If you were to list your top 10 favorite experiences, calling customer service probably wouldn’t make the list. You’ve probably waited through a long menu asking you to “press one” or “press two.”

And if you’re anything like me, you’re frantically pressing the zero button a million times screaming through the phone “I NEED A REPRESENTATIVE!!”. If you’re a large company or enterprise, this is the last type of emotion you want your customers to be feeling before they linked up to a live agent.

Finally, an emerging technology called Conversational AI is about to make automated menus a thing of the past. With Conversational AI, you can talk with an AI-powered virtual agent just like a real human—giving you a much better customer service experience. It’s one of the many great ways to implement AI into your business.

In this article, I’m bringing you the six best conversational AI platforms on the market today. I’ve personally researched dozens of platforms, and these are the ones that stand out.

But first, what is Conversational AI?

You might be familiar with chatbots—those little chat bubbles on websites that promise to answer your question. It does answer a handful of questions, as long as you stick to its script. But Conversational AI takes this a step further (think of it as a SMART chatbot!).

Conversational AI technology can:

  • Understand and use human language. With traditional chatbots, you have to program the questions and answers ahead of time. When someone goes off script, you’re out of luck. Conversational AI uses artificial intelligence tools like natural language processing and machine learning to understand what users want to achieve. It crafts an appropriate response, and the conversation continues.
  • Integrate with other programs. AI conversational platforms can talk to other apps and APIs (like a CRM, bank account, or patient records system). While chatbots are stuck answering FAQs, conversational AI can perform bank transfers, update patient records, retrieve sales data, and more.
  • Improve performance over time. Programs with machine intelligence can learn from customer conversations and find ways to improve.
  • Speak with users. Traditional chatbots are limited to the written word, but conversational AI platforms can have verbal conversations on the phone or online.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

What is the Best Conversational AI Platform?

After researching dozens of titles, here are my top recommendations.

Table of Contents

1. Kore.ai

Best All-In-One Conversational AI Platform

Kore.ai is a versatile conversational AI platform that covers almost any industry or use case. They go beyond customer service—you can use Kore.ai to help your sales team get more leads or assist your HR team with hiring. That’s why I find Kore.ai a leader in the conversational AI space.

Here are some features I like about Kore.ai:

  • Tons of Industry-Specific Tools: Kore.ai has specific solutions for almost any business, including healthcare, tech support, hiring, HR, marketing, banking, and more.
  • Smart Integrations: It connects with your existing documentation or software, learns from it, and then uses it in conversations.
  • Analytics: You can see data from all past conversations and get insights about user experience, employee engagement, and more.
  • The website and documentation can be hard to understand, so it might take some to get started.

Pricing: You pay $0.01 per user request per month. When you sign up, you get a free credit for the first $500 in user requests.


Kore.ai has a specialized solution for almost any use case, which is why I see it as the leading conversational AI platform right now.

2. Boost.ai

Best for Beginners

Boost.ai makes it easy to create your first conversational AI assistant. Not only does the Boost.ai team build the first iteration for you, but they also let you test drive it before you commit. I think that’s great when it comes to the high investment you’ll likely take with a conversational AI tool.

Here are some things I like about Boost.ai:

  • Easy to Set Up: The Boost.ai team will build your first agent for you to help you get started quickly. And when you’re ready to update the program, their drag-and-drop interface makes it super easy.
  • Boost Human Chat: This hybrid chat service starts with an AI agent and then transitions to a human consultant when the AI realizes that human help is needed. Then, as the employee helps the user, the AI continues to listen and support the conversation with helpful information and suggestions.
  • Try Before You Buy: Boost.ai believes in their platform so much, they’ll let you test out the platform and persuade your stakeholders to purchase the software before making a final decision.
  • There are fewer pre-made templates than Kore.ai, but they still support many business types, including banking, insurance, government, e-commerce, and enterprises.

Pricing: Pricing isn’t currently published on the website. You’ll need to book a demo with Boost.ai to get more information.


If you want to jumpstart your conversational AI platform without having to do the work yourself, Boost.ai is an excellent choice.

3. Cognigy

Best for E-Commerce

While many other platforms focus on service-based businesses, Cognigy specifically focuses on e-commerce (along with airlines and insurance companies). So if you’re in the market for this type of company, then they may be one of your best bets.

Here are some features I like from Cognigy:

  • High Accuracy: During testing, Cognigy scored higher on accuracy scores than IBM Watson Assistant, another leader in the industry.
  • Supports 100+ Languages: If you’re an e-commerce brand that sells globally or an airline that serves customers from around the world, you can interface with customers in virtually any language.
  • Cognigy Live Agent: Cognigy virtual assistants can refer a customer to a live agent anytime. Even after transferring to a live agent, the AI assistant will stay on the call and assist the agent with relevant information and resources.
  • Cognigy describes its platform as “low-code,” which means you might still need to do some coding to get your AI agent up and running.

Pricing: Pricing wasn’t available at the time of writing. You can start a 30-day free trial or book a demo for more information.


If you’re an e-commerce business, airline, or insurance company and support multiple languages, Cognigy is a solid choice for your business.

4. Hyro

Best for Healthcare

Hyro is a unique conversational AI platform that supports 3 specific industries: healthcare, real estate, and government. This platform is notable because it learns directly from your data without setting up complicated conversation flowcharts.

Here are some things to note about Hyro:

  • No Need to Train the AI: Most platforms require you to define “user intents” (the user’s goals for the conversation). Hyro avoids this extra work by making a knowledge graph based on your business’ documents and data. The AI assistant learns to converse with users directly from the knowledge graph, bypassing the need for complicated flowcharts.
  • Healthcare-Specific Tools: Hyro has specific tools for healthcare organizations, including tools for making doctor appointments and answering questions about COVID-19.
  • Can Improve Your Strategy Based on Data: Hyro can find trending topics among your users and help you update your strategy accordingly. Government bodies or medical organizations could use this technology to detect new diseases people are talking about and give the AI the right data to respond.
  • Hyro is currently only available in English, so it won’t work for multilingual businesses.

Pricing: Pricing is currently not available on the website. You can schedule a demo to get more information.


If your organization is in healthcare, real estate, or government, you’ll benefit from a quick-adapting conversational AI platform like Hyro.

5. Replicant

Best for Call Centers

Replicant is different from other conversational platforms because of its hyper-focus on voice conversations. Replicant’s AI assistants use their understanding of language to have human-like phone conversations with customers.

Here are some key features of Replicant:

  • Conversational Clustering: Replicant can group together all of your customer conversations to help you find out the most popular topics people are asking about.
  • Replicant Powers: These are add-ons for AI assistants that give them extra abilities, like synchronizing across communication channels or collecting payments.
  • Accurate Listening: Replicant boasts the highest accuracy in the industry for understanding conversations by phone, and they specifically train their programs with lower-quality audio so they can perform even when the sound isn’t clear.
  • Quick to Respond: The AI assistant responds to speech in less than a second, making it feel like a real human conversation.
  • This platform only provides voice-based conversations, so you’ll need to find another solution for text-based chats.

Pricing: At the time of writing, pricing wasn’t available on the website. You’ll need to contact Replicant for a personalized quote.


If you do most or all of your customer service over the phone, Replicant can help you save time and free up your call center staff to focus on more difficult conversations.

6. IBM Watson Assistant

Best for Large Enterprises

IBM Watson Assistant is a conversational AI platform created by IBM and part of the IBM Watson AI technology suite. Because it’s developed and backed by IBM, it has a reputation for high security and reliability.

Here are some of the things I like about IBM Watson Assistant:

  • Focus on Security: IBM focuses on data protection and gives you control over your data, which is important for companies that handle sensitive information.
  • Per-User Pricing: Instead of charging per interaction, IBM Watson charges per unique user per month, so you won’t get charged extra if the same user comes back multiple times in a row.
  • Trustworthy Brand: Unlike newer platforms that have only been around a short while, IBM Watson Assistant is part of tech giant IBM, which has been in business for more than 100 years.
  • This product is part of the IBM Watson series, so you might need to use other IBM products to get its full functionality.

Pricing: The Plus plan is $140 a month for up to 1000 monthly active users (MAUs). Each 100 additional MAUs cost $14 a month.


If you’re a bigger organization or large enterprise that needs a partner you can trust, IBM Watson Assistant might be the right choice for you.

What is a Conversational AI Platform?

A conversational AI platform uses artificial intelligence to conduct natural conversations with users, removing the need for a human agent.

Conversational platforms are most commonly used for customer support, but it’s also useful in marketing and sales, employee support, hiring, and more.

An AI virtual agent can process text and speech inputs to understand the user’s intent for the conversation. Then it uses its understanding of language to put together a natural and appropriate response. The user can have a full conversation with the AI agent and get the answers or help they were looking for.

For example, a user might call their airline to ask about a flight reservation. If the airline has a conversational AI platform installed, the conversation could go something like this: 

  • AI Assistant: “Hi, you’ve reached AI Airlines. How can I help you?”
  • Customer: “Yes, I’m not sure what happened with my reservation, but I can’t confirm it. What should I do?”
  • AI Assistant: “Okay, you’d like to confirm your reservation. Do you have your reservation number?”
  • Customer: “Yes, it’s XYZ123.”
  • AI Assistant: “Okay, I’m checking your reservation right now. It looks like you’ve booked Flight ABC going to Atlanta on September 16 at 3 pm. Can I help you with anything else?”

And so on.

The user gets to speak with an (almost) human operator, and the whole process feels smooth. She can make changes to her reservation directly from the conversation without having to transfer to another operator.

Benefits of Using Conversational AI

Here are the top benefits of conversational platforms:

  • Automates customer service. A majority of calls to customer service ask for the same few things. Instead of having highly-skilled staff members answer these simple calls over and over, you can have the AI agent answer them automatically. If the topic is too difficult for the AI bot, it can transfer the user to a human to continue the conversation.
  • Improves customer experience. We all know that traditional automated call center systems are frustrating and counterintuitive. Conversational AI makes it possible to mimic the experience a user gets when talking to a real live person over the phone, which makes for a better customer experience.
  • Saves money and time. AI agents never get tired. They don’t take vacations or quit their jobs. And they cost less per hour than a human agent. Instead of having to hire new consultants to cope with extra calls or burden your staff with more calls than they can handle, you can divert the simple calls to AI agents for more effortless customer service.
  • Assists human agents. Many AI virtual assistants know when to turn over the conversation to a human agent. But even while the staff member is helping the user resolve their problem, the AI assistant stays on the call to provide helpful suggestions and resources to the agent, depending on the topic.
  • Automates other business processes. Conversational AI is not just for customer support. It also enables businesses to automate internal tech support, HR inquiries, hiring, lead generation, and more.
  • Works across messaging platforms. If your customers want to reach you on Messenger, Whatsapp, email, and by phone, you don’t need to have live agents at the ready on each platform. Instead, most platforms sync with multiple channels allowing you to answer customers wherever they are.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Natural Language Processing?

Natural language processing, or NLP, breaks down human language into something computers can understand. This helps AI programs understand the meaning of what is being said.

Combine that with a language model that helps AI programs form words and sentences, and you’ve got Conversational AI—a technology that can understand language input and then craft an appropriate response.

Which Conversational AI Platforms Support Facebook Messenger?

Out of the six best conversational AI platforms I’ve reviewed, Boost.ai, Cognigy, Kore.ai, and IBM Watson Assistant have an integration with Facebook Messenger, along with other messaging channels.

How is Conversational AI Different From A Chatbot?

Chatbots are a way for a human to interact with a computer program to get answers and information in a chat conversation. Some chatbots use Conversational AI, but many do not. 

Conversational AI makes a chatbot intelligent enough to understand virtually any text or voice input and craft an intelligent response on the fly. It doesn’t rely on pre-written scripts or prompts but can adapt to what the user is asking for.

Conversational AI can also be used for voice-based conversations.

What is the Best Chatbot Platform?

I recommend choosing a chatbot platform that uses conversational AI. The best overall conversational AI chatbots are Kore.ai and Boost.ai. 

Are AI Conversational Platforms Used For Customer Support?

Yes, conversational platforms are mainly used for customer support because the ability to talk with a human-like virtual assistant leads to greater customer satisfaction. 

However, the technology is not limited to customer service. Conversational AI can also be used for sales and marketing, employee engagement, hiring, tech support, and more.

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