The way we shop for products has changed in the past couple decades, thanks to the Internet. This applies to everyone from consumers to CTOs: We want to research products and pricing on our own – at least in the preliminary stages – without having to sit through a sales pitch from every vendor out there.
Unfortunately, this is not always easy with tech purchases, including cloud-based call center software. Many vendors don’t publish pricing on their websites – or even complete details about product features. You have to call to get that information, and in many cases they require you to provide your business name, phone number and email address in trade for the information. After that, you’ll be fielding sales calls for weeks, even if all you wanted was basic information.
(BTW: We recently called a variety of vendors to collect better pricing info and make it public. Check out that blog here.)
So…why all the secrecy?
To be fair, we can understand the thought process that goes in to wanting to entice a customer to call. It’s easier to sell someone on the merits of your products when you can talk to them. If all the information about pricing and features is posted on your website, some potential customers might rule you out based on what they see. They might never call to learn more about the product or schedule a demo.
We also think the secrecy goes back to the days when cloud software didn’t exist and on-premise systems were the only option. Prices for on-premise software are tougher to predict because they depend heavily on the type of hardware you choose and local installation costs. There’s far less variability with cloud pricing because there’s no hardware or installation required, but many legacy vendors that now offer cloud versions of their products don’t reveal pricing for those cloud products either. They’ve always operated that way, and old habits die hard.
Finally, there has always been an element of sticker shock attached to on-premise systems, which can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront. Publishing those figures might have scared customers off. That’s not much of a concern with cloud software because the monthly rates are low and little if any money is due upfront. But again, change can be difficult, particularly for vendors who have operated a certain way for many decades.
Why transparency is better
We believe in transparency when it comes to pricing for a variety of reasons, and we think more vendors should operate that way. Here are some of the potential pitfalls of not being upfront about pricing.
- As we said earlier, buying behaviors have changed. We’re living in an age of information, and business customers expect transparency from their vendors. The lack of it frustrates them. If you’re making customers jump through hoops just to get basic information, you might turn them off before you have the chance to sell them anything.
- Assuming customers aren’t capable of evaluating your product on their own underestimates them. Sure, they’ll eventually need to chat with salespeople and do a demo if they’re interested in the software, but comparing features versus pricing among vendors on a basic, preliminary level is something they can do without help. Armed with the right information, tech buyers know how to weed out what doesn’t fit.
- If your prices and features aren’t clearly advertised, some potential customers might bypass you altogether. They’ll want to do their own research and then approach a few vendors that seem best suited based on what they find. If they can’t get enough information to make a decision about you one way or the other, you might get skipped over.
Kunnect sells 100% cloud-based call center software that includes a predictive dialer to businesses and political campaigns. Our software, hosted seamlessly in the Amazon platform, manages all inbound and outbound calling for a flat rate of $125 per agent per month with a flat deposit of $125 per user. There are no hidden fees. In addition to the predictive dialer, features include: inbound and outbound calling, CRM integration, call scripting, call recording, ACD, skills-based routing, IVR, live monitoring, real-time statistics, historical reporting and more.