Call centers let businesses with limited resources outsource their phone calls and help take incoming calls regarding questions or complaints and make outgoing calls like appointment reminders. They can also help automate the call routing process to ensure the call makes it to the correct department or person and will manage off-hours message taking or call forwarding.
The best call center services are reasonably priced and easy to use. They also offer a wide range of features scalable for businesses of all sizes and integrations with third-party software and hardware.
Best Overall : Teledirect
Teledirect offers a wide range of affordable inbound and outbound services with prepaid packages of minutes that roll over month after month.
Unique and flexible pricing
Multilingual call center agents
Range of packages to fit all types of businesses
Charges extra for call recordings
Minimum monthly usage requirements
Text message notifications cost extra
Based in Sacramento, California, Teledirect is a good fit for businesses of all sizes. It offers pricing packages to fit the needs of any call center service and employs over 400 multilingual call center agents.
Teledirect offers both inbound and outbound packages that include live answering, message taking, and email and chat support. Every client also has 24/7 access to a live online portal where they can see minutes used, update the script in real time, and view up-to-the-minute call data like duration and outcomes.
Teledirect offers a unique pricing structure. You do not pay by the month but by the minute and can purchase a package with however many minutes you think you will need. Inbound packages include customer support, order taking, tech support, order processing, and/or lead management. Outbound packages also include lead follow-up.
|Plan||One-Time Price||Price Per Minute|
Once you run out of minutes, you can either purchase more or end the relationship with Teledirect. And if you want to part ways with the company before you have used all your minutes, Teledirect will refund you 80% of your unused minutes.
Teledirect also offers add-on services, including call recordings, text notifications, patch time, and interactive voice response (IVR) for 10% of your per-minute usage.
Another unique feature of Teledirect is that they bill by the second. For instance, if a call lasted one minute and 34 seconds, then one minute and 34 seconds are deducted from the purchased time. You are also billed for any after-call work that an agent completes. If an agent spends two minutes filling out paperwork after the call, then that will be deducted from your plan as well.
Setting up your company with Teledirect is as simple as filling out their online form for a free quote. Someone from their sales department will contact you to discuss a plan that fits your company best and will go over the setup, the number and training of agents needed, and any fees to get your account started.
The only minimum requirement that Teledirect has is that you must use 29 minutes of service per month or your plan can be deactivated. Fortunately, it’s easy to check your monthly usage on the client portal.
Best for Small Businesses : Signius Communications
Signius Communications offers an affordable pay-as-you-go plan perfect for small businesses.
Robust online reporting
Multiple call centers
12-second incremental billing
High-volume service can be expensive
While other call center companies focus on mid-size and large companies, Signius focuses on low-call-volume businesses. Signius has 12 call centers throughout 10 different states, allowing Signus to shift operations based on any weather or technical emergencies. They are an employee-owned company and offer a free consultation with their experienced sales department.
Signius offers competitive rates and an extremely affordable pay-as-you-go plan:
- Starter: $45 per month for 50 minutes, plus $1 per extra minute
- Pro: $109 per month for 125 minutes, plus $0.95 per additional minute
- Premier: $213 per month for 250 minutes, plus $0.92 per extra minute
Signius can also work with you to customize the right program for you and your business if none of these plans fits your needs. The company will adjust the pricing based on the complexity of the calls your business takes, the average call volume you receive monthly, and the services you require.
Signius bills in 12-second increments, meaning that the call time is rounded up to the nearest 12-second mark. This is common among call centers, with six- or 12-second increments being the norm.
All Signius packages come with 24-hour coverage, month-to-month agreements, nationwide 800 number or local numbers, and free message delivery. The company is also HIPAA compliant, provides secure online access, and allows for customizable plans.
Best for Startups : XACT
XACT has flexible plans and services that will grow with your company, making it perfect for startups.
Cost-effective customer service
Advanced call routing
High startup costs
Just two physical call centers
XACT offers flexible plans and services and a mix of shared and dedicated agents, allowing your business to add services as it grows.
XACT’s shared agents are better suited for businesses with basic needs, like booking and confirming appointments. By contrast, dedicated agents work solely on your business account and perform more personalized services, like taking over phone orders and upselling or recommending products. Dedicated agents do cost more, but you can always start with shared and upgrade to dedicated as your business grows.
XACT’s initial setup and training cost $22 per hour per agent and can run as much as $1,000. This may be a hefty investment for a small startup, but once trained, shared agent rates start at $0.89 per minute for plans ranging from 2,500 minutes to 10,000 minutes, which is a good value compared to other services on this list. As you increase the minutes your business needs, the per-minute cost decreases. For example, plans in the 10,001- to 25,000-minute range cost $0.85 per minute.
XACT charges in 12-second increments, meaning they will round up to the nearest 12-second increment to charge the account. Additional fees that XACT charges include setup and programming fees and administrative costs. The company charges $75 per hour with the average setup taking approximately 10 hours. This is comparable to other call center service providers we looked at.
XACT has call centers in Orlando, Florida, and Bangor, Maine, as well as other call center agents who work from home all across the country, so there is always someone available to take your business's calls.
Best Inbound Service : Go Answer
Go Answer offers competitive pricing and a long list of features for inbound calls for any size business.
Flexible pricing and packages
Easy to scale based on business needs
Robust inbound call features
Only offers outbound calling on a case-by-case basis
Pricier than other companies
Go Answer specializes in taking inbound calls for businesses. Their agents can handle inbound callers of any type and service your customer with a script that you help Go Answer develop to keep your brand’s messaging cohesive. Inbound agents can handle anything from taking appointments, customer service inquiries, and even off-hours call answering. While they offer outbound call services, these are on a case-by-case basis.
Shared agent packages are done through a monthly subscription and are flexible. These packages start at $50 per month for a pay-as-you-go package and can cost as much as $8,200 per month for the 10,000-minute package.
The pricing plans include:
|Plan||Monthly Pricing||Overage Rate|
|Pay as you go||$50||$1.15 per minute|
|100 minutes||$110||$1.10 per minute|
|250 minutes||$250||$1.00 per minute|
|500 minutes||$475||$0.95 per minute|
|1,000 minutes||$900||$0.95 per minute|
|2,500 minutes||$2,200||$0.90 per minute|
|5,000 minutes||$4,200||$0.90 per minute|
|10,000 minutes||$8,200||$0.90 per minute|
While Go Answer does offer dedicated agents, some requirements make them a pricier option than others, such as requiring that you hire a minimum of five dedicated agents to work full eight-hour days.
Each package includes a toll-free number, call patching, access to an online client portal, reports, stats, bilingual support, email and text notifications, and a 30-day trial period. Go Answer only charges a $75 setup fee if you hire the company after the free trial.
If you require more minutes or any type of specialized service that is not generally included in Go Answer’s standard plans, you can work with the sales department to develop a custom package to receive an estimate.
Go Answer has two U.S. call centers in New York and Florida and a third location in St. Lucia. Although it has international call centers, Go Answer accepts clients from anywhere in the U.S.
Best Outbound Service : Five Star Call Center
Five Star Call Center specializes in handling high call volumes and works closely with you to create an outbound calling campaign based on your needs.
Comprehensive outbound calling services
Specialized campaigns for each business
High monthly minimum
Annual contract required
Five Star Call Center offers dedicated agents who help deliver whatever message you are looking for, whether it is market research, membership renewal, or customer retention.
Some of the outbound services Five Star provides include:
- Lead generation
- Prospect identification
- Product and service sales
- Market research
- Surveys and polls
- Quality assurance services
- Customer surveys
- Payment reminders
- Customer retention programs
- Crisis management
Like other providers on this list, Five Star offers both shared and dedicated agents. Shared agents bill per second and rates start at $0.80 per minute. The dedicated agents are priced at $26 per hour per agent and can answer emails and conduct live online chats as well as answer calls.
Five Star does charge setup and training fees, which cost approximately $20 per hour per agent. The total you’ll pay depends on the amount of time it takes to train the agent, and that varies based on how much the agents have to learn about your products or services. We recommend you speak with a sales agent for a better estimate of those costs.
Even though Five Star requires an annual contract, the company offers a 90-day opt-out clause should the services not meet your expectations. Five Star also requires a high, $3,000 monthly rate to have agents available 24/7. While other call centers may have monthly minimums, this one ranked among the most expensive.
Best Automated Service : RingCentral
RingCentral offers cost-effective call center services that automatically route calls based on workflows you can customize for your business needs.
Flexible routing options
Completely automated answering
Costly per user price
No live agents
RingCentral offers automated services that create unique routing rules for work and non-work hours so your customers will be taken care of automatically, even if your employees aren’t there to do it.
Rather than hiring live operators to direct your calls, RingCentral uses up to 150 automated menus to route calls to any combination of external or internal phone numbers or voicemail boxes. You can even have it ring to a cell phone when the person is not in the office.
RingCentral offers affordable monthly plans, and it offers up to 33% savings if you pay annually.
|Up to 10 users||Everything in Essentials||Everything in Standard||Everything in Premium|
|Business phone or toll-free numbers||No user limit||Automatic call recording||Device status reports|
|Unlimited calls in the U.S./Canada||Business phone numbers in over 100 countries||8-digit extensions with site codes||Device status alerts|
|Unlimited business SMS||Unlimited internet fax||Hot desking||Unlimited cloud storage|
|Voicemail-to-text||Unlimited audio conferencing||Advanced call handling (whisper, barge, etc.)|
|Team messaging||Video meetings (100 participants)||Video meetings (200 participants)|
|24-hour meeting limit||Real-time analytics|
|Software integrations||CRM integrations|
|24/7 support||Developer platform|
|$19.99 per user/month||$27.99 per user/month||$34.99 per user/month||$49.99 per user/month|
RingCentral doesn’t offer an option to connect to a live person after hours. So, if your customer is looking for personal help when you’re not open, they will need to call back during operating hours.
Call center services are excellent for companies who want to have the "big business" feel without the enormous business cost. Call center services can range from inbound calls, outbound calls, email, live web chat, and IVR systems.
Overall, we recommend Teledirect since it offers a variety of prepaid packages for businesses of all sizes with rollover minutes,
Compare the Best Call Center Services
|Company||Key Features||Number of Call Centers||Pricing|
|Offers the most variety at excellent price points||Two + remote workers||$387–$15,000|
Best for Small Businesses
|Offers affordable pay-as-you-go||12 in 10 states||$45–$213 per month|
Best for Startups
|Flexible Plans that scale as you grow||Two (FL and ME)||$2,225–$8,900 per month|
Best Inbound Service
|A long list of features for inbound call services||Three (NY, FL, and St. Lucia)||$50–$8,200 per month|
|Five Star Call Center
Best Outbound Service
|Extensive outbound campaigns to cover any need||Four in three states||$2,000–$9,000 per month|
Best Automated Service
|Design an automated system with up to 250 automated menus||16 worldwide||$19.99–$49.99 per user per month|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Do Call Centers Provide?
Call center services fall into four basic categories:
- Inbound. This involves taking calls for a business. Examples of inbound calls include tech support, help desk services, upselling and cross-selling, reservations, scheduling, and order taking and management.
- Outbound. This where a call center service makes calls for a business. Examples of outbound calls include prospect identification, crisis management, direct mail, email follow-ups, membership renewal, customer surveys, and payment reminders.
- Automated (also known as electronic). This involves automating call processing for a business. Examples of automated calls include sending the caller to the correct department, electronic directories, and collecting account info before speaking to a live person.
- Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). This happens when you delegate the business process to a call center. Examples of BPO include telemarketing, data recording, and any other method that fills auxiliary functions.
How Do Call Centers Work?
A call center is a central location for your customers to contact when you or your employees are not onsite. When a call comes into a call center, a trained agent who is familiar with you and your business answers the call.
When Should a Small Business Use a Call Center Service?
A business owner should consider hiring a call center when they feel that the business cannot handle the call volume it’s receiving. Having an outsourced company can help build customer loyalty, increase sales, avoid lost opportunities, project a very professional image, and save money by not having the call center in-house.
How Much Do Call Center Services Cost?
Call center service pricing varies based on the company you use, the package you select, and a variety of other factors. For instance, you’ll need to consider what type of services you’re using (i.e., inbound vs. outbound), if you’ll have a shared or dedicated agent, how complicated or detailed the calls you receive tend to be, and the call volume your business receives.
Call center service pricing is competitive, with many companies using the same per-minute pricing structure, but you’ll also need to consider setup fees, training fees, overage charges, or anything that might affect the overall cost.
Are Call Center Services Worth the Cost?
In most cases, yes; if your business has the money to invest in setting up an outsourced call center, then your employees can spend their time on more money-making activities rather than spending the day asking or answering simple questions or re-routing calls.
How Do I Know If a Call Center Is Good?
If you are thinking of hiring a call center, make sure you get answers to the following questions to make sure you have a complete picture of what you'll be getting.
Some things to consider include:
- Are the agents international or based in the U.S.?
- Does the call center handle inbound calls, outbound calls, or both?
- Do you have dedicated or shared agents? What is the price difference between the two?
- Are you able to have online access to the call reporting?
- Does the company record the calls and do you have access to listen to them?
- Is the call center staffed 24/7/365?
- Do they require a monthly minimum number of hours?
- How does the company handle outages?
- Are their agents multilingual? Does that cost extra?
We reviewed over 30 different companies that offer call center services. We narrowed down the companies by the number and location of their call centers. We also reviewed their services along with any extra fees they might charge. Finally, we compared the cost of similar services between companies, eliminating any that had a high price without adding extra value.
All of our picks operate call centers in and around the U.S., offer a range of packages for all budgets, provide various services, and have excellent and informative customer services and sales representatives who can answer any questions.