When it comes to running a business, one of your most important concerns is figuring out a plan to grow. When businesses start expanding their operations, customer service becomes vital. Whether you’re a startup that is just breaking out into the market or have been operating for several years with good results, it’s a choice you’ll need to make sooner or later.
Setting up a contact center is no small feat, so it requires some careful deliberation. The most important question here is: How much will it cost?
Internet, VoIP and Call Center Software
The first order of the day is setting up your contact center infrastructure. A traditional on-premise contact center setup can be very expensive, and cost upwards of $140,000 as an initial investment.
The cost of software, telephony and equipment used to be the huge barrier to entry in starting a call center, but today cloud-based solutions exist. It lets you take advantage of existing systems at a much more affordable rate, about 70% less expensive.
You can get into hosted cloud-based solution for around $50 per agent per month, which is easier of capital investment and lets you get started quickly.
Then you need to factor in office space. BizFluent estimates the average cost for offices is at $11 per square foot. The actual space needed per workstation is around 6 square feet of floor space, along with an added 4 square feet for aisle space. That translates to $110 per month per workstation.
Some businesses start a remote contact center to lower the overhead cost, and if needed, they eventually get their own space. You can read our post here on how to hire and manage remote contact center agents.
Contact centers will need computers at the bare minimum. The typical cost of a workstation, according to a study from the Site Selection Group, is around $1,250 per workstation. This includes furniture, filing cabinets, chairs, and cabling.
The average salary for a contact center representative is $28,000 per year in the US. The cost for healthcare and benefits comes out to $7,523 per head. That translates to around $2,960 per month for each agent. It’s possible to source your agents from other parts of the world at a much lower cost.
When starting out, you’ll probably want to have a workforce size of at least ten agents. Taking that into consideration, the costs will come out to something like this:
On the whole, contact center costs have gone significantly down over the past several years, especially if you’re going to choose a cloud-based solution and utilize a remote setup.