Call center software is a must-have communication technology for all sorts of inbound call centers today. It helps call centers efficiently maintain customer service operations on a day to day basis. Without it, most call centers would not be able to function at the level they do today.
Given the number of customer service tasks call center software can help agents accomplish at any given moment, you might think this software comes at a high price. But this is not the case. Actually, call center software is extremely flexible and affordable. Depending on the size and needs of your call center, you can rest assured you’ll find a solution that fits your communication needs and budget.
To understand the cost of call center software, we’ve put together this comprehensive cost guide for your convenience. We will discuss the factors that determine call center software cost, the difference between on-premise vs. cloud-based costs, and additional costs.
On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Software Cost
Your cost for call center software will be different depending on whether you choose on-premise or cloud-based software.
On-Premise Software Costs
In general, on-premise software is a better fit for larger call centers because it gives them more control and flexibility with their software. You will install the servers and host the software at your own call center location. As a result, you will be able to perform your own maintenance and updates and engineer the software to your specific needs.
Upfront costs for on-premise software will likely be costly. But over time, you will likely save money if you are a larger call center because you won’t have to pay a software company on a monthly basis.
|Upfront Costs||Ongoing Costs|
|Software license: $500-$2,000 one-time fee |
Software and equipment: from $20,000 for small call center to up to $500,000 for enterprise call center
Installation and set-up: $25,000+
|Maintenance and updates: 15-20% of initial license cost|
Cloud-Based Software Costs
Cloud-based software is often a better fit for small to medium-sized call centers since it’s more affordable upfront. Essentially, your call center will choose a software company and pay them on a monthly or annual basis to use their software. You do not have to worry about installing servers and maintaining the software at your location. Instead, the software runs using the cloud and you can use it from anywhere. Keep in mind that you will be limited to the features and tools that the software company offers (it is not as customizable as on-premise hosted software.
Cloud-based software is much more affordable upfront, but requires ongoing monthly payments.
|Upfront Costs||Ongoing Costs|
|Hardware: price varies. Each agent needs a computer, headset, and other equipment to manage call volume. |
Installation and set-up: $100-$300 one-time fee
|Monthly subscription: $20-$300+ per month, depending on users and features|
Factors that Influence Software Cost
Like most business technology, there is no one fixed cost. The overall cost depends on a number of factors. As mentioned, one of the reasons call center software is so flexible is because there are multiple options available to fit a variety of business budgets. Most of the time, software companies will provide a handful of “tiered” pricing options. Then, your call center can choose which one is the best fit. Some software companies also allow you to completely customize your software for a higher cost. For instance, Zendesk offers two tiered pricing plans as well as a customizable plan. Here are the main factors that determine the cost of call center software:
1. Number of users
Often, call center software companies will offer different prices for their software based on the number of users (ie. agents) in your call center. Note that your software company will likely allow you to easily scale up or down as your business changes over time. Also keep in mind that sometimes, the cost per user rate may decrease as you add more users – meaning, larger call centers sometimes get better deals on cost per user.
Call center software companies usually include different features at each price tier. There’s usually a tier with basic features, a tier with mid-level features, and a tier with advanced features. Again, your choice when it comes to software features and tools depends on how your call center operates and communicates regularly.
3. Billing structure and frequency
There are a few different pricing structures when it comes to software costs. Software companies will determine how they want to bill their clients. Your call center software cost may be structured as:
- Fixed monthly fee per call center
- Flat monthly fee per user
- Flat per-minute fee
Make sure to look at each software company’s billing structure before choosing, as one of these pricing structures may benefit you more than others. For instance, if your call center spends a lot of time using the software but has few agents, you will want to choose a monthly user fee rather than a per-minute fee.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the frequency of your billing may impact cost. Many software companies offer lower monthly rates when you pay once annually.
Are There Any Additional Costs Involved?
Depending on the call center software provider you choose, there may be some additional fees involved. For instance, adding some tools and features to your software might end up costing you extra on a monthly basis, which can add up over time. Additionally, if you add more users at some point during your relationship with a software company, you might be adding on steep additional fees to your subscription without realizing it.
Make sure to talk with a representative from the software company on the phone to discuss your “out the door” costs as well as ongoing costs. You want to be sure that the software fits comfortably within your business’s budget and avoid any hidden fees.
If you are looking into call center software for your business, we have additional resources that may assist you:
- VoIP for call centers
- Appointment Setting Services
- 5 Top Business VoIP Providers
- Types of Business Communication Systems
Want to compare call center software perfect for your needs? 360Connect can help. Use our free online comparison tool to match with top call center software providers suited to your needs and budget.