Outsourcing Costs | Call Center Pricing

Many of the questions asked by our new clients revolve around one topic – “prices”.  Call center pricing might be the single most important factor in the whole outsourcing process. There are many variables involved in outsourcing costs including: skill levels, type of work, location, and duration of the application.  Here are some general guidelines to call center prices in our industry:

1.) Inbound

Inbound call center services tend to be priced in three main ways:

  • Shared – “Shared Inbound” is defined as services in which a pool of agents answer calls for 1-3 dozen clients.  The client then pays only for the time used on a per minute basis.   These rates range from $.35-$.45/minute at low cost international agencies to $.75-$.90/minute in the US/Canada. Shared Services are ideal for applications with wild volume swings or low overall activity.
  • Dedicated – This type of service involves a dedicated group of agents that handle calls exclusively for one client.  Our call centers typically price this service on a per hour basis.  These rates range from $8-$15 internationally to $22-$28 in the US/Canada for “normal” agents. Dedicated Services are ideal for complicated applications or when volume is significant and predictable.
  • Monthly – This type of call center pricing is basically a subset of “dedicated”…simply compiled into a monthly rate instead of an hourly rate.  Many low cost international call centers offer this type of pricing.  However, it is rare to find it in North America or Europe.

2.) Outbound

Outbound call center services are typically priced as follows:

  • Hourly – This is the “normal” call center price structure for outbound sales, lead generation and appointment setting.  In general, rates vary based on the location of the agency.  Smaller agencies in India or The Philippines normally charge from $6-$10 per hour.  Furthermore, call centers in Eastern Europe or Latin America normally feature rates from $9-$14/hour.  Finally, call centers in mature western countries (like the US, UK, Germany & Canada) typically charge $22-$32.   Very specialized, high level agencies in these countries can occasionally be hired for $35-$50 per hour.
  • Commission – On certain sales or lead generation applications, a full commission structure makes sense for both parties involved.  The amount of commission is completely dependent on the situation.   However the amount earned per hour by the call center should provide at least a 10% to 20% premium over their normal hourly rates to account for the additional risk to the call center.
  • Hourly + Commission – This might actually be our favorite call center pricing structure for sales programs. Just like you pay an internal salesperson in this manner, a combination structure provides that both parties have “skin in the game” and often works quite well to maximize performance. 

3.) Location

The single largest outsourcing cost variable is location.  Therefore, selecting a call center located in the US or Europe versus India or Latin America will have a huge impact on costs.  Here is a general guideline to outsourcing costs by geographic location:

Ready to get a customized call center proposal for your application or campaign?  Call today to allow us to analyze your needs, discuss the options, and introduce you to the best 4-5 agencies for your situation.


WCC = Your Call Center Pricing Experts!