Free vs. Paid Chatbots: Which Is Better?

April 14, 2019

Free vs. Paid Chatbots: Which Is Better?

Conversational AI is increasingly becoming a way of commercial life. Websites are more like “windows” to an organization, and without chatbots, brands often close themselves up to the customers. Chatbots are essential in today’s world – be it for marketing, customer relationship, lead generation, or engagement programs.

But when it comes to their deployment, the question is, which to opt for? Should you go with a free chatbot or paid one? Well, the answer predominantly relies on two factors:

  • The requirements of the organization
  • The growth of the organization

Though several free chatbots suffice for some organizations broad requirements, a paid chatbot can be more extensive and organization-oriented in its approach with the customers. Let’s delve deeper into the debate between the paid chatbot vs. the free chatbot, and learn which can help an enterprise grow.

Below is a checklist that can help assess the differences between these chatbots.

1. Customization

  • Paid Chatbot: The healthcare industry has different requirements from the financial sector. By deploying expert insight for your chatbot development, you can ensure that your bot plays the role that it is meant for, instead of taking a general route and failing to cater to your clientele’s demand. Customization enables easy integration with various social media platforms and improves customer service.
  • Free Chatbot: The generic approach of the free chatbot will neither be able to cater to specific requirements nor can enable a seamless integration. It can provide customer engagement but to a limited extent. It can resolve only a handful of queries

2. Sales orientation

  • Paid Chatbot: If you are looking for sales and marketing activity, you cannot overlook the need for customization. To make your chatbot sales oriented, its crafting requires the brand’s niche attributes to be added as a specific element by the developer.
  • Free Chatbot: Most chatbots are not designed for sales & marketing support but rather for customer relationships and for solving queries. If required for a sales approach, free chatbots are probably not your best bet.

3. Usability

  • Paid Chatbot: Large scale organizations with a high-end technical interface, different services, large talent force, and a vast clientele need customized chatbots. The tweaked version is essential to execute activities that are unique to organizations, which can only be achieved by a paid service undertaken by experts.
  • Free Chatbot: Small scale organizations or start-ups can deploy free chatbots to primarily assess the chatbot world and venture into conversational AI as a trial & error procedure. A free chatbot is fitted with general features that can help organizations interact with their customers or employees.

4. Operational scalability

  • Paid Chatbot: Organizations with extensive operations require high scalability and thereby, an extensive chatbot can handle the magnitude of the large-scale projects. This chatbot will be glitch-free, enabling seamless communication and ensuring high customer engagement as well as experience.
  • Free Chatbot: Since free chatbots are developed with limited features and with no scope for refinement, it is not a viable option for those with scalability in their vision. After all, a non-scalable chatbot will lead to a lag in customer engagement, leading to frustrations and eventually, unhappy clients.

5. Multi-domain & Single-domain approach

  • Paid Chatbot: Paid chatbots can be built to accommodate a multi-domain approach and organizations with multiple social media accounts, for instance, require this multi-dimensional approach. Furthermore, crafted chatbots can also engage with numerous operations and gather data to become a single point of communication for the customer.
  • Free Chatbot: Free chatbots, by default, cannot cater to a multi-domain approach. For instance, organizations with limited social media accounts or start-ups with their operational domains can leverage free chatbots. It all depends on the need of the organization.

6. Return on Investments (ROI)

  • Paid Chatbot: Yes, the cost incurred in building a chatbot or deploying external assistance does add to overall expenses. However, the increased ROI, as a result, of this customized chatbot cannot be overlooked. For instance, Argentina based elMajorTrato spent $340,000 for their sales & marketing team. Upon switching to a self-build model of the chatbot, the company experienced a growth surge of 4 percent, equivalent to $ 3.7 million annually.
  • Free Chatbot: Since there is hardly any investment on this front, the ROI offered by free chatbots is less to none, unless an organization is just looking to execute general tasks.


The result rests with those who will deploy these chatbots and assess them as per their organizational structure and aims. Need help! Talk to our experts!

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