Inbound and outbound call interactions are foundational aspects of just about any business. Many companies, recognizing the importance of call centers, must decide whether to invest in an in-house call center or outsource their call center needs.
If you’re in this position, this article will help you understand call center pricing, the difference between in-house and outsourced call center costs, and your affordable call center options.
Understanding Outsourced Call Center Costs
When considering the costs of outsourcing your call center, you should understand the factors that impact pricing.
Call center pricing is often determined by the following:
- Geographical location
- Service levels and offerings
- Hours of operation
- Complexity/specialty of support provided
Other potential factors include the volume of calls and the level of skill set required from a call center agent.
Average Outsourced Call Center Pricing in 2023
In 2023, call center pricing varies heavily depending on the factors listed above, like the type of call center and its location. U.S.-based call centers have an average hourly rate of $20–$30, while off-shore call centers can be as low as $6.
When you’re considering the cost per call, keep in mind that these aren’t fixed numbers. Costs per call generally depend on the following:
- Call volume
- Call duration
- Staffing requirements
Every call center’s pricing system and other factors influence how much it charges customers.
In-House vs. Outsourced Call Center Costs: Quick Summary
You may wonder whether investing in an in-house call center or paying to outsource calls is more worthwhile. While investing in an in-house call center may be worthwhile for your business, it requires much time and money.
First, you’ll be responsible for the annual wages of your call center agents. Whether they’re salaried or paid hourly, you’ll be responsible for providing their wages. Additionally, you may need to pay for health insurance and benefits, which will cost an additional percentage of your salary.
You’ll need to recruit candidates before you even have call center agents. Recruitment costs include job postings, screening for qualified candidates, and the interview process itself.
You’ll also need to invest in a team of managers and trainers who can oversee your call center and provide resources, ongoing training, and development. Finally, there are the overhead, hardware, and software costs — office space, workstations, phone systems, internet connectivity, and customer service software.
When weighing these costs against outsourcing your call center, it becomes clear that there are potential savings, especially when you consider the possibility of employee turnover and attrition. Outsourcing eliminates the need to hire and manage in-house staff, invest in infrastructure, or pay out benefits.
Local and Domestic Outsourced Call Centers
When you first start exploring your call center options, domestic call centers might seem more expensive than off-shore ones. As such, you may feel inclined to work with an off-shore center.
However, there are several benefits to keeping your call center operations on U.S. soil, including:
- Language and cultural understanding: Domestic call center agents who are native English speakers typically have higher quality interactions with customers, in turn leading to higher customer satisfaction.
- Same time zones: When you work with domestic call centers, the time zones are the same, meaning your agents will be available during optimal customer hours.
- Local regulations: Domestic call centers typically have a greater knowledge of local regulations, which can help your company maintain compliance.
Off-shore call centers also have lower labor costs due to lower living costs in their respective locations.
But while off-shore call centers offer significant cost savings, they’re not without their drawbacks. As a business, you must prioritize customer interactions in order to increase customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and, ultimately, company revenue.
Making the Right Choice for Your Business
While evaluating how much it would cost to outsource your call center, you’ll quickly realize that domestic and off-shore options have unique advantages and disadvantages.
To make the right choice, you should consider your company’s unique needs, objectives, and budget to determine the best option.
Some elements to consider include the quality of service desired, scalability (whether the call center can increase or decrease volume as the market demands), data security and compliance, and integrations with your existing CRM systems.
Ultimately, the decision to outsource your call center should be based on a careful and thorough analysis of your operational needs. By thoroughly evaluating call center pricing in 2023, you can make a knowledgeable decision about which option best suits your company’s unique requirements and budget.