From the creation of the forum in ancient Rome to the development of modern live chat apps, people have spent a lot of time and energy trying to provide other people with the most accessible and comfortable methods of communication.

The advent of the technological revolution has brought us many benefits, and this includes the opportunity to improve the communication between customers and their favorite brands. Chatbots offer a fast, reliable, and smooth channel for all types of information transmission.

What is a chatbot?

Chatbot technology is a type of artificial intelligence designed to improve the communication between people and software. A chatbot platform can transform the user experience by providing fast, smart and fluent answers, mimicking the conversational flow a customer would have with an experienced human agent.

Nowadays, most chatbots operate in written form. These can be contacted via text messaging and can be custom-built to offer user recommendations via a multiple-choice selector. Modern chatbot design comes integrates with multilingual customer support, as well as lead generation and sales automation capabilities.

Key features of a chatbot

What are the main types of chatbots?

There are two main types of chatbots: scripted chatbots and AI chatbots.

Scripted chatbots

This is the simplest type of chatbot. A scripted chatbot will communicate with people using a decision tree hierarchy and predefined messages. It is common for these bots to implement a set of questions or buttons to simplify communication.

AI chatbots

Some chatbots have the ability to understand natural languages. Also known as intelligent virtual assistants, these stand out over traditional, rule-based chatbots because they can detect customer intent and provide more elaborate answers.

Chatbot agencies implement a computational-linguistic technique called Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the development of AI chatbots. NLP allows chatbots to understand, perform analysis, and prioritise tasks. Likewise, these bots are able to recognize particular keywords or the tone of the communication, helping them give the most satisfactory answers.

Mistakes to avoid when creating chatbots

Examples of chatbots

Commonly used chatbot examples are:

  • FAQ assistants
  • Navigational chatbots
  • Healthcare assistants
  • Recommendations and booking agents
  • Lead generation and retention chatbots
  • Transactional bots

FAQ assistants

These chatbots are typically scripted and are meant to aid customers with support queries. FAQ assistants are commonly found on websites and mobile apps. The chosen medium for FAQ assistants tends to be text, but some can also process voice messages.

Navigational chatbots

These chatbots can provide specific information to the users of a website and mobile app. A navigational chatbot can direct users towards valuable content like a product page, blog article, or other important areas of the website. To achieve this, a chatbot developer must integrate catalog and service-side API into the back-end.

Navigational bots are also referred to as shopping assistants and are commonly employed in the clothes and fashion industry. The bots can be set up to change the content of messaging depending on the context. For instance, a shopping assistant can send holiday greetings to customers.

Healthcare assistants

Chatbots offer many benefits to the healthcare industry. For example, clinics and hospitals can implement healthcare chatbots to perform the duties of online receptionists or nurses. Furthermore, a chatbot can assist with hospital duties like reporting on patient progress, making assessments on drug interactions, and checking in on post-op recovery.

Chatbots for healthcare

Recommendations and booking agents

Chatbots allow the hospitality industry to offer top-tier services from anywhere in the world. Because they can remain perpetually active, chatbots are able to offer 24/7 customer support with the proficiency of a real-life agent. This includes helping customers find the best accommodation depending on their budget and preferences.

Chatbots for bookings

Lead generation and retention chatbots

A chatbot can be used as part of a content marketing strategy to generate online leads on websites and social media. Additionally, a chatbot can also be used to send updates and alerts to activate old leads. If a user subscribes to a newsletter, a chatbot may send them information about relevant offers and other topics of interest.

Chatbots for sales

Transactional chatbots

If you’ve ever used a social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook to order fast food, then you have interacted with a transactional chatbot. These bots are designed to simplify actions. For example, the implementation of a transactional chatbot can help customers place orders, conduct online payments, and remember transactional data to offer repeat purchases in the future.

Are chatbots cost-effective?

Chatbot services can substantially improve the speed and quality of communication between businesses and customers. This streamlined messaging pipeline can drastically lessen interaction times, thereby increasing the number of sales that can be made at any given time.

Research across the retail, banking, and healthcare sectors has found the adoption of chatbots to be considerably beneficial to profits. While the estimated cost savings of chatbot implementation were placed at $ 6 billion in 2018, that figure is expected to rise to $ 11 billion by 2023 (source).

Chatbot personalization and value

3 factors that affect chatbot pricing

1. Business requirements

The required competencies of a chatbot for customer support are dependent on the type of business that implements it. Chatbots are not simple software applications, and a business may need to cover the cost of chatbot development if they have particular needs.

2. Categories of chatbots

To create a chatbot, one must first know what type of chatbot they need, and what special features should be included with it. Chatbot building can become more cost-intensive if the platform is meant to communicate with multiple messaging apps at once.

The most common chatbot type is the messenger chatbot. Most chatbot implementation processes work with Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. However, a chatbot developer can also custom design a chat widget application to work within a client’s app or website. These can offer customer support and provide instant answers to frequently asked questions.

Companies also have the option of acquiring chatbots designed for internal communication. These can be used to automate routine processes, such as keeping track of changing shifts or sick days. The chatbot development price changes depending on the internal processes it is going to fulfill.

How to set up a Whatsapp chatbot for free

3. Artificial Intelligence

Some chatbots are able to communicate so fluently that it would be easy to mistake them for human beings. Thanks to advanced artificial intelligence processes such as data analysis and machine learning, innovative chatbots are capable of learning from customer databases and past interactions in order to provide better future experiences.

Chatbot developers require an extra amount of time and resources to implement machine learning algorithms. To provide seamless customer service, these chatbots must be fed a lot of data. Extra AI processes like predictive analytics may also be integrated. Naturally, this incurs additional costs.

Chatbot pricing comparison table

  • Open-source chatbot: Free!
  • Standard chatbot subscription: Starting at $ 0. Prices tend to go as high as $ 100 per month.
  • Pro chatbot subscription: Between $ 10 to $ 500 per month.
  • Custom chatbots for businesses: Between $ 600 and $ 5000 per month.
  • Consumption-based chatbot pricing plans: A charge of $ 1 or less for every message request.
  • Development via a chatbot agency: Between $ 1000 and $ 5000 per month for deployment and maintenance.
  • In-house development of a chatbot: Depending on IT capabilities, prices may go upward of $ 10,000 per month.

What is chatbot analytics?

How much does an AI chatbot cost?

An open-source AI chatbot may be acquired for free. Custom-built chatbots, on the other hand, vary widely in cost. While some market alternatives can be acquired for a $ 15 monthly fee, others can cost over $ 10,000 per month.

Chatbot pricing plans

Custom chatbot development or bot builders?

Companies that develop their own chatbots must consider the required IT resources. It is possible that more IT personnel and man-hours will be needed. In contrast, chatbot specialists have the resources and expertise to modify the software to cater to a business’s specific needs.

For a chatbot to remain useful, it must undergo periodic maintenance procedures. This means that the IT department must allocate time and resources to the active maintenance of the chatbot. When working with a specialized third party, all the heavy lifting is handled by experts while one must only cover the costs of the subscription.

The benefits of partnering with chatbot experts include:

  • Seamless integration with a website or mobile app. Popular messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, and Skype may also be supported.
  • Chatbot developers can fluctuate pricing depending on how sophisticated the chatbot must be. This means that companies on a budget can still acquire a top-tier chatbot, albeit lacking in certain custom features. On the upside, these may be included later.
  • A chatbot builder may be cheap, but so are the results it provides. Unless you are well versed in tech, you’re going to need a coder to handle most, if not all, of the work. Professionally-designed chatbots are more appealing to customers and offer them superior service.

Chatbot development services

Botpress offers the best environment for the creation of chatbots. Thanks to flexible modular architecture powered by an innovative SDK, Botpress provides software at the vanguard of conversational AI, empowering developers to build chatbots in the blink of an eye.

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