Comparing Contact Center Solutions: Fees, Features and Further Reading
As an executive at your company, you think about how money is made and lost. And, if in charge of company-wide technology investments, the pressure to deliver affordable, effective contact center solutions can be intense—hasty choices can lead to imminent financial losses or limited utility.
The following three lines of enquiry can help sort good, bad and ugly contact center solutions. While not the only factors worth consideration, they serve as a solid ground from which to make a purchasing decision.
Subscription or Annual Fee
When looking at a cloud-based call center or virtual call center solution, ask if service is provided via subscriptions or annual fees. Some software requires you to purchase a license every year, which could increase costs over time. Others employ an à la carte model that can adapt to your needs. À la carte services allow you to scale up services quickly without lengthy subscriptions that may not be needed later.
Pro Tip: When looking at fees, remember up-front costs and costs over time. A subscription to a cloud-based contact center usually showcases low up-front costs due to minimal infrastructure requirements. Some platforms feature lower cost over time by way of maintenance and upgrades, too, but you should always ask what’s included in your subscription. The same goes for software licenses bought on a yearly basis.
Vendors like to pad their margins with value-add features like white-labeled software. It makes sense, many companies want to upsell customers and grow profits. But understanding where a vendor’s coming from doesn’t mean you want to pay for every bell and whistle.
Pay for a package that provides your essentials and, if possible, get some of those items for free or at a reduced rate. After all, most business have to live with their technology budget. You want to stick to it as best you can.
Pro Tip: When comparing cloud-based contact center solutions, examine what features come included in the basic subscription. Many times, the included components are exactly what you need. Other times, you may need to spend a little more money to get the custom solution your business or organization needs.
Good, Fast, or Cheap
Finally, cloud-based contact center platforms need to have a great balance of “good, fast, and cheap.” You often can get software that fits two of the three qualities. But every once in a while, you find a technology that meets all three.
It’s a rare occurrence, though, so figure out which characteristics matter most to you and your company. “Good” obviously refers to quality—a tested platform that’s feature-rich, actively monitored and well supported. “Fast” covers implementation processes and the speed at which live call data is reported to dashboards and how easily it can be exploited for business intelligence and reporting. “Cheap” needs no explanation.
Pro Tip: Don’t overlook prioritizing the three qualities. They either impede or facilitate TCPA compliance, data security, and ease of use. If you want cloud-based contact center software that produces a return on investment, always identify what factors matter to your business goals.
When it comes to buying virtual call center software, always take some time to research your options and compare their prices. Doing so will save you from worry and financial disaster. To learn more about the features, pricing and support for TCN’s platform, request a demo of TCN’s solution or: do more research in our e-book: 6 Reasons Call Center Execs Are Moving From On-Premise Solutions to the Cloud.