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How Much Does Call Center Outsourcing Cost?

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Call Center Outsourcing Prices

Call center outsourcing is a growing trend among businesses of all sizes. By some estimates, 20 percent of companies outsource part of their customer communications. It's a great cost saver.

Outsourcing is a cost savings option for selling goods and services, providing customer support, or assisting with technical or service problems. But, today's call center services manage far more than just voice communication. They're equipped to handle live chats, email communications, and all of the ways you interact with clients.

If you decide to outsource, choosing the right company is crucial. A customer's interaction with your call center service will shape their attitudes about your company. It's not a choice that should be taken lightly.

Call Center Outsourcing Average Costs

If you don't already have a call center, establishing one requires a major investment. You'll need to hire staff, buy computers and software, purchase or lease space, and pay for employee training. Then, there are the ongoing costs of call center operations.

Outsourcing is a far less expensive option, particularly for small- and mid-sized companies with fewer resources. Generally, call center outsourcing runs $25 to $65 per hour for each representative. The price varies so widely because it depends on the level of knowledge or skill you require from representatives. If you're looking for tech support that requires knowledge of complex computer systems and software, expect to pay on the high end of that range. If you're simply looking for someone to take orders or process applications, the low end of that range will cover it.

Let's say you're looking for three call center representatives to make sales calls Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. At an estimated cost of $30 per hour, that will run you a total of $1,350 per week. If you're looking for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. customer support seven days a week, plan on paying $1,680 per week for each representative at that same estimated cost of $30 per hour.

Benefits of a Live-Agent Business Answering Service

With a business answering service, a small business is able to offer outstanding customer support that handles every call with efficiency, tact, and care. These services are highly cost-effective for organizations that lack either the need for full-time administrative staff or the wherewithal to employ one.

Most of these services treat the businesses they support as their own. This is because once a business owner hires the service, that service becomes part of the business' in-house team.

The agent or agents develop familiarity with the business, so its customers receive excellent, knowledgeable service. They also have the ability to respond to and address minor, common complaints, reducing the number of issues that escalate up the chain of command.

Points to Consider Before Hiring Live-Agent Business Answering Service

  • Capacity: Small business owners must determine the capacity these services can handle. In other words, the number of calls the live-agent business answering service can handle in a day should coincide with the number of calls that the business expects to receive
  • Bilingual customer support: If you serve a diverse clientele, you need a service that offers adequate support.
  • 24/7 customer support: The service should be offered around the clock, with someone on duty to communicate with customers at all times. This allows the customer to call whenever they desire, which helps increase customer satisfaction.
  • The services offered: Whether you want the live agent to provide informative services or to host a complaint panel, you need a team capable of handling your needs.

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Sample Prices of Live-Agent Business Answering Service

Different services offer different packages, which affects price. In addition, some rates are based on the number of answering services provided, whereas some business answering services charge for a certain amount of time used. Some common price ranges include:

  • Daily rates for short-term contracts range between $2 and $5 per day
  • Monthly rates range between $200 and $400
  • Services that charge by the number of customers or sales generated each month charge between $5,000 and $6,000 per month
  • Services that charge a per minute rate typically offer packages of minutes, such as 100 minutes for $250

You can get these plans in varying levels of minutes, at varying prices:

  • 50 minutes averages $150 per month
  • 100 minutes averages $200 per month
  • 250 minutes averages $250 per month
  • 500 minutes averages $450 per month

As you can see, rates per minute go down as the number of minutes goes up

Top 3 Reasons to Outsource Your Call Center

1. Unparalleled Customer Service

Outsourcing your telephone-based customer service means that trained experts, whose only job is customer support, handle the calls from your clients.

Offering your customers excellent support is a key factor in ensuring that, when your customers reach out for help, they get exactly what they need. Excellent customer service is how you turn an angry client into a satisfied one and how you take advantage of upsell opportunities.

2. Cost Efficiency

Outsourcing a call center is a cost-effective solution, especially for small and mid-sized businesses with fewer resources. The energy, time, and cost needed to train staff, as well as maintaining operations, costs your business both time and money. Outsourcing your call services counteracts some of this expense. In addition, while outsourcing requires minimum effort on your part, in-house call centers require full-time employees, management, benefits, training, and adequate resources.

3. Ability to Meet Rapid Expansions

Outsourced business call centers have the ability to ramp up quickly when call volumes rise due to events such as marketing campaigns or seasonal activities. They can also adjust when your business expands, such as when you plan an initiative or launch a campaign.

You need to understand that call volume rises and falls daily. A versatile representative manages these deviations with ease. Agents at these call centers work efficiently, ensuring better results for businesses.

Selecting a Call Center Outsourcing Service

There are lots of decisions to make before you settle on any one call center service company. First, decide what you want them to do. Increase sales? Resolve customer service issues? Improve customer retention? Maybe the answer is all of the above.

Request bids from several call center services, focusing on any that specialize in your industry. When the bids come in, you'll easily be able to weed out the companies that can't deliver what you're requesting.

After you've narrowed it down to a couple, sit down with the companies to talk specifics of what you need. Because the company you select is, essentially, an extension of your own you need to make sure you're on the same page. Ask to listen in on some of the company's calls to make sure the representatives are polite, professional and easy to understand. Find out exactly what kind of resources the company is devoting to your call center. And set up sales goals or customer retention benchmarks to measure progress and results. Although cost is an important consideration in selecting a call center service, be careful about trying to cut too many corners. The lowest bidder might not have the best resources to meet your needs. It's important to weigh the cost with the quality of services provided.

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