Chatbots have become increasingly popular among businesses as a tool for improving customer service and streamlining operations. They handle tasks, answer common questions, and provide personalized interactions to boost customer support. \n\n\nBut how much does it cost to build a chatbot for your business? \n\n\nIn this article, ProCoders will explore the factors that can impact the cost of building a chatbot, including development time, complexity, and integration with existing systems. If you want a healthy and profitable boost for your business, integrating chatbot might be just what you need. Keep reading to find out if it suits you! \n\n\n\n\n\nChatbot Market Overview\n\n\nAs we look ahead to the chatbot market in 2023, it is clear that the use of chatbots is becoming more widespread across industries. According to Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $10.08 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3% from 2021 to 2026.\n\n\nPricing Models for Chatbots Development, Maintenance, Customization\n\n\nYou may ask, “How expensive is it to create a chatbot?” When building a chatbot, one of the most important decisions is choosing a pricing model for the chatbot’s development, maintenance, and customization. Here’s what we found out during our years of experience:\n\n\nDedicated Team\n\n\nDescription: A group of professional developers who work solely on a specific project or set of projects for a client. ProCoders provides a Dedicated Team service with skilled professionals and a Trial period for replacement.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– Stability. – Full-time attention from developers.– Access to dedicated resources for your project.\n\n\nCons\n\n\n– Hard to assemble. – Usually more expensive.\n\n\nTime&Materials Model\n\n\nDescription: A type of contract used in project-based work, where the client agrees to pay for the time and materials used by the service provider to complete the project.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– The work scope can be adjusted as needed.– The work process can start immediately. – No long-term commitment or any other obligations. – No payment for unused hours or days.\n\n\nCons\n\n\n– Difficult to ensure clarity if there are no fixed deliverables. – Can lead to overspending or under budgeting.\n\n\nProCoders offers Time&Materials contracts for cost control and complete project visibility. We have a special Reaction period where we begin studying the task within two working days and start working on it within a week. We provide regular progress updates and are available to address any concerns.\n\n\nFixed-Price Projects\n\n\nDescription: A type of project contracting model in which the client agrees to pay a predetermined fixed amount for the entire project, and the contractor agrees to deliver a high-quality product within a specific timeframe for this price.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– Little to no risk for unexpected changes in budget, timeframe, or expectations.– No unexpected costs. – The set price is attached to each deliverable.\n\n\nCons\n\n\n– Can’t easily change the scope of work once it has started. – High risk of unrealistic deadlines.\n\n\nProCoders offers a team of experienced developers for your Fixed Price project. We provide a detailed project plan and ensure that our team has all the necessary resources to complete the project on time and within budget.\n\n\nMonthly Subscriptions\n\n\nDescription: A monthly fee for ongoing maintenance and updates.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– A possibility to plan for the cost of maintenance and support. – A possibility to adjust the subscription level based on needs.– Timely updates and maintenance.Cons\n\n\n– High risk of overpaying– Not enough flexibility. – Difficulties while determining the appropriate subscription plan.\n\n\nProCoders can provide ongoing maintenance and updates for your chatbot project within our Outstaffing or a Dedicated Team service.\n\n\nPay-as-you-go\n\n\nDescription: A payment for maintenance and updates on an as-needed basis.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– Flexibility to pay only for the services used.– No long-term commitment or upfront costs.– Ability to scale up or down – Cost-effectiveness for businesses with infrequent or unpredictable maintenance needs.\n\n\nCons\n\n\n– A client may not know the final cost until the project is complete. – The cost can quickly add up with additional maintenance.– Less control over the maintenance process.\n\n\nProCoders can provide maintenance and updates on an as-needed basis for your chatbot project within our Time&Materials engagement model.\n\n\nCustomization Packages\n\n\nDescription: A set of pre-defined customization options priced as a package.\n\n\nPros\n\n\n– Packages are priced lower than hourly rates.– Clients can easily see the price of each customization the package.– Customization packages already have a pre-defined scope of work.– The development team works without delay.\n\n\nCons\n\n\n– Limited flexibility to customize a chatbot to meet specific needs.– Difficulty to determine if the package will meet all of the requirements before purchasing it.– Limited support. \n\n\nProCoders don’t provide set customization packages.\n\n\n\nCustom Chatbot Development or Chatbot Builder: All the Truth How to Choose The Best For Your Business for Now?\n\n\nGeneral Overview\n\n\nCompared to Intelligent Virtual Assistant (or IVA), chatbots are easier to develop and maintain, and there are two main options for it’s\n\n\nCustom chatbots are designed and built from scratch to meet the specific needs of a particular business. On the other hand, chatbot builders allow businesses to create chatbots using pre-built templates and drag-and-drop interfaces:\n\n\n\n\n\n\nPopular Custom Chatbots\nDescription\nExample\n\n\n\n\nCustomer service chatbots\nDesigned to help customers find information, answer common questions, and resolve issues.\nBank of America’s Erica\n\n\nSales chatbots\nDesigned to help businesses generate leads and increase conversions. \nH&M chatbot\n\n\nHR chatbots\nDesigned to help employees with HR-related tasks such as scheduling time off, checking pay stubs, and finding company policies. \nMya chatbot\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nPopular Chatbot Builders\nDescription\n\n\n\n\nChatfuel\nPlatform to create chatbots for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram using a drag-and-drop interface.\n\n\nTars\nPlatform to create chatbots for websites and landing pages using pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop interface.\n\n\nManyChat\nPlatform to create chatbots for Facebook Messenger using pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop interface.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nCustom chatbots\n\n\nAdvantages of custom chatbots:\n\n\n\nCustomization. You get a bot that fits your needs and has all desired functions.\n\n\nSecurity. Customized assistants are safer because they don’t contain any code from a third party.\n\n\nPerformance. Because of the custom code, a customized bot can provide more functions to your audience depending on their needs, and it will also be able to work faster.\n\n\n\nCustom chatbot disadvantages:\n\n\n\nPrice. The building chatbots pricing can be high. In accordance with Hyperise, the custom chatbot development price may vary from $5,000 to $150,000 as the cost is calculated and varies for every case.\n\n\nIt may take more time to plan and launch a custom chatbot. \n\n\nTechnical Issues. As with any technology, custom chatbots can experience technical issues requiring troubleshooting and fixing. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if the chatbot is an integral part of the business’s operations.\n\n\n\nChatbot builders\n\n\n\n\n\nChatbot builder advantages:\n\n\n\nSimple in usage. Chatbot builders make it easy to add features, change existing ones and even delete them if needed. This helps you to focus on the most important elements and leave the less important ones for later.\n\n\nCoding skills are not required. You don’t need any coding skills or knowledge of programming languages such as Java or Python to create a chatbot with a builder. \n\n\nAbility to customize by yourself. If you have some coding skills, you can customize your chatbot even further by adding your code.\n\n\n\nChatbot builder disadvantages:\n\n\n\nLimited Customization. Chatbot builders typically offer a limited set of pre-built templates and tools for businesses to use in creating their chatbot resulting in limited customization options.\n\n\nIntegration. Chatbot builders may not integrate easily with other systems or platforms the business uses. This can be a problem if the chatbot needs to access customer information or other data from existing systems.\n\n\nIsn’t a scalable platform. Once your bot has reached its limit of users, interactions, messages, etc., you may need to move on to something more robust.\n\n\n\nChecklist how to estimate real costs and make the best decision\n\n\n\nDecide what you want your chatbot to do.\n\n\nDecide whether you want to outsource, outstaff or hire an in-house developer to do the job.\n\n\nChoose the right engagement model: Fixed Price project, Time&Materials contract, or a Dedicated Team. \n\n\nDetermine whether your project will be built on open-source tools or proprietary software.\n\n\nConsider how much time you have for development and how often you’ll need to update the bot’s features and functionality.\n\n\nFigure out how much it will cost to make a chatbot design, including icons, images, and other assets.\n\n\n\n\n4 Steps to Estimate Cost of Building a Chatbot for Your Business Purpose\n\n\nThere are several factors that go into estimating how much does it cost to develop a chatbot for a website or an application, so you can figure out what your budget looks like and start making plans.\n\n\nStep 1: Custom chatbot vs chatbot builder\n\n\nA fully custom chatbot is more flexible but expensive, costing $5,000 to $150,000. A chatbot builder is more affordable and accessible, costing $10 to $1,000 per month, but may have limitations. The decision depends on the business needs and budget.\n\n\nStep 2: Functionality\n\n\nConsider the functionality your chatbot needs – should it handle payments or just basic commands like “Open my account”? What artificial intelligence features your chatbot needs? The more complex the functionality needs, the higher the chatbot development cost.\n\n\nStep 3: Staff\n\n\nFirst, take into account the number of people working on your project. The more people you have helping with design, programming, and testing, the more expensive it will be.\n\n\n\n\n\nStep 4: Time and deadlines\n\n\nNext, consider the time required for each step in the process: design, development, and testing. It’s crucial to account for all these steps in your estimate to be prepared for unexpected costs and delays.\n\n\nConsider doing a Discovery Phase with ProCoders if you’re not tech-savvy and unsure about the essential features and cost of your chatbot. Our experts will assess your requirements, analyze competitor products, recommend enhancements for market competitiveness, and outline the development stages and estimated costs. You will receive the most detailed analysis of your business, which will allow you to avoid many mistakes at the development stage.\n\n\n\nHow Much Does it Cost to Build a Chatbot?\n\n\nThe cost to develop a chatbot app can vary widely based on the complexity of the project and the features required. Here is a breakdown of the estimated cost of building a chatbot based on three difficulty levels: Basic, Level Up, and Advanced.\n\n\nBasic Difficulty Level\n\n\nA basic chatbot is a simple chatbot that can answer basic questions and assist users via live chat and text messages. It usually has limited functionality and does not require complex integrations.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFeature\nCost\n\n\n\n\nPlatform (messaging platforms or channels that the chatbot will be integrated with)\n$0 – $50\/month\n\n\nDesign\n$500 – $1,500\n\n\nDevelopment\n$1,000 – $5,000\n\n\nTesting\n$500 – $1,000\n\n\nTotal cost\n$2,000 – $8,000\n\n\n\n\n\n\nLevel Up Difficulty Level\n\n\nA Level Up chatbot has more advanced functionality and may include integrations with external services or APIs. It can handle more complex queries and provide more personalized responses to users.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFeature\nCost\n\n\n\n\nPlatform\n$50 – $300\/month\n\n\nDesign\n$1,000 – $2,500\n\n\nDevelopment\n$5,000 – $15,000\n\n\nTesting\n$1,000 – $2,500\n\n\nTotal cost\n$8,000 – $20,000\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAdvanced Difficulty Level\n\n\nAn advanced chatbot is a complex chatbot that requires advanced programming and integrations with multiple APIs and external services. It can handle complex queries and provide sophisticated responses to users.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFeature\nCost\n\n\n\n\nPlatform\n$300 – $500\/month\n\n\nDesign\n$2,500 – $5,000\n\n\nDevelopment\n$15,000 – $50,000\n\n\nTesting\n$2,500 – $5,000\n\n\nTotal cost\n$25,000 – $60,000\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThese cost estimates are not exact and can vary greatly depending on the project’s specific requirements and the developer’s hourly rate. You can consult with a professional chatbot development company to get a more accurate estimate of the project’s cost.\n\n\n\nHow to Reduce the Cost of Chatbot Development?\n\n\nThere are many ways to reduce the cost of creating a chatbot for your business. Here are some tips to help you get started:\n\n\n1. Use chatbot builders\n\n\nA chatbot builder may be the most cost-effective option if the chatbot’s requirements are relatively simple. Chatbot builders are often more affordable than custom development and require less technical knowledge.\n\n\n2. Focus on your niche market first\n\n\nFocus on your target audience and their needs when building your chatbot, instead of trying to cater to all users with different languages and countries at once. This approach allows you to create a tool that works best for your audience and improve it over time as they become more familiar with it.\n\n\n3. Use free services\n\n\nTry services like Google Cloud AutoML Vision or Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services Image Classification. Also, there are many third-party services out there that can help make your chatbot development more accessible, including Natural Language Processing APIs (NLP), Machine Learning APIs (ML), and Image Recognition APIs (IR). These services provide prebuilt components that can be used in any chatbot project without having to build them yourself from scratch, which would save time and cost of chatbot development!\n\n\nHow to Find the Balance Between the Cost and Quality of Chatbots – ProCoders’ Experience\n\n\nAt ProCoders, we’ve found several factors to consider to balance cost and quality:\n\n\n\nDefining project scope.\n\n\nSelecting the right team.\n\n\nChoosing the right technology stack.\n\n\nBalancing customization and pre-built solutions.\n\n\nConducting thorough testing.\n\n\n\nWe’ve also found that by carefully considering these factors in different use cases, we can build high-quality chatbots that meet our client’s needs while controlling development costs. Our team of professional developers, Q&A specialists, designers, and project managers are carefully selected through tests and interviews to ensure the best results.\n\n\nHow can we be sure of our specialists? Before hiring, every applicant takes tests and is interviewed by our team leaders before hiring, so only real talents come to the final stage. This is the only way we can be sure that when it comes to the work with our clients, our team members will perform the best result possible and will be able to provide tech support even after the product is developed and deployed. \n\n\nSo do you need some help with chatbot development? Contact ProCoders today! \n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\nThe chatbot market is growing rapidly and presents a huge opportunity for businesses to improve customer service and engagement.To estimate the cost of building a chatbot, it’s important to consider factors such as complexity, functionality, and the platform the chatbot will be deployed on. However, there are methods to reduce these costs, such as using pre-built templates and integrating with existing systems.\n\n\nUltimately, finding the right balance between the cost of creating a chatbot for your business and its quality is key. By working with experienced developers and using the latest technologies, businesses can create chatbots that meet their specific needs without breaking the bank. With the right approach, chatbots can provide significant benefits and improve customer experiences, making them a valuable investment for any business looking to stay ahead of the curve.