reps so they can focus on more complex customer inquiries.
Here’s a table of each tool we’ll cover for a quick comparison:
|Rule-based and AI chatbots
|All-encompassing customer service
|CRM software integration
|Help desk features
Now, let’s go more in-depth—
Here are the reviews of the best chatbots for customer service to help you choose your perfect tool:
Rating: 4.7/5 ⭐️ (1,410+ reviews)
Tidio is an all-encompassing customer service chatbot platform that includes AI bots and a live chat feature. It also offers dedicated integrations with all of the major ecommerce platforms and comes with a no-code bot builder. Aside from automated chat flows, customers can also use Lyro, Tidio’s virtual AI assistant capable of answering most commonly asked quires using natural, human-like language.
- Over 30 chatbot templates to choose from
- Lyro AI virtual assistant capable of using natural language
- FAQ bots you can optimize for any business type
- A wide variety of chat triggers available
- Integrations with Instagram, Zapier, and Facebook
- An iOS and Android mobile app
- Email marketing ($10/mo)
- Starter ($29/mo)
- Automation ($29/mo)
- Growth ($59/mo)
- Lyro AI ($39/mo)
- Tidio + (starting from $394/mo)
Read more: Learn how to use Tidio’s Visitor Says trigger and reduce your team’s workload.
Rating: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (500+ reviews)
Gorgias is a good option for medium-sized businesses as it combines a Shopify chatbot tool with a ticketing system. It’s a useful tracking and segmentation platform that allows companies to offer a more tailored approach to their customers. There are also AI-based features and flows you can use to create personalized automations and elevate your support.
- Over 30 integrations with social media, messaging platforms, etc.
- Chat flows for customer service
- Intent and sentiment detection
- Tracking updates available
- Focuses mainly on ecommerce
- Limited reporting features
- Free 7-day trial available
- Starter ($10/mo)
- Basic ($60/mo)
- Pro ($360/mo)
- Advanced ($900/mo)
- Enterprise → Contact sales
Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️ (2,935+ reviews)
This is a customer service chatbot solution ideal for large businesses and enterprises. Intercom provides a wide range of tools that will help your business improve customer interactions and experiences. It offers chat surveys for customer feedback collection, tracking client interactions, and automatically sorting visitors into categories. In addition, it lets you add rules to your support funnel for better workflow automation.
- Various bot templates
- Workflow monitoring and reporting
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Multilingual bots available
- Difficult to use with a steep learning curve
- Content organization into folders is not possible
- Free 14-day trial available
- Essential ($39/per seat/mo)
- Advanced ($99/per seat/mo)
- Expert ($139/per seat/mo)
Rating: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (2,170+ reviews)
HubSpot primarily offers marketing and sales software to help your business grow its revenue and number of subscribers. It provides a CRM system to keep track of your customer communications and organize your interactions better. Overall, this customer service chatbot platform gives you a great suite of tools to help you with marketing, sales, and client support.
- Visitor tracking features
- Well-organized and easy-to-navigate user interface
- Shared inbox for all requests
- Various integrations, such as HubSpot CRM, Zapier, and Gmail
- Limited chatbot analytics
- The knowledge base can be difficult to set up
- Free version available
- Starter ($20/mo)
- CRM Suite Starter ($30/mo)
- Professional (Starts at $890/mo)
- Enterprise (Starts at $3,600/mo)
Rating: 4.3/5 ⭐️ (5,795+ reviews)
Zendesk provides a cloud-based customer service AI chatbot solution with agent role permissions, web SDKs, and operating hours. You can put this tool on any channel you like, including email, social media, WhatsApp, and more. This customer service chatbot for websites is easy to use and offers handy features for sales, marketing, and your team that handles support tickets.
- Advanced reporting and analytics
- Offline pre-chat forms
- Real-time preview of website visitors
- Multilingual support available
- Few data transfer issues reported
- Navigation and system layout need improvements
- Free 14-day trial available
- Suite Team ($69/agent/mo)
- Suite Growth ($115/agent/mo)
- Suite Professional ($149/agent/mo)
- Suite Enterprise → Contact sales
- Suite Enterprise Plus → Contact sales
You’re now aware of the best customer service chatbot tools you can use to enhance your support efforts and help automate the workload of your reps.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to some useful tips you can implement to take your customer service to the next level.
Best practices for using customer service bots
After the installation, you might be wondering what you can do to make your online customer service chatbot even more efficient at helping your clients.
We got your back—read on for the tips and tricks:
1. Personalize interactions for stellar experiences
One of the chatbot’s superpowers lies in its ability to provide personalized experiences at scale. Our study on chatbot statistics reveals that customers love feeling special and seeing that a business is client-centric. In fact, customer-centric companies are reported to be 60% more profitable than the rest! So, if your support bots can provide people with the feeling of uniqueness and being valued, you are in for success.
As you scale, maintain a human touch even through the virtual assistant. Train your AI bot to respond empathetically and adapt to varying conversational tones, ensuring each interaction feels like a genuine conversation. This includes greeting your visitors by name, adjusting to their tone of voice, and talking on behalf of your company in the unique brand voice.
2. Embrace and use a multichannel approach
Scaling your business means reaching customers across various platforms. Therefore, it’s crucial to figure out what channels your target audience prefers. And the solution to this issue is simple: use an omnichannel customer service approach. Implement your bot on multiple channels, like your website, social media, SMS, and messaging apps. This will help you meet clients wherever they are and ensure consistent support and customer engagement.
Remember, each platform might require different interaction styles. So, adapt your chatbot’s responses accordingly while maintaining a unified brand voice. Combining stellar AI-powered chatbots on your site and messaging apps will help you win the loyalty of your customers.
3. Build interactive FAQs
It’s a good idea to ensure that your bots are ready to answer any frequently asked questions your customers might have. This way, communication will be much more efficient because buyers won’t have to visit the FAQ page and scan it themselves. In fact, about 74% of shoppers prefer chatbots for customer service when asking FAQs and simple queries.
For example, you can use Tidio’s Lyro AI chatbot to automatically pull answers from your existing FAQ base. After enabling Lyro on your site, all you have to do is decide whether you want to add knowledge from your website URL, or if you want to generate it from the existing Q&A.
And if you have yet to create your own FAQ database, you can also choose whether you want to build one manually or have it generated automatically according to your URL’s content.
Read more: Learn all about customer self-service along with its practical examples, key benefits, and useful tips.
4. Use rich text and content
Rich text and content supports different text formatting, like italics, bold text, and underlining. It’s more engaging to read the text in different formats, font sizes, and colored text than just plain writing, wouldn’t you agree?
And customers love seeing it, too. It adds to how much a company cares about communication. Rich text with different elements as well as images and GIFs makes the conversation more interactive. This can discourage the visitors from closing the page, so make sure to incorporate it as part of your virtual support strategy.
5. Streamline routine tasks for efficiency
Customer service bots can be your secret weapon to tackle repetitive and time-consuming tasks. By automating routine inquiries, order tracking, and basic troubleshooting, you free up your human team to focus on more strategic and complex matters. This scalability boost leads to reduced wait times, higher customer satisfaction, and optimized resource allocation.
Remember, the key is to strike a balance between automation and personal touch. Try to use chatbots to handle the routine, and let your human team shine in more elaborate interactions.
6. Have a bot perform seamless human handoffs for complex cases
While chatbots are remarkable problem solvers, there will be scenarios where a human touch is irreplaceable. Implement a smooth transition from a bot to a human agent for intricate or sensitive inquiries. Make sure your virtual helpers are capable of recognizing when to initiate this handoff and that your human team is well-prepared to take over seamlessly.
This approach maintains the efficiency of chatbots while assuring customers that their complex concerns are being addressed by skilled professionals.
7. Continuously learn and improve
Your bot isn’t a “set it and forget it” tool. So, you should regularly analyze interactions and gather feedback to fine-tune your chatbot’s performance. Chatbots can learn from every conversation, improving their responses and understanding over time. By identifying patterns, refining responses, and adding new capabilities, you ensure your bot evolves as your business scales, offering even better support to an expanding customer base.
All in all, by strategically integrating these virtual assistants into your support routine, you’ll be well on your way to expanding your reach while delivering a top-notch customer service experience.
Finally, let’s see how you can implement a CS bot for your business needs.
How to build a customer service chatbot
The good news is that there are a number of customer service chatbot companies that let you build and install your bots with zero coding skills. Additionally, many of these chatbots can be added to a website in less than 5 minutes.
Sounds too good to be true? Let’s check out the necessary steps you should take to build a customer service bot for your website:
1. Decide the main purpose of your bot
It’s crucial to identify what you want your conversational AI to do and be as specific as possible about it. This could be for the bot to greet new visitors, recover abandoned carts, or answer questions about shipping and returns. It will help you narrow down the features you need, specify the functionality of the bot, and decide how you should customize it.
2. Pick your customer service chatbot provider
Take all of the important factors into account and choose your ideal solution. The good thing is that many services (like Tidio, for example) come with a free plan, so you can try it out with no pressure and find your perfect customer support chatbot service.
3. Design your conversation flow in a bot builder
Log in to the builder of your choice and design the triggers you want your bot to recognize. For instance, to create rule-based bots in Tidio and activate it on a specific landing page, start with a Visitor opens a specific page command. Write the message you want your bot to send and then activate it with a simple click of a button.
To create an AI-powered bot, just head to the Lyro tab and hit the button called Start using Lyro. Check out the restrictions of using Lyro and then hit the Accept button.
From then on, you can choose to import an FAQ from your website’s URL or add one from an external page.
Lyro will automatically get the question-answer pairs from the URL and generate bots for you.
4. Test your bot
It’s crucial to double-check if everything is running as smoothly as possible. To fully build a customer service chatbot in Tidio, you can click the Test it out button and see a live preview of your bot as customers see it. Check the conversation flow and correct it if necessary.
5. Monitor bot analytics and collect user feedback
In order to consistently provide an excellent support experience with your customer service chatbots, it’s vital to always measure how your tool is performing. Moreover, you should be ready to implement necessary changes based on feedback and analytics. So, decide on the metrics to use and keep an eye on them at all times.
Read more: Discover how to create a bot from scratch in 8 easy-to-follow steps.
Customer service chatbots: key takeaway
And that’s it—we’ve reached the end of our guide. Let’s do a quick recap of what we learned:
- An online customer service chatbot is an AI-powered computer program that helps businesses provide stellar customer support
- These bots offer better communication, are available 24/7, save money, and give a brand its unique voice
- When choosing the best chatbot for customer service, consider your business size and your purposes first
- A well-trained chatbot in customer service is becoming a must—many big brands like Starbucks, Sephora, and Domino’s use them
- Integrating such a bot can be done in a couple of easy steps without any coding skills
It seems like customer service chatbots are here to stay. Moreover, they are becoming a golden standard for businesses. So, this is exactly the time to go ahead and install one for your needs.
Take customer service to the next level with conversational AI
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A customer service bot is a type of artificial intelligence tool programmed to interact with customers in a natural, human-like manner. These bots can conduct real-time conversations, process requests, respond to queries, and offer 24/7 assistance on different platforms. They can either operate based on a set of pre-determined instructions or utilize more advanced machine-learning algorithms for more complex interactions.
A customer service chatbot works by simulating conversations with customers through programmed responses or by learning from previous interactions. They operate with either a predefined set of rules or more advanced machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms. Rule-based bots answer queries according to specific command inputs. AI chatbots, on the other hand, are more advanced and leverage artificial intelligence to learn and adapt from each customer interaction. This AI-driven capability helps them to handle a wide variety of customer queries and offer support in a more conversational way.
Bots can greatly improve customer service by providing instant responses and round-the-clock support. Clients appreciate instant responses, which is something a chatbot can offer regardless of the number of simultaneous interactions. Furthermore, chatbots can handle regular queries and issues efficiently, allowing human support agents to manage more complex customer requests. They also handle transactions and provide personalized recommendations, enhancing customer experience.
While chatbots are growing more sophisticated as time passes, they can’t completely replace the subtle nuances and understanding that come with human interaction. Chatbots are ideal for handling routine and repetitive tasks, enabling human support reps to focus on more complex issues that require empathy and deep understanding. Customers usually prefer interacting with a human representative for more sensitive and complicated issues.
Security is a top priority in the development of customer service chatbots. Personal customer data and payment information are typically encrypted and follow rigorous data protection regulations. Also, reputable customer support chatbot providers maintain high-security measures to avoid data breaches. However, like any other digital platform, absolute safety can’t be guaranteed, so ongoing efforts are necessary to maintain and enhance security.
The level of maintenance required for a bot can vary depending on the complexity of the bot. Simple, rule-based chatbots may require very little maintenance, while more complex, AI-driven chatbots may need regular updates and supervision to ensure that they continue to learn from client interactions. That being said, chatbots can handle a large volume of queries at once without any breaks, making them a cost-effective solution in the long run.
Tidio’s Lyro is a notable example among the leading AI chatbots for customer service. It’s capable of pulling answers from the existing FAQ base or a company’s website. On top of that, it can successfully provide info to all commonly asked questions in a human-like language, alleviating your customer support and boosting the number of solved queries.