Call Center Operations: Outsourcing vs Insourcing

Smiling Woman Working in a Call Center

When running a business, figuring out what to outsource and what to do in-house is a common challenge. As it stands? The answer is pretty straightforward.

Outsourcing vs insourcing boils down to the unique needs of your business. What works for one company may not work for another, after all. While you may be worried about the effectiveness of outsourcing, there’s more than enough data to support the change. If you need a good place to start, the global outsourcing industry reached $92.5 billion back in 2019.

Should you choose outsourcing vs insourcing call centers for your business model? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of each call center so you can make the right decision.

Are Call Centers a Good Business Strategy?

It’s understandable to be wary of jumping straight into a new business strategy. With so much money and time on the line, you want to make sure you’re on the right track.

As it stands, call centers are a reliable business resource for several reasons. The most apparent function of a call center is to reduce the amount of stress needed to run your business. Do you receive a lot of technical support requests? How about questions concerning customer accounts or new deals?

One way or another, call centers will take a massive load off your company’s shoulders. The real question is which call center is best suited to your business model. While some brands do a lot of outreach, others may instead have a lot of inbound calls.

Related: Why Inbound Contact Center Services Are a Good Fit for the Finance Industry

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing a Call Center?

Outsourcing a call center allows you to streamline your administrative and technical support tasks. If you don’t have the space or budget for an in-house call center, this is your solution.

Streamline Your Productivity

Do you have limited time for training or allocating office space? Outsourcing a call center streamlines your productivity so you can enjoy benefits much faster. 

An existing call center has trained staff, office space, and a business model. 

Scaling Has Never Been Easier

Scaling your business is challenging, particularly if you’re starting out. Outsourcing call centers are highly flexible for scaling, expanding, and adapting.

Call centers can widen or narrow their scope depending on your current needs. If there are features that don’t suit you? Simply opt out when signing up for a service.

Enjoy Specialized Staff

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none? Specialized staff will better address your pain points than inexperienced employees with too many roles.

The trained staff of an outsourced call center have years of collective experience answering calls, connecting with leads, and soothing concerns. 

Only Get What You Pay For

If you’re worried about potentially losing money to non-call center activities, this option is the best. Outsourced call centers work on a strict timeline and only give you what you paid for.

If you want twenty hours per week dedicated to your outbound outreach campaign, that’s what you’ll get. If you’re more interested in fifteen hours per week following up with inbound leads, you can do that, too.

Related: Common Misconceptions Publishers Have About the Opportunities From Lead Generation

What are the Downsides of an Outsourced Call Center?

If only call centers could be flawless! There are a few downsides to the outsourced call center you should be aware of. 

Reduced Control

If you’re the kind of business owner that prefers to have a say in how everything is run, consider a second option. Outsourced call centers have their own way of doing things that may clash with your business model.

You may find yourself frustrated if you can’t have a say in quality assurance or who gets hired to help you.

Woman Wearing a Black Headphones
Woman Wearing a Black Headphones

What are the Benefits of Insourcing a Call Center?

Let’s be honest: it’s convenient to have all of your resources in one tidy place. The benefits of insourcing a call center are already apparent here. 

Improved Control All-Around

When you establish your own call center, you ensure that it’s designed to fit your needs 100% of the time. You’ll be able to control elements such as payroll, quality assurance, and hiring.

Insourcing your call center also saves you the time to research the plethora of outsourced call center options. 

Fewer Middlemen to Complicate the Process

Here’s another saying: ‘too many cooks spoil the broth. If your business already outsources to freelancers or other studios, you might be hesitant to work with an outsourced call center.

Too much outsourcing is tricky at the best of times. If you have to keep track of different business models and security compliance, you can end up adding more stress in the long run.

What are the Downsides to Insourcing a Call Center?

Insourcing a call center gives you a level of control you won’t be able to get with an outsourced call center. That said, this option is not all sunshine and roses. 

Insourced Call Centers are Pricier

The insourced call center is likely priced out of your options list if you’re on a tight budget. The sheer volume of prep work and training needed to create one makes this choice an expensive one.

Just a few of the details you need to consider paying for with an insourced call center include:

  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Training
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Rent
  • Fees

High Amounts of Maintenance 

As touched on above, insourced call centers have a high volume of maintenance. All processes need to be moving smoothly to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Do you have the experience and the organizational skills to oversee an extra team? Are you ready to handle ongoing maintenance, data analytics, and employee turnover? If you’re unsure about this, it’s best to consider an outsourced model. 

Related: Closing the Healthcare Communication Gap

No business has the exact same way of doing things. We’re proud to offer a one-on-one approach to getting to the bottom of your pain points and finding solutions.

How do General Call Center Operations Charge?

The function of a call center is to make your business run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It’s unsurprising that call centers have such flexible payment models!

Hourly Rates

The most common payment model for call centers is the hourly rate. Specialized call center agents have rates ranging from $20 to $50 per hour, though this number can still get higher.

Contract Model

If you’re thinking of accommodating a strict budget, consider a contract model. This choice should only be done for a business you trust.

Read your contracts very carefully and ask questions.

Monthly Flat Rate

Some call centers offer a flat rate per month. This is an ideal choice for businesses on a tight budget, as well as any company just starting out. 

How Do I Charge for In-House Call Center Operations?

You might have already guessed by now that the cost for in-house call center operations is higher than outsourcing. This is because you have much more responsibility on your plate.

When you pay a specialized agent at an outsourced call center, you can pay between $20 to $50 per hour. This number may be smaller if you hire an offshore outsourcing center, which we’ll explore more below.

Compare these numbers to an in-house call center, which needs to be two or three times the amount you’d pay an outsourced worker. This higher wage also accommodates day-to-day necessities such as:

  • Supervision
  • Management
  • HR
  • Hardware and software updates
  • Training

The Reduced Cost of Offshore Outsourcing

Do you want to save even more money outsourcing your marketing or sales team? Consider offshore outsourcing when scaling in 2022.

The lower cost of living in different countries makes offshore outsourcing a win-win scenario. Not only are you giving workers consistent business, but you’re also saving money on everyday business costs. Below is a general overview of the average yearly salary of call center workers in different countries:

The Philippines

The cost of living in the Philippines is much lower compared to the United States or Canada. Expect to pay between $5,000 to $7,000 a year per call center worker.

India

Indian call centers are a popular option around the world. Expect to pay between $7,000 to $12,000 a year per worker.

The UK

While British call centers are more expensive than many South American or Asian options, they’re still fairly affordable. Expect to pay between $20,000 to $27,000 a year per call center worker.

Woman Holding Cellphone Smiling
Woman Holding Cellphone Smiling

The Myth of Cheaper Work-From-Home Call Centers

The increase in work-from-home options has created a myth that you can save money with this method. The truth of the matter is a little different.

Are You Hiring Freelance or Traditional Employees?

Freelancers are a flexible talent pool that allows you to tap into different skill sets on the fly. The downside to working with freelancers is the increased oversight.

If you hire a freelancer, they may not have all the equipment and training needed to complete the job. A long-term traditional employee will save you money in the long run. Keep in mind neither of these options is better or worse: just different. 

There is High Demand for Efficient Work-From-Home Call Centers

It’s a job hunter’s market for work-from-home call centers. This fact gives workers an edge when choosing which business to work with.

When considering work-from-home call center solutions, make sure you bring a competitive edge. Onboarding programs, benefits packages, and strong pay will increase the chances of people working with you. If you don’t have the budget, consider offshore outsourcing instead.

You Still Need to Buy New Technology and Train New People

Simply hiring someone to work on your sales campaign from home doesn’t mean you have nothing to pay for. You’ll still need to invest in new programs, equipment, and training for your workers.

Work-from-home call centers are not a crockpot with a ‘set it and forget it mentality. You need to invest in your workers or you won’t get much return.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Call Centers

The pandemic has thrown several monkey wrenches into traditional business practices. You need to consider the safety of your employees when choosing an option.

On-site call centers need to be retrofitted to be compliant with COVID-19 safety guidelines. A few places you can get started include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Mandated masks are worn inside the building and on the premises
  • Improved ventilation
  • Weekly testing
  • Reduced physical capacity inside the building
  • Paid sick leave to discourage outbreaks

If you’re unable to change the layout and function of your on-site center, you may be better off implementing work-from-home options. 

Conclusion

Outsourcing vs insourcing is a matter of taste. Both options have a flurry of benefits that could suit your business model closely.

Outsourcing is the more affordable of the two options, giving you the ability to shave down business costs quickly. You don’t need much oversight for your outsourced call center and can instead focus on what you do best. The downside to this option is reduced control, which can be a frustrating option for experienced business owners.

Insourcing your call center operation gives you increased control over day-to-day administration. You also have the ability to fine-tune your call center to be exclusive to your needs. The downside to this choice is the higher operating costs.
Does your inbound or outbound sales campaign need a boost? Contact us today to enjoy a streamlined B2B marketing process.

Last Updated on August 24, 2022 by Ronen Ben-Dror

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