In: Articles & News

By Nathan Teahon, Strategic Account Manager

There are many components and factors that contribute to inbound call center outsourcing pricing. Some of these include location, agent quality, experience, facilities, reporting capabilities, the likability of management staff, and certification requirements such as SOC 2, HIPAA, PCI Level 1, and others.

Now, as it pertains to price and before diving into models and numbers, it’s important to note a couple of things:

  1. These models and prices discussed in this article are for domestic inbound programs placed in U.S. call centers. You can utilize offshoring for call center outsourcing if you look for the best prices. However, there are several reasons why telemarketing services are best in the U.S.
  2. It’s important to note that not every inbound program is created equal. The complexity, amount of training, and overall talent of agents required for a particular campaign can affect pricing.

There Are 2 Primary Call Center Outsourcing Pricing Models

1. Per Minute 

If a client’s incoming calls, emails, and chat messages are low volume or inconsistent, the pricing model is likely per minute.

Programs with low volume or irregular volume patterns should be placed into an environment that is either shared with another inbound call client or blended with an outbound campaign.

Note:  for the rest of this article, any place that I say “inbound,” I’m referring to many different types of customer contacts, including inbound voice calls, text messages, email messages, or chat messages.


  • Shared/Blended model – Pricing ranges from about $0.90 – $1.35 per minute, domestic. 

  • Dedicated Agent model – Domestic pricing ranges from about $30 – $40 per hour.



2. Hourly

Pricing moves to an hourly rate, typically $30 to $40 per hour when a client program has a high call volume to necessitate dedicated call center agents.

As previously stated, this can vary based on the skill set required by the agents to succeed and the number of agents needed to staff the campaign appropriately.

Typically, the more agents are required to fulfill the needs of a particular client, the lower the per hour rate.

Another X-factor is specific requirements like licensed insurance agents or if a program needs staffing 24 hours per day, seven days per week.


What Are ‘Shared’ or ‘Blended’ Environments?

If an inbound contact call center puts your program into a shared environment, your call center agents are also used to handle calls for other clients. Why? Because some inbound programs have low or an inconsistent call volume.

Note: It would be too expensive to staff call center agents on a dedicated basis and have them sit there waiting for incoming calls.

Cross-training call center agents to work on behalf of multiple programs help keep agent utilization high and keep costs reasonable for clients using third-party outsourced call center companies.

Most contact centers use skills-based routing to identify in real-time which call center agents are trained to handle which types of calls at any given point and then route the call to the best agent available.

Typical pricing for shared/blended services is $.90 to $1.35 per minute. Minutes are calculated by adding the talk time and call wrap-up time together. And this is typically a loaded cost, including the management staff and support staff.

Inbound Call Center Outsourcing Experts

ABM Desk has years of high-quality inbound call handling experience, including Inbound Sales, Upselling, Customer Service, and Technical Support.

We act as an extension of our clients and pride ourselves on putting the right call center team in place for each of our programs.

Nathan Teahon is a Strategic Account Manager for ABM Desk.  Nathan is responsible for ensuring client success for one of ABM Desk’ largest clients and for overseeing the ABM Desk At Home management team.  Prior to ABM Desk, Nathan worked for a Top 50 Call Center company based in the Midwest.  Nathan’s experience has run the gamut with stints as a Supervisor, Quality Assurance, Program Management, Account Management, and also as a Call Center Manager.  His diversity of call center experience lends itself well to supporting a wide variety of clients and their unique requirements.  Nathan co-authored an online course for The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) called Teleservices.  Nathan can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5133. 


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