Amazon Connect: Is Usage-Based Pricing Right for You?

May 13, 2024 8 min read

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby

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AWS Connect, also known as Amazon Connect, is a contact center solution offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon uses the same platform to communicate with several customers on its website. 

It’s an extension of AWS services, which is suitable if you already use Amazon cloud-based services. However, there are a few situations where Amazon Connect doesn’t meet user requirements, especially regarding pricing. 

Some users feel its contact center pricing is not very predictable. The pay-as-you-go pricing model lets you pay only for usage, but this makes forecasting the total costs tricky. 

Some users have also experienced pricing-related issues and feel enabling support for small businesses is too costly. 

Source: G2

Overall, numerous usage elements determine the actual costs of the service. Let’s cut through the confusion and get precise details on Amazon Connect pricing to better understand the costs. 

AWS Connect Usage-Based Pricing Explained

Amazon Connect pricing follows a pay-as-you-go model with no long-term commitments or minimum fees. You’re billed based on the minutes of usage. It helps businesses that prefer not to commit long-term and offers them more flexibility. You can easily avoid fixed monthly fees if it doesn’t work. 

However, the pay-as-you-go model presents a variety of usage elements that affect the final costs. For example, you’re charged per minute for service usage. There are also PSTN charges, the cost of additional features, and a monthly targeted audience. 

Amazon Connect pricing includes a free tier that covers monthly usage, such as 90 minutes of voice service and 30 minutes of telephony. Savings plans are available to commit to a certain usage level, which can reduce costs significantly if you’re sure of your usage levels.

Let’s discuss the costs you can encounter when considering AWS Connect as your contact center solution. 

1. Amazon Connect pricing for voice services

AWS Connect Voice fees consist of two costs: A) voice service charges and B) the cost of communication services. 

A) Voice service charges are billed per minute (minimum 10 seconds). Billing for inbound calls starts when the end customer is connected to the service. You’re charged for outbound calls or campaigns when AWS Connect initiates the contact attempt. For unsuccessful attempts, you’ll be charged the minimum 10-second cost. 

These are the per-minute rates for different voice calls: 

B) The cost of communication services includes the per-day cost of the number and telephony rates for inbound or outbound calling. 

These are the per-day costs of numbers:

Last, calling rates are billed per minute for at least 60 seconds. The telephony per-minute usage rate for inbound calls is $0.0022 for DID numbers and $0.0120 for toll-free numbers. 

Example to calculate the cost of an inbound call with AWS Connect
A customer calls a company’s DID numbers (in the US-West2 region) on a softphone and talks to your representative for 5 minutes. 

Voice service charge = $0.018 × 5 = $0.09
Cost of communication service = Per-day cost of the number + telephony rates
Cost of communication service = $0.03 + ($0.0022 × 5) = $0.41

Total cost = $0.131 (plus applicable taxes, surcharges, and fees)

2. AWS Connect in-app, web, and video calling charges

AWS Connect also charges for in-app, web, and video calls. Let’s understand these charges with an example. Suppose a customer makes a seven-minute call using your organization’s mobile app and connects with an agent on their softphone. You’ll be charged as follows: 

👉 That makes the total cost of the call $0.196.

On the other hand, when a customer initiates a seven-minute call through your organization’s website, an agent responds via their softphone. Both the customer and the agent use video for the entire call. The charges break down as follows:

👉 This makes the total cost $0.406. 

3. AWS Connect outbound voice campaign charges

👉 Outbound campaign call usage cost: $0.025 per minute

When targeting customers for marketing (or any specific endpoints), the first 5,000 endpoints are free on AWS Connect. Beyond that, it costs $1.20 per 1,000 endpoints. Amazon Pinpoint manages this while orchestrating contact lists for your campaigns. 

Let’s understand how the monthly targeted audience fits into calculating the cost of an outbound campaign. 

Suppose you run an outbound campaign using Amazon Connect in the US East. Here are a few things you should know: 

These details will help you calculate the total outbound campaign cost. 

Target audience charges 

Since the first 5,000 targeted audience members in the campaign are free, we need to calculate the cost of the remaining 1,000 audience members at $1.20 per 1,000 audience members. 

👉 Target audience charges = $0 (5,000 free) + $1.20 (1,000) customers = $1.20 

Voice service charges

At a 25% connection rate, 1,500 calls connect and play the message. 

Total connected call durations = 1,500 × 30 seconds = 750 minutes.

Since 90 minutes is free, the billable connected call duration will be 660 minutes at a rate of $0.025 per minute. 

For unsuccessful attempts, you’ll be charged a minimum 10-second call rate. Therefore, 4,500 unsuccessful call attempts will add 750 billable minutes, making the total billable minutes 1,500. 

👉 At a rate of $0,025, the total cost of voice service comes to $37.5. 

Telephony charges

AWS Connect doesn’t charge the per-day cost of the number for the first 12 months due to the free tier. So there’s no day charge for the toll-free number. AWS Connect also provides 30 minutes of free calling with the free plan. 

The total connected call duration is 750 minutes. With 30 minutes free, you’ll pay for 720 minutes at $0.0048 per minute, which adds up to $3.45.

Apart from these charges, Amazon Pinpoint will charge$6 to manage the processing of endpoints (target audience).

Now you just add up all these charges to get the total bill. 

👉 For this outbound campaign, the total bill will be $48.15.

4. AWS Connect omnichannel messaging and chat charges

Below are the rates for messaging and chat options on Amazon Connect: 

For example, a customer may start a chat and send nine messages, and the agent sends 11 messages. 

👉 The total charges of the chat = (11 + 9) × 0.004 = $0.08

If the above 20 conversations happened via SMS, it would be billed at $0.01 per message, making the total SMS cost $0.20. Plus, there will be a per-message cost for the Amazon Pinpoint service. 

For chat experiences, the total bill is calculated based on two charges: the cost of using the chat (at a rate of $0.004 per message) and using guides (at a rate of $0.005 per message). Suppose agents and users exchanged five messages; the total cost would be $0.045. 

5. AWS Connect costs for additional features

Different costs related to agent productivity can appear on your bill, such as: 

If you thought your contact center’s phone bill was hard to read before, wait until you get hit with the surprise fees and granular reporting that Amazon Connect provides. 

Why Contact Centers Prefer Nextiva Over AWS Connect

AWS Connect’s over-complicated pricing makes it tricky for companies to risk purchasing the call center solution when there is no clear view of what size budget to set aside. There are several other reasons that companies look for other ways to find better solutions when onboarding a reliable cloud-based contact center solution

While doing so, many companies choose Nextiva to solve their pain points and streamline their cloud contact centers’ workflows. 

Predictable pricing

Nextiva features all-inclusive, cost-effective plans that cover unlimited calling, messaging, and additional features. This contrasts with the Amazon Connect pricing pay-per-minute model, which may cause your costs to vary monthly.

With Nextiva, you have a clear picture of how much it would cost per month, which helps you set a budget and easily negotiate with stakeholders involved in procuring and onboarding a contact center platform.

Rich features and CRM integration

Nextiva’s automated contact center solutions include features like advanced call routing, call recording, AI-based suggestions, and several functionalities to improve customer interactions at scale. They integrate seamlessly with your existing business applications, such as customer relationship management software. 

Nextiva is easy to configure with your existing apps to enable agents to get the complete context of customer interactions, making your communication more effective. It also makes you more efficient and better equipped to handle communications at scale. 

Ease of use and support

Nextiva users usually provide positive feedback on the contact center platform’s user-friendly interface, ease of use, and support quality.

Users say they don’t need any technical skills to set up Nextiva, and if they need anything, their questions get answered quickly. Nextiva also offers an intuitive user interface. 

Overall, Nextiva ensures a smoother customer experience, which is crucial for businesses requiring reliable communication solutions.

High reliability

With rock-solid 99.999% uptime, Nextiva provides consistent and reliable communication capabilities, minimizing potential disruptions.

Nextiva maintains a record of the availability of its systems and keeps track of issues (if any) reported daily. When you want to offer your audience an uninterrupted communication experience, you can go with Nextiva. 

Scale Your Contact Center as You Grow 

Nextiva offers a range of solutions to grow your business. It’s a flexible solution that caters to the changing needs of a business. 

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, Nextiva offers features and functionality that help companies manage and streamline their contact center operations, no matter how their needs evolve. 

Simmons Bank chose Nextiva’s cloud communications and contact center solution to transform 240 locations from on-premises to the cloud.

You have a simple choice as you’re researching contact center platforms. 

You can either build it from scratch and spend thousands of dollars to reinvent the wheel and never have a simple bill again. 

Or, you can choose one that is ready to use today. Tell us your needs and key requirements, and we’ll help you launch your contact center!

Your complete call center solution.

Nextiva helps you launch your contact center in record time – and you won’t need a full-stack developer, either.

Jeremiah Zerby

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

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