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Article : A Quick Guide to Comparing In-House Vs. Outsourced Contact Center Costs

If you’re already managing an in-house call center, you know that navigating the natural peaks and valleys of call volume presents a complex challenge when calculating call center costs. You know that the ratios and formulas are multifaceted, which can make a direct comparison between in-house and outsourcing a little difficult.

This blog post isn’t going to address the indirect costs of taking your eye off of your core business in order to run an in-house call center - that’s a discussion for another day. But when you need to present a business case complete with outsourced contact center costs, you need to break down the numbers in a way that makes sense. Below, we look at the multiple factors that go into the call center cost comparison.


Productive vs. Non-Productive Agent Time

In addition to investing in agent recruiting when you staff and train an in-house team, you’re paying for every minute of the time they’re there. From the moment they enter the office, their time is spent settling in for the day, taking calls, taking breaks, engaging in training and coaching activities, as well as the time spent in ready waiting during lulls in arrival patterns. Each minute affects your bottom line.

In sharp contrast, when you outsource your call center, you’ll only be paying for productive agent time. Typically, you can project an estimated 85% productivity rate, so instead of paying 100% of your agent’s work hour, you can cut those hourly costs by about 15%. That represents significant savings right out of the gate.


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Management of Call Center Agents

When staffing your in-house call center, you’ll also have to hire front line supervisors or coaches as well as program managers for the team. In doing so, you’ve just added yet another line to your call center budget.

In contrast, when you outsource your call center, program management costs (including those frontline supervisors) should be automatically included in the agent rate. (If your vendor doesn’t include program management in your per minute or per hour rate, we should talk…)


Call Center Reporting

Every successful call center needs to keep a painstakingly close eye on quality assurance. The metrics produce an abundance of data, and include factors like first-call resolution, response times, average handling time, customer satisfaction, service level, net promoter scores, and more.

A great call center reporting team will go beyond the gathering of data to offering value-added analysis that supports your decision-making. Every call center needs information management professionals supported by appropriate tools and technology to fully leverage the data you absorb daily. Add at least two more budget lines to your in-house call center here. On the other hand, when you consider outsourcing your call center, this cost is usually already tied into the agent rate.


Call Center Infrastructure

With in-house call centers, you’re on the hook for every component of the supporting infrastructure. These overhead costs include your facilities, telephony, workstations, and more; not to mention any IT staff you’ll need to hire to provide tech support.

This is a cost that isn’t going to go away - every three to five years, you’re going to start thinking about upgrading. Ask your tech team: major systems upgrades are expensive - both in terms of direct expense and the time and focus of your internal tech resources.

Once again, in an outsourced arrangement, the hard and soft costs of systems, maintenance, and upgrades are going to be carried by your call center partner.


Call Center HR Support

When considering your in-house call center overhead costs, don’t forget the foundational expense of recruiting, payroll and taxes, and benefits management. Additionally, these costs can fluctuate depending on your turnover rate. And of course, the HR staff themselves need to be factored into your calculations.

As with all the above factors, HR expenses are by default included in your outsourced per minute or fixed rate.


Other Factors

Finally, there are a number of advantages you’ll gain from outsourcing that will add further value to your investment, which may not be realized through in-house efforts. These factors result in both reduced FTE and increased potential for overall call center success. They include:

  • Cutting-edge call center technology for efficient call distribution
  • Cross-training to maximize staffing for peaks and valleys of call volume
  • Shared pool options for lower volume hours of operation
  • Deep expertise in forecasting for maximized efficiency
  • Risk mitigation in the management of both human and technology resources

 

Outsourced Contact Center Costs

 

Your Bottom Line

Though this is an abbreviated guide, it should give you a good idea of how all your costs break down so you’re not left trying to compare apples to oranges. At Blue Ocean, we know that calculating call center costs can be a big headache.


About Andrew O'Brien:
Andrew O’Brien is a results-driven strategic thinker. In his 15+ years with Blue Ocean, Andrew has been instrumental in creating strategic solutions that build loyalty and help drive revenue for clients with complex support requirements. Under Andrew’s watch, the operational culture of Blue Ocean is one of constant striving for even greater efficiency, for dynamic innovation, and for the relentless pursuit of best-in-class performance.

About Blue Ocean Contact Centers:
Company LogoWe thrive on delivering critical customer service solutions that go beyond transactional interactions. As such, our goal is to enhance lifetime customer value, providing support that is a reflection of your brand promise, even in high-pressure, complex customer service scenarios.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Disability Laws

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2023 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

 
1.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.

2.) 
Happitu

Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!

3.) 
Knowmax

Knowmax
Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.

4.) 
LiveAgent

LiveAgent Help Desk
LiveAgent is a cloud-based Help Desk Software with over 195+ compatible integrations. Streamline all customer communication channels and manage them from a single shared company inbox. Enjoy social media integration, unlimited ticket history, call recordings, hybrid ticket streams, and more. Companies like BMW, Yamaha, Huawei, Orange, or Forbesfone use LiveAgent to deliver customer wow to 150M end-users worldwide.

5.) 
Nuxiba Technologies

CenterWare
Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!

6.) 
OneDesk

OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.

7.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.
 

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