enterprice ai chatbots features and pricing

Enterprise chatbots: do I need them and how are they priced?

Every time you’re on a website to know more about a service, product prices or are looking for details about a specific service or product – chances are that you’re probably getting them all from a virtual assistant or a chatbot.
Chatbots are the first point of contact a customer usually has with a business today. And, its capabilities, enhanced with technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have made it an integral part of customer engagement and management.
Enterprises are incrementally deploying AI powered chatbot development services at scale to improve their services and help clients with customized solutions, enabling human employees to concentrate on providing more value-added services and reduce costs.

So, how are chatbots helping your business?

They give you round the clock support, every day

Today, customers are not ready to wait for responses and will opt against businesses that are not available round-the-clock.

With competition to retain customers getting tighter, it is important that businesses cater to their customers’ queries on top priority.

A challenge that the chatbot was built to solve.

Chatbots enable enterprises to help their customers 24×7.

And by integrating technological capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning into the chatbot, the future of customer engagement, where the chatbot will handle the conversation with end-to-end is not very far off.

They help you save on operational costs

An IBM report says that businesses spend close to US$1.3 trillion on closing 265 billion service requests in a year.

Enterprise chatbot solutions can save these costs and improve response time.

Chatbots have the capability to handle routine tasks to utmost perfection each time, freeing up agents to take up more complex tasks and provide better service to customers.

A report by Oracle says that 50% of customers expect businesses to be open 24×7.

In this context, chatbots are a brilliant idea for businesses since they’re available 24x7x365. Hiring agents to do this job would involve a lot more costs for the business.

They improve customer engagement

Chatbots can establish personalized connections with customers.

A report by Chatbots Magazine has stated that 34% of online buyers would prefer to answer questions from AI via chatbots or virtual assistants.

A Drift report has stated that 35% of people would use a chatbot for a complaint, a problem, or to get explanations.

This number shows a positive trend in customer engagement with chatbots and this is only going to improve as chatbots deliver personalization, drive conversations and improve the overall customer experience.

They save time

Chatbots let businesses save time by providing the first level of support and filtering customer requests so that they are directed to the right team.

By providing quick answers and solutions to simple queries, chatbots improve the efficiency of your support function while also decreasing costs.

The automation of information-based queries, round-the-clock assistance in delivery and help to make purchases, enable chatbots to save time.

They are scalable

Hiring agents could incur major infrastructural costs and business owners may not always be prepared to meet this need.

In such cases, a chatbot can do the job.

While live chat agents can handle, at most, perhaps 3 conversations at a time, chatbots can manage hundreds of conversations instantly – and they don’t even get tired. They always grow as you grow.

They improve team productivity

Gartner report says that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent.

While it is a common belief that chatbots will replace humans, what it really will do is deliver primary support and filter customer requests before they are directed to a human agent – enhancing the overall productivity of the team.

They deliver superior customer satisfaction

Customers appreciate it when they’re made to feel special.

With enterprise intelligent chatbots, businesses can push personalized suggestions and offers to make sure your customers know they’re appreciated.

This is one way of improving your brand perception and making your brand top of mind of your customers.

By having proactive conversations with your customers, you improve engagement as well as customer satisfaction.

The different ways you can build a chatbot

  • Purchase an available chatbot
  • Use self-service platforms to build a chatbot within a framework
  • Get experts to build one from scratch

So, what does building a chatbot from scratch cost?

To answer this, it is essential to understand that there are several factors that determine the price of a chatbot.

  • Its level of complexity – the extent of functionalities that the chatbot can carry out.
  • Application design – how simple or complicated the design for the mobile app is.
  • The number of options it has – the features it has as well as if it has the option to add new features
  • How integrable it is – whether new capabilities or add-ons can be integrated into the chatbot
  • The purpose of the chatbot – what is its scope, what do you expect it to do, to what extent should it interact with your customers
  • Its friendliness – How comfortable people are made when they interact with a chatbot can also be considered as one of the factors determining pricing and value.
  • Its simplicity and understandability: Does the bot confuse the user? Or is the user guided towards taking the right actions the first time? How simple and understandable the bot is too is one of the factors determining its pricing.
  • The industry: The industry is one crucial factor in determining a bot’s pricing. Sectors like banking and healthcare need several security protocols to be implemented on the bot, which would incur an expense. Similarly, B2C industries need to build a robust bot that can handle a more diverse range of conversations and this too comes at a price.

Now to answer the pricing models of a chatbot

The common pricing models that determine prices for chatbots are:

  • Development and implementation: In this model, you’d have to shell out a hefty one-time payment for services including project management, UX design, software customization, testing, infrastructure setup, implementation, and training the model’s algorithms. However, considering the ROI you’d gain from this model, the initial investment would be worth paying up since it takes care of all processes end-to-end.
  • Subscription-based: You shell out a recurring monthly fee which enables you to have access to resources such as storage, engines, updates, and support. Fees would depend on the number of active users, hosting requirements, chatbot complexity and third-party integrations required.
  • Consumption-based: You pay a sliding-scale fee based on the number of sessions that the virtual assistant has with customers. Fees for a session would start from a few cents onwards, going higher up. While the first two components are fixed, this element is dynamic.
  • Successful consumption: Here, you pay a fixed price per session your customer has with a bot, but you charge only for successful sessions, with success defined through a number of variable options.
  • Contingency model: You pay only for the value generated from the bot’s conversation. For example, an enterprise will pay only when a call to a human agent was avoided.
  • Pay per box: You pay a set fee based on the number of products or services sold to customers. For example, for every $50 set-top box a telecommunications company sells, it will pay the bot vendor $1 to support the device, regardless of how many sessions are generated.

To conclude

Not long ago, the idea of talking to a robot would’ve made you feel cold and impersonal, yet today, brands look more approachable just because of the convenience this technology gives their customers.

However, it is upto each organization to decide the extent to which bots must interact with customers. So, figure out how you’d like to implement a chatbot into your organization and to what extent you’d want them to interact with your customers. Then, go for the model that delivers a personalized experience and helps your organization serve its customers best.

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