Understand the options in the chatbot market

First of all, you may be thinking what the fuss is about chat bots and why you need to spend time choosing a good chatbot partner. Natural languages seem relatively simple to us humans however they are one of the most difficult areas to master for machines. If you are wondering why, take a look at why chatbots fail. Keeping your expectations low is a good first step.

Though there are many bot companies out there, we can split them in 3 groups:

  1. Self service solutions:
    • Self-service solutions with GUI: Build your bot with using a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) by dragging and dropping components. This is not the best approach to build a sophisticated bot but you can build a relatively simple bot very quickly.
    • Self-service solutions with an API, SDK or library : These solution providers built an API, SDK or a library to provide a framework for your bot to use Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities. For example, all bots need to understand the intent in user queries. Building blocks for understanding intent such as parsing the user query can be provided by the API.  Using the available tools, even novice developers can build bots in a couple hours. However a best-in-class bot would take significantly longer to build depending on what you want the bot to achieve.
  2. End-to-end solutions: This is the fastest way to building your company’s bot. Specify what your bot needs to do and get a vendor  or consider our designated team to build it end-to-end. Depending on your specifications and the vendor, price will vary greatly. In most cases after your bot is built, clients would have access to  a panel through which they can further customise functionality of the bot.

Decide whether to buy or build and cut your search time by half

The critical decision is: What’s the right type of company for you? 3 things will be important:

  • What are the required capabilities of your bot?
  • Do you have a sizeable budget?
  • Are you technical?

Once you decide those, the solution is clear in some cases:

  • Go for a self service with GUI if all of these are true:
    • You have little to no chat bot budget
    • You have limited expectations from your bot
    • You don’t have/can’t access much technical skills
  • Go for a self service with an API, SDK or library if all of these are true:
    • You have little to no chat bot budget
    • You have limited expectations from your bot (however, with a great technical team you could also build a world class bot)
    • You have or can access some tech skills
  • Definitely go for end-to-end service if you said no to all of the above
  • For all other cases, I would keep on exploring both options. For example if you have tech skills, it might be worth building your own chat bot with some support from self-service solutions even if you can allocate a sizeable budget for it.

In both cases, having a look at the overall industry landscape would be helpful to decide who to work with.

Should you consider us for building your AI chat bot and maintaining it for you please do not hesitate to fill our contact form and arrange pre-qualifying discussion about your requirements.