Bloomerang encourages clients to focus on one issue at a time so they can create a chatbot that excels at a single task. This validates the value of the technology for clients and opens the door to expanding chatbot capabilities.
“We make sure they can see how [a chatbot] benefits them with sales, or how it'll help with their customer service, or how it'll help them reach a younger demographic, and at the same time let them produce more product,” Higgins said.
Bloomerang began offering chatbots as part of specific packages, but is now shifting to a more à la carte approach. Pricing is dependent on how in-depth the client wants to get with chatbot creation.
“For a standard chatbot, we'll do anywhere from $800 to $1,200 for the build, depending on what the client wants,” Higgins said. “If it goes higher than that, we'll start charging hourly, depending on how much more needs to be added on.”
Sprout’s intuitive Bot Builder makes it easy for Bloomerang to construct multiple sophisticated chatbots in a short period of time. The Conversation Map tool allows users to assign chatbots to specific social profiles and set up Welcome Greetings, Quick Replies and Auto-responses, as well as visualize multi-level workflows and preview the experience. The builder also supports the ability to add imagery, GIFs and CTA buttons that take users to external URLs.
Chatbot maintenance also offers an avenue for revenue generation.
“We generally charge $99 a month on a standard chatbot,” Higgins said. “If it's one that has a lot more involved with it, it can reach up to $199 to $299 a month for maintenance. A lot of that depends on message volume. It depends on how many people are using the chatbot, how much you're having to adjust it, things like that.”
Maintenance includes consistent updates and optimization, analyzing chatbot data to find out what people are asking and determining when they click to make a purchase.
“We aim for the rule of three with chatbots,” Higgins said. “We try to work it out so a general user can get the information they need or make a purchase in three clicks.”
Reaping the rewards
Businesses of all shapes and sizes find chatbots save them precious time, reduce customer service costs and generate leads and revenue, even after hours.
“80 to 85% of your questions could be handled with a chatbot, and that frees up your team to accomplish tasks and solve more pressing issues faster,” Higgins said. “What's crazy is we've figured out that, especially in our industry, that small amount of waiting time will piss people off. Enabling them to get on with their purchase and notifying someone when it’s time for them to hop in if necessary has been a big help.”
The benefits of chatbots work across industries, as evidenced by software provider Evernote. Using Sprout chatbots, the company achieved an 80% increase in people helped on Twitter per week. That value adds up fast when you consider customers spend 20% to 40% more with companies that engage with and respond to service requests on social.
Additionally, through Sprout’s Bot Report, you can easily prove the value of a chatbot strategy through comprehensive analytics detailing volume, performance and what topics are driving the most engagement.