Cost and Value of Outsourcing Customer Care Centers

April 26, 2023

When a business needs a customer care center solution to handle customer inquiries, the decision to either build an in-house center or outsource to an external vendor can be a challenging one. Pricing is a significant factor when making this decision, as both internal and external call centers come with their unique costs, advantages, and drawbacks. But the cost doesn’t always equate to the value you get, regardless of the situation.

An internal call center is one that is built, managed, and run by the business itself. The business hires and trains staff to handle all customer inquiries and technical support calls, and they use their infrastructure and technology to manage the call center operations. The cost of setting up an in-house call center can be expensive, as the business must invest in hardware, software, and staff.

On the other hand, outsourcing to an external vendor means that the business hires a vendor who specializes in customer service communications to handle customer inquiries. An external vendor has a team of highly trained staff and uses advanced technology to manage the call center. They can provide services such as multilingual support, 24/7 availability, and the ability to scale-up or down call center operations quickly.

The pricing models for internal vs. external call centers differ in several essential ways, but mindStart calculates that insouring customer service costs 10% more per employee, takes longer to hire and onboard them, and has twice the turnover rate when compared to outsourcing to mindStart.

Cost of Staff

For an internal call center, the business has to provide staffing, which includes salaries, benefits, training, and management. The cost of staffing an internal call center is typically higher than outsourcing because the business must bear the significant upfront costs of hiring and training staff.

An external call center vendor, on the other hand, already has a team of highly trained staff, which means the business already has a process in place for hiring and onboarding, plus has the management staff in place to identify and train new staff members if needed for your account.

Infrastructure and Technology

An internal call center needs technology infrastructure to operate, such as servers, routers, software, and telephone lines. The business incurs the costs of buying, installing, and maintaining this equipment, which can be expensive.

An external vendor has already invested in the infrastructure and technology needed to run the call center. This means that the business does not have to buy, install or maintain any equipment.


An internal call center is limited by the number of staff they can hire, and is more unlikely to scale up or down based on sales cycles. This means that they may not easily be able to handle increased volumes of calls or peaks in call volume, and conversely might be less inclined to have temporary workers to support off-hour, multilingual, or seasonal needs.

Outsourcing to an external vendor means the ability to quickly and easily scale up or down call center operations. External vendors have a larger pool of staff and can handle an increase in call volume quickly. This means that the business may not have to worry about hiring and training staff or investing in technology infrastructure, or is poised to do-so in an efficient and timely manner.

Quality of Service

The quality of service offered by both internal and external call centers can vary widely. Internal call centers are staffed by people who work closely with the business, understand its processes, and can provide personalized service. This can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

External vendors, on the other hand, specialize in providing call center service and have a significant incentive to provide high-quality service to maintain their reputation. However, to ensure that the quality of service will not be compromised, the vendor must have a robust product training course for the agents that staff each account.


In conclusion, both internal and external call centers have their advantages and disadvantages. The decision to choose one over the other will depend on the business’s specific needs, resources, and goals. Internal call centers may be appropriate for businesses that have the resources to invest and maintain technology infrastructure and staff. On the other hand, external vendors may be a suitable option for businesses that want to quickly and easily scale up or down their call center operations, do not want to incur upfront costs, or do not have the resources to set up and maintain an internal call center. Ultimately, whatever the decision, businesses should carefully weigh their options and choose the call center solution that best meets their needs.