Best Call Center Services of 2019 – Review
When it comes to finding a Call Center Services comparing quotes is the key to getting a top product for the lowest price.
We’ve gathered information on the top 10 Call Centers, user reviews, buying tips, and made it easy to get the best price from companies in your area.
Are you looking to hire a call center service? If so, read on to learn about the top call center companies of 2019.
When customers want to contact a company, 74% of them use a telephone. Dialing in to connect with a company is more popular than reaching out via email, social media or website chatbox. Here’s the best companies to help you succeed.
Best Call Center Services Companies of 2019: A Review of Top Ranking Call Center Companies
We want you to be comfortable using a call center that meets your needs and delivers exceptional results.
Here is a list of the top 10 call center services providers that you can consider for 2019. They are listed in alphabetical order.
AmericCall has been a trusted choice for 75 years. It offers both outbound and inbound services. It’s a great choice for various specific industries.
Abby Connect is also an inbound/outbound service provider. They provide dedicated agents for your business that provide support 24/7/365. For those who want a call center that is always open, Abby Connect is a good option.
For companies looking for a plan that will work best for them, 1-888-GO-ANSWER provides multiple plans to suit your needs including answering services. We love that they post their pricing online so you can see exactly what they offer.
Best of all, there’s no long-term contract to sign.
Call Center Sales Pro
This call center provider offers a wide range of services including both inbound and outbound. If you are also looking for IT support and vendor management, check out Call Center Sales Pro.
Looking for a scalable solution? Call Experts will scale with your organization. You’ll get 24/7/365 service and a customizable plan.
Continental Message Solution
Continental Message Solution only offers inbound call management. Yet, with over 200 languages, you will be able to support your global customers no matter what.
Five Star Call Centers
Five Star Call Centers is well-known for excellent customer service. And it has a large list of outbound services. You can choose between shared or dedicated agents.
The great thing about Solid Cactus is that you can design a plan for your needs that fits your budget. There’s a long list of available services.
PT Infomedia Nusantara
If you’re looking for an affordable offshore option, PT Infomedia Nusantara is based in Indonesia. This call center offers data entry, inbound calls and telemarketing.
TeleDirect is a superb choice for small businesses. You can choose both inbound or outbound options. The dedicated agents provide proven excellent customer service in various languages.
What Do Call Center Companies Do?
Call center companies are used by various types of organizations to handle the call volume. Call centers are used by charities, product help desks, and online and retail companies. Do an internet search on “call center near me” and you will be amazed at the number of hits you get.
Some large companies have a dedicated call center in either the headquarters location or another location. Company employees answer the calls and are paid by the organization.
Other companies, especially smaller ones, use call center outsourcing companies to answer calls. In this case, the company pays a third-party call center company to manage their incoming calls.
Outsourced call center agents may handle calls from current or prospective clients. They can handle all sorts of inquiries such as account management, and technical support. They can also answer questions about the company’s products or services.
Often, calls are answered by an automated message that then dials the call to the first available agent via an IVR system. This maximizes efficiency and reduces wait times for the callers.
Call center companies can also be used to make outgoing calls. We’ll cover the differences between these two types of outsourcing companies next.
Inbound vs Outbound Call Centers – What The Difference?
Inbound call centers are ones that mainly receive incoming calls. They take calls on behalf of the company that hired them. The focus of inbound call centers is customer service.
Customers and prospective customers call in when they need help with a product or service. The goal of the inbound call center is customer satisfaction.
Inbound call center agents often answer questions, offer technical support, help with scheduling and respond to complaints.
Outbound call centers are completely different. They rarely take incoming calls. Instead, these agents focus on making outgoing calls.
Agents at outbound call centers call customers and prospective customers on behalf of the company they work for. Usually, that means these agents specialize in sales.
Outbound agents call customers to offer them an upgrade or a new product or service. Outbound call centers help companies with lead generation, fundraising, telemarketing, surveying and more. They may also make calls in an effort to retain customers and collect owing payments.
Call centers that make outbound calls are bound to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry. Citizens can add their phone numbers to this list if they don’t want to get solicitation calls.
Companies choose inbound or outbound call center companies depending on their needs. You also can choose to contract a call center that is based in North America or choose one that is offshore.
US Based Call Center VS Offshore – Which is Best?
There are call center companies all over the world. If you are looking for an English-language call center, you won’t have any trouble finding one offshore to save you money. (More on prices later).
There are pros and cons to using an offshore call center.
One of the best benefits of choosing an offshore call center is that the cost will be much lower. Sometimes even half of what you’d pay a US-based call center.
Also, you may be able to provide 24-hour customer support when you choose a call center that is based in another time zone.
One of the cons of offshore call centers is that there may be linguistic or cultural barriers.
The agents overseas may not be familiar with US lingo and may not be as fluent in communicating with customers. Also, as the agents are so remote, you really can’t monitor what’s happening.
Another downside is that sometimes, using an offshore call center can decrease customer satisfaction. Researchers from MIT Sloan School of Management did a study on offshore outsourcing companies.
They found that offshore providers provide a lower quality of service. As a result, customer satisfaction dropped significantly. this is likely due to the factors we’ve already mentioned.
Another con is that offshore agents will not go through the same stringent background checks as US agents. That means that your sensitive information may not be as safe.
Most Important Considerations When Choosing a Call Center Service
Before you hire a particular call center company, there are a few things you need to take into account.
First, consider the experience a call center service has. Not just in terms of years in business but also in the industry you work in.
For example, if your company is an aerospace parts manufacturer, you want to ensure that the call center has experience working with technical specs and parts.
If a call service doesn’t have experience in your industry, you would need to provide extensive training. You may or may not want to go down that route.
You also want to look at a call center companies track record.
Do they demonstrate consistent customer satisfaction and retention? Can they handle stressful situations without breaking a sweat?
For inbound centers especially, you want a company that has proven performance in delivering an excellent customer service experience for callers.
Size of Your Business
Before signing a contract with a particular vendor, think about the size of your company. If you choose a small call center, they may not be able to keep up with the pace of your customers.
On the other hand, if you choose a call center that is larger than you need, you will end up with a lot of extra costs.
the call center you choose needs to fit the size of your business. Also, consider if your business will grow in the next several years. Will your call center provider be able to keep up with your growth?
These are all important considerations to think about before you choose a call center provider for your business. Next, let’s talk about the costs for these services.
How Much Does a Good Call Center Services Cost?
Cost is an important factor when choosing between outsourcing companies. By now, hopefully, you see that it is not the only consideration.
Call centers often price their services differently for inbound and outbound services. Here is what you can expect to pay for each.
Cost of Inbound Call Centers
Inbound call centers typically follow one of three price models.
The first is what’s called a shared inbound service. This means that the call center company has up to 30 different clients that they answer calls for.
The great thing about this payment setup is that you just pay for the minutes that agents spend talking to your customers. This is a good option for companies that have both peak and low-volume seasons.
The downside to this payment model is that the monthly bill can be unpredictable. It is not a set cost that you can budget for.
Shared inbound services usually cost around $.75-$.90 per minute for US/Canada companies. International providers may cost half the price.
Dedicated call centers reserve a number of agents exclusively for one client. Though the call center may have multiple clients, each client gets a dedicated team of agents to take their calls. The number of agents you need depends on your call volume.
Most of the time dedicated services charge by the hour as the agents don’t have other calls to take besides your own. Dedicated call center companies are a good fit for organizations that have steady phone volume.
You can expect to pay between $22-$28 per hour for domestic call centers. If you choose an international call center, you may pay between $8-$15 per hour. This pricing may change depending on how many agents you need.
A monthly call service company provides clients with a set of dedicated agents to take their calls. But instead of charging by the hour, they bill their clients a flat monthly rate.
This type of call center payment plan is more common in overseas call centers. It is rare to find this model locally.
Cost of Outbound Calls
Outbound call centers are priced differently than inbound call centers. They don’t need dedicated agents as they are constantly contacting new people on your list. Here are the three pricing options available to you.
Most call centers charge clients on an hourly basis. The hourly rate will vary depending on the call center’s location. Offshore companies will charge anywhere from $6-$14 an hour.
Call centers in Western areas of the world will probably charge between $20 and $30. However, if you need a high-level, specialized call center, you can expect to pay up to $50 per hour.
Some call centers strictly get paid by commission for outbound calls. The amount of commission will vary from one client to the other.
In some cases, a strict commission model works well for both the client and the call center.
Hourly Rate Plus Commission
The third outbound call center pricing model is a combination of the previous two. Here, you pay an hourly rate plus commission. This is just like what you would pay a salesperson in your office.
Dangers of Outsourcing to Call Centers
Now that we’ve covered all the types of call centers, their costs and what to look for in a provider, let’s talk about potential dangers.
Using an outsourcing company does come with some inherent risks. Yet, more and more companies are doing it. Companies nowadays use payroll, answering services and even HR outsourcing.
For one thing, you are putting an important business function in an agent’s hand that is not your employee. That employee may not have the level of dedication and commitment that you own employees would have.
Also, you don’t get to choose what agents take your customers’ calls. Hiring and training is totally out of your hands. Plus, being one level removed from your inbound and outbound calls means that it is difficult to monitor calls for quality assurance.
These risks make it crucial that you carefully research any call centers you are considering choosing for your business. You should feel comfortable trusting them with your valuable customers.
Other Top Rated Call Centers to Consider
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Reviewing and Understanding What Call Centers Offer
One of the most fundamental misunderstandings when it comes to call centers involves the complete picture of what these companies offer their customers.
First of all, there are two primary categories of calls handled by call centers: inbound and outbound calls. Let’s take a look at the types of services provided by inbound and outbound call centers. Other top call center companies include: LiveOps, AppleTree Answers, USA800, Solid Cactus, and Etch Global
- Call Center Outsourcing Review
- Inbound Call Center Service Review
Compare Inbound Call Center Services
Inbound calling refers to telephone calls that are coming into your company. Inbound call center services include but are not limited to:
- Answering customer service inquiries
- Taking and processing telephone orders
- Providing technical support
- Taking messages and transferring calls to the appropriate party
- Receptionist services
- Appointment booking
Outbound Call Center Services
Outbound calls are those placed by the staff instead of coming into your company. Typically speaking, outbound call center services fall into sales or sales related categories including:
- Cold calling
- Follow up sales calls
- Lead qualification
- Appointment setting
When is it Time to Outsource Calls?
This is a very common question in the industry, but there is no one easy answer. Instead, there are a variety of factors that you need to look for within your organization to know whether or not it might be time to hire a call center to manage part of your operations. Consider these factors when weighing the decision.
Hours of Operation: Trying to keep a business open 24/7 can prove extremely cost prohibitive when you’re maintaining all operations in-house. By utilizing a call center, you can suddenly shift to a model where being open 24/7 to provide uninterrupted customer support becomes feasible from a cost perspective.
Expansion of Call Center Operations: If your company is promoting new products, making special offers, or trying to grow into other areas of your industry, you may find that your internal capacity to handle calls is quickly outstripped. A call center may provide you with the ability to handle the higher volumes of calls that may come along with such growth.
Cost-Benefit Analysis: For many companies, this becomes the best reason to hire a call center. When calls that need to be made out of, or received into, a company hit a critical mass, the cost of subcontracting a call center becomes much less than adding the internal infrastructure needed to handle those high volumes. The cost of equipment, staff, support and space within your own organization typically far exceeds what you would pay to receive similar functionality from a third-party call center. The most important step in deciding whether or not a call center is right for your company starts with deciding how much it would cost you to internally handle the volume of calls that you foresee and comparing that to quotes from reputable call centers.
Evaluating Call Centers: Once you’ve decided that your company could benefit from a call center, you enter into the minefield of trying to decide which of the many companies you should offer your business to. None of these factors provide a hard and fast means for judging call centers, but should be used together to create a complete picture of how your options stack up against each other.
Call Volume Requirements: A call center may have a minimum threshold in terms of volume that you must meet in order to become a client. This is to ensure that the profit they’re earning justifies the expenses from their end. Make sure that this is a reasonable threshold that you have no risk of falling below before you sign a contract. However, there are some companies that don’t have minimums which allow smaller business to gain the benefits available through contracting a call center.
Call Center Payment Plans: Different call centers organize their billing under different models. The key thing you want to look for is what happens if you use less time than your agreed upon purchase. Some will let you change plans quickly in order to adjust to something more suitable for your company, while some companies will even let you roll minutes ahead into a future month, saving you money over the long run. Make sure you understand how billing works and how that fits within your needs before you sign a contract.
Length of time in Business: This shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision, but it is worth looking at. Companies that have been around longer, have a quality client list, and who can provide references tend to be reliable, as it is tough to establish that kind of a track record if you’re providing a substandard service.
On Site Visit to Call Centers: This might not be a possibility if you’re looking at an offshore company, but if you’re planning on working with a local call center, don’t be afraid to request an in person visit to see how they handle their operations. Also, if you’re not able to visit in person, any high quality call center should be willing to patch you in on a couple of calls so you can evaluate the quality of their agents and processes, and get a feel for how they might fit within your preferred way of doing business.
Contact Center Reporting: Finally, you may also want to look into the various reporting options offered by the company. Getting highly detailed reports is the best way to evaluate the performance of your call center on an ongoing basis, giving you the information that you need to have in order to increase, decrease or change your current call center strategy. Look for companies that provide reports on demand that include things like:
- Duration until calls answered
- Upselling conversion rates
- Inbound sales conversion rates
- Time per call
- Revenue generated per hour
- Hold times
- Revenue by time of day
These just scratch the surface, but it should suffice to say that the more detailed and frequent reports you can get, the more power you will have to tinker with how the call center integrates with your own business.
Review and Compare Call Center Services Pricing
The price point of call centers can vary wildly depending on the technology in place at the company, special service offerings like bilingual agents, and of course whether the company is located domestically or abroad.
Shared agents are offered when a given employee of the call center is trained to work for a variety of different clients. They take calls in the order they come in, and the time they spend for each client is tracked via an automated system. Typically, costs for shared agents come in between $.50 and $1.00 per minute that they work.
These are more commonly found in the call center contracts of larger companies, who have a high enough volume of inbound or outbound calls to justify several full-time employees. The upside to this is that because of their dedication to one client, dedicated agents tend to be able to learn more and handle more complex tasks when representing your company. Costs for dedicated agents typically can start as low as $10 for each agent-hour worked, and can easily get to $25 and higher for the highest quality call centers that handle very complex roles in an organization.
Call Center Fees
Don’t forget that there may be additional fees such as setup fees, commissions for sales agents, programming and other add-ons that may be piled on top of initial pricing. Be sure to ask any prospective call center for full disclosure on all possible fees so you don’t run into any surprises down the road.
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