The Different Types of Customer Service Chatbots

Gladly Team

Read Time

5 minute read

This post was last updated on January 3, 2022.

Ready to see what radically personal customer service looks like? Sign up for a free demo with Gladly today.

We all knew this day would come. From the foreboding depictions of sci-fi classics like The Terminator and Blade Runner, we knew that one day robots would take our jobs and human existence would become secondary to artificial intelligence.

Okay, maybe we’re being a little bit dramatic, but when it comes to the advent of customer service chatbots, it is true that they’re taking over the world of customer service, although maybe not in the way you would expect. Chatbots haven’t actually replaced customer support, but they have impacted the customer support experience.

Chatbots have taken the initial guessing game out of what a customer needs to offer more targeted support. Sometimes, chatbots are even able to solve customer inquiries and problems without need of human contact.

Whether you’re calling your bank to unlock your debit card for travel or inquiring about your balance, intelligent customer service chatbots and automated voice messaging have made the process of acquiring information much easier for customers.

However, not all chatbots do the same thing. Below we’ll describe the four main types of customer service chatbots (support bots, social media bots, agent-assist bots, and RPA bots), plus their benefits.

Support bots

A support bot (or answer bot) is an AI powered bot that answers customer questions with relevant information. Below are some of the key features and uses of a support bot.

Benefits of Support bots

  • Allows 24/7 real time assistance – The demand and desire to have 24/7 support is a growing expectation that will make you more competitive and improve your customer experience. If you sell a product online that customers can purchase at any time, it’s likely they will need support for that product after hours. Support bots are a great way to fill that demand.
  • Reduces costs – Support bots take the pressure off of your agents and reduce costs by solving inquiries without live agent help. If you’re looking to expand, scale, move into a new region, or provide support after hours, support bots can be a great way to minimize costs.
  • Reduce wait times – Utilizing a support bot at the point of contact will, for some inquiries, be enough to solve the problem and complete an interaction. If the support bot isn’t enough and the inquiry needs to be moved to a live agent, the support bots are still great for lowering wait times and providing your agents with the context to decrease wait times and improve accuracy.

Social media bots

AI powered bots are built to automate tasks and engage with customers on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Again, these are great ways to reduce costs by giving you a greater reach across social media chat messaging without the need of live agents.

Benefits of Social media bots

Social media bots will reduce overall wait times because inquiries can be settled within the social media platform, without the need to reach out to a live agent or move to email or a phone call.

Additionally, having social media bots are great for not just solving inquiries, but for also building your brand and engaging with customers on a platform where they spend a good chunk of their time.


Using Instagram to Drive Customer Service-Attributed Revenue


Agent-assist bots

Agent assist bots are “personal assistants” for human customer support agents. They’re mostly utilized for in-house purposes like training, onboarding, and information gathering.

Benefits of Agent-assist bots

  • Onboarding/training – intelligent agent-assist bots can provide new hires with another tool to learn the key components of their position. This type of customer service chatbot can answer questions, provide support, and guide new hires through the onboarding process. Additionally, a good amount of your training could take place through an agent-assist bot, which takes the pressure off of your live staff.
  • Ticket triaging – One of the first steps agents typically have to do when they receive a ticket is read it, tag, and allocate it to the right person or department. Agent-assist bots help automate and streamline this process for you.
  • Response suggestions – Advanced assist bots will be able to recommend responses to your agents based on what’s being said in the conversation. On top of helping make agents’ lives easier, having suggestions will speed up the ticket resolution time.
  • Reduces noise – Intelligent assist bots understand when replies require tickets to be re-opened or when certain exchanges are just noise. Commonplace exchanges like “thank you” or “take care” will not reopen tickets unnecessarily.
  • Social media integration – Agent-assist bots also have the capacity to detect any engagement or inquiries made on social media and automatically create tickets for inquiries that require additional support.

RPA bots

Robotic processing automation (or RPA bots) automate repetitive customer service tasks so agents don’t have to. RPA bots organize, assign, and categorize tickets based on the way you define and design the triage process.

Benefits of RPA bots

  • RPA bots don’t interact with customers – They work as an underlying layer of support for your agents and the various workflows you have set up in your system.
  • Organizes incoming ticket flow – Because these bots scan incoming tickets to triage, prioritize, assign, and categorize tickets, agents don’t need to waste time reading tickets or trying to assess the best ways to assign them to other departments.
  • Simplifies tasks to boost productivity – RPA bots can help streamline simple as well as complicated tasks, significantly reducing time spent on tedious tasks for your agents.

Using customer service chatbots to improve shopper and agent experience

At Gladly, we believe you can have an intelligent, efficient, and cutting-edge solution without losing the personalized touch that’s so vital to customer support.

  • Gladly relies on sophisticated, AI powered chatbots that feel human to your customers. Boost efficiency and drive costs down without losing the important human and personalized touch to your chatbot support.
  • Omnichannel support allows you to switch seamlessly between chatbots, phone calls, social media platforms, calls, and more.
  • Gladly provides one continuous conversation thread that makes changing channels and agents more seamless than ever.

Embolden your customer service approach, and try Gladly today.