“Is simplicity and clarity in pricing too much to ask?” So wonders the LiveVox blogger, and sorry to say, in many cases yes, in fact, it is.
In a recent blog post titled “The Hosted Dialing Pricing Misdirection,” LiveVox (News - Alert) officials noted that “vendors work hard to cast their products in the best light.” Fair enough, no problem with that, of course. But the title of the post lets you know what’s coming.
In the hosted outbound application space, where we’re talking about such tools as outbound IVR, broadcast messaging and dialers, as the blogger notes, “some vendors will excite contact center prospects with the idea that they will cap all calls at a quarter, meaning no matter how long a call goes the contact center will pay no more than $0.25 for it.”
Of course the implication here is that you have enough calls of five minutes or over to realize some savings from the arrangement -- five cents a minute is a standard price. So from the sixth minute on you’re talking for free. As LiveVox reports after analyzing millions of calls, however, fewer than one-fifth of one percent, 0.016 percent for you neat freaks, of all calls pass the five minute threshold.
So it’s not really the windfall savings you might think. The overwhelming majority of calls are a few seconds long -- fully 87 percent are answering machine hang-ups, no answers, invalid numbers or busy signals, LiveVox officials point out. And the vendor offering you a sweet deal on five-plus minute calls is probably charging you half a minute for those two-second calls, so they’re coming out ahead.
Comfortably so, since they’re offering you, as LiveVox puts it, “savings on the 0.16 percent of calls... and half of your per-minute rate on nearly 90 percent of your calls.” They’ll take that tradeoff and hope you do, too. LiveVox officials call it the “bright shiny object of savings to distract your attention from unexpected expenses.”
Earlier this month TMC (News - Alert) reported that LiveVox cautioned against falling for slippery “hybrid” talk from contact center vendors.
Yes, the cloud can deliver specific features for the contact center, such as capacity planning by bursting to handle any inbound/outbound call volumes on demand, as LiveVox officials say: “It can simplify global call routing with a simplified network topology -- without requiring contact centers more hardware and put it between them and the cloud.”
As they put it, the goal of any contact center is to “match up the right agent, customer and channel to get positive outcomes.” And what would be great would be if you could adjust your labor costs to exactly match your need, wouldn’t it? Hard to do with multi-site installations, isn’t it?
To find out more about LiveVox, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit LiveVox in booth 303. Don’t wait. Register now.
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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny