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In-House vs. Outsourcing: Making A Better Call Center Cost Comparison

In-House Vs. Outsourcing: Making A Better Call Center Cost Comparison

When evaluating the possibility of hiring an Outsourcing Call Center Service for a cost-saving opportunity for your business, first you need to know your current in-house costs.

How will you compare the cost of a call center outsourcing provider if you don't actually know how your costs and expenses work?

It is essential to consider what aspects of your business you should include in a cost analysis and what the outsourcing service covers. This way, you will know which call center option is more convenient for your business.

We will help you better understand your in-house call center cost and the outsourcing pricing structure so you can compare these opportunities more accurately and make better decisions for your growing business.

How do you estimate your In-House Call Center cost?

There are a lot of questions and misunderstandings when it comes to estimating your call center cost. Do you take your fully loaded cost and divide it between the number of working hours? Are you taking into account janitorial wages, recruiting costs, paid vacations, and insurance into consideration? Do you believe that if your cost per hour per agent is the same as your outsourcing option, you will not get any benefits from it?

If what you are looking to achieve with your call center cost calculation is to compare it with your business processes outsourcing options, you need to know what the outsourcing service will cover. If you only consider the agents’ salaries and equipment, you will not have an accurate comparison of the costs.

To better understand call center cost, we will divide it into three categories.

We know that all businesses are not the same. We will mention some of the costs you might have, but it is your homework to do a deeper analysis of your business according to your product or service.


Staff and Labor

This includes not only your call center agents, supervisors, and managers’ salaries but also a proportion of Human Resources, Payroll, Compliance, IT, Quality Assurance, Training, Janitorial and Security personnel and of course, their corresponding benefits and taxes. And all employees need to be recruited, hired, trained, and motivated. It would be best if you consider those costs too.



You also need to consider the cost of your facilities: rent, maintenance, built-out, customizations, insurance, electricity, water, furniture, and office supplies. For example, if you want to grow your team, you might need to build out some walls, install new cubicles, paint, and customize the ventilation and lighting. You need to add all these costs to the fixed expenses to get the overhead call center cost.


Technology Infrastructure

It is crucial to include technology costs: hardware like computers, headsets, phones, etc. As well as software, network services, systems, licenses, applications, installation, and maintenance. Think of all the technology you use in your company, not only for your contact center operations but for other departments, like administrative personnel, QA, IT, and Payroll. 

Again, analyze your business call center needs. This is to help you better understand what you need to keep in mind when doing your cost analysis.

Next, when you have all your costs for each category, you can estimate a total cost and divide it or segment it according to your comparison. You can determine a cost per hour per agent, per contact, per call, per minute, per performance, however work best for the type of service and outsourcing model you are looking for.

We know all this information will be challenging to obtain, time-consuming, and you will require the collaboration of several departments to determine the actual cost. But after you know the data you need, it will be easier to request and will give tons of value to your business decisions.

How do you estimate the outsourcing costs?

To compare the cost of in-house vs. outsourcing, you need to consider how the call center outsourcing pricing structure works. The majority will use cost per hour per agent, and depending on the provider and model, that price can or might not include additional functions and services.

For example, at Call Center Services International, under the Turnkey Program, our call center pricing includes corporate, and payroll taxes, human resources, IT support, accounting, and maintenance functions. We provide the facilities, furniture, computers, internet, and security for your operation.

There are some additional benefits you need to consider when comparing costs and pricing. For instance, we only charge you for worked hours. For instance, we only charge you for worked hours. If an agent calls in sick, if the agent is on vacation, or if it’s a holiday, you will not pay for those hours. When comparing it to an in-house cost, you must remember that if one or more of your agents miss work, you will still pay expenses.

Additionally, some outsourcing companies provide added services at their cost. CCSI offers between 15-20 hours of Quality Assurance per week at no cost to our clients. This should be considered in the outsourcing cost calculation.

Then, it would be best if you asked about any additional expenses they might charge you. You might need to pay a build-out fee or start-up investment. You need to clarify if you will pay for vacations, employee incentives, a charge for celebrations, or special equipment requirements.

Comparing In-house vs Outsourcing Costs

For your comparison, we recommend elaborating an annual expense projection. You can use your historical expenses to estimate all those ambiguous costs that will be avoided by outsourcing your customer service operation.

Once you have your costs, elaborate a table of in-house costs next to the outsourcing avoided expenses and the cost of outsourcing to know your call center cost savings.

In-house Avoided Costs - Outsourcing Investment = Outsourcing Cost Saving

Lastly, be aware of some discrepancies in your calculation and keep in mind the added benefits of Outsourcing. For example, in Nearshore Mexico, the worked hours per week are 48 hours, unlike in the U.S., which is 40 hours. It might need to be clarified when estimating the cost and giving a performance benefit.

Contact CCSI to request pricing! (877) 399-3419.