Top 6 AI chatbots for customer service in 2024

Sara Shaughnessy

Sara Shaughnessy,

Content Editor at Front

17 January 20240 min read

Discover how AI chatbots can revolutionize customer service.

In the last few years, we’ve seen conversational AI technology evolve and reshape what it means to run a modern business. For companies looking to stay competitive and keep costs in check, AI chatbots have become a game-changer — especially in customer service. These smart virtual assistants make interactions smoother and speedier, keeping customers happy and coming back. 

Studies show that around 80% of customers who have engaged with AI software for customer service report positive experiences, and 62% of consumers even prefer interacting with a chatbot over waiting for a human agent.

Companies that want to win understand adopting AI technology is more than just using basic AI chatbots. They know the value of integrating modern collaboration tools and omnichannel inboxes into their workflows to keep teams working together seamlessly.

This guide will explore top chatbots and modern customer service solutions of today, helping you navigate the world of AI chatbots and find an ideal fit for your current business needs.

It will cover:

  • What is an AI chatbot?

  • Top 6 AI chatbots for customer service 

  • The benefits of AI chatbots 

  • Choosing the right AI chatbot 

What is an AI chatbot?

AI chatbots are advanced messaging tools that dynamically generate content based on inquiries and data sources, rather than relying on hard-coded logic and limited options. Using conversational AI, they simulate human-like interactions, making conversations more natural and engaging. The underlying algorithms and frameworks, known as AI models, enable these chatbots to effectively understand and respond to user queries.

Machine learning is crucial in developing and enhancing AI chatbots, allowing them to learn from user interactions and improve over time. APIs also play a vital role, enabling chatbots to fetch real-time information, process transactions, and interact with external systems, making their responses more accurate and contextually relevant.

Companies like OpenAI are at the forefront of developing advanced AI models and technologies, such as large language models like Chat GPT-3 and Chat GPT-4. These models exemplify conversational AI that powers sophisticated chatbots. Another example is Bard, an AI chatbot developed by Google, which uses advanced language models to provide precise and contextually relevant responses. AI chatbots are versatile, serving various functions from customer service to conversational marketing and content creation.

In the context of customer service, AI chatbots are changing how businesses interact with their clients. They increase resolution times and reduce the workload on customer service teams, allowing staff to focus on more critical issues and helping customers solve their problems more efficiently.

In this guide, we’ll explore the top six AI chatbots for customer service and the core features of each.

Solution

Starting price

Key chatbot features (may require higher plan)

Best for?

Front Chat, from Front

$19/seat/month

Omnichannel support 


AI Answers connected to knowledge base (add-on to Growth/Scale plan)


Analytics to track resolution rate 


Personalized bots 

Teams seeking a holistic, modern customer service platform

Answer Bot and AI agents, from Zendesk

$19/agent/month

Article-based replies


Conversation bots


Advanced AI add-ons

Larger enterprises managing high volumes of customer inquiries

Solve, from Forethought

Contact for pricing

Branded chatbots


Intent detection


Generative AI 

Teams looking for only an AI chatbot tool and not a comprehensive customer service solution

Freddy AI, from Freshworks

Add-on starting at $29/agent/month

Native integration with Freshdesk suite of products


Omnichannel support 


Campaigns and notifications

Teams already using the Freshworks suite 

Fin, from Intercom

$39/seat/month

Omnichannel customer support

Question routing

Multilingual

Businesses seeking advanced customer support automation

HubSpot Chatbot Builder, from HubSpot

Limited functionality available in free plan; additional functionality in premium editions with Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, etc.

Deep integration with HubSpot CRM


Lead qualification


Personalization

Teams already using other HubSpot tools

Front

Front Chat powers in-the-moment support, enabling teams to connect with customers on your website, in your app, or wherever they reach out. Front Chat is part of Front’s holistic modern customer service solution, enabling teams of all sizes and industries to delight customers with exceptional service. 

Here’s a look at top Front Chat features:

AI Answers: AI Answers enhances Front Chat by providing instant AI-driven responses derived from your support content. Choose what AI will learn from, whether it be your Front knowledge base or any link to your third-party knowledge source.

AI Answers enables customers to resolve their issues immediately, eliminating the need to search for answers or wait for a team response. The time saved on these straightforward inquiries allows your team to concentrate on more complex issues that require their expertise. And you only pay per resolution: if AI can’t solve it, you won’t be charged.

AI Answers has reduced the workload for our team by hundreds of chats per month and made my team’s life a lot easier managing our chatbot and help center. We’ve been incredibly happy with the accuracy of AI Answers, with 50% of chats that reach the AI resolved instantly.

Christopher Rensink, Founder & Chief Revenue Officer, Enchanted Fairies

Insights into Front Chat resolution: Use analytics to track resolution rate and audit unresolved questions to know where to improve.

Triage conversations in a snap: Set up automation to tag and route chats so your team can quickly handle new messages.

Tailor chat for every visitor: Personalize bots based on account, contact, web, or conversation data to provide every customer a one-of-a-kind experience.

Easy setup: AI Answers is only a few clicks away — simply connect your Knowledge Base for AI to source from.

AI has enabled new self-service possibilities for our customers, as we don’t staff a live chat team. Instead we offer escalation to our team via email and their workload was cut by as much as 10% within a few weeks of adding AI Answers. We definitely think users are more satisfied with the AI responses as well!

Kevin Kimmig, Director of Customer Communication, Structured

Customize your chat widget: Style your chat widget to match your brand and maintain a consistent customer experience.

Resolution rates have been amazing, but it’s really all about CX for us. We’re just happy customers are getting faster and more consistent resolutions in chat.

Erik Finch, Director of Operations, Boundless Immigration

Insights into Front Chat resolution: Use analytics to track resolution rate and audit unresolved questions to know where to improve.

Front Chat is not only a leader as an AI chatbot – Front offers a holistic customer service platform and is a market leader because it was purpose-built for the next generation of customer service.

Core Front features outside of Front Chat include:

  • Easy-to-use interface: Manage customer support without the complexity and learning curve of other customer service platforms. A familiar, inbox-like interface gets customer-facing teams to value faster. 

  • Omnichannel support: With an omnichannel shared inbox, every customer conversation is centralized in one platform. Consolidate messages from email, SMS, social media, live chat, and WhatsApp all within Front. Your team can work faster together while your customers get a seamless experience.

  • Robust, no-code workflows and integrations: Teams can build powerful automated workflows to streamline customer communication, meaning agents spend less time on manual tasks. Aggregate, route, and assign messages so everyone knows exactly what to work on. Integrate your most used tools and systems to streamline processes and maximize productivity. 

  • Comprehensive, customizable platform: Front is a comprehensive platform that incorporates everything teams need to support customers – from transactional inquiries that can be solved with Front’s native knowledge base, chatbots, or AI Answers to complex issues requiring coordination across multiple teams.

  • Knowledge base: Front’s robust knowledge base empowers customers, teams, and partners to find the information they need when they need it. Deflect simpler and frequently-asked questions, leaving the more complex ones for your team.

  • Productivity boost with artificial intelligence: Beyond Front Chat, Front offers AI features including email thread summarization and rapid drafting assistance. New Front AI features include macros, which enables teams to perform several actions at once with the click of a button, and connectors, which reduce context switching with a low-code way to build integrations. 

  • Award-winning customer support: Front has an exceptional customer support team [that consistently achieves nearly 100% CSAT!]. It also offers diverse pathways to maximize the value of the platform, from Front community to  Front Academy and beyond.

Front G2 rating: 4.7 / 5

Pricing: Starting at $19/seat/month

Plan with Front Chat starting at $59/seat/month + pay-as-you-go with AI Answers

Zendesk

Zendesk’s customer service solutions feature omnichannel support, live chat, and customer service chatbots, including Answer Bot and AI agents. Answer Bot utilizes content from your knowledge base to respond to customer inquiries, whereas AI agents offer additional capabilities such as providing intent suggestions and customizing the bot’s tone to match your brand.

Answer Bot is accessible to customers with the Zendesk Professional plan. AI agents are available across all Suite and Support plans, though certain features may require additional account upgrades.

Zendesk G2 rating: 4.3 / 5

Pricing:

  • Basic support team: $25/agent/month

  • Basic support professional: $69/agent/month

  • Basic support enterprise: $149/agent/month

Forethought

Forethought is an AI tool that integrates with existing help desk platforms to enhance agent productivity by speeding up workflows, reducing repetitive tasks, and increasing efficiency. Solve, Forethought’s customizable AI chatbot for chat, can identify customer intent and respond using your knowledge base articles, ticket information, or conversational AI.

Forethought is not a complete customer service tool, so if you need a comprehensive support solution with integrated chatbots, it might not meet all your requirements.

Forethought G2 Rating: 4.2 / 5 

Pricing:

  • Contact for pricing

Freshworks 

Freshworks’ Freddy AI is an add-on that’s part of the broader Freshworks umbrella of offerings and deeply integrated into its suite of products. It’s an AI-driven chatbot solution that automates resolutions to offer responses to common customer and employee inquiries. 

Freddy AI is built in and ready to use. It supports use cases beyond customer service, including Freddy AI for sales, marketing, IT and employee service, and developers. 

Freshworks G2 rating: 4.5 / 5

Pricing: Freddy AI is an add-on starting at $29/agent/month

Intercom

Intercom’s chatbot, Fin, is designed to enhance customer support through AI-driven automation, offering efficient and intelligent responses to customer queries while enabling seamless handoffs to human agents when needed.

Fin AI uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to customer inquiries accurately. It can handle a large volume of queries, providing instant, context-aware responses. While Fin AI is designed to improve over time, fine-tuning to align with business needs can require significant resources. 

Intercom G2 rating: 4.5 / 5

Pricing: $39/seat/month

Note: Intercom also charges $1/chatbot resolution

HubSpot Chatbot Builder

HubSpot AI Chatbot Builder is part of the HubSpot CRM platform, designed to help businesses engage with visitors, automate customer interactions, and streamline marketing, sales, and support processes. It uses generative AI to connect with and support website visitors. 

It has a deep integration with HubSpot’s CRM and automatically logs chat interactions in the CRM for a unified view of customer data. It integrates with HubSpot’s workflow automation to trigger follow-up emails, tasks, and other actions based on chat interactions.

HubSpot Marketing Hub G2 rating: 4.4 / 5

Pricing: Limited functionality available in free plan; additional functionality in premium editions with Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, etc.

Top benefits of AI chatbots

Improved customer service

AI chatbots for customer service allow companies to provide 24/7 customer support so customer inquiries are addressed immediately, regardless of the time of day. They offer instant responses to questions and can handle multiple interactions simultaneously, boosting customer satisfaction and relieving the pressure on your customer service team.

Scalability

They can effortlessly manage varying volumes of requests in real time without the need for additional staff, making them highly scalable. As your business grows, customer service chatbots adapt, so support costs can remain manageable even with increased demand.

Data collection and analysis

AI chatbots gather valuable data from every interaction, providing insights that can inform business decisions. Tools like Front’s analytics features allow you to analyze customer queries and responses, helping to identify trends and better understand customer needs — ultimately improving service delivery.

Personalized experiences

In an era of information overload and so many choices, personalized interactions cut through the noise. AI chatbots tailor conversations in real time based on user data and past interactions, offering personalized recommendations and solutions. 

Features like Front’s personalization capabilities optimize user engagement through customized communication, making each interaction more meaningful and effective.

Integration and automation

AI chatbots are changing the way businesses handle daily tasks by seamlessly integrating with existing systems and automating various workflows. Whether it’s scheduling appointments, sending reminders, or providing real-time information updates, chatbots can take over routine tasks so everything runs smoothly. Streamlining operations means valuable time and resources saved, allowing your team to focus on more strategic activities. 

Continuous improvement

AI-powered chatbots learn from every conversation, constantly getting better at understanding and responding to customer needs. They keep up with the latest information and new features, so they can easily adjust to changes in business policies or market conditions. This means they’re always ready to provide accurate and relevant assistance, ensuring your business stays effective and up-to-date.

Choosing the right AI chatbot

The rapid evolution of AI has upended modern business practices, particularly in customer service. AI chatbots have emerged as indispensable tools, taking customer experiences to new levels. 

But adopting AI goes beyond basic chatbot utilization — Front’s AI features that go beyond Front Chat, like AI Answers, macros, and AI Summarize and Compose, take your offering one step further towards excellence.

By harnessing AI-powered chatbots, companies can unlock opportunities for growth, innovation, and customer satisfaction, paving the way for a future where intelligent automation drives success.

Written by Sara Shaughnessy

Originally Published: 17 January 2024

Stories that focus on building stronger customer relationships