By Nathan Teahon, Strategic Account Director
Several variables come into play concerning outbound call center pricing. Let me start by saying that pricing isn’t a ‘one price fits all’ solution. However, it’s a prevalent scenario for people to jump to price first when considering outbound telemarketing. Literally, the first question is generally “what is the cost?”. Understanding how the cost is determined is important.
It’s an entirely fair question, but there should not be a blanket response to that answer; if there is, you might want to consider the quality you might be getting.
Here are five of the most common variables to understand with outbound call center pricing to further elaborate on outbound call center pricing components.
Volume Impact of Outbound Call Center Pricing
A component of outbound call center pricing is the volume of work. Is the program going to be sporadic, or will it be consistent? A volume-based pricing model should not be a surprise; almost every service or product you buy is less expensive than the more you buy. It’s no different with outbound call center pricing. While no two programs are the same, it takes a disproportionate amount of management and programming resources to launch any new campaign.
It’s much more difficult to justify a price break if the campaign is overly small, and many outsourced call centers will require a minimum of hours or FTE’s to agree to take on the work altogether. The larger the campaign, the more likely a volume-based price break becomes plausible.
Complexity in Technology Requirements of Outbound Call Center Pricing
Again, no two campaigns are the same. If a calling campaign consists of nothing more than a text script and not any data collection, a call center can program and launch in their sleep. However, that type of campaign is increasingly rare.
More often, campaigns have an array of technical requirements. This could include real-time data transfer, API integrations, use and setup of multiple client systems, and the varying degree of security requirements needed given the program’s industry’s nature, and more. All of these variables are taken into consideration when determining outbound call center pricing.
Complexity in Type of Call in an Outbound Call Center
I referenced an informational campaign with nothing more than a text script without data capture in the section above. An informative type of campaign that could fit into that mold is not only easy to set up; it is also easier to execute from an agent perspective. As a result, you don’t need a highly skilled agent. Higher-skilled agents cost more than lower-skilled agents.
The quality of the agent is crucial to the success of any campaign. If you have a complicated sales campaign or need an agent with highly technical skills, as just two examples, you will need agents that are highly qualified in those areas. If ever there was an area that I would be happier to pay higher rates for, it is the agents’ quality. It will make or break a calling campaign.
Bilingual agents in an Outbound Call Center
This dovetails off the previous point. Bilingual agents can be really valuable depending on the type of and area you call. As a result, it is not uncommon to see higher rates for bilingual services. (I wish I would have taken Spanish more seriously in school.)
Like other factors that help determine outbound call center pricing, this can depend. There are options to offshore bilingual needs and get a less expensive rate by doing so. Offshoring is an option, though some clients require the work to stay domestic. In either case, I refer to the previous section about quality. It’s essential to judge the quality of agents before making a decision. My advice is always to pay more for higher quality agents because the ending ROI will be much better. If you have an opportunity to pay a dramatically reduced rate, ask why and then do your homework.
Location of an Outbound Call Center
The location of the call center is always a variable that affects outbound call center pricing. Some states have a higher cost of living, and as a result, they have to pay their agents a higher wage. As the country’s landscape continues to change, the minimum wage is a moving target on a state by state basis, which will affect pricing.
We’ve talked about quality, and in some areas, call centers may be in a saturated market and need to pay higher to attract and retain employees. I could continue to lay out all of the varying factors related to location, but you get the idea.
As I’ve laid out, many factors are evaluated in determining outbound call center pricing. Rarely is it a cookie-cutter process, but keeping these variables in mind makes it easier to navigate the process.
Quality Contact Solutions is dedicated to being your go-to telemarketing services company for high-quality B2B and B2C contacts. We provide outsourced telemarketing and inbound call center services, working on a per job, per hour, or pay for performance basis. QCS supports clients in many industries using a footprint of 15 call center locations located throughout the U.S. In business since 2007, QCS specializes in programs where a sales competency is critical for success.
Nathan Teahon is a Strategic Account Director for Quality Contact Solutions. Nathan is responsible for ensuring client success for one of QCS’s largest clients and for overseeing the QCS At Home management team. Prior to Quality Contact Solutions, Nathan worked for a Top 50 Call Center company based in the Midwest. Nathan’s experience has run the gamut with stints as Supervisor, Quality Assurance, Program Management, Account Management, and also as a Call Center Manager. His diversity of call center experience lends itself well to support a wide variety of clients and their unique requirements. Nathan Teahon co-authored an online course for The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) called Teleservices.