Chatbots have been establishing themselves as an indispensable business optimization tool. They are able to solve complex customer service issues, improve tech support, create effective sales channels, and provide solutions to automate various internal and external processes. Chatfuel is a pioneer in chatbot building and customization for enterprises of all scales and industries. With all its popularity and distinctions, is it all it’s cracked up to be? In this post, we review its key features and suggest three trustworthy Chatfuel alternatives to take your business to a whole new level.
Chatbot for Facebook Messenger is an application that makes it possible to autonomously maintain a dialogue with a person for solving certain marketing tasks. These can include automatic answers to popular questions or more complex actions including displaying product catalogs or sending out messages (including photos, videos, and attachments).
Communication with customers is an important aspect of any business. The success of this interaction determines whether or not a person purchases your products or services. Usually, a Facebook page administrator answers users’ questions. This gives a dialog with prospects a personal touch but takes a lot of time and effort. To free admins from routine work and use their skills to solve more challenging tasks, you can employ an AI-powered virtual conversationalist, that is, a chatbot. You are able to train and configure a bot to respond to your subscribers single-handedly. Some chatbots are so skillful at communication that users simply don’t have a clue that they actually talk to artificial intelligence instead of a real person.
Chatbots help businesses automate communication with users and accomplish a variety of goals ranging from efficient customer support to effortless lead generation. With this simple app, you can significantly reduce expenditure since you don’t need many employers to talk to prospects. At the same time, a bot is able to engage a real person to a chat if it is not able to handle users’ requests on its own.
Below are four tasks that chatbots can do for your business:
Thanks to a chatbot, you can collect frequently asked questions and add auto-answers to each of them. Thus, your support team will have more time to solve critical and complex issues. The other advantage of a FAQ chatbot is that it is available 24/7.
You can teach bots to ask questions and prepare answer-based personal offers. For example, a bot can talk to a client to find out what he/she is looking for and then suggest relevant products. After a client has made his/her choice, a bot is able to ask for contact information and delivery address.
Unlike email marketing campaigns, messaging via Facebook Messenger boasts unmatched user involvement. With the Open Rate and Click-Through Rate of around 90% and 60% respectively, respondents are likely to read all your messages. Your Facebook Messenger bots can provide follow-up materials and information to any user who has previously contacted your Facebook page. For example, you can use a chatbot app to send out promotional newsletters, notifications, updates, etc.
Chatbots help segment the audience, determine its needs and recommend relevant deals. Moreover, you can prepare personalized propositions to customers based on their age, location, previous experience with your company, and other parameters.
Chatbots are pretty straightforward marketing tools yet you need to know certain hacks to maximize their potential. Here are a few useful tips to make your bot a valuable addition to your marketing team:
To start with, focus on the most important services you are going to provide your users with via a chatbot (customer support, sales consultant, etc.). When you see a clear goal, you can more easily come up with a list of functions a bot ought to perform.
Before creating a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, you need to analyze dozens of previous dialogues with your subscribers. You should be able to see what questions they usually ask, how they react, what additional data they require after receiving an answer, etc. Make sure to review the entire chain of conversation to provide a bot with comprehensive information and user behavior details.
The best way to engage a person in a dialog is to create a relaxed atmosphere. That’s why chatbots should sound like a friend rather than a soulless autoresponder. To create an illusion that your bot is a real person, it’s best to dilute plain text with emoticons, images, and GIF-animation. On top of that, make sure your messages are simple, easy to understand, and on point.
The main task of a chatbot is to save clients time and ensure fast interaction with your brand. It makes sense to use Call-to-Action elements to deliver users to specific product categories, website pages, or checkouts. Thanks to Call-to-Action, clients will receive only useful information and move faster through the marketing funnel. To speed up the interaction process, you need to ensure clients don’t have to make more than 5 clicks. Also, don’t write long texts – normally, two short sentences per message are more than enough.
Users need time to read a message and make a decision. Therefore, do not swamp recipients with several messages at once. The best strategy is to make 3-5 second pauses between consecutive posts.
If you tell your subscribers that they are served by AI, you can avoid frustration and negative feelings towards your brand caused by a bot’s limited capabilities or off the mark replies. Along with that, don’t forget to inform users when a real person takes over.
Despite artificial intelligence technology, chatbots are not almighty. Therefore, you should envision the option to contact a rep or a support team member.
Make sure to add an unsubscribe button or link. These options can be found in the bot settings menu.
You know what your chatbot is for but your subscribers may not be aware of it. To engage them in a conversation, create a welcome message to describe what your bot is capable of and how it can be useful.
Chatfuel allows building chatbots without any programming skills under your belt. According to the developers, it only takes 7 minutes to create your own conversational interface for Facebook Messanger. The platform provides a set of templates fully customizable according to your needs. If required, you can integrate Chatfuel with other services, such as Twitter, YouTube, JSON, Instagram, etc.
The app is completely free if you have no more than 1000 subscribers. The trial version, however, has a watermark, which can be removed only with a paid plan. Paid subscriptions start at $15 per month and are based on the number of users you plan to contact. Chatfuel prides itself on helping create about 360,000 bots that serve more than 17 million users worldwide.
Chatfuel is a simple and intuitive tool for building personalized interactive agents with extensive functionality. Despite the fact that this is one of the most popular Facebook Messanger apps, it is not without its flaws. In particular,
– it is difficult to build elaborate non-linear bots;
– poor support for branching, subroutines, and variable operations;
– limited and hard-to-set-up Neuro-Linguistic Programming features;
– insufficient tech support.
If you are not ready to put up with these shortcomings, you may want to look for other chatbot solutions. Below, we singled out 3 worthy alternatives to Chatfuel.
The platform makes it possible to create bots for marketing, lead generation, and customer support. With MobileMonkey, you can design bots from scratch or customize the available templates. In addition to Facebook Messanger, you are able to install the app on your website to engage, command interest, and convert visitors to customers. MobileMonkey is a breeze to use even despite the lack of bot visualization scheme feature.
The free version is available without restrictions on the number of bots and subscribers. A paid subscription starts from $19 / month for personal use and from $ 149 / month for corporate clients.
ManyChat is designed to create knowledge script bots. Its goal is to automate the process of communication with clients through greetings, product demonstrations, notifications, and support. The app is very similar to ChatFuel in terms of functionality but it gains the upper hand thanks to the useful Flow Builder feature. This mode lets you see your bot as a chart of interlinked messages.
ManyChat has a free version with certain restrictions, which, however, supports an unlimited number of users. Paid rates start from $10 per month.
SmartEngage is the only app that utilizes the cross-platform feature to the max. It is not just a tool to create Facebook chatbots but also a solution to provide integration among the messenger, email provider, and push notifications. The software is a snap to use even if you have no programming skills at all. Thanks to the drag and drop interface, you can add text, audio-video files, galleries, and other elements to make your messages user-friendly and easy on the eye. With IF conditionals, you are able to fine-tune automated messages to reach the right person at the right time. Besides that, SmartEngage boasts integrated Lead Ads feature that allows collecting leads right from Facebook. If you have a small follower base (up to 100 subscribers) you can make use of the free plan with limited yet decent functionality. If you are going to reach out to more subscribers, paid plans start from $40 per month.
In fact, most of the chatbot apps have a free version. If you are a marketer on a shoestring budget, you will have plenty of options to choose from. However, you should keep in mind that these free plans are inferior to premium subscriptions in terms of functionality and the number of conversations and/or followers supported per month. Besides that, with free Facebook Messanger chatbots, every message you send to the other party will feature a branded element, for instance ‘Powered by (the name of Chatbot software)’.
When it comes to free Chatfuel subscription, you will get basic functionality and support of up to 1000 users. The following chatbot builders are also available with free plans:
- SmartEngage allows creating an unlimited number of conversation within a subscription base of up to 100 people;
- With ManyChat free plan, you can contact the unlimited number of users but its functionality leaves much to be desired;
- MobileMonkey sets no contact limits in its free plan but the available functions are limited. Plus, your messages will feature MobileMonkey branding;
- ActiveChat permits you to create two bots and send maximum 1000 messages a month to 500 users;
- With Flow Xo free subscriptions, you can create 5 chatbots and send up to 500 messages a month.
Chatfuel is a budget-friendly app that starts from $15 per month for the Pro version. Although this subscription option provides full functionality and an unlimited number of messages, all your interactions with users happen only within Facebook Messenger. However, your target audience spreads far beyond Facebook, so you may need to add more tools to your marketing arsenal to embrace users on other platforms. Besides extra cost, you will have to rack your brain to establish interaction with disparate applications or even hire a programmer. If you look at Chatfuel from an integration perspective, its price is no longer reasonable.
Instead of purchasing several apps for various lines of work, you can get a single solution that delivers all necessary functions. For as low as $40 per month, you can benefit from multiplatform lead magnets, push notifications, Facebook lead Ads, Email automated newsletters, and many other useful features. Provided how many tools SmartEngage accommodates, it is a cheaper alternative not only to Chatfuel but also the majority of marketing apps that perform a single function.
Chatfuel is a sought-after chatbot constructor with ample functionality and intuitive interface but it has its downsides. In this day and age, when companies require integration among various business processes, Chatfuel is simply missing this opportunity. Instead of focusing on Facebook Messenger exclusively, you can have cross-platform interaction provided by SmartEngage. Its powerful features enable you to embrace a wider audience via Facebook, Email newsletter, and push notifications. The bottom line is that SmartEngage is the best Chatfuel alternative for marketers who want to have it all.
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