AI SERVICES, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOLUTION PROVIDER

We are Artificial Intelligence specialists, we create powerful and intelligent solutions which leverage the most up to date AI technology.

We provide solutions across a range of different services (Alexa, Facebook Messenger, Google Home, Slack, Website Integration).

We look at your business and advise where artificial intelligence can be of value, whether it be marketing, e-commerce, business support or other applications.

The Bot Forge named the leading chatbot and voice assistant agency in the UK by Clutch

Artificial Intelligence is a staple plot device in the sci-fi genre, often featured in a negative light. But in reality, predictive software improves the quality of life and leverages businesses to be more efficient and agile. No doubt AI technology can have a high-risk and high reward situation. If done correctly, its potential is unlimited. On the spot programming, automated customer support, and predictive analytics are just a few of its remarkable features.

We at The Bot Forge understand the capabilities software development and AI technology can bring to your organization. With bespoke chatbot and voice assistants as our core service, we can build the voice of your company to interact with your customers with no worries. Our process is guaranteed to make your lives, as well as your clients’ easier.

It is with great honor to announce that The Bot Forge has been chosen as one of the top AI companies in the UK. Our company is among the best on Clutch and it’s all thanks to the support of our esteemed clients.

“We are really excited to have been chosen as one of the leading chatbot and voice assistant agencies in the UK by Clutch.” – Adrian Thompson, Founder of The Bot Forge

We are grateful to be recognized as an industry leader. This award and our 5-star rating wouldn’t have been possible with our clients!

Want to implement a successful chatbot feature into your website? Talk to us now Check out our Clutch page to learn more about our previous work.

We are often asked this question by clients looking to start their first chatbot project. Like most software projects the price really depends on the scale and complexity of the project. This will govern the effort involved in building a chatbot.

So, let’s take a look at the key drivers impacting the price for custom chatbot development.

Channel

The first one is the channel in which the bot should function. By this, I mean where the bot will be used. It could be as a website widget implemented as a popup interface or webpage (You can learn more about webpage chatbots here) or deployed into existing messaging platforms. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp (read more about WhatsApp chatbots here), Microsoft Teams, Slack, Telegram, Viber are just a few examples with some providing more complex UI elements which can be utilised in your bot. Other obvious channels to deploy a chatbot are voice; Google Assistant, Alexa or even IVR systems can often use the same conversational engine as your text-based chatbots.

For our custom chatbot integrations, we normally provide one channel with the project and then charge per extra channels as required. We’ve found that our clients will often want a web-based chatbot first and role out the chatbot onto different channels. It really does depend on the type of project. Extra channel costs can be in the region of £1000-2500.

There are a number of really good chatbot building platforms for creating simple UI chatbot interfaces such as Botstar, Chatfuel and Manychat; these offer some free templates and the ability to create chatbots which can be deployed to specific channels, for example, Facebook Messenger (our Carly chatbot is a great example of a Chatfuel bot). These Bot building platforms offer some good features: Visual Flow Editors, APIs & Webhook Integrations, Templates, Broadcasting etc. However, in our experience, we have found that even with free templates there is always some costs due to setup and minor customisation to attain the maximum chatbot behaviour. Our minimum price is around £1500 with some monthly costs for hosting and chatbot management and training.

Features

Depending on which channel the bot will work in there is also scope to provide other functionality such as voice capability for web chatbots or enhanced chatbot interface features. Again costs depend on the amount of complexity and effort involved in building each feature. As an example adding voice interaction capability to a Web chatbot would be £1000. Human-agent handover or WhatsApp integration is also a popular feature.

Natural Language Ability

If a chatbot is required to support more complex natural language processing(NLP- you can read more about some of the tech terms here) features and not just UI elements such as buttons then this will mean that additional effort is needed to train the bot and design and implement a more complex conversational flow. These sort of bots start at around £2500. We utilise the best of breed cloud NLP solutions for these types of projects. In particular, we use Google Dialogflow as we are Google Tech partners and experts in Dialogflow.

Conversation skills

The complexity, scope and volume of the required conversational ability effects cost. This relates to specifics such as:

  • The number of branches in the conversation tree.
  • Quantity of questions that have to be handled by the chatbot which can often be in the 1000s.
  • The numbers of training phrases needed; this can improve the accuracy of the chatbot, (you can read more about training data here)
  • The complexity of conversational ability ie. support for complex user enquires.

So chatbots which combine richer elements with complex conversational ability can be in the region of £2500 – £5000

Languages

Chatbots are capable of supporting different languages, as long as these are supported by the NLP engine it’s possible to add different language permutations fairly easily. However, each language will need its own testing so costs can be in the region of £1500-3500 for each language depending on the size and complexity of the conversational ability.

Integration

Connect to existing systems, APIs, RPA, and knowledge bases

The other area which will impact cost is dependent on the planned role of the chatbot: what the chatbot will need to do carry out its role? Will the chatbot need to integrate with current systems to provide its responses? Will it need to hand over to live agents? Connect with CRM and ticketing solutions? Some chatbots may need to carry out complex interactions to provide answers to customer queries. Chatbots can leverage other AI systems to provide relevant information to govern conversational flow. For example, sentiment analysis.

With so many possibilities for chat bot features It’s hard to estimate the price here, but as a rule, these types of chatbots cost from £4000.  For each integration, we would suggest a cost of £1000-2500 it really depends on the amount of development effort required for each one.

Deployment

Security

Often security demands for a chatbot project need specific features, for example, Hippa compliance. In these cases SSO, RBAC, and on-prem or private cloud deployment can be used to ensure compliance with company security policies. These can have an impact on overall project costs and again, costs are based on the demands of a specific project.

Maintenance

We offer our chatbot solutions based on a SAAS model. Costs incurred tend to be based on a yearly subscription and again depend a lot on the scale and complexity of the chatbot. These monthly costs will cover some of the following:

  • Daily supervised learning and improvements.
  • Monitoring conversations and confirming qualified intents as well as checking for unmatched intents and fixing them as needed.
  • Post-development support.
  • Third-party and integration maintenance. Making sure your bot is performing well and healthy!
  • NLP costs(if applicable).
  • Hosting and data storage.
  • Chatbot reporting interface.

As a rule, maintenance subscription costs tend to be in the region of 10-15% of initial implementation costs per month.

Flexibility

As you can see, the cost of a chatbot project can vary widely depending on the features required. Each chatbot project is different.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of a capable chatbot does not have to be prohibitive and it’s often a good idea to start small and add features as business needs require them.

At The Bot Forge, whatever the cost we propose for your chatbot project our aim is to create value for your business and hopefully form a long-lasting relationship.

The Bot Forge are always available to discuss further improvements and functionality to add to your chatbot or just to talk to us about your next great idea.

We build a lot of different types of chatbots at The Bot Forge and deliver these to a variety of platforms such as Web, Facebook Messenger, Slack or WhatsApp. To create our chat bots we often use different AI platforms which offer more suitable features for a specific project. All the major cloud and open-source providers have adopted similar sets of features for their conversational AI platforms and provide good NLU (Natural Language Understanding). There are also some strong options for open source privately hosted systems.

Conversational AI Platform Features

We wanted to spend some time looking at some of the more popular AI platforms in a bit more depth in this series. To help look at each one we have focused on the following specific features:

API and UI

A conversational AI platform should provide User Interface(UI) tools to plan conversational flow and help train and update the system

Context

As well as intent and entities, a context object allows the system to keep track of context discussed within the conversation, other information about the user’s situation, and where the conversation is up to. This is often the NLP feature which is vital in creating a complex conversation beyond a simple FAQ bot.

Conversation flow

Looking at the current position of a conversation, the context and the user’s last utterance with intents and entities all come together as rules to manage the conversational flow. This can be challenging to create and manage so a platforms’ tools in the form of a flow engine, in code and complimented by a visual tool can provide advantages depending on the chatbot project itself. Other features such as slot-filling (ensuring
that all the entities for an intent are present, and prompting the user for any that are missing) can be important.

Whilst most platforms fall into this category some systems use machine learning to learn from test conversational data and then create a probabilistic model to control flow. These systems rely on large datasets.

Pre-built channel integrations

Having a conversational platform that supports your target channel out-of-the-box can substantially speed up delivery of a chatbot solution and your flexibility in using the same conversational engine for a different integration. This is one of the reasons we really like Dialogflow’s tooling.

Chatbot Content Types

Whist the focus of a conversational AI platform is understanding pure text, messaging systems and web interfaces often involve other content, such as buttons, images, emojis, URLs and voice input/output. The ability of a platform to support these features is important to create a rich user experience and help to manage the conversational flow.

Integrations

Bot responses can be enhanced by integrating information from the user with information from internal or external web services. We use this type of ability a lot in creating our chatbots and in our opinion feel its one of the most powerful features of a chatbot solution. With this in mind, the ability to configure calls to external services from within a conversation and use responses to manage conversational flow is important in building chatbot conversations.

Pre Trained Intents and Entities

Instead of creating entity types such as dates, places or currencies for each project some systems provide these pre-trained to deal with complex variations. In the same way, common user intents and utterances such as small-talk is offered pre-trained from some platforms.

Analytics and Logs

The key to creating a successful chatbot is that they need to be constantly trained and monitored. To aid in continuously improving the system once initially launched, the
conversational tools should provide a dashboard of the user conversations; showing stats for responses, user interactions and other metrics. Export of these logs is also useful to import into other systems. Other important AI features enable easily training missed intents, catching bad sentiments and monitoring flow.

Techstack

It can be important to take into account what libraries are provided by an AI platform and in what supported languages. In the end, this may favour your choice of solution if it fits with your current codebase or teams skillset. However, as a full-stack javascript software house, we find Node.JS to be our server stack of choice when building our bots and most AI platforms cater for this.

Costs

These are the costs for the cloud hosting and cloud NLU solutions. An important aspect to consider particularly for large scale enterprise chatbots handling large volumes of traffic where NLU costs can reach £1000s a month.

Many providers offer a free tier for their AI platform solutions. A paid for tier will then normally offer enhanced versions of the service with enterprise focused features and support for greater volume and performance. Costs tend to be charged in one of 3 ways, per API call, per conversation or daily active user and also per active monthly user (normally subscriptions are in tiers). We try and look at costs as publicly published for the paid-for plans suitable for enterprise use in a shared public cloud environment.

The Platforms

Keeping all these feature sets in mind we hope to look at the following AI platforms over the coming posts.

  • Botkit
  • Chatfuel
  • Amazon Lex
  • Microsoft Luis
  • Google Dialogflow
  • Rasa
  • IBM Watson

Please get in touch if you feel we should look at a platform which we have missed!

Our first AI platform blog post will be coming soon!

Did you know that more than 100,000 businesses are using chatbots to help optimize their customer experience?

Customers want instant replies, and chatbots are the way to achieve this, according to a 2018 Forbes article.

Here at The Bot Forge, we have been providing custom software development and AI services since 2018.

What they say

After working with many clients in many industries, we are thrilled to announce that Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm, has listed us as one of the leading AI companies in the UK.

Additionally, we are on Clutch’s Leaders Matrix for top AI developers in the UK. The Leaders Matrix shows companies that are at the top of their targeted markets. The Bot Forge is one of the nine leaders on the Matrix.

Clutch Leaders Matrix- The Bot Forge

We could not have received this recognition without our clients. We have worked with small and mid-market businesses, and these businesses represent a variety of industries.

The industries they are in include the business services, financial services, and IT industries.

We received a 5-star rating from Stitch AI, a digital engagement solutions company. We provided web development services to the company; initially, Stitch AI needed assistance in building a web portal where it could create advanced lead generation chatbots for any industry vertical.

Clutch Review- The Bot ForgeWe created a platform that helps the client manage its customers’ chatbots, and we continuously work with the client. The client has been happy with the quality of our work.

 

 

 

 

“…we’re happy with their work, and they’ve fixed any bugs in a timely manner.”

— Managing Director, Stitch AI

Our Vision

At The Bot Forge, we are committed to our clients’ satisfaction. Our clients make us who we are

“Our vision is for our agency to become a global champion in creating custom chatbot solutions for our customers,” said Adrian Thompson, founder of The Bot Forge.

Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest, which serves as a guide for businesses, also listed us as one of the top AI developers in the UK.

You can also see us on Visual Objects, Clutch’s portfolio-sharing sister site that features us on its list of top software developers.

Let us help your company revamp its customer experience. Visit our Clutch profile and contact us to inquire about our services.