How Much Does Contact Center Cost?

Submitted by Scott Leonardo on Tue, 10/ 06/ 20 - 12: 00 PM

How to Improve a Call CenterBUSINESS PHONES | 6.5 MIN READ

Contact Centers allow businesses with large call volume or call centers to automate and streamline the sales process and improve customer interactions. As more and more business processes become automated, companies who lag in automating their call centers will start to fall behind the competition. Keep reading to learn about Contact Center benefits, industries that may benefit from Contact Center, and pricing.

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How Contact Center Benefits Your Business

Industries That May Benefit from Contact Center

Contact Center Pricing

How Much Do Business Phone Systems Cost?

How Contact Center Benefits Your Business

How Much Does a Contact Center Cost

Contact Center can have multiple applications in a business setting. Whether it's used for pre-customer interactions (ie. sales prospecting calls) or current customer interactions (ie. billing, customer support, and help desk), Contact Center can streamline and improve business operations in a variety of ways. 

Customer Insights

  • Real-time customer insights speed up interactions
  • Deep historical call reporting helps drive improved future interactions

Centralized and Efficient Operations

  • Centralized management from one portal that's accessible anywhere at any time
  • Combine voice, chat, and email queues into a single omni-channel experience
  • CRM integrations allow for efficient sales and marketing operations


  • Use whichever phone systems you prefer for your business, whether that's your current business phone systems or personal employee smartphones 
  • Integrate with software that allows third party integrations using API. This means that users can integrate Contact Center with CRM's like Salesforce, enterprise planning software, and more. 

Remote Office Support

  • Support multi-site call centers and remote agents through Contact Center
  • Enable employees to conduct calls, emails, and chats from their personal smartphone
  • Smoothly transition to remote operations at the touch of a button

Productivity Increase

  • Analyze team performance by queue, team, or agent with real-time dashboards and historical reports
  • Enhance audience engagement with outreach campaign capabilities
  • Automate sales calls to increase call quotas

Industries That May Benefit from Contact Center


  • Scalability and flexibility to adapt for seasonal call volumes
  • Voice blasts or SMS notifications for emergencies


  • Efficient call triage and routing
  • Appointment reminder and patient engagement
  • Inclusion of specific specialists, nurses, etc. in call flows

Retail and Services

  • Include retail outlets in centralized IVRs and reports using a phone
    number only
  • Secure-payment IVR solutions
  • Outbound voice, email or SMS campaigns for sales promotions

Finance and Insurance

  • Meet cost reduction objectives
  • Outbound capabilities for collections
  • Advanced self-serve IVR capabilities


  • Advanced outbound reservation confirmations and delivery update
  • Include individual locations / outlets in centralized IVRs and reports
    using a phone number only

Public Sector

  • Meet cost reduction objectives
  • Centralized contact center infrastructure for full reporting
  • Self-serve capabilities

Contact Center Pricing

How Much Does Contact Center Cost

In general, Contact Center costs between $20-140 per user per month, with the price usually varying based on a tiered plan. The price varies based on a variety of points. 

On a base level, a way that you can save money with Contact Center is to ensure that the company you buy from employs concurrent user pricing instead of named user pricing. 

Named user pricing means that when you buy, for instance, enough licenses for 20 users, only the users assigned to those licenses can work with Contact Center.

With concurrent user pricing, licenses aren't tied to a specific person. This means that, for instance if you have 30 employees but only ever have 10 employees on a shift using Contact Center at the same time, you only need to buy 10 licenses. In this same scenario with named user pricing, you would need to buy 30 licenses.

While almost every company has a business phone system, typically, those who don't have Contact Center have phone systems that can manage, on a basic level, inbound calls.

For instance, if a customer were to call a business, they could press 1 to be routed to a certain department, 2 for another, etc. However, Contact Center comes into play when businesses want to automate both inbound (customer calls) and outbound calls (ex. a sales department's prospecting calls).

The two main goals with Contact Center are to automate customer interactions and streamline business operations. 

With that in mind, consider that in general, as you buy a more expensive Contact Center plan, you get:

  • More forms of customer interactions can be automated and managed in one centralized hub− While at a base level, Contact Center can automate phone calls, more expensive plans allow one to also manage emails, online chat bots, and even social media messages.
  • Deeper levels of customer insights− While cheaper plans give you basic insights like call volume and call length, more expensive plans utilize machine learning to give you deeper insights into calls performance, and can also allow you to add post-call surveys.
  • Increased sales team call quotas− Reps can increase prospecting call quota by automating calls. While base plans allow them to pre-load a call list and click-to-dial, more expensive plans allow Contact Center to automatically begin dialing the next prospect on the list in a pre-determined amount of time.
  • Contact campaigns sent with ease− For instance, doctor's offices can automatically send appointment reminders, or school principals can record phone messages that are automatically sent to all parents.
  • Faster/more efficient customer call routing− While basic plans let customers use the keypad to be routed (ex. press 1 for billing), AI and IVR, which are available on higher tier plans, allow customers to use short phrases to communicate needs and be quickly and appropriately routed.
  • Skills-based call routing− Skills-based call routing allows for sales teams to quickly be connected to calls that they are qualified to handle. For instance, if a sales rep is only qualified to handle phone calls about billing, IVR can gather information from the person calling in, and then either answer that person's billing question or forward it to that sales rep. IVR can also route chats in a similar fashion. 
  • Additional integrations− In general, Contact Center allows integrations with software that allows third party integrations using API. However, as you move into more expensive plans, you have a wider range of available integrations, for instance with enterprise planning software and CRM's like Salesforce. 
  • Phone integration flexibility− While cheaper Contact Center plans may require you to use their business phone systems to enable Contact Center, more expensive plans allow you the flexibility to use whatever phones you prefer, whether that's your current business phone provider or even just a collection of personal employee smartphones.  

How Much Do Business Phone Systems Cost?

Contact Center Pricing

When you move further into the decision-making process for a business phone system, you must choose between an on-premise and hosted phone system. 

On-Premise Phone System Pricing

On-premise phone systems can cost anywhere from $800-$1,000 per user paid up-front, not including Contact Center. 

This price range listed above includes the phone, PBX, license, and five years of maintenance/support from the manufacturer, which in most cases is optional. Let's break down each pricing aspect so you have a better understanding of what goes into these numbers.


There are generally three phone options when you purchase a business phone system: basic, monochrome or color, and executive/conference

Basic- A standard phone that has simple call features and is typically only found in a break room or front lobby as a courtesy phone.

Monochrome or Color- A step up from the Basic model, this phone includes a black and white or color LCD display that will project certain features on its screen like caller-ID. This is the most common model purchased for the majority of offices.

Executive/Conference- The highest end of phone models which may include a touchscreen display and allows for conferencing external microphones to be connected to the phone for more effective conferencing. Typically, only used in a conference room or by senior management at most companies.

PBX (Private Branch Exchange) 

This option must include an on-premise server in order to operate, however, companies that don't have this capability may find some cost savings in utilizing a virtual server through a service provider.

If you choose to go with an on-premise server, keep in mind there are additional costs associated with that purchase. An example would be the air conditioned room and power that is required to keep a server at optimal temperatures to avoid overheating.

Depending on the requirements of the technology chosen (phones) will change the price of the total cost of the PBX system. The range above is typically included in the total cost of the phone system.


Licensing can be broken down into a few categories:

  • Telephony/Basic 
    • Extensions and mailboxes
    • Ad hoc 3-party audio conferencing
  • Essentials
    • Everything above
    • Desktop client - allows for computer integrated phone
    • Basic Mobility (call forwarding to personal/company mobile phone)
    • Professional Call Manager 
      • Instant Messaging
      • Collaboration (requires server for audio and web licenses)
      • Web and App Dialer
      • Mobility Basic (call forwarding to person/company mobile phone)
  • Standard 
    • Everything above
    • Mobility Client (requires a server)
    • Remote Phone - allows for calls to be made to other branches via extension
    • CRM Integration (such as Salesforce, etc) 
  • Advanced 
    • Everything above
    • Includes Operator License (administrator rights for employee managing the phone system)

Annual Maintenance/Service 

While optional this is a highly recommended feature. In addition to the maintenance and service support, when a new phone hits the market, you're covered and won't have to pay another set of licensing fees (which if you remember is per device).

This is a tremendous savings unless you plan to keep your phones for 10+ years, even as new technology continues to be developed.

RELATED: How to Buy a Business Phone System

Hosted Phone System Pricing

Hosted business phone systems can cost anywhere from $17-$45 per month, per user, not including Contact Center. 

Hosted means that the service provider is providing the phones and service themselves. This ultimately gives your business more options at a lower cost.

Hosted systems allow businesses to own their phones, typically in 12-24 months, and contracts can range from 12-36 months on average.

In addition, hosted business phone systems include many of the add-ons that are up-charges for on-premise systems. This includes mobility, instant messenger, and conferencing at no additional cost (conferencing, however, does bring your total up a bit higher).

Because the system is a flat monthly fee, businesses can easily scale as they grow and upgraded color screen phones are usually an option (no need to get complicated trying to save here and there by purchasing basic phones).

Additional Costs

The numbers above do not include service. Service is a recurring expense that is in addition in order to give your new phones a dial tone. There are two main types of service you can receive: POTS and PRI.

POTS (Plain Ole Telephone Line)

This option costs around $30-$50 per line per month.

This is a 1:1 ratio, meaning you can receive an inbound call or make an outbound call per line. This is similar to a home landline, meaning that if more than one person is on a phone/line, two people would be unable to make a separate call at the same time.

This is not a good option for businesses, but these lines are still used for businesses to connect smoke and fire alarms, as well as elevators (all which require a telephone line).

PRI (Prime Rate Interface)

Also known as a T1 lines, PRI's include multiple options and offer users a little more flexibility. Businesses can choose a partial PRI, full PRI, or a SIP Trunk.

  • Partial PRI - includes 8-12 channels/lines (channels cannot be reduced but can be increased to meet needs)
  • Full PRI - includes 23 channels at $300-$800 per month
  • SIP Trunks (session initiation protocol) - offers more customization at $15-$30 per month, per line.

Keep in mind that these are per month costs and will remain as long as you have phone service. When selecting a provider, you will also want to double check and make sure the service you are purchasing includes unlimited minutes and understand what their policy is for long distance calls.

For businesses with high call volume or call centers that could benefit from increased efficiency, Contact Center is a helpful option to keep companies ahead of the competition.

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Posted by Scott Leonardo