During recent years, video chat applications have become something more than more ways of planning an upcoming weekend party with friends. Nowadays, such kind of software can be considered as an irreplaceable part of any business that cares about strong relationships with clients and improved communication within the company. Numbers talk themselves. According to data gathered by the Zoho company, in 2018, among 140 companies surveyed, 78% used live chat for sales, while 63% used it for customer support. Such an approach allowed businesses to increase conversions, better understand the needs of customers, reach better user satisfaction, and increase the revenue. Also, video chatting apps can engage remote workers, improve collaboration across departments and locations, help to interview job candidates, and simplify dozens of other tasks. In short, any business process that implies communication between people can be improved by the adoption of a video chat app.
Any company wants to keep personal clients’ data safe, ensure that business secrets are protected, and keep profitability as high as possible. Custom software development is a solution that allows companies to receive reliable and secure video chat solutions without spending extra money on unrequired functionality. The question is how much such a solution will cost. Every company that offers off-the-shelf solutions has a pricing page that describes how much you have to pay and what exact edition of the product you’ll get. But when you deal with a custom software development company, the overall picture may be not so clear, especially if you don’t have any experience of such collaboration. In this article, we’ll try to shed some light on this question and describe the factors that have the most significant impact on the cost of a video chat app.
What Factors Affect The Price Of a Video Chat App
First and foremost, you should remember that modern video chat apps for business provide you with something more than just a possibility to make a video call. Almost any aspect of communication and sharing the data can be improved with such kind of tools. For example, there are some video calling app features that may be useful for your business:
- Screen sharing is a useful feature for those who want to host online meetings or conferences regularly.
- Group calling via video chat app is an excellent alternative to real-life meetings since it allows saving time on travels or provide a more convenient way of organizing the whole thing. Modern video chats can support group calling with up to 50 participants.
- End-to-end encryption helps to ensure the safety of sensitive information.
- File sharing can be a good addition to video conferences. Participants can discuss the current state of affairs and share reports in PDF format that contain more detailed information.
- Video call preview allows users to see who’s calling before answering.
These and many other features can play a significant role in improving your business processes, but their implementation will take time and money.
Integration can be pretty time and money consuming task as well. Your video chat is not yet another application that brings some additional functionality. A well-designed application should fit your business processes and be an integral part of the ecosystem. Therefore, a major concern is the integration of a video chat app with the tech stack that you already have. Everything may not go as well as you would like. For example, developers can face additional difficulties if your business software is based on obsolete technologies. The integration with the CRM system that you use can also be not an easy task. The thing is that developers will have to provide the possibility to work with the user database that already exists. Contact information (name, email, phone) and client history (purchases, known issues, complaints) should be available to all the users without any extra actions. Developers should ensure that integration won’t lead to any entry errors, delays, or misunderstandings. To make the integration process as smooth as possible, don’t forget to discuss with developers your current tech stack, define who will maintain the integration, and what access to your business IT infrastructure you can provide.
On the picture below, you can see the list of browsers that support (or not support) WebRTC for peer-to-peer connections:
The picture looks pretty promising, but still, developers may face issues with some browsers, as you can see. It brings us to the browsers compatibility issue. If you plan to use a video chat exclusively for communication within the company, it’s not a big deal. You can provide your software developers with the list of browsers that your employees usually use and be sure that the app will be tested according to the highest standards. Everything becomes more complicated when we talk about communication with customers. Some of them haven’t updated their browsers for ages, which may cause some troubles. If a client’s browser doesn’t support the technology on which your video chat is based, developers will have to spend some time to find a proper workaround and test if the system will work stable if they use it. To make sure that your potential client won’t face any issues while trying to make a call to your company representative, you have to make sure that your video chatting app supports the commonly used browsers. You can use the statistics from your servers to define which exact browsers the most of your clients use. Since testing a video chat app for compatibility with all the existing browsers can take time and money, you can focus on top positions from this list.
Mobile applications have become such an essential part of everyone’s life, so without mobile support, users may feel that something is missing. If you decide (and most probably you will) that a mobile app is what your business needs, prepare yourself for additional spendings. When we talk about mobile application development, there’s usually a choice between two major options: native and hybrid apps. Each of them has its pros and cons, but a hybrid app may look more attractive due to the relatively low costs of development. However, it still takes time to test if the app’s look and feel will satisfy the end-users. As you may have guessed, such work will cost you.
A server is located between the participants of the conversation. It sends and receives streams coordinating them between the users. Manipulating the server, you can provide such features as recording or multi-party calls, for example. The good news is that in most cases, you don’t have to buy an actual server and place it somewhere in your office building. Nowadays, you can rent one using one of the options available at the market, such as Amazon Cloud Services, or example. In such cases the pricing is usually based on such factors as the amount of required storage, the number of requests to the server, uploaded and stored data, etc. The more users you have, the more high-performance server you’ll need. Another consequence of the high number of potential end-users is the need for stress testing that allows determining if the app will work on high load without any lags.
Believe it or not, it’s not enough to come to the software developer and say: “I want a video chat for my business. How much?” The final price depends on dozens of factors the lion’s share of which is determined by your requirements based on the features of your business. The most accurate estimation of the final cost is possible only in case of close collaboration with your software developer. Discussing the possibilities that your business lacks and issues that you face, you’ll be able to create the list of must-have features that you can get for the price you are willing to pay.
To learn more about video chat app development, get a free consultation from our specialists.