There are many types of pricing schemes used by companies today, including:
1. Pay-per-call – a fixed fee for all calls.
2. Pay-per-minute – the customer pays a negotiated rate for every minute that the call center agent or the outsourcer's IVR handles a call. (The rate for agents and IVRs is generally different.) This pricing scheme is often used when agents are shared between campaigns or customers.
3. Hourly rates – the customer pays a set hourly rate for dedicated agents. The number of dedicated agents is also defined in the contract, although both parties (outsourcer and enterprise) can modify that figure during the contract period.
4. Variable compensation – upside goals are built into the compensation scheme. The enterprise establishes revenue or conversion goals and if the outsourcer exceeds them, they are rewarded with some form of pre-negotiated bonus. Of course, if the outsourcer misses their targets, they are penalized.
5. Pay for success – the enterprise pays the outsourcer only for successful outcomes. Outsourcers do not like this approach, as it always pits them against their customers and sets up an adversarial relationship.
Keep in mind when negotiating that outsourcers know how much they need to make on an hourly basis, and will be happy to work with you in creating a traditional or creative pricing scheme, as long as they can make their margins.
Editor's note: Learn the pros and cons of outsourcing the call center.
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