Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chatbot Pricing: How Much Do Different Chatbot Models Cost?

The buzz around chatbots may have made you decide to set up a chatbot for your business. So, the very next question is, how much does a chatbot cost?

There are different chatbot pricing models today, which might confuse you. That’s why we have developed a complete guide to clarify everything about chatbot pricing. We will cover the different chatbot pricing models and influential factors so you can make an informed decision accordingly.

  1. A Bigger Picture of Chatbot Pricing
  2. A Deeper Look at Different Chatbot Pricing Models
  3. 5 Factors That Can Influence Chatbot Pricing
  4. In-House/Outsourced Chatbot or Chatbot Builder – Which One to Choose

A Bigger Picture of Chatbot Pricing

The chatbot pricing depends on how you want to build it. There are two main choices here, i.e., you can build a chatbot in-house or use a visual chatbot builder and pay a monthly subscription fee to the chatbot provider.

If you use a chatbot provider, the price again varies depending on your feature requirements and the company rates. So, if we have to summarize chatbot pricing models and the costs, it will be as follows:

  1. Standard chatbot builder software: $0-$500 per month
  2. Enterprise chatbot builder software: $600-$5,000 per month
  3. In-house chatbot development team: $10,000+ per month
  4. Outsourced chatbot builder agency: $1,000-$5,000 per month
  5. Consumption-based fee: $0.006-$1 per text/audio

Looking at the above bigger picture of chatbot pricing, it is evident that the cost mainly depends on how you want to build the chatbot. Let’s now dive deep into all the above chatbot pricing models and discuss the pricing structure in detail.

A Deeper Look at Different Chatbot Pricing Models

With the growing use of chatbots, they have become advanced and sophisticated. However, they are now easier to build and also accessible to everyone. The above chatbot models show the wide range of options businesses have today to build chatbots. So, the only main factor to consider is which model works best for your business. Therefore, let’s talk in detail about the above chatbot pricing models to help you make the right decision:

1. Subscription-based Chatbot

The subscription-based model is the most widely used model to build chatbots. These services mostly provide a visual chatbot builder that businesses can use to build chatbots and pay a monthly subscription to the service provider, ranging between $0-$5,000 per month.

Under this chatbot pricing model, you get two main options:

Option 1. Standard Chatbots

The standard subscription model is what most small to mid-sized businesses prefer. In this model, you can build a customized chatbot builder for customer support automation and integrate it into multiple other channels, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.

The key functionalities accessible in a standard subscription-based chatbot model include:

  1. Visual chatbot builder
  2. ·Build a knowledge base from company data
  3. X number of messages/chats per month
  4. X number of active chatbots
  5. Multi-channel integrations
  6. Basic reporting about interactions
  7. API access

In short, the standard chatbot subscription model provides all the essential functionalities that startups and small to mid-sized businesses need to build chatbots. The AI chatbot pricing under this model ranges between $0-$500 per month. For instance, VOC AI Chatbot is a subscription-based chatbot builder that costs just $39/month for 1,000 message credits/month or $199/month for 10,000 message credits/month.

Option 2. Enterprise Chatbots

Enterprise chatbots are the upgraded subscription model that facilitates enterprises and fulfills their sophisticated chatbot needs. The key functionalities accessible in an enterprise subscription-based chatbot model include:

  1. Visual chatbot builder
  2. Build a knowledge base from company data
  3. 100,000+ number of messages/chats per month
  4. Unlimited number of active chatbots
  5. All possible integrations
  6. Advanced reporting about interactions
  7. Premium customer support
  8. Advanced API
  9. Intent identification

In short, the enterprise chatbot subscription model suits enterprises with a large customer base and requires a powerful chatbot that can fulfill most customers’ needs. Regarding chatbot pricing under this model, most services provide customized plans to enterprises depending on their needs. So, it can range from $600 to $5,000 per month or even higher.

2. In-house Chatbot Development

Some organizations intend to build chatbots from scratch using their in-house skills and resources. However, this chatbot pricing model increases the cost significantly. To explain this, let’s break down the cost associated with in-house chatbot development:

  1. Hiring a Developer: The average salary is $50/hour or $96,000/year.
  2. Hiring a Graphic Designer: The average salary is $49k-$73k/year.
  3. Integration Cost: Average $19.99-$599/month – (Zapier)

If we just sum up the annual costs of hiring a developer and a graphic designer, it’s around $150,000 per year. Now, add the integration and other maintenance costs and project the total annual cost.

In short, in-house chatbot development is a costly way to build chatbots. But it comes with some benefits as well:

  1. Full control of chatbot features
  2. Full control of chatbot security
  3. Full freedom to customize the chatbot
  4. Bring uniqueness to the chatbot to get a competitive edge
  5. Full freedom to integrations

Overall, in-house chatbot development gives the freedom to build the chatbot the way an organization wants. However, the only concern is the high development cost associated with it.

3. Outsourced Agency for Chatbot Development

An outsourced agency for chatbot development is the alternative way to build a chatbot from scratch without involving an in-house workforce.

In this model, the company hires an outsourced agency that develops the chatbot from scratch using its team of developers and graphic designers. The company just has to provide them with the details of what features it wants in the chatbot and leave the whole development headache to the agency.

In return, the company pays a set fee every month, usually between $1000 and $5,000 per month or higher, depending on the case.

The benefits of using an outsourced agency for chatbot development include the following:

  1. No need to hire and maintain an in-house development team
  2. Fully customized chatbot
  3. Timely completion of development
  4. Streamline maintenance and upgrades

In short, an outsourced agency for chatbot development is best for organizations that want to build a customized chatbot but don’t want to be involved in the development process.

4. Usage-based Chatbot

Today, there are services available that allow you to pay for the chatbot based on your consumption. Google DialogFlow is one such service that charges $0.007 per request for text-based inputs and $0.001 for audio-based inputs/outputs. In addition, you still need a developer to build the chatbot. So, if we evaluate the estimated cost per month, it will be:

  1. $5,000-$8,000/monthly for developer
  2. $70/month for up to 10,000 messages
  3. $60/month for 1,000 audio inputs/outputs

The benefit of the usage-based chatbot pricing model is that it does not require you to pay any monthly subscription fee. The cost mainly depends on your usage. However, this chatbot pricing model is not recommended when customers use a chatbot excessively because the cost can increase drastically.

5 Factors That Can Influence Chatbot Pricing

Now that we have looked into the AI chatbot pricing models, it is evident that different factors influence the pricing. So, let’s highlight a few of those key factors:

1. Chatbot Deployment Type

The type of chatbot deployment you choose has a major influence on the chatbot pricing. The subscription, in-house, outsourced, and usage-based deployment comes with different financial requirements. For instance, the subscription plan cost varies if you pick the basic or premium plan, while the in-house plan cost depends on the salary of your development team.

2. Number of Domains

You can deploy a chatbot in more than one domain or subdomain. To better understand, consider the Google domain. Its main domain is “google.com”, while its subdomains are “images.google.com”, “maps.google.com”, etc.

Therefore, you can use a chatbot in multiple domains, such as a homepage, FAQ page, blog page, or more. So, the number of domains you choose will increase the chatbot pricing rate.

3. Use Case of Chatbot

Chatbots are usable in different departments. For instance, customer service can use it to resolve support queries, the marketing team can use it to generate more leads, and the sales team can use it to provide product-related information or book demos. Therefore, if you want to use a chatbot for multiple use cases, the price will increase accordingly.

4. Nature of Chatbot: AI-Powered or Scripted

AI-powered chatbots use AI and ML (natural language processing) to provide personalized responses exactly what the customer is looking for. In fact, they provide a more human-like conversation experience.

On the other hand, scripted chatbots can just answer commonly asked questions without any personalized response. This means that AI chatbot pricing will be much higher than scripted chatbots.

5. Integrations

Chatbots can now integrate with many other platforms as well. For instance, VOC AI Chatbot allows you to integrate the chatbot with WhatsApp, Gmail, Amazon, Intercom, Zendesk, etc. So, if you want to integrate a chatbot with multiple platforms, the price can increase accordingly.

In-House/Outsourced Chatbot or Chatbot Builder – Which One to Choose

Now comes the final question: which chatbot to choose, in-house/outsourced or chatbot builder?

The choice mainly depends on your company’s needs and budget. If you have a large customer base and can afford the resources required to build and maintain a custom chatbot, then the in-house or outsourced model can work for you.

In contrast, chatbot builder service is a much better option if you need a more user-friendly and affordable option. A chatbot builder provides an intuitive interface and can quickly create a chatbot without any technical issues. Moreover, it also streamlines the process of integrating the chatbot with other platforms.

Overall, the final choice mainly depends on your business model and resources. However, our vote is for chatbot builder because it offers plenty of customization options, and the chatbot pricing is also limited. For instance, the VOC AI Chatbot allows you to create a complete chatbot with your internal knowledge base in less than an hour. Moreover, you can integrate the chatbot on your website, WhatsApp, Gmail, Amazon, Intercom, and more.

Therefore, if you have decided to opt for a chatbot builder, then VOC AI Chatbot is an ideal, complete, and cost-friendly chatbot platform you can trust.