Choosing to outsource to one of the best call centers is a wise decision as it lets you focus on the core activities of your organization. Call centers and customer services outsourcing is a beneficial trend among big and small companies in recent years.
Although partnering with an external call center is a cost-efficient solution, the outsourced call center cost is an essential factor to consider. This article will discuss the costs of outsourcing a call center, the factors that affect the price, and other information to help you make an informed decision.
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How Much Does It Cost To Outsource a Call Center: A Brief Estimate
Outsourcing companies can sometimes package their costs in ways that are not clear to the businesses. To better understand the outsourcing costs, assume that you have decided to work with a conventional larger outsourcer to staff five full-time support agents.
According to Chatdesk, this is an accurate breakdown of the costs:
- Management fees - between $500 and $2,000. This is the fee you must pay to start the process and includes a background check and other clerical set-up fees.
- Service cost per agent - between $150 and $400 per month. Some outsourcing providers will charge a service fee of $30-$80 per month per agent, irrespective of the call volume.
- Agent salary - between $12,000 and $14,000 per month. The amount will be exclusive of peak seasons and overtime during holidays, typically increasing costs. Each agent might cost you $2,400 to $2,800, assuming he gets paid $13-$18 per hour and works 40 hours per week.
Other costs will add up to this amount, including languages, support channels, and call center reporting. With this estimate, the cost of outsourcing your call center for the first month will be around $1,300 to $1,700.
For more details, make sure to check out our complete list of the top outsourced customer support companies.
Six Factors Determining the Outsourced Call Center Costs
There are several factors that can affect the cost of outsourcing a call center, including:
The cost of outsourcing a call center can vary depending on the location of the service provider. For example, outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs, such as India, the Philippines, or Mexico, is usually cheaper than outsourcing to countries such as the United States or Canada.
2. Labor Costs
Labor costs can vary greatly depending on the skill level and experience of the agents. As expected, higher-skilled agents with specialized knowledge or language proficiency typically cost more than lower-skilled agents. Additionally, labor laws, taxes, and benefits can also affect the overall cost.
3. Infrastructure Costs
The infrastructure required for a call center, including hardware, software, and telecommunications, also affects the cost of outsourcing. Some outsourcing providers may already have the necessary infrastructure in place, while others may require additional investment on your end.
The technology cost can also impact the overall cost of outsourcing. Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots can improve efficiency and reduce labor costs, but it requires a hefty investment.
Some outsourcing providers may charge a premium for flexibility and the ability to quickly ramp up or down as needed. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to pay more for the chance to scale the call center up or down as needed.
6. Quality Assurance & Management
The cost of quality assurance, including monitoring and training agents, can also impact the overall cost of outsourcing. Moreover, the level of management and oversight required also adds up to the overall price. A more hands-on approach may require additional resources and increase the overall cost.
Three Typical Call Center Pricing Plans
When it comes to call center outsourcing pricing, it is good to be aware of the options that call centers will offer you:
This is when a pool of agents will take calls for 1-3 clients daily. This is the ideal bet for cost savings if your business has low call activities or hard-to-track fluctuations.
This is the best virtual office service because outsourced customer service agents are dedicated to working for you alone. The price is higher than the shared plan, though. In this, you are paying only per productive hour for your call center cost.
3. Monthly Flat Rate
It is challenging to find monthly flat rate-based outsourcing service providers in US and Canada, but they do exist. This is a subset of the dedicated plan where you agree to a flat rate instead of paying the service provider for their agents’ productive hours.
This can either give you many hours free from your team members or make you pay for the non-productive hours.
Things to Consider When Outsourcing Call Center Services
While outsourcing your call center and calculating costs, there are some additional points that businesses need to consider:
All customer service outsourcing companies do not offer the same benefits. Some might charge you for the extra add-ons in the form of call recording, business consultation, quality assurance, analytical programs, and managerial training.
You must also review your agreement terms with your outsourced call center and decide on what additional services you would like to seek. Sometimes, an all-inclusive package is a more cost-effective option. However, spending time custom-fitting a plan for call center services with modular components might sometimes yield a higher return on your investment.
Another essential thing to keep in mind while collaborating with an IVR contact center or outsourced call center is to read the contract carefully. In the case of big companies, modifying the agreement can bring about heavy fees and penalties.
Reviewing the contract from time to time is necessary because you might be stuck with a service that is either too much or too little for your existing operations. Minimum charges, hidden costs, confusing wording, and quotas often cost more than you realize.
Outsourced Call Center Costs Takeaways
While calculating your outsourcing call center costs, remember that losing connection with your customers is the highest price. This affects customer satisfaction.
Using a reliable outsourcer for your customer experience establishes a direct line of communication without compromising the focus on your core activities. Therefore, all you need to do is find the best call center outsourcing provider and discuss the pricing plans beforehand so that you don’t go over your budget.
Outsourced Call Center Costs FAQs
1. What is a good cost per call in a call center?
In general, a good cost per call in a call center is one that is sustainable and profitable for the business while also providing high-quality customer service. It is important to strike a balance between cost and quality, as a call center with a low cost per call may sacrifice quality, leading to dissatisfied customers and lost business. On the other hand, a call center with a high cost per call may not be financially sustainable for the business in the long term.
2. How many calls does a call center agent take per day?
Usually, call center agents can handle anywhere from 30 to 50 calls per day, although some call centers may require agents to handle more or fewer calls.