Automatic dialing solutions can dramatically improve the overall productivity, efficiency and calling capabilities of your organization. Hosted Dialing solutions have increased the overall accessibility of the technology, and now makes it possible for any size team to leverage the utility of dialing solutions.
But along with hosted services comes the typical pricing structure of a reoccurring subscription. While subscription models provide a host of their own benefits, unfortunately, reoccurring costs price some solutions out of the budget of many organizations. However, subscription models aren't the only option: on-demand payment models can help expand the flexibility of your hosted dialing solution.
What is a Hosted Automatic Dialer and Why Bother?
Before we dive deeper into the pricing models, this is a good time to take a bit of a step back and better understand the solutions we are discussing.
Hosted Automatic Dialers are utilized by call and contact centers to generally boost overall agent efficiency and productivity. While there are different specific Automatic Dialers out there -- like progressive, predictive, and power dialers -- but the end idea is generally the same. These tools will maximize outbound dialing strategies by optimizing the overall process.
- Predictive Dialers are designed to place the maximum number of calls possible in a short period of time. These systems will "predict" an agent's availability, and automatically place a call in the proper time frame so agents do not have to manually do so.
- Progressive Dialers will automatically dial out from a list of leads one after the other to maintain a constant flow of calls, and reduce overall downtime. Progressive Dialers are similar to Predictive, just without the advanced AI to actually predict agent performance.
- Power Dialers only place calls when the agent is completely available, and can even consider the priority and skill of all agents to better determine the best available match for that specific call.
When we add the term "hosted" into the title, we are specifically discussing solutions that are cloud based, and delivered through the internet -- in the same way that Business VoIP differs for traditional Landline service.
Why Do Different Pricing Structures Matter?
Well, different cloud solutions will benefit more or less from these pricing structures based on their actual use-cases. An On-Demand pay as you go model might not work very well for a team messaging or collaboration solution -- no one wants to have to pay per messages sent or something similar.
But, on the other hand, forcing your organization to lock into a set subscription cost can drastically increase the capital investment required if the tool is not going to be used as routinely.
Hosted Dialers specifically might not see 100% yearly use. These tools can be best utilized when your organization has a large influx of calls to handle, and this will generally change seasonally.
Now this might not be exactly true for all situations -- some organizations may require constant use of dialers, making an on-demand payment method less desirable. We'll break this down even further.
When searching for a hosted dialing solution, the most common pricing structure you will come across is a subscription-based model. For a fixed reoccurring fee, your organization will gain access to the automatic dialing functionality.
Subscriptions can be charged on a monthly, or annual basis, with the latter generally including greater cost savings. However, when paying annually, your organization is then locked into that solution for the rest of the year.
Generally, providers will break their subscriptions down into tiers -- higher tiers may provide more features or less user limitations, but will cost more money as well. For hosted dialers specifically, certain tiers have limitations on the number calls that can be placed, or the number of agents that can have access to the solution.
Subscription models have a few benefits of their own, particularly:
- With an expected cost for each month, subscriptions models make it much easier for organizations to budget around. There will not be any unexpected or additional costs, unless the plan changes.
- The overall consistency of a solution paid through a subscription model can be absolutely critical for many business processes. Reoccurring costs with automated payments help ensure your team will never miss a beat.
Generally, less common are on-demand, or pay-as-you-go, payment models. A good example of this is the Amazon Connect pricing structure. Many solutions might not offer an on-demand option, depending on the platform that is being offered. However, when it comes to telephony and auto dialing solutions, a pay-as-you-go option is possibly one of the best ways to take full advantage.
Unlike subscription-based models, on-demand solutions enable organizations to simply pay for what they use. Instead of being locked into an annual or monthly reoccurring cost, your team will only pay based on what is being used -- that could be per minute if it’s a telephony service, per call for dialers, or per message for texting and messaging solutions.
A major selling point of an on-demand model is the ability to simply pay for only what you need, and nothing more. This includes both functionality, and user amounts -- for example your team could purchase specific calling options, or only pay for the phone lines that are being used that month. This is especially great for organizations that find it difficult to predict how many projects the team will work on in the future.
On-demand models have a few other benefits, particularly:
- Teams only have to pay for what they are using, as opposed to a repeating cost every month or year. Organizations are not required to purchase a costlier plan to add extra users, just to gain extra features that will never be used.
- With an on-demand option, your team can scale the solution up or down depending on the specific needs at that exact time. For example, if your team deals with a seasonal rush, more access can be purchased. When the season dies down, less access will be necessary.
How Do Payment Models Impact Hosted Dialing Solutions?
This, of course, is the main question we are looking to get to the bottom of. While both subscription models and on-demand pay-as-you-go payment offer a host of benefits, they will impact the service in a number of ways.
While a subscription model might make overall budget planning a bit easier, your team is locked into paying for the service even when call volume decreases. This can increase the necessary capital investment required to run the hosted dialer, and is especially true for organizations that experience seasonal fluctuations.
With a pay-as-you-go model, your team can better budget and plan around the overall cost. If your organization receives an influx of calls in the winter, for example, then pay-as-you-go enables your team to beef up support in the winter, while scaling down in the summer months to help alleviate costs.
Overall, a pay-as-you-go model provides the flexibility to match the overall nature of a hosted solution. Instead of paying a flat rate for a dialer service, and paying for a carrier as well, on-demand solutions will bundle all of this together.
Simply put, with an on-demand payment model, your organization gains the flexibility to use the system as much or as little as necessary, and you only actually pay when the system is used. This flexibility enables organizations to gain a better control over their process with the new functionality, while keeping costs as affordable and easy to digest as possible.
Which Model is Right for Your Business?
As we've mentioned a couple of times already, the best pricing model for your business will vary on a case-by-case basis.
Some organizations might require or prefer the simplicity and stability of a reoccurring cost, while other teams may either not require the solution constantly, or have the budget to shell out a subscription cost for a solution that is not routinely used.
Each pricing model has its own benefits and trade offs, but overall the decision will come down to business practices and planning.
Subscription Models are generally best if your business:
- Is a large organization that can dedicated a larger budget to adopting a subscription-based solution. Subscription models are not necessarily more expensive, but On-demand solutions tend to offer a more cost-effective payment process if your team does not have the budgeting available for long term adoption.
- Looking for consistency in pricing. With a subscription, your organization will know how much is being charged each month, and the cost should not change over time unless the service is scaled up or down. This enables for proper budgeting and planning around a relatively fixed and known cost.
- Does not experience frequent or seasonal changes in demand or customer interaction. On-demand models allow for flexibility, but again sacrifice the consistency. If your organization does not notice a difference in traffic, then utilizing the consistent cost of a subscription model would make more sense.
On-Demand are generally best if your business:
- Is a smaller team that does not require the constant, year-round accessibility provided by a subscription-based solution. For example, if your organization only utilizes hosted dialers during the seasonal months, then it would not make much sense to stay locked into a subscription.
- Is looking to keep costs as low as possible. On-demand solutions are not a fixed reoccurring cost, but will fluctuate directly based on your organization's overall usage of the solution. Simply put, your business will only be paying for what is used, and nothing more.
- Is in the need for a flexible solution that can grow or shrink as demand increases or decreases. Again, this is especially true for organizations that notice a higher influx of calls or interactions during specific months -- retail in particular will notice this during the holiday season, and may not require the same solution during the summer.
The Bottom Line
Both Subscription and On-Demand payment models can make absolutely sense, however it will depend heavily on not only the needs of your business, but also the solution that is being purchased.
When it comes to Automatic Hosted Dialing solutions, like the powerful predictive dialer software, it doesn't make much sense to pay for a tool you might not always be using. An On-Demand pricing structure enables organizations to take full advantage of the power behind a dialing solution, without requiring the extra overhead and capital investment of a subscription model.
When your organization is searching for a dialing solution, be sure to seek a provider that offers the extra level of flexibility normally found with an on-demand pricing structure.