Ever since the introduction of Facebook Messenger chatbots, the industry has experienced a rebirth. If you plan to enter into this industry, you need to know how much it will cost to build a chatbot.
Financing and budget are very important in any walk of life, and the chatbot industry is no different.
Like the majority of software and technology projects, the cost to build a chatbot rests largely on the complexity and scale of the project.
Therefore, there is no fixed price. The cost depends on many factors. A chatbot can cost as low as $0, and as high as $10,000 or more.
There are two ways you can build a chatbot. You can either do it yourself or have some specialist do it for you.
Some factors determine how much it will cost to build a chatbot when you have a specialist do it for you.
When you are building yourself, all you need is your time. You will also consider your expectations and goals for your bot as well as the functions it will perform.
However, the complexities that come with integrating artificial intelligence into bots can be tiring. If you are up for the task, then start working.
Since there is no cost attached to building a chatbot on your own, this article will focus on how much it will cost to build a chatbot that is custom developed.
Some key drivers impact the cost of a chatbot. As stated earlier, there is no fixed price.
You can get your chatbot at a very expensive price compared to your neighbour, but there are reasons for that.
Factors That Influence the Cost to Build a Chatbot
Here are some of the factors that influence the total price of chatbots:
Chatbot Builder or Contractor
When you decide to have a bot, who’s going to build it is one of the few questions that come to mind.
Contactors have an impact on how much it will cost to build a chatbot. Like any other product or service rendered in other industries, prices differ based on who is selling.
Chatbot builders moderate prices based on what suits them and what they think is fair for the service you are getting.
Besides the price, your choice of contractor will also influence the timeframe it will take for your bot to be ready.
While some builders take time, some do the job effectively in record time.
Another factor that can be influenced by the chatbot builder is their technological knowledge. How good are they? Do they know how to build a chatbot properly with the latest updates?
Some chatbot builders might not be knowledgeable enough to integrate some features of artificial intelligence into your bot.
Zebrabuzz, for instance gives budget-friendly prices on bots that uses natural language processing, understanding, semantic interpretation and comprehension.
That’s not all; the experienced chatbot builders also boast a respectable track record of serious and dedicated application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Another factor that determines how much it will cost to build a chatbot is the channel or channels you plan to use it on.
Would it be deployed on a website, online store, instant messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik etc.
For each additional channel, you want your chatbot to work on; you may have to spend more. Adding more channels could cost between $500-1500 for each channel.
There is no fixed price for that because it eventually still comes down to the contractor, but you should have an idea to what the average bot builder will charge.
Another determinant of the cost you may accrue while building a chatbot is the features your chatbot will have and the functions it will be able to perform.
The features of your chatbot will depend on the type, language, and channel. When it comes to pricing and costs, chatbots are divided into two types; AI-Powered and Rule-based.
Rule-based chatbots are basic, so they are less expensive. All you need is to map out a conversation in a good and steady manner.
AI-Powered chatbots on the other are expensive. They require lots of training as they are independent and can do a whole lot. You may spend up to $2000 for one of these.
Chatbots support a variety of languages, but extra costs are accrued on AI bots. For each language that will be tested, the price is in-between $600 – $1300.
Rule-based chatbots can engage customers in any language because you designed it.
The last determinant of price based on the features is the channel. Not every channel supports all the features of a chatbot.
For instance, if you want a voice capability for your web-based chatbot, you will spend in-between $600 – $800.
Here is the role it will perform. Will the chatbot being built integrate with current systems in responding? Will it hand over to back up live agents or will respond completely?
There are so many questions to be asked when determining a price based on the functions a chatbot will perform.
The areas in which the bot will be deployed in the business also mean more money. The more functions it performs, the more the cost to build a chatbot.
Chatbots are capable of leveraging other AI systems to give relevant information that will govern conversational flow. Sentiment analysis is an example.
These kinds of chatbots usually cost as much as $5,000. More charges will be accrued for more integration.
How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Chatbot
Like every other software program, more and better updates are always being developed. So it is possible that within the year, your chatbot becomes out-dated.
Regular evaluation and optimisation also need to be carried out to ensure your bot is executing its duties as desired.
Part of optimisation is checking to see the questions that your bot has failed to answer.
In most cases, custom chatbots do not accrue extra charges for maintenance once the subscription fee has been paid.
However, the cost of maintenance may not be included in the agreement. Maintaining a chatbot usually costs between 10-15 per cent of the development price.
It should be noted that the cost to build a chatbot is nothing compared to the significant benefits one will reap. As it is still a new industry, the best time to start is now.