top of page
Two people sitting near a laptop

Contact Center Guide

What's in a Name?

Is it a call center or contact center or customer experience center? Why do some companies make the distinction? Call centers primarily began as large offices answering inbound calls and making outbound phone calls. Contact centers evolved out of call centers. The internet and the expansion of broadband in the 21st century changed the world. Contact centers are omnichannel, which means there are multiple channels for customers to communicate with a company - phone, email, SMS, chat, and social media.
Contact centers use sophisticated technology to offer an integrated, efficient, and more customer friendly approach. Some businesses for marketing reasons may refer to themselves as customer experience (CX) centers. However, the distinction between the terms call center, contact center, or customer experience center is of no significance to the general public. Therefore, some businesses stick with “call center” even though they offer many types of services beyond phone calls. It is conceivable that in 20 years only the term "Contact Center" will be used. Software companies prefer contact center over call center as they feel it better describes the advanced capabilities and diverse nature of their technology.

Pay by the Hour or the Minute

Most companies that engage a private outside contact center pay by the hour as they need dedicated agents familiar with their business. In the US and Canada (onshore) this rate may vary from $30 to $45 per hour depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the customer service required and service levels requested. For example, the price quoted for an average speed of answer (ASA) of 30 seconds for 90% of your calls will be higher than if it was 85%. 
AdobeStock_307808830 (1)_edited.jpg
A higher service level will require more agents and a higher hourly rate. Contact enters in the Caribbean (near shore) will range from $13 to $25. Centers in the rest of the world (offshore) vary widely in price.  Philippines and India are dominant overseas.
An alternative model is the per minute rate which varies between $0.90 to $1.25+ per minute in the USA and Canada. This model works for companies with lower volumes or significant seasonal variations with less call complexity. Shared agents are assigned to these accounts. This type of agent handles contacts for several different client accounts. 
bottom of page