Thanks to the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence, consumers now get technological help in all aspects of their lives. With this, the demand of chatbots – a program that imitate human conversations to solve tasks – is steadily increasing especially in business websites. Chatbots are well on their way to becoming the most important feature in stellar customer service. In fact, according to a study conducted by Gartner, by 2020 chatbots will be handling no less than 85% of all customer service interactions.
Chatbots are also easy to come by. There are thousands of AI chatbot services that provides them or you can build one through a chatbot development platform or simply known as a chatbot builder. There is no shortage of chatbot builders available but when it comes to the best ones, the company Chatfuel always comes to mind. The best thing about this platform is you don’t need advanced and complex programming skills to build your own chatbot.
What is Chatfuel?
Chatfuel is a chatbot development platform that aims to make it easy for everyone to build chatbots. The company was founded by Dmitrii Dumik and Artem Ptashnik on 2015 in Russia. Originally, they started on Telegram but they are now focused on helping people build bots on the Facebook Messenger. “If you look at mobile apps, it all started as a simple concept that has evolved into something sophisticated today,” Dmitrii Dumik said in an interview with TechCrunch. “Messengers are bigger than social networks now."  
They believe in the power of chatbots to strengthen the connection between companies with their audience - whether it's customers, readers, fans, or others. 
Chatfuel has a free plan where you get access to all features with the exception of the People Tab. However, it has a limit of up to 5000 subscribers and your Messenger Bot will also display the “Powered by Chatfuel” branding in the menu. To remove the Chatfuel branding, you will need to upgrade to the PRO plan which starts from only $15/month. Aside from the removed branding, you also get the following with the PRO plan:
- Audience insights - Create auto-updating segments and engage them in a different way to increase conversions.
- Custom audiences for Facebook Ads - Export data to Facebook Ads Manager for ultimate targeting and reduced acquisition costs.
- Edit user data - Edit attributes and subscribe to drip sequences manually for maximum impact.
- Export user details - Export any user segment directly to a CSV file and analyze away.
- Priority support - Access prioritized email support to get everything working the way it should in no time. 
Best Alternatives for Chatfuel
As stated above, there is no shortage of chatbot builders available in the market and you would want to choose a platform that best suits your project. Aside from Chatfuel, here is a selection of great platforms to use if you want to build your own chatbot.
- Dialogflow – Dialogflow is a developer of human-computer interaction technologies based on natural language conversations. With Dialogflow, the more people interact with your assistant, more efficient it will become. It works on a wide range of devices and supports 14+ languages. It also includes an analytics tool that can measure the engagement or session metrics like usage patterns, latency issues, etc.
- Quriobot – Quriobot allows people to build a friendly chatbot that will answer questions while you are away. It can answer questions of your website visitors, retrieve contact information, help people find what they are looking for and so much more! According to the company, their bot helps businesses increase conversion to 28% and increases lead retrieval rates with up to 21%.
- IBM Watson Conversations – Watson Assistant is an AI built on the IBM Watson Conversation service that delivers scalable, engaging experiences across your business. The platform lets people build digital assistants quickly and easily integrate them into multiple social and messaging channels including Slack and Facebook.
- Microsoft Bot Framework – The Microsoft Bot Framework is another platform that allows developers to build and connect intelligent bots that interact naturally. The tools and services available in Microsoft Bot Framework dramatically reduces the amount of coding to develop high-quality Developers can get started in seconds with out-of-the-box templates for scenarios including basic, form and language understanding.
- Mobilemonkey – Creating a chatbot without coding? It is possible with Mobilemonkey. The platform is often compared to Charfuel but the thing that really makes it shine is how it caters to the needs of marketing professionals. For example, it has a feature called “Chat Blast”, which is just the ability to send messages to multiple users. It also has a live chat feature available via a plugin and has tools for sending drip marketing campaigns.
- Manychat – ManyChat is another chat builder that requires no coding. With its visual drag n’ drop feature, creating and setting up your own Facebook Messenger bot takes less than 5 minutes. All you have to do is connect your Facebook page to ManyChat and your bot will be up in no time.
- ai – Motion.ai is a chat development platform that lets anybody build a bot without touching a line of code. Recently, the company was acquired by HubSpot and they are currently working at bringing chatbots to the masses and enabling businesses to better engage, and delight their customers across every channel.
- Botstar – Botstar is an online chatbot platform that lets users design, develop and train bots visually. It also provides analytics tools for chatbot owners to nurture those relationships with customers by understanding audience segmentation and their behaviors.
- Clinc – Clinc is considered to be the world leader in conversational AI research and its application for the enterprise. It is a voice-activated, artificial intelligence platform enabling personal and instant answers for common or complex questions. It can be integrated on a lot of platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Facebook Messenger.
- Botsify – Botsify understands how difficult it is to build a bot if you don’t have any technical knowledge about it which is why they aim to make the whole process easier. It can be integrated to Facebook Messenger allowing you to engage with your fans from your Facebook page and it also allows you to integrate chatbot to any website, no matter which platform you are using.