The Different Types of Chatbots: AI, NPL, Rule-Based & More

We do a deep dive into the world of chatbots and explore the different types based on the technology behind them and their use cases.
Published on: Oct 24, 2023
Last updated: Oct 24, 2023


  • Types of Chatbots: Various types include Menu/Button-Based, Linguistic-Based, Keyword Recognition-Based, Machine Learning, Hybrid, and Voice Bots.
  • Business Applications: Chatbots are used for Support (level 0 and 1 inquiries) and Sales (personalized product suggestions, conversions).
  • Choosing the Right Chatbot: Considerations include Budget, Goals, Use Case, Technology Integration, Scalability, and User Experience.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience: Chatbots should provide natural, engaging interactions, adapt to user needs, and enrich customer experience to build trust and loyalty.
  • Fullview Solution: Fullview offers integrated cobrowsing compatible with chatbot tools, enhancing customer support workflows for level 0 and 1 inquiries.

Join our community

The latest and greatest from the world of CX and support. No nonsense. No spam. Just great content.

Only 30% of today’s consumers say they’re okay with interacting through chatbots and virtual assistants via customer service concerns. This could be because not many businesses have leveraged the power different types of chatbots provide, or consumers prefer a human being on the other end of the line.

The many benefits of leveraging chatbots for your systems are clear. The challenge now is to ensure they fulfill the specific needs of your audience while communicating in a natural and engaging tone, so your audience feels comfortable interacting with technology.

In this article, we’ll review the types of chatbots that can significantly boost your business. If you want to learn more about chatbots and their benefits, head over to our recent article on the best customer service chatbots. We’re going to focus more on the different types viable here.

Different kinds of chatbots

Trying to navigate through the vast and ever-shifting landscape of chatbot types is a challenging task. It helps to understand what type you’re working with so your team can apply it correctly to your needs. We’re going to look at:

  • Menu/Button-Based Chatbots
  • Linguistic-Based (Rule-Based Chatbots)
  • Keyword Recognition-Based Chatbots
  • Machine Learning Chatbots
  • The Hybrid Model
  • Voice Bots

Menu/button-based chatbots

Remember those old multiple-choice tests you had to take in school? These chatbots are pretty much the same idea. With Menu/Button-Based chatbots, you are presented with several options (in the form of a navigational menu or a selection of buttons).

When you click on a button or menu option, you are directed to the resource needed based on the information you request. That resource also appears in a menu or button style until you refine your search enough to get the precise information necessary to move forward. It's kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where you decide where to go next.

Linguistic-based (rule-based chatbots)

Rule-based chatbots are fantastic for FAQs on a website. They operate through a structured “call and response” style of system. This is similar to the “if/then” concept of programming. If a specific question is asked, then predefined responses are generated based on the training from previous queries.

These are fantastic when you have a lot of similar frequent questions. Maybe you run a software company where the same 20 questions are being asked repeatedly. This form of chatbot saves you time and resources so your customers can get solutions without needing human assistance.

Keyword recognition-based chatbots

This option is highly driven by chatbot keywords entered into queries. Specific terms customers use produce highly relevant answers. This type of chatbot is a good solution for working environments involving search engines, customer support, or for browsing a larger-than-average reservoir of information.

Machine learning chatbots

Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) are leading the charge with these different types of AI chatbots. They are designed to adapt to the input (prompts) information in their communication screens.

You’ll find ML Chatbots in many industries where personalization is vital to success. These might include SaaS, financial services, health insurance, and similar markets. The goal is to make the user experience as smooth and engaging as possible by adapting to their needs.

The hybrid model

Hybrid chatbots marry a variety of different technologies. For example, you may have built a rule-based chatbot with specific boundaries that learns how to adjust responses to better serve customer needs through machine learning.

Businesses looking for more flexibility and versatility in handling user queries will likely benefit from this modeling. For example, a hotel or resort might want this chatbot when people ask questions based on the best seasons to visit or festivals in the area.

Voice bots

Voice bots are changing how we interact with business and home products. Around 123.5 million people in the US use voice assistants, and that number is growing.

These chatbots also use ML and AI, but they do so to interpret spoken commands (rather than written ones) and provide appropriate responses. Examples include Amazon’s Echo, Google Voice, or even Siri on your iPhone. Industries like car manufacturers love voice bots because they allow a more hands-free and intuitive experience for interactivity.

Types of chatbots based on business use cases

While many different types of chatbots are available, how they are applied has much to do with your business. There is not one solution for all industries, although there are certainly chatbots that bridge many of the gaps. In most cases, you’ll find two core uses for these technologies:

  • Support Chatbots
  • Sales Chatbots

Support chatbots

Support chatbots are precisely what you imagine them to be. A customer enters a question, and the chatbot generates a response based on a predefined set of answers. They are fantastic for dealing with level 0 and level 1 support requests because they shorten wait times by providing instant answers to customers' needs.

However, when the questions become more complex, you should escalate them to level 2 and level 3 customer support agents and use technology specifically made for those levels of customer support. Chatbots aren’t appropriate in these cases. We’ve covered what level 3 customer support is in a previous article.

An example of a technology that is made to assist support agents in resolving level 2 and 3 support requests is cobrowsing. This is where customer service representatives can take over support inquires that a chatbot is ill-equipped to handle, initiate a screen control session with a user, and solve technical support requests in a more hands-on way by interacting with that user’s computer or browser window remotely.

Relying on chatbots to solve complex customer problems can often lead to frustration, and technologies like cobrowsing can help mitigate that. Platforms like Fullview allow support agents to initiate a cobrowsing call and take control of a user’s screen for more accurate and prompt resolutions.

Sales chatbots

Sales chatbots are a bit more direct. They help enhance user engagement by guiding customers through purchase decisions and scenarios. The goal here is to optimize conversions by offering personalized product suggestions that help customers always find the specific resources they were looking for in the beginning.

How to choose the best chatbot for your business

Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics and outlined the types of chatbots and how you can best use them in your business, it’s time to look at the considerations that you’ll need to look at when selecting one for you. Part of your strategic decision will include:

  • Budget
  • Goals
  • Use Case
  • Technology
  • Scalability
  • User Experience


The financial constraints of your business play a role in the types of chatbot platforms you’ll select. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at advanced AI-driven bots or more straightforward rule-based options. How much money you have to spend will determine the types of chatbot technology you’ll utilize.


What are the types of chatbots that work best for your business, and how do they align with your overall mission and goals? If you want to drive conversions to increase revenue and sales, you should focus on a sales-based chatbot that adapts to customer needs or a hybrid model that is more versatile when improving response times and customer satisfaction.

Use case

Tailoring chatbot types to your use cases in the decision-making processes is critical to operations. This could be improving lead generation for a landing page or smoothing out customer support when introducing a new product requiring further explanation. You want your chatbot functionality to adapt to specific business requirements.


Whatever type of chatbot you decide to leverage, it must integrate smoothly into your existing systems. You want your choice to be technologically compatible to avoid operational hiccups that slow production or increase customer downtime.


Businesses need to grow, and the systems that support these efforts should scale appropriately alongside them. For example, the types of chatbots in healthcare need to adjust naturally when there is a spike in patient inquiries. Factor in future expansion needs when deciding what type of chatbot is right for you.

Customer experience & UX

The ultimate goal of any type bot should be to enrich your target user’s experience with your brand or business. Maybe this involves adapting the response to the customer’s profile and account, providing proactive self-service options, or giving them personalized recommendations based on their purchasing behavior. Everything needs to be geared towards improving your customer experience.

That type of personalization helps build trust with your brand, leading to greater customer loyalty over the long term.

Wrapping things up

Navigating the different types of chatbots to figure out which one is right for your company doesn’t have to be difficult. By clearly understanding the different goals and concerns we’ve outlined, you can get a much more refined idea of which will suit your business best.

Remember, in today’s consumer-focused online world, having a solution that feels natural, reflects your branding, and clearly addresses the needs of your target audience is crucial to future growth. The right type of chatbot can be a critical tool to boost the interaction between the outside world and your products and services.

At Fullview, we provide a fully integrated cobrowsing experience that works with the chatbot tools you already use for customer support, like Zendesk and Intercom. You can customize data privacy settings, use console logs for easy troubleshooting, and all without needing to download anything. Fullview Cobrowsing can fit seamlessly into customer support workflows that include chatbots for level 0 and 1 support inquiries.

Learn more by exploring the forever-free cobrowsing plan or a pro plan starting at only $49 per month.

Sources Used:

Sources last checked on date: 20-Oct-2023


Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager


Guide customers to faster resolutions
Cobrowse with screen control
Highlight on screen
Integrate with Zendesk and more
Take interactive demo
Table of contents:

Related articles

Supercharge customer support

Discover customer and product issues with instant replays, in-app cobrowsing, and console logs.

Get Started
Start on our forever free plan and upgrade to pro anytime.
Or try the product tour
Arrow right