The young Generation Y (Millennials) and Generation Z (Zoomers) are very selective in their choice of products and expect information to be available immediately. Compared to older generations, they are no longer willing to spend long queues waiting for a customer service representative. Today’s consumers are clearly more technically savvy and inform themselves before buying a product or service.
If information is not found or is more difficult to access, Millennials and Zoomers try out new innovative technologies to find the answers they need quickly and easily. Chatbots play a crucial role in this context, as they provide an immediate answer and can be contacted around the clock. Questions can be as simple as “How many new customer inquiries have I received today?” to “How was sales today in the EMEA region?“. The ability to interact with users makes chatbots a great tool, especially since the use cases are diverse.
What purpose should my chatbot serve?
First of all, the purpose and need of a chatbot should be determined before further questions about development time, required resources and costs are asked. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my company size? (large company or small and medium-sized enterprise)
- What is your business objective? (Is it customer support, customer retention, upselling, service subscription, simple entertainment, employee retention, worklife balance?)
- What messaging platforms are required? (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, etc.)
- What message and user volume does your chatbot expect? (Hundreds, thousands or millions of users and/or conversations?
- Who is your target audience and where can they be found? (employees, customers, partners)
- What business requirements does your chatbot need to meet?
- How much does it cost to create a chatbot?
- How will you market your chatbot?
What should my chatbot be able to do?
Once the purpose of the application has been determined, you should take a closer look at the underlying conditions. A chatbot as an all-round talent usually does not lead to the goal. The context and capabilities should therefore be clearly defined and delimited.
The time required to create a chatbot can range from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the complexity and skills of the chatbot. The development time depends strongly on the following parameters:
- Complexity and capabilities of the chatbot
- External data sources (system integrations)
- Type of chatbot realization
The realization of a chatbot can be done in three ways:
- Buying a ready-to-use solution (Out of the Box – OOTB)
- Creation of a chatbot with a chatbot platform (e.g. Business Bot Platform)
- New development of a chatbot
Buying a ready-to-use solution (Out of the Box – OOTB)
When you buy a ready-made solution, you can start immediately and have no programming effort. You can try out a chatbot that is ideally suited to the needs of your business. While you can’t customize a pre-built OOTB chatbot and it may not fully meet your business needs, the deployment time required is the least compared to the other options. From experience, small businesses choose this option because they want their chatbot to perform very simple functions and do not need complex features.
Creation of a chatbot with a chatbot platform
With chatbot platforms you have a “Do It Your Self” solution to easily create a chatbot yourself. Some platforms require a certain level of technical expertise, while other platforms offer the ability to create a chatbot without writing code.
The time required is slightly longer than for OOTB chatbots. The creation can take from a few hours to a few days. However, the complexity is greater because you need an idea or a scenario to realize and you need to get to know the tools of the platform (e.g. dialog designer for user conversations).
New development of a chatbot
The third option deals with new development, where a chatbot is completely written from scratch. If no programming skills are available, you can also outsource the activity to external service providers.
In chatbot development, an app is implemented that establishes connections to various messaging platforms and system integrations. Furthermore, a concept for user administration, security and access management has to be developed. Different technologies and programming languages can be used for this purpose. The integration of a messaging platform depends on the complexity and depth of integration, i.e. whether only text messages are to be exchanged or additional features (such as sending and receiving media data) are required.
On average, this activity takes between 60 and 80 hours per messaging channel. The communication interface (simple command language or natural language) can take between 50 to 200 hours. If a business logic already exists, it can be adapted if possible. Depending on the complexity, this may also require up to 200 hours.
The complexity and capabilities of the chatbot will ultimately determine the time frame. You may need a chatbot, in the area of customer support, partner program or employee satisfaction.
Variability, scalability, complexity and capabilities of the chatbot will directly influence the choice between custom or platform based chatbot development. The more complex the chatbot, the more time is needed for implementation.
Would you like to use the Business Bot Platform in your company? Contact us, we are looking forward to support you around the subject chatbots in the corporate environment.