Chatbots have come a very long way in a relatively short amount of time. For years, they provided a small range of predetermined responses that made it painfully obvious that you were not talking to another human being. With recent technological advances, chatbots have become incredibly capable, reducing this robotic feel to make them into an actually useful function, rather than merely a gimmick.
There are a lot of chatbot options available, from Botsify to BotKit. Collect Chat is an option that’s been around since 2017, and is becoming increasingly renowned for its ease of set up and handy integrations. With so many options available, it can feel a little overwhelming to make a decision on which option is best for your site – this review should clear things up a little, making that decision just a bit easier to make.
What exactly are chatbots?
Chatbots are software applications that allow people to have basic questions answered when visiting a website. While these questions were traditionally relatively simple, as technologies such as AI and machine learning continue to advance, as do the capabilities of a number of chatbots.
The main purpose of a chatbot is to reduce the number of simple questions being asked of actual people, while also significantly reducing the response time for these relatively simple requests. This frees up human agents to carry out more complex tasks, such as responding to more complicated requests that the chatbots aren’t able to provide answers to.
Chatbots are also able to provide answers to questions no matter the time of day. Very few businesses will be able to have people on hand to answer questions late at night or early in the morning, but bots can obviously respond no matter the time.
How does Collect Chat work?
While a lot of chatbots are mostly built with answering basic questions in mind, the founders of Collect Chat made it with a slightly different purpose in mind – to provide an alternative to the traditional method of data collection, that is, forms or surveys.
They believe that Collect Chat provides an alternative that’s more engaging than simple surveys, and that in turn increases lead generation and facilitates user onboarding.
Like all chatbots, the tool uses AI and NLP (natural language processing) to interpret human language and respond as humanly as possible. It’s thanks to advances in both of these areas that the responses are becoming increasingly human-like.
Collect Chat pricing
There are four main Collect Chat pricing brackets, that range significantly in price, from free up to $299 per month. For any of their paid plans, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning that if you’re not happy with the service, you’ll receive a full refund. Also, if you upgrade your plan, you will only be charged the difference between your existing plan and the higher plan for that first time period.
The free option is a good way to get to grips with the more basic functions of the chat. You can create unlimited different bots, but you’ll only be provided with 50 responses per month. Enough to see if you like the layout, but not really enough to be practically useful for even small businesses. You also get responses and insights into your data, and the ability to book appointments.
Lite – $24 per month
The lite version provides a slight step up from the free version. You get 500 responses per month, which should be enough for small businesses, that don’t expect their chatbot to get a lot of use. In addition, you also get webhook integration for increased data management, and access to logical jump.
Standard – $49 per month
The standard option is a better solution for medium-sized businesses. First of all, you get an increase in monthly responses, up to 2500 – more than enough for a lot of small to medium sized enterprises. Additionally, you get access to a far wider range of features, including the removal of the Collect Chat branding, team collaboration, campaign tracking, and notifications via email.
Unlimited – $299 per month
For larger businesses who expect that they’ll receive significantly more than 2500 questions per month, the unlimited option might be more appropriate. You get access to every feature, and an unlimited number of responses per month. For agencies or businesses that expect a large amount of traffic, this can be a great option, although it does come at a much higher price.
As with most digital services, the features that you get access to depend on the plan that you purchase. As a result, some of the features listed here might not be accessible under some of the more affordable payment plans.
One of the most useful features is the range of templates. They have an incredibly wide range of options, from feedback collection to appointment booking, aimed at industries including travel and transport, food and restaurants, and education. Using the templates makes the set up process incredibly simple – even someone with limited digital expertise can set up a bot in not long at all.
Drag and drop builder
While the templated are simple and easy to use, it doesn’t get any more difficult when it comes to adding a little more customisation. The drag and drop builder makes it impressively intuitive to design your own chatbot, using visual design methods that require minimal foundational knowledge.
A lot of chatbots used to sound incredibly mechanical, largely because they used a single tone with every single person they interacted with. One way that Collect Chat has managed to make its chatbot more human-like is by allowing it to change the flow of the conversation depending on the individual way that the visitor communicates.
Chatbots have been traditionally tightly linked to the website they’re found in, but not Collect Chat’s bots. You can share the link anywhere, allowing people to communicate with your bot wherever they find it – this obviously massively increases the potential reach of your bot, and with it the potential to convert.
It’s no use having data if you don’t have a way of viewing and analysing it, and this is another area in which Collect Chat excels. It provides a detailed analysis of the website audience based on the data that they provide, valuable information that will allow you to customise your bot and website based on market research.
It’s already the case that the majority of mobile traffic is carried out on mobile devices, and this trend is only set to increase. A lot of chatbots are optimised for desktop use, but can lag slightly when it comes to mobile optimisation. Collect Chat’s bots are thankfully mobile friendly, meaning you shouldn’t have that problem with their service.
There are quite a few pros to Collect Chat, mostly surrounding the ease of use.
Ease of set up
One of the main pros of Collect Chat is that it’s incredibly easy to set up. This isn’t something that you need a degree in coding to navigate – simply follow the simple instructions and you’ll be on your way in no time.
While a lot of chatbots can sound robotic and monotonous, Collect Chat’s ability to adapt its communicative style depending on the person it’s talking to reduces this significantly. The result is a bot that people actually enjoy interacting with, massively increasing the chances of conversion.
While this won’t be massively important for a lot of people, some business owners will massively appreciate the ability to integrate their website chatbot with their business Whatsapp. It means that if you’re available but not currently sitting at your computer, you’ll be able to respond to inquiries almost instantly, reducing the chances that you lose any customers.
Luckily, there really aren’t that many cons to the service.
Limited trial options
A trial isn’t meant to be a free option, it’s meant to provide an opportunity for potential buyers to get a feel for a service to find out if they get along with it. Unfortunately, the free option offered by Collect Chat doesn’t provide access to all of the advanced functions and features, meaning that it can be difficult for some people to assess the true utility of the chatbot before making a purchase.
How good are the results?
Like with most chatbots, the quality of the responses depends to a certain degree on how you set the chatbot up. Thanks to the numerous templates, getting the setup right is really quite easy. However, it’s worth noting that if you really want to personalise those templates to match your brand, you’ll need to pay for one of the more expensive plans. The more basic plans keep a lot of Collect Chats branding in the design – this isn’t a massive issue, but if you’re trying to ensure that your site achieves a high level of brand consistency, it’s definitely worth considering.
Collect Chat claim that the results are so impressive that they’ll increase your conversion rate by a massive 300%. Of course, that’s a big statement, and the exact rate will depend on your specific business. However, as impeccable customer service is clearly becoming increasingly important, it might not be such a far-fetched claim.
How does it compare?
The first thing to note is that compared to competitors such as Botsify and Botkit, it’s potentially even easier to set up. A lot of programs are being released these days that enable individuals with limited technical knowledge to carry out tasks previously reserved for specialists such as data engineers and web developers – Collect Chat is one of these tools.
The ease of use and setup compared to competitors means that you can comfortably set up a bot on your own website without having to learn a new skill or outsource. This can save you a lot of money, and leaves you in more control of the overall process, enabling you to adjust the bot yourself as necessary.
It also has a wide range of pricing options, making it a suitable option for both the smallest of local businesses and the largest international enterprises. This ability to tap into both markets really shows Collect Chat’s inclusive vision, and their ability to develop a versatile, effective product.
Is it worth it?
If their claim that you can see a 3x increase in conversions is true, then Collect Chat is absolutely worth it. No matter your business, as long as you have people visiting your website, there will be a certain number of visitors who want to find out further information before committing to a purchase. Some of them will be able to find that information on one of your pages, but other visitors will want to ask questions. Collect Chat’s bot lets you answer as many of those questions as possible, and then instantly convert a sale by making a reservation or booking.
Whether you’re a business owner or a freelance web developer who’s responsible for the maintenance and development of your client’s websites, Collect Chat can be a valuable asset to your arsenal of tools. There’s a wide range of pricing plans that should suit businesses and freelancers of all sizes, and the way that the tool is designed makes it a dream to set the bot up on a website.
While the free option might be slightly limited in terms of the features it gives you access to, it’s still certainly enough to decide if you like the layout of the bot, and to then purchase one of the other plans.