Photo Gallery

Call Center Software Buyer's Guide - Call Center System Pricing

Call Center Software Buyer's Guide - Call Center System Pricing

Published: 03/27/2011

» Software
»» Call Center Software


Call Center System Pricing

Building call center systems from the ground up is a very expensive proposition. If you’re running the software in your own data center, you’ll need hardware, phones, and software, as well as staff to run the system. Choosing a hosted solution will reduce your total costs, but will still carry a substantial monthly bill.



Keep in mind that as with any major business purchase, you should be considering the total return on investment, not just the initial expense. Many vendors will help you calculate the potential savings you could realize due to better staffing, reduced hold times, and increased upsell rates. Over the long term, you should be confident that the new system will result in a boost for your bottom line before you commit to the expenditure.




On-premise (locally hosted)


As a very rough guideline, an on-premise system for smaller call centers will range from $1,200 to $1,500 per agent for the software alone. If you choose to include new telephone hardware, add another $300 to $500 per agent. Keep in mind that systems are not usually priced per agent like this, but it can give you a sense of what you might expect to pay. Prices go up as you increase the scope of your operation. Equipping a new call center for 50 to 100 agents from scratch can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.



You’ll almost always have an installation or setup fee that can be as high as $25,000 for a large call center. Fees that large include training and integration work. Other vendors may charge much smaller setup fees, but charge separately for training and integration. Also factor an annual support or maintenance fee of between 10% and 20% in your budgeting as well. This cost includes additional development and software upgrades, as well as gives you access to technical support.



Make sure that all the costs are broken out for you. It’ll be much easier to compare multiple vendors when you can consider each portion of the fee separately.



If you’re buying telephone hardware in addition to the call center software, consider leasing. You’ll be able to spread your payments over time and potentially buy the equipment at the end of the term for a token fee. Even if you’re not leasing, you may be able to spread the payments over time: when you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars with a vendor, they’re likely to be flexible in developing payment plans.






Pricing for hosted solutions is quite different. You’ll pay a monthly fee for each user that can range from as low as $50 for basic CRM functions to as high as $300 for a more comprehensive solution. The per-agent fee will drop as you add more users and as you increase the length of your contract.



In a hosted solution, make sure you ask whether your licenses are for named users or concurrent users. Concurrent user licenses are more expensive, but you’ll only have to pay for the total number of licenses in use at any one time, instead of paying for each user of the software. If you run a multiple shift call center, you can slash your costs with concurrent user licenses.





The largest call centers cancel out the cost advantages of a hosted solution: at around 200 agents, an on-premise solution becomes a more economical choice in terms as short as one year.