Breaking Down the Costs: How Much Does It Really Cost to Outsource a Call Center?

Breaking Down the Costs: How Much Does It Really Cost to Outsource a Call Center?

Outsourcing a call center can be a game-changer for many businesses, offering a blend of cost efficiency and improved customer service. However, understanding the true cost of outsourcing is crucial to making an informed decision. In this blog post, we will break down the various factors that contribute to the cost of outsourcing a call center , helping you to grasp what you’re paying for and why.

1. Labor Costs

Labor costs are often the most significant component of call center outsourcing expenses. The cost of labor varies significantly depending on the location of the outsourced service. For instance, outsourcing to countries like the Philippines or India is generally less expensive compared to the United States or Western Europe due to lower wages in these regions. This cost typically includes salaries, benefits, and any additional compensation for employees.

2. Infrastructure and Technology

The infrastructure and technology costs associated with running a call center can be substantial. When you outsource, you often benefit from the existing infrastructure of the service provider, which can include office space, computers, telephony systems, and internet connectivity. Additionally, technology costs encompass customer relationship management (CRM) software, call recording systems, and other essential tools that facilitate smooth operations. These costs are usually factored into the overall pricing offered by the service provider.

3. Training and Development

Training is a critical aspect of maintaining high-quality customer service. Outsourced call centers invest in training their agents to handle your specific business needs effectively. This includes initial training and ongoing development programs to ensure agents are up-to-date with the latest product knowledge, customer service techniques, and industry regulations. Training costs are often included in the service package but can vary depending on the complexity of your business requirements.

4. Operational Costs

Operational costs cover a wide range of expenses necessary for day-to-day call center operations. This includes utilities, office supplies, maintenance, and administrative support. Outsourcing can help you avoid these direct costs, as the service provider typically absorbs them. However, these costs are reflected in the pricing model offered to you.

5. Pricing Models

Call center outsourcing providers typically offer various pricing models, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

♦Per-Minute Pricing: You are charged based on the number of minutes agents spend on calls. This model is flexible and can be cost-effective for businesses with fluctuating call volumes.

♦Per-Call Pricing: You pay a fixed rate for each call handled. This model is straightforward and works well if you have a predictable call volume.

♦Per-Agent Pricing: You pay a fixed monthly fee per agent. This model is ideal for businesses with consistent call volumes and the need for dedicated agents.

6. Hidden Costs

While most costs are transparent, it’s important to be aware of potential hidden costs. These can include setup fees, costs for additional services (such as after-hours support or multi-language services), and penalties for exceeding call volume limits. It’s crucial to have a clear contract that outlines all potential costs to avoid surprises.

7. Quality Assurance and Monitoring

Ensuring high-quality customer service is vital, and outsourced call centers invest in quality assurance measures. This includes monitoring calls, providing feedback to agents, and maintaining performance metrics. The costs associated with quality assurance are typically included in the overall pricing but are essential to consider when evaluating the total cost of outsourcing.


Outsourcing a call center involves various costs, each contributing to the overall expense. By understanding these factors—labor, infrastructure, training, operational costs, pricing models, hidden costs, and quality assurance—you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business needs and budget. While outsourcing can provide significant cost savings and efficiency improvements, it’s crucial to choose a reputable provider and have a clear agreement to ensure you get the best value for your investment.