Tars is chatbot software for building chatbots on websites and WhatsApp. But is this software worth buying? Let’s find out!
For this review of Tars, I use the criteria of my post on how to choose the best chatbot software.
When you log into Tars, the first things you see is an overview of all the chatbots you have:
In the bottom right, there is a button where you can click on to get support when you get stuck.
If you are going to build a chatbot for the first time with Tars, the platform helps you with setting it up by using step-for-step help pop-ups:
Selecting the gambit in Tars:
And actually changing the content of the Gambit:
A chatbot flow consists of multiple Gambits, and eventually can look like this:
As you can see, Tars make use of a visual flow builder to make chatbots with. And it is really easy to use the interface and to set up your chatbot.
The Tars platform really helps you to set up your bot with the step-by-step pop-ups and you can even choose from 81 different templates if you need some inspiration. Moreover, you can test the chatbot in the interface:
The only drawback of the interface is that from the chatbot flow it is not possible to see what the content of each gambit is. So you really need to click on each Gambit to see what’s in it.
- Visual Flow Builder
- Test chatbot
- Interface easy to use?
- Easy to setup a chatbot?
Every Gambit (chatbot element in Tars) is structured in a standard way: the chatbot sends a message and the user responds with a certain element:
As you can see from the above image, it is also possible to do validate the input of the user. For example, when you ask for an email address and the answer doesn’t have a “@”, the chatbot will ask for the email again.
Moreover, you can choose from various input elements the user can respond with:
And the user can even share their location:
- Gallery (Horizontal list)
- Vertical list
- Persistent Menu
- Quick Replies
- Free text input
- Location sharing
- Email validation
- Phone number validation
- Date validation
With Tars it is possible to see the user information of every interaction with your chatbot:
And when you ask a question, the answer to that question is automatically stored (as you can see above with “gid_1”).
However, there is a drawback. It is not possible to make custom fields yourself. So you cannot ask the question “What is your email?” and store the value in the “email” custom field. What Tars does, is that it stores the value to the name of Gambet. And this is not so useful, because when you ask for the email twice, the second answer will not override the first answer, but two different fields are made:
Besides, it is not possible to assign tags to certain users. Because custom fields and tags are not possible, it is logical that you also can’t make user segments.
- Custom fields
- User segments
With Tars, it is not possible to send broadcasts or sequences to your users, which is a drawback, because these are the most important ways to get users back to your chatbot.
Furthermore, it is possible to use conditions in your chatbot flows (using the “Conditional Logic Jump”):
Also, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not easy to translate your chatbot to different languages.
- Multiple languages
- Easy to translate
AI & NLP
With Tars, it is not possible to recognize keywords and provide an appropriate answer to your users, which is a huge drawback.
Likewise, it is not possible to use any AI & NLP, such as grabbing the intent of the user or using entities.
- Dialogflow integration
With Tars you can make a chatbot for your website and on WhatsApp.
If you want to put your chatbot on WhatsApp, you need additional software: Twilio. This results in higher costs because sending a WhatsApp message via Twilio costs $0.0135 per message.
So, it is not possible to provide an omnichannel chatbot experience to your users, which could be a potential drawback.
I always say that a live chat integration is the most important integration of any chatbot software. But Tars doesn’t provide this, which is a huge drawback.
Moreover, they do have an integration with Zapier, which allows you to connect your chatbot with other software, such as a CRM.
Furthermore, Tars doesn’t provide integrations with Integromat and Google Sheets. On the other hand, it is possible to create your own webhooks.
- Google Sheets
With Tars, it is possible to put a website widget on your website in your website’s design (native website widget) and to create your own landing page with your chatbot on it.
Most of the rest of the Marketing tools are focused on Facebook and therefore not applicable to Tars, because they don’t provide chatbots for Facebook Messenger.
But I do need to say that it is a drawback that you cannot make custom URLs to your chatbot.
- Facebook website widget
- Native website widget
- Landing pages
- Facebook Ads
- Facebook comments auto-reply
- Button creator
- Custom URLs for your chatbot
Tars comes with a 14-day free trial, which allows you to test their platform and decide whether it is a good fit for you
The paid plan costs $99 per month and comes with 5 chatbots, 1000 chats per month, 1 chatbot designed by a Tars expert and limited features. The next plan costs $499 per month and comes with 10 chatbots, 5000 chats per month and 3 chatbots designed by a Tars expert. Also, this plan has more features:
I must say that Tars is pretty expensive for the features that they have. Their Professional plan costs $99 per month, but it is not possible to add custom fields to users, send broadcasts, send sequences, recognize keywords, no live chat integration and they only have websites as a channel (for WhatsApp you need Twilio). These are essential features, and most (cheaper) chatbot software have those, but Tars don’t.
Also, in the Professional plan, a lot of features aren’t included, such as the Google Calendar integration, Zapier Integration and Webhooks. You must pay $499 per month for that, which is a lot of money.
So in short, I think Tars asks way too much money for the value they provide.
- Free trial
- Free plan
- Price per month99
- Monthly pricing available?
- Money back guarantee
Tars provides a dashboard in which you can analyze the number of unique bot visits, the number of bot conversations, the number of bot goal completions, the bot interaction rate and the goal conversion rate:
Moreover, it is possible to see these statistics over time:
Thus, in general, these analytics are pretty minimal, but I think enough to see how your chatbot is performing.
- User input
- User retention
- Sent messages
- Open rate
- Click rate
- Conversion rate
- Fall back rate
- Volunteer users
- Custom dashboards/reports
Tars doesn’t provide any integrations with eCommerce software.
- Buy directly within the chatbot
- Cart abandonment
Templates & Cloning
Tars provides 81 free templates that you can install right away to make your chatbot.
Moreover, it is possible to make a template of your chatbot and use it again in a different chatbot. But is not possible to share that template with others.
Also, you can duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements.
- Make template
- Share template
- Duplicate chatbot flows
- Duplicate chatbot elements
It is not possible to do any kind of optimization with Tars, such as A/B Testing.
- A/B Testing
Tars provides video tutorials and extensive documentation on how to use their platform.
They also provide support via live chat and email.
- Customer support
So, should you buy Tars to create my chatbots?
No, I shouldn’t.
I think that Tars is overpriced software for the value they provide.
With Tars, it is not possible to:
- Add custom fields to users
- Send broadcasts
- Send sequences
- Recognize keywords and provide a good answer
- Have live chat (most important integration of a chatbot software)
And these are all pretty basic and essential features for a chatbot software.
Also, their first paid plan is $99 per month which is a lot of money for the features that they provide.