How much does it cost to build a chatbot?

Prajith S
3 min readApr 4, 2022

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot can be defined as an interface used by the user to obtain information automatically through a software program. The chatbot is a recent trend that is increasing in popularity. It has the potential to revolutionize different company processes and support services as it can provide instant solutions to customers anytime. Chatbots use AI technology and are used in customer support, lead generation, and sales automation across various social media channels like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc.

Many companies are moving toward building their chatbots, and a common misconception among the company’s founders is that they might cost a fortune. In the article, we will learn how much it costs to build a chatbot, from its overall design to its cost to build a chatbot


How much does it cost to build a chatbot?

Due to various tools, libraries, and frameworks, chatbots are becoming affordable for many companies to develop. The final cost varies and is calculated from $15,000 to $30,000 for a custom bot. The price of a sophisticated chatbot can range from $40,000 to $100,000, which is powered by Natural language processing and machine learning technology. It is always better to start with a simple chatbot and later upgrade to an AI-based bot based on the efficiency of the first one.

The chatbot’s development price can depend on design to development; data analysis features like machine learning etc. Here the price can vary from $5000 to $150000.Even when you use a prefabricated chatbot framework, it costs you around $40000.You can find bare bond chatbots for an affordable price or free.

Chatbot pricing is similar to a car model. You can use both Maruthi and Benz to travel from point A to Point B, but what differentiates between them will be their features and the comfort it offers. Similarly, the cost to build a chatbot depends on its features and functionality.

There are two ways to build a chatbot.

1.Build Your Own — If you have efficient developers in your team, you can build your bespoke chatbot based on the needs and preferences of the company. Here, the drawbacks would be the cost and time required to make the chatbot and the occurrence of maintenance issues.

2.Use a Chatbot Builder -It is paying a monthly subscription for a platform where you can build your chatbot. Here you are provided with a framework and timely support and maintenance from the vendor.

There are many levels of Chatbots upon which the cost of the chatbot depends.

  • Level 1- Free

The software providers provide a free tier where 50–1000 users can chat with the bot for free.

  • Level 2:Agency

Here a setup fee for the development will be charged, ranging from $500-$3000.Some agencies also charge monthly fees for maintenance, changing content, improving the bot, etc.; the higher the setup fee lower the monthly fee.

  • Level 3- Intelligent virtual assistants

Software providers can charge a setup fee of $1000, and with more complex setups, the fee can go upto 10x times the price.

  • Level 4: Deeply integrated intelligent virtual assistants

Here the setup cost can go upto $10000, and the higher-end ones can go upto $50000.The monthly fee for using this platform can usually be $5,000 — $15,000.

Wrapping up

Chatbot costs can vary from zero to a few thousand dollars per month and may cost more if you want the bot to authenticate users and connect to your backend systems. Ultimately the chatbots should be chosen based on your company’s requirements. It is worth keeping in mind that you can always start small and implement a high-end chatbot framework based on the company’s growing needs