While it makes a lot of sense for many businesses to start a call center, many others are worried about what it will cost them. In this article, we’ll answer “how much does it cost to set up a call center?” so that you can plan effectively and make the most of your budget.
NOTE: In 2019, we launched our most innovative product yet, the AVOXI Genius Cloud Contact Center. Any call center cost comparisons in this post have not yet been updated to reflect AVOXI Genius's affordable new pricing.
On-site or virtual call center
The biggest factor that will influence your initial call center costs is whether you decide to start with an on-premise system or virtual call center software. Virtual call centers come with fewer upfront costs because you won’t need to pay for hardware or equipment. (If your employees are working remotely, you won’t have to pay for Internet service or office space, either.)
An on-site call center is a much bigger investment; you’ll have to purchase equipment that will be housed on your premises, which means that you’ll need dedicated space for hardware and your employees. In the future, you’ll also have to foot the costs for maintenance, upgrades, and any new equipment you might need to buy.
Internet service and bandwidth
If you choose to set up a virtual call center, you’ll need to factor reliable Internet service into your call center cost calculations. Whether you have 5 or 50 employees working for you, you will have to make sure that you have enough bandwidth to support high quality calls.
Prices for Internet service vary based on providers and your location; but, a good rule of thumb is to have 100 kpbs of bandwidth for each concurrent call taking place on your system. Using this simple equation, you should be able to get an accurate quote from your potential Internet provider.
Office space and equipment
If you decide to run your call center (on-site or virtual) from a dedicated location, you’ll have to set up an office space. Additionally, your initial call center costs might include basic office equipment, such as chairs, desks, phones, computers, and other office supplies that your employees will need. These are important costs to consider when starting your call center.
VoIP call center software and calling costs
Most modern call centers opt for virtual call center software. With a cloud-based call center solution, you can run your entire call center over the Internet by using a provider’s software. This software is usually available for a monthly cost per agent.
Depending on the functionality that you need and the provider you choose, you could pay anywhere from $50 - $300 per month per agent for access to the software. You’ll also want to remember that the costs of the calling taking place on your system are not included in these ongoing call center costs.
Salaries and other employee costs
With both an on-site and virtual call center, you’ll be responsible for the salaries of your employees. Other employee-related costs might include health care, paid time off, maternity leave, etc.
It’s important to factor these hidden call center costs into your calculations because they’ll impact your budget year round. On the one hand, these costs are easily managed because you directly control the number of employees working in your call center. Conversely, you have to have strong team of motivated employees working in order to keep customer satisfaction rates high.
Weighing Call Center Costs and Benefits
Whether you’re managing an outbound sales team or an in-house customer support department, a strong call center can make or break your business. However, there are a number of factors that go into starting a call center. If you’re just starting out, or looking to upgrade your existing system, it’s important to plan and budget for every aspect of your new call center.