Whether you’re a large business or a startup, working with a call center in USA can help improve your customer service.
Sure, it may not be as cheap as other foreign locations like India or the Philippines. But from strict data security measures to better communication, call centers in the USA offer several benefits to businesses.
This article contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a particular section)
- 3 Top Call Center Providers in the USA
- 5 Types of Call Centers in the USA
- 4 Advantages of Working with a Call Center in USA
- 3 Challenges of Working with a Call Center in USA
- The Growing Call Center Industry in the USA
Let’s get started.
3 top call center providers in the USA
A call center handles your company’s incoming and outgoing customer calls.
These phone calls include customer service calls, complaints, any other problem a customer may have with your products or services, etc.
The United States has some of the best call centers that offer high-quality customer support at competitive prices. But it’s important that you carefully consider the different types of call centers in the USA and choose the one that suits your business needs.
And with the right partner, you can provide a smooth customer experience and boost your profits.
To help you out, here’s a quick look at three popular call center providers in the USA:
1. Go Answer
Go Answer is a leading call center outsourcing company in the USA that specializes in inbound calls. Headquartered in New York, it offers a wide range of services and customizable plans suitable for a large or small business.
Their inbound calls services include helpdesk management, handling customer orders, a customer care hotline, and a simple answering service.
- Live agents to answer your customer calls 24/7.
- A mobile application called AlwaysOn to track your account activity in real-time.
- No minimum requirement for call volume or monthly invoice.
- No cancellation fees if you choose to close out your account at any given time.
TeleDirect is a reputed BPO solution for call center support. It has a hybrid call center service that offers a wide range of both inbound and outbound services.
TeleDirect is headquartered in Sacramento, California.
Their call center support services include live answering service, technical support, order processing, lead generation, market research, cold calling, appointment setting, etc.
- Can work with a shared customer service agent who conducts multiple campaigns or dedicated agents.
- HIPAA HiTech, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS compliance.
- Offers 24/7 services.
- Uses advanced scripting tools to capture and route leads efficiently.
3. Five Star Call Centers
Five Star Call Centers offer comprehensive outbound calling solutions to help a client target their customer base.
Their services include upselling, cross-selling, market research, cold calling, direct sales follow-up, live answering service, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Five Star Call Centers have locations in South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
- Supports outbound services ranging from script design to organization.
- Offers both shared and dedicated agents.
- Provides call center consulting services.
- Handles high call volumes with ease using workflow automation and collaborative tools.
We have seen some popular call center service providers in the US.
But remember, there are several types of call centers, each suitable for different business needs. That’s why you need to determine what services you need before choosing a service provider.
5 types of call centers in the USA
We can broadly divide US-based call centers into five types based on the following factors:
- Nature of work: Inbound vs. Outbound call centers
- Services provided: Call center vs. Contact center
- Ownership: In-house vs. Outsourced call centers
- Scope: Domestic vs. International call centers
- Location: Virtual vs. Physical call centers
Let’s find out more about them.
1. Inbound vs. outbound call centers
An inbound call center helps you handle incoming calls from your existing customers. In this case, the call center agents focus on assisting your customers and resolving their issues.
An inbound call center takes care of customer care queries, complaints, technical support, payment support, and so on.
On the other hand, an outbound call center in the USA can help you reach potential customers.
Outbound call centers provide sales-centric services, including lead generation, cold calling, and appointment setting. This approach is best suited for businesses that involve sales, telemarketing, fundraising, and market research.
2. Call center vs. contact center
A call center is different from a contact center.
They both handle inbound and outbound calls, but a customer contact center additionally provides services over multiple digital channels. These channels usually include texting, webchat, social media, email, and more.
Depending on your business needs, you can choose between a call center solution or a contact center solution.
Looking for a detailed comparison between a call center and a contact center?
Here are five key differences between a contact center vs. call center.
3. In-house vs. outsourced call centers
An in-house call center refers to a company’s internal team of call center agents. With an in-house team, you’ll have better control over your processes and agent performance.
However, if operating your call center doesn’t align with your business strategy or you don’t have the resources, you can always outsource call center services to a BPO partner in the USA.
A Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service provider hires and trains the agents, saving a significant amount of your time and money. The service provider trains the call center agents and provides customized inbound and outbound according to your company’s needs.
4. Domestic vs. international call centers
Domestic call centers in the USA handle customer phone calls only within the country. On the other hand, US-based international call centers can take phone calls to customers worldwide.
You can choose between the two depending on the size of your business, your business process, and your future expansion plans.
5. Virtual vs. physical call centers
Virtual call centers are cloud-based. They can operate from anywhere and are easy to set up, making them suitable for scaling operations.
With a physical call center in the USA, the agents work out of a physical office. Unlike a virtual call center, operating as a physical call center requires you to set up and maintain office space.
Now that you know the types of call centers in the US, let’s see why several companies prefer working with American call centers.
4 advantages of working with a call center in USA
Here are some advantages of working with a call center in the USA:
1. Strict data security measures
The customer service trends of 2021 show that most customers are now digitally empowered. It also indicates that they take data security very seriously.
The US has strict compliance laws for call centers under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Act (PCI DSS). That’s why a US-based call center can put your customers at ease.
Some of the key compliance requirements under the PCI DSS Act are:
- Call centers can’t record the CVV2 number or the Card Verification Value 2 on the back of credit cards.
- Call centers must have consent from both the customer service representative and the customer to record their conversation.
- Call centers must track all their agents who have access to sensitive information.
- Call centers need to train each customer service agent annually to remain compliant with these laws.
Additionally, American call centers that deal with customers’ healthcare information must comply with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
HIPAA safeguards a customer’s sensitive information such as:
- Social Security numbers.
- IP addresses.
- Full face or any similar in photographic images.
- Geographical identifiers.
- Account numbers and more.
These strict data security measures ensure the safety of your customers’ data and increase their trust in your brand.
2. Alignment with the American audience
If your target audience is American, having an American call center can increase your chances of connecting well with your customers.
US call center agents can bridge the cultural gap you may otherwise have with your customers.
While having a cultural connection may seem trivial, it can be an asset that helps an agent make conversation with your customers and improve customer satisfaction.
For example, let’s say you are working with an outbound call center service to help sell your pharmacy products to your target audience in the USA.
In this scenario, the call center agent can leverage their understanding of American culture and engage your customer with a conversation about a sport or even a trending show. This cultural match can positively impact customer experience and boost your profits.
3. Better communication with customers
Context-setting and language play a key role while communicating with your customers.
Your customer won’t pay attention to what your representative says to them if they face a language barrier. A foreign accent can be another hurdle to clear and effective communication.
While call centers in other countries offer English-speaking agents, they’ll most likely lack a neutral American accent.
If your target audience is English-speaking, hiring native-English speakers in a US-based call center can be a good move for your business.
4. Positive company reputation
Spam and fraudulent outbound calls are recurring problems in the customer service industry. In the UK alone, customers experience over 21 million such scam calls per month!
However, customers don’t usually associate US-based call centers with spam calls. With the help of one, you can address a global customer base without fear of this stigma. It’ll help your company build trust with your customers.
3 challenges of working with a call center in USA
While call centers in the USA offer many advantages, they also come with a set of challenges.
Here’s a look at some of them:
1. Can be expensive
Let’s talk about the actual cost of hiring a call center in the USA.
Here’s a comparison between the cost of hiring a call center in the USA vs. other regions of the world:
- United States/Canada: $22–35 per hour
- Eastern Europe $12–25 per hour
- Africa/Middle East: $15–20 per hour
- Latin America: $8–18 per hour
- Asia/Philippines: $8–14 per hour
- India: $5–9 per hour
- Pakistan: $6–10 per hour
Source: Worldwide Call Centers
The most common reason why companies prefer call centers outside of the USA is that American call centers aren’t cost-effective. This is mainly because call centers in the USA need to pay their call center agent much more than a call center in other foreign countries due to the higher cost of living.
2. Agents can have limited product knowledge
The challenge with outsourcing a call center to any location is that the agents wouldn’t be as familiar with your company’s products and services as in-house agents.
This factor can affect your agent’s ability to resolve various issues and consequently lower customer satisfaction. Having limited knowledge about the product may also negatively impact a call center agent’s confidence while conversing with your customers.
3. Lack of control
If you’re a non-US-based company, outsourcing a call center in the USA can make it difficult to control your operations. It’s challenging to travel internationally to visit a call center regularly.
By outsourcing the call center services, you may not be able to monitor if the team is completing each essential KPI (Key Performance Indicator). Additionally, it can be tough to train the agents to incorporate changes you want to see in their operations and get the job done.
One way of keeping track of your call center’s performance metrics is by introducing employee productivity management software like Time Doctor.
With Time Doctor, you can track your agents’ time, attendance, schedules, etc., even while working remotely. You can also analyze your agents’ productivity through Time Doctor’s customizable productivity reports.
The growing call center industry in the USA
Between the years 2016 to 2021, the market size of the telemarketing & call center industry in the US grew at a steady but marginal rate of 0.5%.
The industry is valued at around $25.4 billion in 2021.
Great facilities, advanced technology, and reliable internet connectivity have created a strong foundation for this thriving market. And around 3 million Americans make their living working as call center agents, providing outbound and inbound call center services for global and domestic companies.
The US call center industry is expected to grow by 5.6% in 2021. The rise of virtual, cloud-based call centers in the USA is a prominent reason behind this surge.
Call centers in the USA provide effective solutions to boost your customer service and business growth. With better communication and security infrastructure, they can help boost customer interaction in the USA and globally.
But before choosing to work with a US-based call center, go through the features, pros, and challenges mentioned in this article. It should help you decide if working with a call center in the USA is a smart move for your business.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.