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The chatbot is a service that can interact with humans in chat, based on predefined rules, or with the help of artificial intelligence. There are numerous use cases for chatbots, including sales, customer support, e-commerce, messaging, and much more. Some examples of bots are: CNN Bot, Zalando Bot.
In this article, we explain how a chatbot works, what types of chatbots there are, and how high chatbot pricing can be.
Two trends are fueling the rapid rise of chatbots: messengers and artificial intelligence. Let’s start with messengers.
This chart shows that the number of users on the four largest Messenger platforms has overtaken the number of users on the four most monumental social media platforms.
90% of mobile users’ time is spent in Messenger or email programs. For businesses, that means going where their customers are. While this used to be shopping streets and later Internet browsers, it is now mobile Internet and Messenger. Especially among the younger generation and in developing countries – the two target groups that define tomorrow’s market demand.
But there’s another reason for the growth of chatbots: artificial intelligence. Find out how these two technologies come together below.
With that, we’ve answered the question, “What is a chatbot?” But what goal do bots serve?
An example: instead of browsing the Zalando website, you write to the Zalando chatbot in Facebook Messenger. You describe what you need and get some suggestions from the bot. You can then purchase these products in the store.
Chatbots can be just as helpful in customer support, guiding customers through technical product details, forwarding reported issues to actual customer support, and more. You can also download app development cost factsheet to learn more about chatbots pricing.
By using chatbots:1. reach customers where they are (i.e., just in Messenger).2. implement a cost-effective customer care option3. improve and simplify the user experience
There are diverse types of chatbots, but roughly summarized we can name two categories:
In the first case, a bot can guide you through a predefined “tree” of questions. That is, you enter predefined questions and answers and the customer is guided by the bot through those questions. The CNN chatbot would be a good example of this.
The obvious drawback of this solution is its inflexibility. Ultimately, it is a kind of FAQ for advanced users. On the other hand, this solution is very easy to implement, even without programming skills. You can define the tree yourself and extend it as you wish.
For AI-based chatbots, the whole system is a bit more complex. The chatbot should be able to recognize and answer the user’s intention. Ideally, the user should not even notice that he is talking to a bot.
Such chatbot systems are based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) frameworks/libraries. An example of this would be the Azure Bot Service .Such bots are getting “smarter” as they converse with humans (by the way, this can also have negative consequences, consider the example of Tay Bot).
Now that we have clarified the question “What is a chatbot?”, we can move on to the topic of programming chatbots.
As you already know, there are two types of chatbots – rule-based and AI-based. Meanwhile, the rule-based chatbots can be created by yourself. There are numerous platforms for this. A list find here.
These chatbots will have no “intelligence” and can simply guide the user through the given question/answer tree. Some of these frameworks/platforms have a possibility for AI integration, but that again requires programming skills.
Much more interesting from a programmer’s perspective are the AI-based chatbots. One can program an intelligent chatbot by, for example, using the Azure Chatbot Service.This is an offer from Microsoft that provides various tools for chatbot development. The structure of such a chatbot looks like this: Quelle.
This is a typical architecture of a chatbot for information. Briefly explained, one can store a question/answer routine under “QnA Maker”. Language Understanding” is used to determine the user’s intention and the context of their question. The questions themselves can be asked via various channels, including Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Skype or a website or app.
The question “What is a chatbot pricing?” cannot be answered in a blanket way. As always, the price depends on how complicated the solution should be. But you can still divide the chatbot cost into several areas:
1. simple chatbots for a social media channel. No programming required. Setup in the tools like Chatfuel or Manychat. Costs: up to approx. 2,000 euros.
2. simple chatbots with integrations. Same as above, but with a few additional features such as linking to Google Maps or iCal. No programming necessary. Costs: up to approx. 3000. euros
3. chatbots with their own individual backend. Programming would be necessary this time. Typically part of an existing system, integration into an existing database necessary. Chatbot pricing in such case are max. 10,000. euros.
4. individual chatbots with complex integrations. This solution would be like point 3, but in addition to it API integrations into various systems, such as ERP, CRM, etc. would be required. Here, the chatbot pricing would already reach the 15,000-20,000 euro range.
5. AI-based system. This would be the first alternative in our list that works with a “real” AI and gives out “intelligent” answers. One of the chatbot frameworks would act as the backend here, such as the aforementioned Azure Bot Service from Microsoft. Typically, one automates several dozen questions in such frameworks. The chatbot pricing in this case start at 20,000 euros and can quickly reach double that amount.
6. the combination of points 4 and 5, i.e. AI-based system with numerous integrations. Here the budget can reach 100,000 euros and more.
As a summary, we can again list the factors that influence the price of a chatbot:
1. building block system vs. programming required.
2. standard backend (from a third party) or own custom backend.
3. standard integration (Facebook, Telegram, etc.) or custom integration e.g. into own website.
4. predefined question-answer tree or AI-based.
5. number of various integrations: from no API integration to complex integration from various sources (e.g. CRM, ERP, HR software, etc.).
Hopefully we were able to help you with this article. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us: tel:+49 30 258143174.
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