Understanding chatbot platforms: which one for your business? (part 2/2)

Published by Samy Doloris on

chatbot

In the first part of this blog article, we discussed how modern chatbot platforms work and compared some of the biggest solutions on the market according to some criteria:

  • Features, integrations and usability
  • Viability
  • Price

However, the chatbot market gives a lot of opportunity to smaller companies and startups which often emphasize on new features or user-friendliness.

Therefore, in this second part, we will analyze three more chatbot solutions: Chatlayer.ai, Oswald.ai and Flow.ai.

As opposition to the leaders of the market, those solutions are offered by startups, applying their new ideas to the conversational agents field !

Chatlayer.ai

Chatlayer.ai is based in Belgium and the Netherlands. According to their website, their main strengths are:

  • Language independent: the design of the conversations is done once, and handling multiple languages is done by only translating the response sentences of the chatbot, as well as the examples that are given for the intents and entities.
  • Configuration only: you can build your chatbot without any code.
  • CX Delivery channels: it supports voice and text channels such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Assistant and more
  • Analytics & Advise: it provides insights on your users’ conversations as well as how to improve them

Oswald.ai

Oswald.ai is based in Belgium. Their websites show off some of their features such as :

  • A scenario builder allowing to design the conversations graphically
  • Several integration possibilities such as their own widget (for web chat), Messenger, Google Assistant and WhatsApp
  • Analytics and help tools to have insights about the conversations and how to design them better.
  • Human takeover: transfer automatically the conversations to a human agent.

Flow.ai

Flow.ai is based in the Netherlands.

The main features that are highlighted on their website are:

  • Design flows: the conversations are designed using their concept of flows. It integrates a user interface that allows anyone to drag&drop to visually build your conversations.
  • Multiple delivery channels: Messenger, WhatsApp and other integrations
  • Customization: you can customize your bot and add business logic as well as calling external APIs

Comparison

Now, let’s dive into the comparison of those chatbot solutions!

As I mentioned previously, we will compare those on three different criteria:

  • Features, integrations and usability
  • Viability
  • Price

Features, integrations and usability

Features

Each of these three chatbot solutions offer several features, and I described the main ones above.

But none of them seems to be really ahead of the others in terms of features.

In fact, they seem to focus on some particular features in order to achieve a goal of being the most attractive for the customers who need those features:

  • Chatlayer.ai’s biggest strength (in my opinion) is their language independence. They offer features in order to facilitate the setup of a multilingual chatbot. The idea is that you would design the logic of your chatbot and only translate what needs to be, while keeping the same underlying conversational graph for a maximum reusability. They also put a big effort on their Analytics & Advice tools allowing to build smart conversations based on their insights.
  • Oswald.ai’s is more balanced in its features. They offer a visual builder interface to design your conversations as well as analytics capabilities to serve the purpose of building the best conversations. It offers insights about what the NLP engine thinks (you can see how it classifies intents for example) as well as regression testing (automated tests).
  • Flow.ai’s biggest strength is their user interface. They insist on their “Unparalleled drag and drop UI” allowing to design a conversation simply. They focus on the customer service and offer seamless handover, allowing to transfer conversations between chatbots and human agents.

Integrations

The three solutions offer different integration possibilities and all of them offer the main delivery channels:

  • WhatsApp
  • Messenger
  • Web chat

They also offer more specific integrations and there are way too many to list here but it is worth knowing that!

Usability

The usability, even though it is not the main part of a chatbot, can also be a determining factor for the choice of a chatbot solution.
As I explained above when talking about features, some platforms put more effort into the user interface and the visual appeal of the conversation building panel.

According to me, Flow.ai is ahead on that point, even though Oswald.ai and Chatlayer.ai are good too, but Flow.ai put the biggest effort on that point.

Viability

The viability is obviously different from the cloud providers we talked about in the first part. Those are startups and the risk is higher. However, they all seem to have done successful projects.

It is hard to say more, but I guess you should make your own opinion on that.

Pricing

All those chatbot platforms offer subscription based plans.

Chatlayer.ai offers four different plans, from Starter to Corporate plans,  going through Professional and Enterprise plans starting at 499 €/month. Depending on the plan, you have access to some features or not.

Oswald.ai offers 3 different plans: starter for 0 €/month but with a quite limited number of sessions and chatbot up-time (still cool to test the platform, since all the features are still available!), while the Basic plan for 499 €/month and the Pro plan for 1499 €/month offers more realistic settings for production.

Flow.ai offers also 3 different plan: the free plan with only 50 sessions/month which allows to test the platform easily. The Pro plan at 19 $/month which includes 100 sessions/month and the Enterprise plan which is completely custom, depending on your needs.

Conclusion

Once again, everything depends on your use case and criteria and there is no ultimate better choice.

I’ve presented some interesting features of those chatbots as well as how they position themselves on the market, and it’s up to you to make the final decision.

My final word goes to people who still hesitates on the opportunities that a chatbot offers.
I believe that it is a big really differentiator on the customer relationship part as there is something that you can contact to have all the information that you need. In the digital world of 2020, it is important to hop in the new technologies train as soon as possible. It will help you spare time, spare money and make your customers happier than they are already!

You have a question regarding chatbots ? Don’t hesitate to ask us! We would love to talk chatbot and NLP with you!