Has your phone package recently been upgraded? Are you confused about why the phone package upgrade raised your bill by a few extra dollars per month? Some clients have been vocal about their confusion—which we always welcome—and have even shared their concerns about it with us. Now, we’d like to explain why we have to handle the phone package the way we do.
First, Here’s What You Need to Know
Before we dive into our explanation, let’s make a few points clear:
- The level 1 upgrade results in a 2.9% increase (about $9) in your monthly bill.
- Your package is only upgraded after you exceed 100 minutes of phone time on your CallTrax™ line.
- This is a pass-through cost. We’re not charging this fee to earn more profit, but rather to cover the increased cost we incur by buying more minutes for your campaign.
- We don’t automatically build these extra minutes into your plan because we don’t want clients to have to pay for them unless they’re actually using them.
Now that we’ve established the facts, let’s get into why the upgrade is truly necessary.
It Keeps Our Interests Aligned With Yours
Why can’t Prospect Genius just cover these extra costs on your behalf? The answer has to do with keeping our interests aligned with yours. You see, as your LeadTrax™ campaign performs better and better, it will generate more calls from customers. That’s why you hired us, after all. But if we were to pay out of pocket for all of our clients who exceeded their allotted phone minutes because their campaigns were too effective, then we would be incentivized to do a worse job so that you receive fewer calls (thus minimizing our payments). Obviously, that would be against your best interests. You want us incentivized to send you as many quality leads as your business can handle. That’s why we pass the phone costs on to you. The way we see it, asking you to pay a nominal fee of $9 to the phone company is worth it if it enables us to continue working hard for your business. If we didn’t do this, then we would wind up footing the phone bill for some ultra-successful clients, which could actually do some serious damage to our own finances. Take, for example, a taxi company in NYC that we work with. This particular business was fielding so many calls that it once racked up $900 in phone charges in one month! We wouldn’t be able to continue to do good work for all of our clients if we had to pay out of pocket every time that happened.
It Keeps Us Motivated to Do Good Work
The good news is that, as long as you pay the nominal fee for extra minutes, we have only the incentive to provide you with quality advertising services and to send you the valuable leads you want. That’s what sets us apart from pay-per-lead advertisers. Unlike them, Prospect Genius’s bottom line is not dependent on the number of calls we send you. Pay-per-lead advertisers, on the other hand, earn their profit by charging you for each lead they send to you. This means they have the incentive to send as many leads as possible, even when they aren’t legitimate or relevant to your business. As a result, low-quality leads are common with these advertisers because they’re trying to maximize profits. Thankfully, our flat-fee model means we’re free to only do good work for you, no matter what. That’s probably why you chose to hire Prospect Genius in the first place. But if our finances were suddenly tied to the number of leads we sent you, this would inevitably change. Again, that’s why we pass the phone costs on to you.
It’s a Small Price to Pay for a Successful Campaign
If you’re still unsure about paying an extra $9 per month, try viewing phone minutes as just another minor business expense. In this context, the phone package upgrade should be a no-brainer. For instance, let’s say you’re a traveling repairman and you have a set budget for gas every month. In May, you unexpectedly start booking more jobs and, because you’re traveling so much, you end up surpassing your gas budget by the end of week three. Would you increase your gas budget to cover the fourth week, expecting that your increase in jobs will more than make up for it? Or would you pass on any incoming jobs for the rest of the month because you refuse to pay a little more for gas? Or, let’s say you own a car audio and accessories shop. You have a set budget for the electricity bill each month, but in December, you suddenly get a lot of new customers looking for holiday gifts. Would you take the extra jobs and run up a slightly higher utility bill as a result? Or would you stop accepting new customers as soon as you reached your limit? In either of these scenarios, we’re guessing you would probably accept the slight increase in costs in exchange for more jobs. Paying a little extra for phone minutes shouldn’t be any different.
Ultimately, It’s About Transparency
Some other advertising companies avoid the issue of a phone package upgrade by building extra phone costs into their monthly prices. As we explained in an earlier blog post,
Every company in this business must pay phone line charges. No matter who you deal with, those minutes must be paid for. If an SEO company never raises their phone package price or never adjusts your bill to allow for more minutes, that means they’ve been unnecessarily charging you for the biggest package from the get-go.
But we don’t think that’s honest or fair to the client. Wouldn’t you rather start with a lower baseline price and then only pay extra for minutes that you’re actually using? We think our approach to clients’ phone packages is the only way to remain open and transparent. It also keeps us doing honest, good work for your local business. While you may not be ecstatic to see your bill go up, remember that the upgrade is just a side effect of a strong, vital campaign.