There are many different ways to price the same thing. You find that in every industry. Some restaurants sell sides a la carte, while others include them in the price of the dish. Some smartphone phone plans offer unlimited minutes and data, while others have limits and impose fees for exceeding them.
The cloud software industry is no different. With cloud call center software, sometimes a flat monthly fee covers all the features you need, and in other cases you might be billed extra for calling or advanced features like predictive dialing. This can make it confusing to compare vendors in an apples-to-oranges kind of way, and to figure out which offers the best bang for your buck.
To demystify things a bit, we’ll break down the pros and cons of three common pricing structures to help you decide which makes the most sense for you.
Flat monthly fees
If predictable pricing is your goal, this is the way to go. These vendors offer a flat monthly fee for each agent that includes all features. In most cases, there’s also some sort of flat per-agent deposit required upfront. There’s no clear downside to this route as long as the flat fee and deposit you’re quoted are fair and affordable. Flat fees make for easier budgeting, and you’ll never be surprised by the bill. Still, even if a vendor advertises a flat fee, make sure to find out which features are included in the price. Not all vendors offer the same set of features. And some vendors offer a few different flat-fee plans with varying features.
Other cloud call center vendors offer per-minute pricing. Typically, there’s a monthly fee that includes all call center features but caps your telecom minutes at a certain number. Vendors that price this way usually have several tiers of plans based on the number of minutes you expect to use each month. If you go over, additional per-minute fees are charged. This is a reasonable choice if your monthly minutes are consistent and predictable (and you like what the particular vendor has to offer in terms of features). In that case, the cost should be about the same every month. However, if your minutes fluctuate from month to month, this probably isn’t the way to go. Keep in mind, too, that many vendors tack on additional fees for international calls.
Flat fee plus minutes
Here’s where it gets even more confusing. These vendors advertise a flat monthly fee that looks low, then tack on additional telecom fees for each minute. Keep in mind, a fee is not truly flat if there are additional charges of any kind. Generally, this fee structure is only a good idea if your call center volume is very low and will stay that way. In that case, the approach keeps monthly costs down. But if your call center volume is higher or fluctuates, don’t go this route. You’re apt to see some shocking bills at the end of the month.
In addition to the pricing structure, we can’t emphasize enough that it’s important to find out exactly which features are included in the monthly price you’re quoted before making a decision. A low rate is not a good deal if it doesn’t come with the functionality your call center needs. For example, some vendors don’t offer predictive dialing at all, while others charge extra for them.
Other questions to ask the vendor include:
- Is a deposit required, and if so how much?
- Is there any sort of monthly minimum?
- Do I have to sign an annual contract to get this price, or is it a month-to-month plan?
- Are software upgrades included in the price?
ABOUT US: 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.