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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Chatbot In 2019?

I used to be asked about it several times a week by clients who want to understand the business of chatbot creation. The price really depends on the effort required to build the bot, as we don’t sell pre-made chatbot templates.

Spoiler alert: it will take between $200 USD to $15k USD to build a single chatbot. If we’re building the chatbot platform, or self-made data science is required, the price could be even higher.

So, let’s take a look at the key drivers impacting the price for custom chatbot development.

  The first one is the channel in which the bot should function. I mean where the bot will actually do its work. Is it a website, SMS, some of the existing messaging platforms? The cheapest ones are FB, Telegram, Viber, Web and others when it’s possible to use the platform UI components to make rule-based conversations. There are even plenty of FREE FB chatbots templates. Here’s an example https://templates.botstar.com/. In reality, it will be required to customize such a template a little, so that’s why the minimum price for a chatbot is about 200 bucks.  More complexity comes when the bot for WhatsApp or SMS is required to be built. It means that there are no UI controls and additional effort will be required to train the bot and fix all possible flows of the conversation. Such bots are starting from around $1000 USD.

The next point that has to be considered is the complexity of the conversation. That relates to  a) the number of branches in the conversation tree as well as b) the number of questions that have to be addressed by the chatbot (in case of FAQ chatbot) and c) the need to support the unstructured dialog with the end user. Training the bot to support several hundred FAQs will require an additional thousand USD. Free based conversations will also add about 500 USD to the price list. While structured conversations will not impact the chatbot cost significantly. Some bots could have a specific task related to the use of Artificial Intelligence. We’ve had requests to understand dreams and automate confession. That’s a separate task which requires corresponding data sets and the training of machine learning models. It’s hard to estimate the price here, but that kind of bot will cost from $10k USD and more. On the other hand, the bot could be made more intelligent while enriching with sentiment analysis, which does not require being built from scratch and is available via API (that is an additional 500 for projects)

Bots are rarely working in isolation, so in most of cases, integration with back-end systems is required. Typically, chatbots are integrated with a CRM, ticketing, live agent solutions or some other business specific solution. You would need to account for $1k-2k USD for each such integration.

Bots are very language sensitive, everything is pretty much in English. It’s widely supported by all the vendors. It’s also fine with the major European languages such as French, German and Spanish. But what about others, and even non-European languages? That’s a more complicated story. If one of the trusted providers has the support of your language, then it makes sense to invest in custom bot development. Otherwise, I would not even recommend doing that if your bot requires any bit of an AI component.

 

I would also recommend that you look at my blogpost related to the total cost of ownership for a chatbot solution and the criteria for selecting a chatbot development provider.  

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6 Types for Chatbots: Know Which One Brings Value to Your Business

In 2019, chatbots have a variety of capabilities and more than just one type just might be suitable for you.

It’s good practice to define what is the role of your bot, measure the value and compare it with existing services before the chatbot launches in the business. If the chatbot could solve the issues, set up better customer engagement or improve internal communication. It’s the right decision to begin its development.

We identified 6 possible business roles for a chatbot, depending on which function they serve:

  • Sales
  • Lead generator
  • Interface
  • Informant
  • Helper
  • Psychologist

As mentioned above, each bot could take on several business roles, so we are using this classification just to create a common language and definitions of chatbot practitioners.

A chatbot increases sales and cross-selling

Sales Chatbot is responsible for increasing sales. It has several ways of functioning. The chatbot could choose the right service or good, create the invoice, make a payment (need to be connected to appropriate API), track orders, push notification about payment status, and conduct cross-selling. Sounds kind of like this chatbot could help to grow your biz, eh?

A chatbot generates leads for your CRM system

The main purpose of this chatbot is to gather together the target audience in one channel and convert them all into the clients. It could work in combination with an informant role, for example. How does the chatbot behave? The chatbots can provide the following services: make an appointment, creating a loyalty card (discounts, special offers, coupons, promo codes, and more).

On the vendor side, the chatbot gathers all the appropriate information useful for creating advertising campaigns or special offers. Also, the chatbot can maintain the communities with content to keep a particular audience interested in the services.

A chatbot acts as an interface for engagement with clients

Chatbot interface gives access to other system functions. It accepts and processes the information, integrates with the company services through the API and passes a long the collected information.

If needs be, the chatbot authorizes the user by itself. Following engagement with the website services, the chatbot distributes the processed results.

A chatbot informs the customer of the available services

Informant makes the data search quickly and easily. The Chatbot could aggregate information from different sources and conduct push notifications to the user about changes in the interested services. It’s one of the most attractive options for your business.

A chatbot helps the customer

The Informant makes a data search quick and easy. The Chatbot could aggregate information from different sources and conduct push notifications to the user about changes in the interested services.

A chatbot acts as a psychologist

A Psychologist chatbot’s main value is a conversation with the user. It recognizes the user’s mood, problem and offers methods (probably yours) to avoid the stress, suicide, offers appropriate specialist, and play as a lead generator – bringing a new client to a psychologist.

Experience shows,  the right chatbot is one of the main values you can offer your clients, making them satisfied, so you get a chance to make a quick profit.

 

If you have doubts as to choosing the right chatbot, check out its possibilities in a variety of industries (click button “I don’t know what kind of bot you need”).

If you want to have a full list of chatbot values, customized for your business, contact us and we will describe all the ways on how to bring value with a chatbot!

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Chatbots for Business: Top Benefits and Success Measurement

Chatbots.Studio is pleased to announce our latest overview digest on how entrepreneurs can benefit from using chatbots for business. How business wins big from bots — is a major buzzing topic in media.

We will describe each benefit structured with financial indicators. The chain of articles with benefits will be published a few times per week here.

We don’t claim that it is the only, comprehensive list of bot benefits, but it’s one that really boosts business.

There are bots which bring a few benefits for business, for example, the lead generator is able to open new sales channels and gather leads. If you notice that your bot doesn’t refer to the benefits we mentioned below, it may well be worth rethinking if your bot does good work.

Take a look at GrowthBot that brings strong value for marketers and sales gathering appropriate leads.

We divided benefits into two groups according to how bots impact the bottomline: cost reduction and profits increase.

Cost reduction includes following benefits for business:

 

Take a look below on how the chatbot automates stylist’s daily work process.

 

Profits increase includes following benefits for business:

  • New sales channels — a chatbot in messenger as new solution to increase revenue;
  • Cross-selling — a chatbot in messenger sales additional services or goods to existing customers.

 

Take a look at Sephora chatbot that offers goods via KiK messenger.

 

The benefits were identified and explored with metrics for each to understand how it impacts the bottom line. We will consider each benefit with examples to understand how it works with specific business cases.

So, follow me on Medium and be among the first to know how chatbots will restart your business and help it quickly grow.

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Top Chatbot Benefits: Chatbot as a New Sales Channel for Small Business

Previously Chatbots.Studio has considered the benefits of allowing cost reductions for businesses — optimization of information managementautomation of the working process and how bots make advertising campaign cheaper.

The next series of articles regards increasing profits from new sales channels and cross-selling. It is obvious bots as sellers are a novel function for entrepreneurs. If the bot sells goods or services successfully you get major value from the bot. Let’s discuss how a chatbot as a new sales channel can impact revenue.

Chatbot in Messenger is a new sales channel to handle communication with existing customers and increase loyalty to services or goods.

To measure the efficiency of bot for business as a sales channel, we have identified the following metrics:

  • The cost of attracting one client to a bot in Messenger;
  • The average checks total;
  • The number of users on the sales channel;
  • The number of sales-through the bot handles to the total sales amount.

 

A customer usually connects with a bot on the web and on Messenger. We consider how a bot sells goods or services and leads the customer through the sales funnel step by step via messengers like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Viber, Kik etc.

WARNING! A common mistake of chatbot implementation is deploying the chatbot as a poly service solution. It’s a bad idea to make a chatbot with the functionality as Amazon has. Chatbots work great with one or a few services the entrepreneur provides, for example, water delivery.

The main reason chatbots have become popular as a sales channel is bots sell services or goods directly at the place where prospects are gathered.

 

The following reasons make a bot an efficient sales channel:

  • The bot in Messenger is a flexible way to make a purchase without communication with a live agent and app downloading;
  • The bot in Messenger is easy to access and available 24/7. The customer opens an appropriate messenger and starts to chat with the bot anytime. It is more convenient than calling support or making purchases offline;
  • The bot covers a wide range of customers in Messenger. For example, Facebook Messenger has more than 1 billion users.

 

There are two main scenarios for how businesses can benefit with bots in sales:

  • Building a community in Messenger. Marketers via chatbot can fill channels with contents leading to sales. In another case, the bot sells services or goods directly in the channel;
  • Providing quick and easy to use services. There is no need to download an app or search the browser to find the goods you need. The bot is always within your reach and ready to help. It is possible to buy or sell in one click.

 

Let’s consider examples for each scenario to understand how it works in real business cases.

Travel bots, besides providing relevant content by sending articles via messenger every day, make the best tour offers to followers. Click navigation makes a chat with a bot easy. The customer taps the details button and books the tour or gets more information.

Take a look at the Hipmunk travel bot. This bot plays a few roles in Messenger: books flights or hotels and provides appropriate content (advice, for example, about the best time to fly, flexible destinations, etc.).

The service provider gets a wide, young audience in Messenger and doesn’t need to deploy huge advertising campaigns because prospects are gathered in the channel and are interested in the services or goods.

 

As can be seen, by providing relevant content, the chatbot increases members loyalty, and as a result, increases sales through a new sales channel.

Another case is auction bot from @skaybu in Telegram. Clients send requests to buy smartphones but can’t get one because it is already sold. A bot has been created to satisfy the customers need to buy smartphones by bidding. The prices and queues have opened for followers since the bot has started work. After bidding, the staff calls the winners and invites them to get the goods. The bot provides easy use and access service for the customers.

 

Three years ago at a conference, Pavel Durov payed a lot of attention to implementing the Payment API. This payment system allows automating payments from customers using a chatbot. Clients can send money directly to an entrepreneur to pay for additional services.It seems a buzzy topic about chatbot-sellers for entrepreneurs. Let’s consider more examples to understand how it works.

BotCommerce integrates Shopify and Magento. Besides selling, the bot acts like customer support; it answers questions and provides information about orders.

The WayForPay_Bot is a functional solution for online-sellers and buyers. The bot as a payment service allows control of selling and purchases. Besides 24/7 availability, payment status, reports, and notifications, its main function is payment via Messenger.

Wayforpay_bot
Wayforpay_bot sends notifications via Messenger

 

The bot creates a payment QR code the customer can scan and pay for service. The bot creates and sends an invoice via Messenger or another available way. Soon, customers have the opportunity to add funds to their mobile phones or transfer money.

 

As a new sales channel, a chatbot not only provides payment but also successfully gathers leads from the target audience.

In Messenger channels or on web popups, a chatbot gathers leads and converts them into existing clients. How do chatbots play this role?

  • Chatbots send offers to get a loyalty card, discount, coupon etc. To attract customers, chatbots offer a value;
  • Popups with the chatbot gather personal information, for example, to make an appointment. The lead enters name, number phone, email address, etc. and is signed up to the master or doctor. In the meantime, the entrepreneur has enough information for the further engagement with the lead;
  • Community and channels with chatbot are a great way to offer the value to the target audience. The entrepreneur makes sure the bot works in an appropriate place.

 

Let’s consider how it works in real business cases.

  1. The Hellotars.com chatbot gathers requests and personal data communicating with customer for further engagement.

 

2.The Fuzzy.ai chatbot offers the value, a promo code, to save the customer interest and move him/her to the action to buy a service.

3. DocDocBot makes an appointment for the doctor. In the meantime, the doctor gets the lead and personal data.

 

Obviously this really works well for B2C cases. Of course, a chatbot isn’t the only sales channel but it is a real solution as a part of the sales process in businesses. Follow me and stay in top of chatbot novelties.

 

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Top Chatbot Benefits: How Chatbots Optimize Information Management

It is the first article from the line of benefits of using chatbot for business. Let’s consider how information management optimization impact on the bottom line.

Information management optimizations implies data converted into a convenient form with easy access for the customer.

easy access for the customer

 

When Chatbots.Studio team discussed this benefit, we thought about why a chatbot is better than any software at providing information management optimization. The chatbot reduces the time of searching for useful information due to quick access and fast answers for the customer. It is better to enter a preferable messenger and ask the bot in the natural language then download an application, allow access to personal data and then look for info in different sections.

Let’s consider information management optimization as one of the ways to reduce work costs.

There are metrics to measure how it works best for your business:

  • Transaction cost per one client;
  • % transactions executed with chatbot;
  • Total cost of service.

 

Nova Poshta chatbot — is Ukrainian delivery service. It is one of the best examples to understand how optimization of information management can work in business cases. Nova Poshta provides access to the necessary information via mobile app, web or call center. But almost a quarter of customers prefer to chat with bots. Taking into account the total clients’ notification, 24% of them come in from messengers.

Take a look at the example of tracking the order with chatbot help.

Nova Poshta chatbot
Nova Poshta chatbot gathers and presents appropriate information through the convenient interface — messenger.

 

The client has the opportunity to get info easily and quickly, in the meantime the analyst identifies transaction costs. It leads to reducing the workload for the call department. We will take into consideration automation of working process in the next post.

Another case is the chatbot as corporate media that Chatbots.Studio has developed previously for client. Farms, factories or mine companies have internal and external team. There is the issue of how to engage with external team that is outside and share information without delay. To resolve the problem, our client implemented a chatbot for staff communication and accessing to corporate info and media. Also, it helps to be accustomed for new employees with colleagues and superiors.

 

So, we considered the first benefit that impacts the business bottom line. As can be seen, chatbots can be a great back up for gathering information and management of said information.

Keep an eye out for our latest news: we will consider the next benefit, “Automation of the working process” and how it could increase financial indicators.

 

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