I have worked with outbound call centers for years and for different purposes: collections; wholesale; and professional service providers. Most recently, I have worked most heavily with bankruptcy firms. The average efficiency rate for outbound calling staff is about 15-20%. This means the firm has a person on the phone 40 hours each week and their staff’s actual talk time is only about 8 hours a week, at the most.
Professional call center staff callers are trained well, have auto-dialer systems that increase time efficiency and have fewer distractions than staff with multiple duties.
If a professional call center is not efficient at say the 60% level, the company will struggle to make money.
If we are able to be more efficient and get great results then our company can make money. If we are not efficient, we lose money even at that $1.25 minute point. If you take an employee that you pay their salary after all is said and done and then you pay their taxes, health insurance, software and equipment for the seat, for the phone, for the dialer, for the manager, for the coach, for the tech guy–you pay for all that stuff and before long you are up to $20-22 dollars an hour whatever it is. Let’s just go with $20 an hour and you got 40 hours in a week, that’s $800 a week. If you got a guy who is working at 20% efficiency then they are getting 8 hours a week or some 480 minutes. You take that 480 and multiply that by $1.25. That's $600 dollars.
Since it cost $800 to keep the seat and figuring in the loss of $200 dollars on every single seat, efficiency is extraordinarily valuable. We have management layers in place, we have software in place, we have all sorts of rules, customized guides for each client and constant reporting to monitor efficiency and performance. We also have people monitoring the calls.
Whether you do it yourself or whether you hire out, these elements are items you must have to assure your call program will perform.