How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Chatbot Application?

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How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Chatbot Application?

What goes behind developing a chatbot application, and how much are you actually going to pay a company to build one for you?

· AI Zone ·
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Are searching for a chatbot development company but don't know what price you should be paying? Here is a cost analysis and breakdown based on the stages involved in chatbot development.

Chatbot developers need to follow six significant steps before they can have a bot that will solve the challenges of business. In the process of estimating the chatbot development cost, we assume $40 per hour as the standard cost of a developer.

Step 1: Backend Development

A backend system is required to collect, handle, and process the conversations of users taking place across different channels, whether it be voice, texts, etc. All the processes are controlled intelligently with ready-to-use NLP services like Wit.ai, Api.ai, or LUIS. Managing NLP services demands a thorough understanding of .NET and Node.js server-side SDKs.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Server setup and deployment AWS, Node.js, Microsoft Bot Framework 4 $160.00

Step 2: NLP Integration

Once you have your backend set up, create endpoints for integrating the NLP with each specific channel. The integration process varies a lot from one NLP SDK to another. The common practice involves setting up an endpoint on your backend for sending and receiving messages based on access token authorization. Also, you're required to implement a channel-specific UI in the form of quick reply buttons or visual cards that engage and guide the user through the conversation. Let's take one example: Facebook Messenger. It favors initiating hosted web views that give you unlimited flexibility for showing conversation-rich UI using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Facebook channel integration and setup Microsoft Bot Framework 4 $160.00
Channel-specific UI configuration Facebook Messenger 4 $160.00
Configuration of rich UI JavaScript, HTML, CSS, or adaptive cards 16 $640.00

Step 3: Natural Language Understanding

The messages received from specific channels must be decoded. To understand the intents and entities of user messages, you need natural language processing services. Most NLP services, including Wit.ai, Api.ai, and LUIS, support both .NET and Node.js SDKs. The process is pretty straightforward and involves setting up an NLP service and processing messages using an SDK for the service. The real challenge lies in training the NLP intents and entities to understand user context.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Setup of NLP service with basic expressions Wit.api, Api.ai, LUIS 8 $320.00
Training of NLP service on top of existing data Wit.api, Api.ai, LUIS 40 $1,600.00
Data extraction and validation from NLP entities .NET, Node.js 40 $1,600.00

Step 4: Conversational Intelligence

Conversational intelligence is an essential milestone in the chatbot development process, and few chatbot development companies have genuinely aced the art. A chatbot developer needs to create an algorithm for each conversation, such as pure decision trees, state workflows, slot-based algorithms, or some advanced deep learning algorithms. The algorithm controls the conversation and makes the bot engage users.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Decision tree algorithm to handle conversations based on NLP entities .NET, Node.js 160 $6,400.00
Integration with existing services (middleware) .NET, Node.js 40 $1,600.00

Step 5: Integrations

A built chatbot must be integrated with the related business processes, like sales and marketing, inventory, customer service, and so on. The integration is based on business logic validation and rules. Here comes the significance of a backend with a good service layer. The latter makes the integration process simpler, faster, and more efficient.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Middleware API (business logic, validations, operations, etc.) .NET, Node.js 200 $8,000.00

Step 6: Control Panel

Though optional, it's vital. Unless you measure the outcomes of a technology investment, you can't get understand whether it's serving the purpose well. Ask chatbot developers to create a control panel roping in some analytics tool so that you can see the number of engagements, conversation history, and obstacles. The metrics will help you understand the performance of your talking bot.

Task Tools Hours Cost
Storage SQL Server, MongoDB, Redis 40 $1,600.00
Conversation history persistence and UI .NET, Node.js, Angular 2 20 $800.00
Error login and uptime monitoring setup Elastic Stack 8 $300.00

Bottom Line: Total Cost of a Chatbot

Summing up all the individual costs brings the cost of chatbot development to $23,360. This includes all of the fundamental steps of the design and development. 

ai ,chatbots ,bot development ,nlp ,sdk ,conversational bots ,algorithm ,decision trees ,deep learning ,machine learning

Published at DZone with permission of Saroj Kumar , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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