Chatbot for Customer Support: Should you Build or Buy?

Today, chatbots are ubiquitous. Most businesses, including e-commerce platforms and startups recognize the widespread advantages of conversational support tools and use chatbots equipped with natural language processing (NLP), machine learning and artificial intelligence. They help you extend better customer experience and support, increase lead generation, increase customer engagement by proactively sending customized messages based on visitor activity, and free up your time by letting you automate support-related conversation flows and FAQs. 

However, the question that plagues the minds of companies worldwide is — to build or to buy? While different solutions may suit different businesses, their desired end goal is always to find the best tool to tackle their support challenges. The upward trend in messaging as a support tool and AI chatbot adoption for aiding support operations is not likely to halt, especially in today’s climate where automation is key. Hence, asking yourself the inevitable ‘Build or buy’ question is of prime importance. 

As the demand for chatbots has gone up, numerous generalist, use-case specific, and self-build providers have cropped up.

You can tackle this dilemma by prefacing the big question with a few other smaller, but equally important ones. 

Build or Buy Chatbots: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself 

1. Is there an existing solution to this problem?

The first step is to identify what your business needs are and what kind of support problem you are attempting to solve with a chatbot. The next step is to identify an existing solution provider who may be able to solve your problem. Are there other industries or other companies in your industry that have successfully used intelligent chatbots to solve a similar support challenge and improve user experience? If yes, approaching a quality chatbot platform to buy their chatbot product is a good decision. As the demand for chatbots has gone up, numerous generalist, use-case specific, and self-build providers have cropped up. They give you a variety of options to work with based on your business goals — you can either buy a chatbot from a provider or take the DIY route with a chatbot builder solution. 

Although it is not a common occurrence in the support space, sometimes typical chatbots cannot solve the problems of your brand. If a chatbot that can tackle your issue does not exist, the next question is for you.

2. Can you build a quality solution at the same cost?

If you are considering building your own chatbot in-house, your available resources, budget, and timeline are some important metrics to take into account. If you have the financial and engineering bandwidth to support your undertaking, you can consider taking up a chatbot development project.

But, if you lack the resources to build a quality chatbot at an affordable rate, you may want to reevaluate your needs and consider buying a chatbot solution. 

3. Is the chatbot solution affordable?

Affordability is the key differentiator for buying instead of building. It is important to understand the various factors that will contribute to the building and maintenance costs of your virtual assistant, such as — the chatbot type, functionalities, complexity, and how you deploy it. Here, affordability is not limited to just the pricing aspect. The questions you need to ask before you build include whether or not building one is going to cost you a lot of time, if you have the back-end resources and know how to tackle a conversational AI solution, and if you are capable of bearing the maintenance and operational costs. 

It is important to understand the various factors that will contribute to the building and maintenance costs of your virtual assistant, such as — the chatbot type, functionalities, complexity, and how you deploy it.

If your chatbot provider can offer you a solution for your needs at a justified price, buying their chatbot solution is a good way to go. In a primarily expensive market, HappyFox is one such chatbot solution provider that is affordably priced. It is a pre-trained solution with templates that uses algorithms to carry out tasks and it also has a roster of apps and platforms that you can integrate your chatbot with like, CRM, instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, SMS, and analytics.

The final word: Build or Buy?

Working alongside the four guiding metrics — the challenge at hand, existing resources, your budget, and technological capabilities, you can mostly always answer the ‘Buy or Build’ question. However, if you’re still on the fence about buying or building chatbots for your business, you can book a one-on-one demo with our chatbot specialists to get a better idea about what path would suit your needs.