How Much Does It Cost For Skype Chatbot Development?

The moment entrepreneurs launch their businesses, they design a website.  But, who sticks to websites in these technological  days? Everyone goes to the Play Store or App Store and downloads an app for the service. If apps and websites are in trend, why would developers leave chatbots behind? Well, it is possible to come up with a chatbot for every single business or industry.

How come? Chatbots can help customers make e-commerce purchases. A chatbot can also permit customers to book flights in the airport. Even answering customer services questions gets easier with a chatbot application. It is clear that chatbots can revolutionize any business or industry today. So, are you thinking of building one?  

Want to know about the cost for Skype chatbot development? Keep reading to know more.

Why develop a Skype chatbot application?

“In the long run, I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.”

– Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc.

Why should you even develop a chatbot? What is a chatbot? Let’s have a look.

 

A Chatbot is a computer program integrated with AI that allows you to interact with customers through a chat interface. It has numerous advantages. One of the main benefits of chatbots is that they can chat for several hours together without any human supervision. Moreover, a single chatbot can attend hundreds of customers without getting exhausted. The best part is that they can improve customer experience with real-time solutions to their queries. Also, chatbots can stay online all the time 24/7.

statista

According to Statista, the revenue generated from the chatbot market worldwide will reach $1250 million in 2025 whereas the global chatbot market was worth only $190.8 million in 2016.

If this forecast of the chatbot market in 2025 shows that a revolution is going to happen, why wait? Let us know more about how much it costs to develop a chatbot application.

Stages of chatbot development

Looking for any chatbot development company to build a Skype chatbot application? Don’t know how much it will cost? Based on the stages of development, here is a detailed picture of the costs involved.

Chatbot developers need some steps before they can build a bot that will solve the challenges of their business. There are six main stages in this process. We assume $40 per hour as the standard cost of a developer for estimating the total chatbot development cost.

Backend development and managing messages

This is the first step while building a chatbot. To manage an incoming stream of messages, backend development is necessary. This backend should be open to collect and process the users’ messages taking place across different channels, voice, texts, etc.  It must also parse these messages. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) services of Facebook’s Wit.ai, Api.ai, Watson Conversation and Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) can control the backend.

For managing such NLP services, one needs a deep understanding of server-side SDKs like Node.js and .NET. With the support of these SDKs, a chatbot developer can prefer any programming language for building chatbots. Moreover, the advantage of a powerful backend development is that chatbots can integrate with existing systems. Also, they will make more intelligent conversations.

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

NLP integration and creating channels

Having built a powerful backend system, developers must move on to the next stage of chatbot application development. What is that? Creating endpoints for NLP integration with all specific channels. The integration of each channel is unique as it varies a lot from one NLP SDK to another. Thus, developers should add endpoints to send and receive chat messages according to the access tokens authorization.

Also, it will be beneficial to install some channel specific UI such as quick reply buttons, or visual cards in the chatbots. They are useful for engaging and guiding the user through a smoother conversation period. On such example is the Facebook Messenger chatbot. It favours initiating hosted Web views. Besides, it uses a conversation rich and flexible UI with the help of 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

Natural language understanding using APIs

This is the most important part of chatbot application development. Integration with NLP services allows chatbots to engage in natural conversations with users. It helps to understand the intents of the users’ messages. However, there’s no need to write new NLP algorithms. You can use readymade APIs of Google, IBM, Microsoft and Facebook.

Integration of NLP service with API is a challenging task as it requires training of different entities and intents to understand the context of the user. Developers need to do mapping of entities to specific objects of the existing system like names, identifiers or products. Also, developers have to work on authenticating user’s input and implementing business logic. The authentication rules for validating the received data requires developers to code in Node.js and .NET.

But, the process involving the setting up of an NLP service and processing the messages using an SDK is a direct technique. Most NLP services, including Api.ai, Wit.ai etc. support SDKs of Node.js and .NET.

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

Conversational intelligence

This is the most time-consuming part of chatbot development. Developers need to code the chatbot in such a way that it generates natural replies like humans. Thus, it requires a lot of intense hard work. Continuous iterations and cycles of improvements are the only ways to make a chatbot with more intelligence.

As per the NLP intents and entities, requirements of business and need for chatbot application development, developers can use various methods to improve the performance of chatbots. A chatbot developer can use many if-else statements or implement some deep learning algorithms for generating replies. A developer can also use state workflows, pure-decision trees, and slot-based algorithms. Algorithms help chatbots for engaging users in meaningful conversations.

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

Integration with existing systems

This is the last goal of developing a chatbot. A developer must consider integrating an AI chatbot with related business processes. These can include customer service, sales, marketing and so on. This integration depends on business logic validation and rules. That is why one needs a backend with a good service layer. This makes the process of integration simpler, more efficient and faster.

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

Control Panel and database

This is an optional part of the chatbot development process but is vital too. A control panel tracks and analyses the conversation history of the chatbot, number of engagements and error logs. So, the metrics of the control panel can measure the performance of chatbots. Setting up a chatbot without a database will be worthless. This can take up to a week’s time. Moreover, chatbot developers use Node.js + Angular 2, .NET and Elastic Stack to build a control panel.

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

Signing off…

If you have a hassle-free development life cycle, the total time taken for building a chatbot application is 586 to 590 business hours. Also, all the individual costs sum up to a range of $23,360 to $30,920. It actually depends on the level of expertise and experiences of developers too.

But, this cost estimate only includes the fundamental steps of the design and development. For a more practical and accurate cost estimate, you must get in touch with a reliable chatbot development company.

News Reporter
I am a Content Lead at Solulab, USA based leading Enterprise Blockchain development, mobile apps and software development agency, started by Ex vice president of Goldman Sachs, USA and Ex iOS lead engineer of Citrix. Solulab help build startups - we are a no-sweat technical partner for early stage entrepreneurs to launch ideas from scratch and for later stage startups to build more quickly and affordably

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