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Customer Service Chatbot: Top 7 Vendors & Use Cases in 2024

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Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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Customer Service Chatbot: Top 7 Vendors & Use Cases in 2024Customer Service Chatbot: Top 7 Vendors & Use Cases in 2024

AIMultiple team adheres to the ethical standards summarized in our research commitments.

With the improvements in conversational and generative AI technology, more users are enthusiastic about using a chatbot on their contact center software. For example: 

  • 40% of shoppers said they do not care if they are interacting with a bot or a human agent, as long as their issues are resolved 
  • 69% said they’d prefer a chatbot for receiving instant responses, especially for service-related customer queries. 

However, there are plenty of customer service chatbot vendors in the market. In this article, we compare the top customer service chatbot vendors in the market and explain the use cases of a customer service chatbot.

Customer service chatbot vendor selection criteria

VendorTotal number of reviewsAverage rating*
Zendesk10,3518.4
Freshdesk6,1038.8
Intercom4,3568.9
Tidio1,8329.6
Twilio1,0218.5
Zoho SalesIQ3998.9
Kore.ai2218.7

* Ratings are out of 10. The vendors are listed in descending order based on the average ratings they received.

As there are various vendors offering chatbots for customer service, we narrowed down our benchmarking based on certain criteria, such as the popularity of the product within the market through the number of B2B reviews. We selected these criteria as they are public and verifiable through vendors’ websites or software review platforms. We included companies with:

  • Have more than 900+ employees as stated on LinkedIn
  • Have more than 200+ user reviews on review platforms G2, Capterra and Trustradius
  • Have an average rating above 8.5 (out of 10)

Top 7 customer service chatbot vendors

VendorLive agent handoverChatbot analyticsServer connectionSocial media integration
Freshdesk✖️Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
LinkedIn
Intercom✖️Facebook
Instagram
Kore.ai✖️Facebook
Twitter
Tidio✖️✖️Facebook
Instagram
Twilio✖️✖️Facebook
Zendesk✖️Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Zoho SalesIQFacebook
Instagram

If you are interested in knowing other chatbot vendors, explore our data-driven lists of:

Key features of customer service chatbots

1- Live agent handover

The live agent handover feature in e-commerce chatbots is an essential tool in ensuring seamless customer support. This function allows a chatbot to recognize when it is unable to assist with a customer’s request and transfer the interaction to a human customer service agent.

2- Chatbot analytics

Chatbot analytics is another key feature of ecommerce chatbots. This feature enables the collection and analysis of data regarding customer queries and interactions with the chatbot. The gathered insights can be invaluable for online retailers looking to understand their customer’s preferences, behaviors, and pain points.

3- Server connection

The server connection feature enables ecommerce chatbots to access real-time data from the servers, ensuring the most up-to-date information is provided to customers. In an online store setting, this feature is crucial for offering current information about product availability, order status, and other relevant data. The ability to provide real-time information enhances the customer experience by offering accurate and timely responses to inquiries, showing customers that the business is reliable and trustworthy. 

4- Social media integration

Being present in social media platforms where customers spend time is important. Most chatbots have at least one social media integration besides a website. However, knowing which social media channels a chatbot vendor offers is important to align your selection with your needs.

Read more: 11 must-have contact center software features.

Top 10 use cases of chatbots in customer service

You can use a chatbot to provide AI customer service on the following tasks:

1. Answer FAQs

FAQ chatbots can answer common customer questions in multiple languages, eliminating the need for:

  • Customers to navigate lengthy FAQ sections
  • Customer service agents to spend time answering them

Moreover, going beyond just answering a question, the data captured by the customer service chatbot can be used for lead generation and cross-selling efforts. For example, if a customer asks “What payment methods do you accept?” this could indicate purchasing intent. Or if they ask, “How does [Product A] compare to [Product B]?,” they could be reached out for a personalized sales call to explain the differences.

2. Schedule appointments

For businesses that deal with appointments and reservations, like healthcare organizations or repair services, a customer service chatbot can handle scheduling and modifying appointments.

Chatbots can be linked to the organization’s CRM and ERP to: 

  • Give information about staff availability and empty time slots 
  • Instantly schedule and modify appointments 
  • Proactively notify users if their reservation has to be changed for whatever reason

The benefit of automating this task is it prevents double bookings, minimizes scheduling errors, and allows reservations without involving customer support agents.

3. Cross sell

Using personalization models, chatbots can recommend users additional products and packages that can generate additional revenue for the company. This is referred to as conversational commerce.


If you are looking for real life examples of conversational commerce you can read our Top 5 Conversational Commerce Examples & Success Stories article.

4. Book tickets

Chatbots can guide the customer through the process of purchasing tickets for activities and events such as conferences, concerts, shows, tours, etc.

For example, Shell, the multinational oil and gas company, used a Facebook Messenger chatbot to sell tickets to their annual Shell Eco Marathon, attended by 25,000 visitors.1

5. Process orders

Digital ordering is on the rise. In the food industry, for example, online food ordering has grown faster than dine-in, since 2014.2 For young people (18-24 years old), social media is becoming the primary search engine for product discovery and ordering.3

Figure 1. Source: Statista 4

Companies can use customer service chatbots to automate order placement. eBay, for instance, used Facebook Messenger to inform users about the upcoming promotional campaigns. Moreover, these chatbots can be programmed to send payment gateways so customers can finalize the process without changing channels.  

6. Track orders

Chatbots can be integrated into a company’s larger AI powered customer support framework. So by connecting with supply chain logistics applications, a customer service chatbot can fetch and provide shipments’ tracking details, including:

  • Current package location 
  • ETA 
  • Shipping delays 

7. Process returns and refunds

Users can ask the AI customer service chatbot to process their refunds. Once the request is made, the chatbot will follow a rule-based model and: 

  • Check the customer’s purchase history 
  • Verify their identity 
  • Lookup the status of their returned item 
  • Verify the reason for the return 
  • Process the refund in the backend system through API calls to payment gateways or internal financial systems
  • Provide confirmation 

8. Process membership requests

As the economy moves towards subscription and membership-based service models, companies who generate revenue this way can use chatbots to: 

  • Apply, renew, or cancel a membership 
  • Provide usage terms and conditions 
  • Offer free trials 
  • Give information about different membership packages 
  • Give pricing and payment methods and billing cycles 
  • Send renewal reminders so users can renew/cancel

This expedites and streamlines the conversion process.

9. User onboarding

Many products and software require onboarding for first time users. 

A customer support chatbot can guide users throughout the customer onboarding process, such as sending them tutorial materials, offering interactive product tours, explaining functionalities and features, and sending them a list of onboarding tasks they need to complete.

10. Troubleshooting and technical support 

For enhanced customer satisfaction and faster troubleshooting without involving the customer service reps, chatbots provide pre-made troubleshooting guides to specific technical questions. 

This is especially helpful for SaaS vendors who might offer new or innovative products that are prone to technical problems. Companies can collect data on the most common questions they get and create a thorough troubleshooting guide for the chatbot to give to users.

FAQ

What is a customer service chatbot?

A customer service chatbot uses natural language processing (NLP) and often, but not always, artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically answer customer questions and perform routine tasks in the customer service department.

Because of their flexibility, customer service tools and chatbots can be combined with other conversational AI tools in customer service, giving the company an omnichannel presence on their website, social media platforms, messaging apps, or other channels for maximum customer engagement.

Do you need a customer service chatbot?

If your manual customer service doesn’t satisfy these needs fully, having a customer service chatbot can help: 

Volume of queries: Am I receiving a high volume of customer inquiries, especially repetitive or common ones, that could be addressed by a chatbot? 

Availability and expectation: Does my market, customers, and my competition demand of me to provide 24/7, instant service? 

Multilingual support: Am I in international markets and need to provide support in multiple languages? 

Scalability: As my business grows, will my customer service teams be able to handle the increased requests?

Omnichannel presence: Do I want to provide an integrated level of support across multiple channels?

Data collection: Am I doing well in collecting data on customer queries and interactions to improve on pain points?

What are the benefits of customer service chatbots?

Customer service chatbots offer a multitude of benefits that enhance customer experience and streamline customer service processes. Here are some of the advantages:

24/7 Availability: Chatbots are available around the clock, ensuring that customer interactions can happen at any time. This 24/7 availability is particularly beneficial for international businesses that cater to different time zones.

Quick Response Time: Chatbots can answer queries in real-time, reducing the waiting time for website visitors. This immediacy can be crucial when customers are seeking urgent help.

Cost-Efficiency: Automated bots can handle a multitude of customer service issues simultaneously, which helps in reducing labor costs. This allows support teams to focus on more complex tasks that require human intervention.

Scalability: As your business grows, chatbots can easily be scaled to support customers in larger numbers without the need for hiring additional support team members.

Self-Service Support Options: Chatbots provide an avenue for self-service by directing customers to FAQs, troubleshooting guides, or instructional videos. This not only speeds up the resolution process but also empowers customers to solve minor issues themselves.

Data Collection and Analysis: Bots can gather useful data from customer interactions. This data can be analyzed to identify common customer service issues, helping in refining the customer experience and service strategies.

Consistency: Unlike human agents who might have varying degrees of knowledge and mood, chatbots offer a consistent level of service. This ensures that the information provided is uniform, thereby enhancing the customer experience.

Routing: If a chatbot is unable to resolve an issue, it can easily route the customer to the appropriate support team, ensuring that more complicated issues are handled by experts in the field.

Multitasking: Chatbots can juggle multiple customer interactions at once, something that would require multiple human agents. This increases efficiency and ensures that more website visitors receive timely support.

Personalization: Modern chatbots can be programmed to remember past interactions, thereby offering a more personalized and effective service to returning customers.

Further reading

Find the Right Vendors
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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AIMultiple.com Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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