what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

It’s no secret that wage rates in the US continue to head North with no end in sight. Some would argue that the multiple stimulus rounds from the federal government are allowing people to choose to take the assistance vs. actively working. This is becoming visible in several industries including the contact center outsourcing industry (BPO). The fact is, BPO’s who operate in the US managed to pivot during the pandemic by moving their staff to a work-from-home solution. In most cases, BPO’s grew during the pandemic, which has been great for the industry; however, the stimulus is forcing BPO’s to accelerate their planned wage increases which don’t always align with their contractual rate structure.

So, as a buyer, what should you expect to pay for contact center outsourcing in the US? Much of that depends on a few factors: First, larger BPO’s tend to have a much higher overhead which results in a much higher rate. Second, although margin expectations are much lower for US delivery locations, I find that small and medium-size BPO’s who operate in the US have a much lower margin expectation resulting in a lower rate to their client. Last, and most importantly, the competitive landscape for a specific city. The real question is, do you want your BPO Partner competing for entry-level workers with zero experience, or would you rather have them chase candidates who have experience and understand how to delight a customer? Either way, you get what you pay for!   

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