The time to create a chatbot will depend on many factors. Chatbots need a strategy, a way to communicate to site visitors, beta testing, and much more. Every business should know how chatbots work. Chatbot or no chatbot, growing businesses should first consider the time it takes to create one because it likely determines the cost of the chatbot.
Table of Contents
- Why Chatbot Building Time Is Important for Your Business
- Chatbot Building Strategy
- How Long it Will Take to Build a Chatbot 3 Ways
- Average Cost of a Chatbot Building Project
- The Beta Testing Phase
- Common Chatbot FAQ
- What's Next?
Integration with one chat — the duration depends on bot complexity, but on average it takes 40–56 hours.
Creation of a communication interface - You can either use a Command language user interface or Natural language user interface. Depending on the size of the teams, the first option may take 40–56 hours to build a chatbot and the second option may take 120–160 hours.
The first and most important step is creating a business case for the chatbot program and developing a long term strategy. You need to ask yourself some fundamental questions such as:
- What does your workforce need automating to become more efficient?
- What areas of your business have high volumes or low-value tasks where you would rather free up human time to concentrate on other tasks?
- Is a chatbot really the best solution?
- What sort of ROI are you aiming for?
- Are your employees ready to adopt a chatbot?
You’ll need to carry out the difficult balancing act of weighing up what chatbot capability can you afford, what does that get you and what return can you expect to get from that investment?
Typically most businesses will already have a level 1 – basic chatbot or proof of concept (PoC) by now and are now looking to grow their use cases and scale across multiple departments or sectors into level 2.
The chatbot’s complexity and personality will eventually decide the timeline.
You may need a chatbot to handle marketing activities for your brand and a provide a bunch of functions, from customer support to natural language understanding.
Variability, scalability, complexity, and personality of your chatbot will directly influence your choice between a custom or platform-based chatbot development. The more the complexity, the more is the time required.
The latest AI powered chatbots are the most complex ones, which can interpret the human language to deliver appropriate messages. Not only do they need to learn the behavioral patterns of individuals and take decisions, they also need to push promotional content to users depending on past history.
They are no more limited to answering simple transactional queries or give some basic information regarding a product or service, in times when the company’s customer service agents are out of reach.
The team used to develop such bots may be typically between 4–6 people. Projects like that may take at least 2–3 months to implement.
With self-service platforms, you can easily build a bot by yourself. Some platforms require a certain degree of technical knowledge, while others let you build bots without writing any code.
Chatfuel and Motion.ai. are such examples of the second type. Using Chatfuel, you can write use cases by following tutorials, and do some testing later on. It lets you build chatbots for Facebook Messenger and Telegram, set up AI algorithms, and lets you integrate your bot with a number of third-party services.
For creating a chatbot with Motion.ai , all you need to have is a talent to draw a flowchart, and a chatbot can be created out of it. You can then integrate your bot with various messenger platforms.
The time required to build these bots is a little more than the ready-made bots, from a few hours to few days altogether. The complexity nonetheless is more, as you need to have an idea or starting point, to draw a flowchart which will guide in building the chatbot.
Just as there’s an App Store for iOS apps, there are market places for bots that solve specific business needs. You can try out one of these bots, that perfectly fits your own business. Such typeof bots are available on the Telegram and Kik Bot Stores. Slack doesn’t have a marketplace for bots,i.e. ‘Bot Store,’ but they do list all their bots in their App Directory together with all other tools.
You can search for chatbots across all current platforms and categories using Botlist, which is a catalog of bots. There are bots on Botlist, which serve multiple purposes and run on multiple platforms.
While you can’t customize a ready-made bot and it may not meet 100% of your business needs, the time required to build such a bot is not as much compared to any other chatbot project timeframe. You may just browse through the catalogs of bots and choose one instantly which is closest to your business need.
Small companies, whose chatbot is supposed to handlevery simple functions, may opt for such a platform. You can always start developing decision trees onto the ready-made template if needed as well.
A third approach is to start from scratch and create your own chatbot. You can also outsource your task to a software development team if programming or coding isn't your strong suit. Note that not all chatbot platforms require a coding knowledge base to build a chatbot.
TruVISIBILITY gives businesses the option to build a chatbot with a drag and drop management system. This makes it easy to start planning, editing, and creating a chatbot decision tree that you can actually see.
A chatbot for an existing chat service is essentially a server-side application that requires an API to function. Software development teams can utilize a variety of technologies to construct this server-side app.
Chatbots can cost up to $80,000. And this often includes a chatbot for each social channel for a business, chatbots for different landing pages or websites, and even SMS messaging. To create a single chatbot to develop for a website should not cost too much, however. It all depends on what your business needs from a chatbot.
Now, do you want to not take too much time on a bot and save some money? You definitely can and should pursue this option is you have a growing business. Consider what you need in a chatbot and how many people it takes to build a chatbot. If your chatbot is simple enough and can be done with the help of one or two people, the time it takes may increase but it also may not. This is something to discuss with the chatbot building platforms you're considering.
For an advanced AI chatbot, you could pay up to $20,000. On the other hand, for a chatbot to simply direct leads to a page, collect lead information, or answer common questions, it could only cost about a few thousand (or less!). One of the most affordable chatbot platforms, TruVISIBILITY, prides itself on having a chatbot building tool for businesses of all sizes and budgets.
If buying an AI chatbot with a knowledge base solution to just give a response to customer questions, it can cost a few thousand US dollars. And yes, the beta testing phase will be part of the cost as it is part of the service to ensure your business deploys a live chatbot with no issues.
If the platform and service you develop an AI system from does find anything that needs fixing, they will take longer to create code to fix it. But experienced chatbot creators rarely see chatbot projects fail, so you should see live, conversational, working chatbots soon after the beta testing does start.
The time this final step takes depends on how many people add to the development of the chatbot. If there are third-party partners or users that help the platform develop chatbots, it could take longer than expected.
How does the beta testing phase work? Oftentimes, users with questions about the company will ask the chatbot and return with responses to the testers on how it either didn't work for a certain web browser, or it didn't respond correctly to the conversation, or it simply didn't offer help.
These "customers" or similar audience to the type of user the business will likely interact with, is vital for getting similar data from the chatbot platforms that the business would from a real user once the chatbot goes live on the site.
How much do chatbots cost?
The cost of developing a chatbot can never be determined without consider the chatbot development process. This means that the complexity of the project and people behind the development decide how much you will be spending for the chatbot. Generally, you can expect to be spending between $20,000 and $80,000.
Is in-house or outsourcing chatbot development better?
The answer depends on how much you're willing to invest in terms of money and time. You could either train an in-house team to get the job done or hire a chatbot development firm that could get the job done without you having to take any sort of stress. Generally, the best option is to let a top-notch company handle your software development unless you've got better developers in-house.
How long does it take to build a chatbot on your own?
While this article already gave you an idea of how long does it take to create a chatbot, a short answer would be to expect investing up to 4-6 weeks in the process. This could either be less or even more depending on the complexity of the project and the developers working on it.
We hope you choose to take the time to create a chatbot you not only want but that your customer base needs. No matter which platform or platforms you choose, you can always save time in making a chatbot by skipping a free service to make a product yourself and ask professionals for help in building and coding the bot that will make enormous changes to your revenue.
Since your customers and the conversation your business has with them is important, every business should ensure they have a reliable chatbot product to keep customers and pursue leads. With TruVISIBILITY's Chat app, you can take the time to build a bot from the ground up to help with customer questions, answering a FAQ, collect survey data, collect a lead's personal information for marketing purposes, and more.
You may think your knowledge base or chatbot management team needs to be the best of the best, but as long as you chose a software to satisfy user questions and concerns, you'll be well on your way to building more than chatbots - like audience relationships that stick! Oh yeah, and you can integrate or create your site, landing pages, and even email marketing with the all-in-one digital marketing suite.
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