Nothing is more crucial to running an effective customer support system than managing rates and pricing. Without timely paychecks and worthwhile incentive systems for exceptional workers, employee motivation drops rapidly, and subsequently, call center attrition increases. Before establishing or revamping your call center, you first have to consider your pricing model and the functions of your call center. Your call center pricing model, rates, and the roles of different call center departments are all interrelated—it’s important to break down the various aspects of running a call center to determine pricing. Not all companies use the same call centers, nor do they all need every service. Ready to build your call center from the ground up, or look at different ways to restructure your call center? Learn the different factors that determine call center rates and pricing here.
Types of Call Centers & Contact CentersBefore even considering pricing, you must decide what type of communication you need with your customers, and how to best execute those specific communication modes. Ask yourself these questions to get started:
- How do you want the customer to reach you?
- Can a centralized call center staff effectively handle all inquiries?
- Do you need services other than customer support?
In-House Call Centers versus Outsourced Call CentersThe debate between in-house and outsourced call centers is widespread for companies as they grow. An in-house call center is managed by a company’s employees, which means there is a dedicated team of internal employees directly answering customer calls. Outsourced call centers are run by a separate company from the one needing call services. Outsourcing can be used for one department, people in specific locations, or company-wide. As businesses develop, their needs diversify, and roles become specialized to maximize efficiency. Many laws, regulations, and employment practices in the United States set strict standards for businesses to withhold. Due to this, many companies choose to outsource their call center. In general, outsourcing is less expensive than hiring an in-house team, regardless of where you live. In-house teams are manageable for small or local businesses, but they should also develop other communication channels to alleviate some of the burden from their call center functions.
Multichannel Contact Centers versus Omnichannel Contact CentersThe next step up from running a call center is a contact center. Contact centers are a dedicated team of outsourced or in-house employees that manage multiple consumer and client communication types—not just calls and voicemails. What’s unique about a contact center is they also handle email, web chat, social media, and SMS communication—and use customer relationship management (CRM) tools and customer satisfaction and engagement analytics software to resolve customer concerns. Regardless of the type of contact center (multichannel contact center or omnichannel contact center), all contact centers handle inbound and outbound voice calls. The primary difference between the two contact centers is that omnichannel contact centers use cloud-based software and other comprehensive software tools to process customer inquiries. With cloud-based software at their fingertips, omnichannel contact centers can quickly process and display customer information to their employees, understanding the customer’s history, previous issues, and background. On the topic of streamlining, omnichannel contact centers save on costs over multichannel contact centers by optimizing and emphasizing key performance indicators (KPI).
Outbound Services versus Inbound ServicesLastly, when deciding which call center is the right option for your business, consider what call center services are necessary. All outsource call centers break down their services into two categories: outbound and inbound. Outbound services center around lead generation through information gathering and client management. Surveying, up-selling, cross-selling, telemarketing, and customer loyalty programs are some of the many things you can do with an outbound-focused call center. On the other hand, inbound services are meant to cut down on call volume by directly answering customer calls about products, orders, service quality, and additional technical support. Help desks, customer service, order taking, and answering services are some of the most common inbound call center functions. Many companies outsource call centers to handle both inbound and outbound communications. However, the same team shouldn’t be managing both services, and agents should only work within one department to maximize efficiency.
11 Factors That Influence How Much a Call Center Costs
1 . LocationThe location of a call center is the most significant factor in determining how expensive it is to manage. Workers in the United States, Australia, and Western Europe have a higher standard of living, a better education, and more of a grasp of English communications. However, due to this, it is more expensive to run a call center in those places. Outsourced call centers are the cheapest in India, Pakistan, Latin America, and Asia (more specifically, the Philippines), where English is taught to a proficient level at schools. Call center pricing models are frequently dependent on location:
- Onshore call centers cost about $20–$30 hourly per agent.
- Nearshore call centers cost about $10–$20 hourly per agent.
- Offshore call centers cost about $6–$14 hourly per agent.