What are the types of chatbot?

When we hear about “Chatbots” and its application to online marketing, we generally think of complex artificial intelligence development processes, which for some small businesses would be unfeasible. However, there are different types of chatbots and not all of them require the development of a cognitive system like Siri or Alexa. The type of chatbot most effective for your business will depend on your goals and needs.

To help you learn more about the fascinating world of chatbots (and if you’re in the customer service and contact center area, you should ALREADY know their applications and features), we prepared this guide with the classes of chatbots that exist and how they can be integrated into your business.

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To learn more about the advantages of chatbots, we recommend this note.


Chatbots come in a variety of “shapes and sizes” and we can classify them according to different criteria.

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ITR (Text Interaction Response) or “dumb chatbots” chatbots

They are chatbots that do not require the application of artificial intelligence, as they work on a command basis. They use predefined buttons and follow sequential logic, emulating a conversation but always from a previously set menu of options.

In ITR Chatbots, the interaction is targeted , similar to a telephone IVR but in the chat environment.

While this is the most basic type of chatbot on the market, it is possible to generate a good level of engagement if you think of interaction with the menu as a natural dialogue, with human responses (even options can be given a more conversational tone). For simple operations, we recommend this chatbot because the selection of options is quick and intuitive.

For conversational landings for capturing leads , command chatbots are very effective. In more complex cases of customer care, these chatbots will not be enough to provide a good experience, as they cannot understand natural language, generate new responses, or perform functions that have not been pre-programmed.

Cognitive chatbots or “Smart Chatbots”

These bots are technologically more complex; based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This means that they have the ability to understand and process natural language (known as NLU , Natural Language Understanding).

Cognitive chatbots are “contextual”, capable of interpreting user intent and formulating responses from scratch, giving the conversation a much more dynamic and natural imprint, almost as if you were interacting with an agent.

Based on Machine Learning, cognitive chatbots are “learning”, so the more they interact, the better the quality of communication. This is not only because the company can “teach” them (for example, give them new product information), but because they themselves learn based on past interactions, allowing dialogues to become more fluid and accurate.

Smart bots can also learn from interacting with specific users, to give them personalized answers and proposals based on their previous preferences or behaviors. In addition, they can resolve simple transactions at the moment, providing solutions automatically (e.g., a bank transfer or booking a passage).

“Word-Spotting” chatbots

They are an intermediate bot between the ITR and the cognitive ones. They work through keyword recognition , depending on which they give a pre-configured answer.

For example, if the user type the word “price”, the bot responds with a price list. This gives a much more conversational character, without needing to integrate an NLU technology, and that’s why it’s one of the most used bots today.

The limitation, precisely, is that it only interprets keywords, without taking into account context or intention . In our example, if the user asks “do they have affordable prices?” , the bot is not able to answer “yes” or “no”, because it is already scheduled to give the price list. The accuracy of this chatbot is lower than those using artificial intelligence. Depending on the complexity of the business, these chatbots may or may not be enough to give a pleasant wearing experience.


TEXT CHATBOT: Only use the written word, as a basic chat platform.

CHATBOT MULTIMEDIA: Integrate texts, images, buttons and other content. These chatbots are very useful for engaging command-based chats.

COGNITIVE VOICE PORTAL : Use voice as an interface, integrated with WhatsApp or phone calls. The cognitive voice portal is analogous to an IVR but with the ability to interpret customer voices and give contextual responses.


Bots (in any of the above modalities) can be used for various purposes within the customer lifecycle.

Chatbots for Marketing or Lead Generation

One way The coolest and most attractive to capture leads is to use a chatbot instead of a traditional form on a landing page (known as “landbot” ).

It is one of the most effective conversational marketing tactics, as it enables a more personalized exchange with the user, addressing their concerns at the moment. Not only is the user’s data collected more naturally, but nutrition can be started the moment the contact comes in , giving them instant information so that the lead does not “cool down”.

Support and Customer Care Chatbots

Support bots function as an interactive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) system , responding to customer requests and inquiries immediately and at any time. They are usually included on institutional websites and on social networks or WhatsApp. If you integrate them into a Service Desk system, the company has a very effective channel for managing incidents automatically and user-friendly.

It has been proven that most of the queries that companies receive are the same, so by detecting patterns you can easily implement an automatic response system (and, in more advanced AI degrees, to solve problems or simple operations).

In addition, customer service chatbots work very well for taking orders , for example in restaurants or supplier companies.

Sales Chatbots and Ecommerce Assistant

They are chatbots that accompany the customer in the last step prior to purchase, making it easier to choose the product and payment. In the case of online stores, they are a virtual shopping assistant that streamlines the entire purchase process by finding the items that the user wants at the moment.

Social Chatbots

They are bots aimed at branding , to humanize the brand and promote engagement with the community on social networks. A very interesting example is that of some press portals that use Facebook bots to provide personalized content to their subscribers, in a conversational way.


In any of the uses explained, we can make a distinction between transactional and non-transactional chatbots, depending on the bot’s operational capabilities.

Transactionals are those that allow an end-to-end transaction or business process to be carried out. For this to be possible, it is necessary that they have the ability to integrate with corporate backends and third-party systems, to search for the required information and solve the required operation (for example, assist in closing a buy in an e-commerce operation).

Non-transactional bots do not have this type of capability and their function is referred to the chat space. This is the classic case of bots that answer frequently asked questions or related to navigation within a site.

In all cases, the possibility of interacting with a human should be left if the customer requires it or the operation is too complex. The conversation should be able to continue on any channel (chat or other preferred channel), which adds two features to the bot’s implementation: the transfer of the conversation and its entire context to a contact center, and the omnichannel to integrate those channels into a unified environment.

All these classifications and types of chatbots can be combined in different ways to give rise to very specific solutions made to the measure of each company . For one company, a multimedia social chatbot based on fixed menus can be useful; for another, a text chat may suffice but it has NLU capabilities to answer complex queries.

Get to know our Chatbots solution and the different options we can offer for your business goals!

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