Friday, May 27, 2022

Best Outbound Call Center Services

Want to jump straight to the answer? The outbound call center service for most people is Nextiva or Five Star Call Centers.

Imagine if your outbound call agents were engaged, able to handle customer rejections, and consistently hitting their connection rate targets. Moreover, your business has a steady pipeline of qualified leads and is continually innovating based on your outbound market research findings. All this is possible, even without an on-premise outbound call center.

We’ve reviewed the five best outbound call center services to take your strategy to the next level.

The Top 5 Best Outbound Call Center Services

Here’s a full breakdown of the best outbound call center services and where each service shines. We also have a handy section for choosing the best call center service at the tail end of this post.

Nextiva – Best for Most

  • One-step agent login
  • Works with PBX
  • No equipment required
  • Starts at $18.95 per user per month
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Nextiva is a cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) call center solution. It presents a simple solution for creating a call center from scratch. You don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or prolonged agent training.

Nextiva home page

Your agents simply log into the platform and start initiating outbound calls at the click of a button. The setup process is also straightforward and doesn’t require technical skills. It’s as easy as downloading the Nextiva software and setting it as your default calling app. You can also lease VoIP hardware from the company if you’re interested in building a full-fledged professional call center.

Nextiva page with boxes to invite users or add a user manually

The platform also works with your on-premise Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems. Nextiva PBX SIP Trunking service eliminates physical phone lines in favor of an internet-powered phone system. This service starts at $14.95 per month for a metered connection and $24.95 per month for unmetered connections.

Nestiva SIP Trunking in a VoIP Business Phone System

The Nextiva VoIP call center solution supports inbound and outbound communication. It comes packed with essential features, including:

  • Call monitoring
  • Call recording
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Call routing
  • Dashboards & Reporting
  • Live call status
  • Call disposition
  • Queue whisper announcement

The service is also affordable, with three pricing tiers. These include:

  • Essential – Costs $18.95 per user per month
  • Professional – Costs $22.95 per user per month
  • Enterprise – Costs $32.95 per user per month
Nextiva pricing with options for Essential, Professional, and Enterprise plans

The Essential plan is good enough for small businesses only interested in sales or marketing outbound calls. You get all the critical features, including unlimited video and voice calling and Google and Outlook contacts integration. There’s even unlimited internet fax, one of Nextiva’s most popular features.

Please note that unlimited calling only applies to U.S. and Canada inbound and outbound calls.

Larger organizations can upgrade to the higher tiers to enjoy advanced features like dashboards, management alerts, and scheduled reports. In addition, there are unlimited voice and video conference calls for internal sales meetings or product pitches. 

On the downside, Nextiva’s most prominent features lean towards inbound calling. As a result, it’s a good solution for most businesses that juggle between inbound and outbound strategies. This means the feature set may be limited if you focus more on outbound efforts like B2B lead generation, collections, appointment setting, or sales and marketing. And if you don’t have much in the way of inbound calling needs, Nextiva may give you more than you can use.

Still, Nextiva is a solid choice for most people. It is affordable, easy to use, robust, and scalable. The service is particularly suited for small businesses wanting enterprise call center functionality on a budget.

Five Star Call Centers – Best for Custom Plans

  • Fully outsource outbound calling
  • Gets you qualified leads
  • Choose only the services you need
  • Shared and dedicated agents available
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Nextiva is a great overall choice for a business that prefers a balanced approach to its call center. But if you have more specific needs in mind, Five Star Call Center is a terrific alternative. The platform lets you outsource your entire outbound calling campaign if you prefer to take a hands-off approach.

Five Star Call Center home page

Some of the noteworthy outbound campaign features include:

Product and service sales – You can outsource your sales department to Five Star. Its agents will take over telemarketing calls.

Lead generation and qualification – Five Star actively generates new leads and qualifies them based on their likelihood to purchase your products or services. The company also offers consultation services to help you develop a targeted marketing strategy for your leads.

Market research – The company initiates market research activities such as customer polls and surveys on your behalf. You can use this data to inform your business operations and marketing activities.

Appointment and payment reminders – Five Star Call Center agents follow up on outstanding payments or upcoming appointments. This service is crucial for reducing no-shows and non-payments.

Other outbound services you can outsource to Five Star include product awareness drives, quality assurance, customer retention programs, and membership renewals. The company also offers multiple inbound call center services, including order management, live answering, message taking, help desk, and customer service.

The best part is Five Star doesn’t bundle its products like most call center services. Instead, you choose the specific services you want. You can even negotiate a lower rate for high call volumes.

You can also customize the service delivery model. For example, you can choose shared agents who work on other accounts. Alternatively, you can pay more for a dedicated agent who only works on your account.

Five Star Call Centers message box page

Five Star pricing depends on the specific services you choose. However, it costs an average of 80-90 cents per minute for shared agents and $26 per hour for a dedicated agent. There is also an agent training fee averaging around $20 per hour.

Five Star Call Centers is an excellent option if you have specific outbound calling services that you want to outsource. The pricing is also very flexible, so you only pay for the services you need.

On the downside, the service may be too expensive for most small businesses. You’ll also get into a long-term contract, and it takes time to train agents before deploying your outbound calling campaign. So the costs can add up quickly, even with shared agents.

TeleDirect – Best for Prepaid Packages

  • Per-second pricing
  • Prepaid minutes never expire
  • Outbound and inbound services available
  • Only pay for services you use
Request a quote

TeleDirect has a similar business model to what Five Star offers. You can outsource custom outbound calling services for a fee. You only pay for the services that you use.  The platform also provides similar outbound call center services, including:

  • Customer retention
  • Lead generation
  • Appointment setting
  • Market research
  • Telesales and upsells
  • Scheduled callbacks
  • Surveys and feedback
  • Seminar and event registration
Teledirect home page

The main difference is that TeleDirect lets you purchase prepaid minutes. So your minutes do not expire and roll over to the next month if you don’t exhaust them. Furthermore, the service charges per second. So you pay precisely for the time you use, down to the second.

TeleDirect pricing plans include:

  • $387 for 300 minutes
  • $1,100 for 1,000 minutes
  • $2,970 for 3,000 minutes
  • $5,580 for 6,000 minutes
  • $8,800 for 10,000 minutes
  • $15,000 for 20,000 minutes

The platform also favors bulk purchases, so businesses with high outbound call volumes can make extra savings. For instance, purchasing 300 minutes computes $1.29 per minute. But, conversely, you’ll pay 93 cents per minute if you buy the 6,000 minutes bundle and 75 cents per minute for the 20,000 minutes bundle.

The pricing model is even more attractive when you consider that you aren’t locked into a contract. For example, you can end your subscription as soon as you exhaust your minutes at no charge. TeleDirect will even refund you up to 80% of your remaining minutes if you aren’t happy with the service.

The only caveat here is the 29 minutes of monthly usage required to maintain your account. However, it’s a reasonable target, even for a small business. Finally, the extra costs, such as agent time spent after your call, are pretty transparent.

TeleDirect also offers inbound call center services. These include customer service, order processing, help desk services, and reservation services. In addition, you also get premium inbound call center services such as Tier I tech support, overflow, and after-hours support.  

Again, you can choose between a shared agent who works on multiple accounts and a dedicated agent working only on your account. You’ll need to contact a sales rep to get your exact pricing based on your services and agent choice.

The only major downside with TeleDirect is the extra costs required to keep tabs on the agent’s performance. For instance, you’ll need to pay extra to access text message notifications and call recordings to monitor agent performance.

Otherwise, TeleDirect is an excellent option if you’re in the market for a prepaid service. It’s easier to keep an eye on your budget, and any unused minutes roll over to the next month. It’s also a terrific solution for enterprise users with high call volumes. 

Signius Communications – Best for Appointment Management

  • Call script development included
  • Integrates with Calendly and Google
  • 12 locations in the US
  • Starts at $42 per month
Request a free consult

A small practice may not need a full-fledged call center. Signius Communications fills this niche market by letting you outsource your appointment management. It’s a particularly great option for solopreneurs who want to focus more on the day-to-day running of the practice.

Signius Communications home page

The company serves multiple industries, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Property management
  • Contractors
  • Attorneys
  • Government
  • Universities
  • Fortune 500
  • Small business
  • Utility companies

The process is simple. Just get in touch with Signius to develop a script. Then, the company’s agents will be the point of contact for your clients. The platform also integrates with popular appointment-scheduling platforms like Google Calendar, Setmore, and Calendly.

The company is 100% US-based if you are worried about the language barrier. It has 12 locations, including Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, and California.

You’ll need to contact Signius Communications to find out precisely what you get for each of their pricing tiers. But, you can get started for as low as $42 per month. Either way, you aren’t locked into a long-term contract and only pay monthly.

Signius Communications pricing, including options for Starter, Pro, and Premier plans

Finally, the company offers additional packages, including Inbound Call Center Services, Answering Services, and Technology Solutions.

The main downside is that Signius Communications offers limited outbound calling services. This isn’t a problem if you’re only looking for appointment management for your practice, regardless of size. However, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need more services such as market research, lead generation, or surveys and feedback.

CIENCE Technologies – Best for Managed Lead Generation

  • Expert-qualified leads
  • Targeted audience research
  • Build a custom calling team
  • Detailed progress reporting included
Book a free call

CIENCE Technologies has a unique take on outbound calling strategy, focusing on lead generation. Its People-as-a-Service (PaaS) model means you’re paying for a team of experts to qualify leads on your behalf. It’s a terrific option if you don’t want to take any chances with your lead generation efforts.

CIENCE Technologies home page

CIENCE takes over your entire sales development process, so you may not need an in-house team. Instead, you’ll get a ready pipeline of qualified appointments without doing any of the hard work. It’s also an excellent option for enterprises that want to accelerate their time to market.

The service lets you create a custom sales development representative (SDR) team to study your target audience. The company also has a proprietary database with millions of records across numerous industries. So the only thing is to wait for an entire pipeline of qualified leads.

The company is also very transparent in its methods. The SDR team adheres to best practices, including playbooks, copywriting, precision targeting, lead qualification, objection handling, and appointment scheduling. You also get weekly reports, complete with details like the number of emails sent, number of new contacts, and appointments set. You can also choose the people you want on your team.

For example, some of the experts that might staff your team include:

  • Account Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Research QA
  • Caller
  • Messaging Specialist

Again, you choose who you want on your team based on your unique needs. Therefore, your specific price depends on the services and project staff you choose.

On the downside, CIENCE can be expensive for small businesses. It offers custom pricing, but most projects start at $1,000 per month. There’s also a three-month minimum subscription to qualify for the service.

Fortunately, the company website offers an ROI calculator so you can figure out if the service is worthwhile.

CIENCE Technologies pricing and ROI calculator

Otherwise, CIENCE is an exceptional outbound calling service for businesses that want to outsource the entire outbound sales process. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on core aspects of the company and have a ready market to sell to.

How to Find the Best Outbound Call Center Services for You

We’ve done our best to highlight where each outbound call center service shines. Hopefully, our review methodology helps decide which service matches your needs. It’s still okay if you aren’t there yet. There is a logical process you can go through before coming to the correct conclusion.

Decide on Managed vs. Unmanaged Outbound Calling Services

The first step in choosing your call center service is to decide how you’d like the service delivered. Most businesses prefer a managed service. That means outsourcing your outbound calling campaign to a third party.

A managed outbound call center service is advantageous for several reasons. First, if nothing else, you’ll rely on someone else’s expertise, infrastructure, technology, and staff to drive your outbound calling strategy. It’s also an optimal option for keeping your call center costs down.

Some of the basics costs you can avoid or at least minimize by outsourcing your outbound calling strategy include:

  • Hiring overheads
  • Technology stack
  • Full salary
  • Managerial costs
  • A dedicated customer success manager

All services featured in our review, except Nextiva, offer managed call center services.

Of course, we included an unmanaged service for businesses that would like to retain control of their call center strategy. This control is crucial if you’ve already invested in an in-house call center. In addition, a service like Nextiva will help you create a virtual call center, which is the direction most businesses are taking anyway.

You might not even need to upgrade your existing PBX equipment or purchase new VoIP hardware. Nextiva is incredibly flexible and will find a way to save you money, time, and effort. Finally, this service is exceptional for handling distributed call center teams.

A managed service is perfect if you need to build a call center from scratch. It will save you time, money, and effort. Plus, a managed vs. unmanaged service’s return on investment (ROI) is unbeatable if you don’t have the existing infrastructure.

To conclude, an unmanaged service like Nextiva is better for upgrading an existing call center. The company also offers consultation and agent training services if you need external help building or refining your outbound calling teams and strategies.

You can get your agents to the same level as the best-managed services, allowing you to rip the benefits of both worlds. You get word-class calling center agents while retaining control of your infrastructure and services.

Specify Your Outbound Calling Services

Most people associate outbound calling with lead generation. While this is a big part of it, it’s only one measure of success. Outbound strategies help meet numerous business objectives, including:

  • Market research
  • Prospecting
  • Telemarketing
  • Fundraising
  • Selling
  • Improving brand awareness

Each outbound call center service has its pros and cons. So it’s beneficial if you have a good idea of the objectives you want to meet. But, again, you can’t go wrong with Nextiva if you have an operational call center. You’ll outfit your team with everything it needs to deliver results.

Things are more granular if you are looking for a managed service. Most companies reviewed here offer similar services. However, some companies excel in particular areas.

For instance, CIENCE Technologies is a top choice if you’re most interested in B2B lead generation. The service is unrivaled for its digital ad platform, lead response, multi-channel prospecting, and premium sales data.

However, if you’re only interested in appointment management for a large or small practice, Signius Communications is a better option. You won’t overpay for features or services you don’t need. Instead, you only pay for a particular service you need.

Similarly, TeleDirect is a terrific option if you primarily use telemarketing for lead generation. Telemarketing is still a very effective sales tool despite getting a bad reputation. TeleDirect has this method down to a science.

Finally, Five Star Call Centers is a good bet if you need to outsource market research. The company conducts polls and surveys on your behalf. You can use the information gathered to streamline your decision-making or business operations.

It is also common to have multiple outbound calling requirements. For example, you may need market research, prospecting, and lead generation services. In this case, you want a company that can bundle these services together at an affordable price. Five Star Call Centers is an especially attractive choice for its custom plans and discounts to save you money.

Pricing Structure vs. Your Budget

Again, many of these companies offer very similar services. So the final choice may come down to how much you are willing to pay. Each outbound call center is priced differently. So you want the pricing structure that closely matches your budget.

A transparent pricing structure like Nextiva is perfect if you’re on a budget. You know exactly how much you are going to pay and when. So you can estimate your expenses accurately. TeleDirect is also an attractive option if you are looking for a managed service.

TeleDirect offers prepaid packages, so you can purchase only the minutes you need. The minutes also roll over to the next month, and you get discounted rates for bulk purchases. So again, the company is a solid choice for budget-conscious businesses.


We think that Nextiva and Five Star Call Centers are the best outbound call centers. Nextiva is a top choice for businesses that want to upgrade an existing call center. Five Star Call Centers, for its part, offers unrivaled custom packages, so you only pay for what you use.

There are still more options to consider. TeleDirect offers a unique prepaid model that suits small businesses with low call volumes. Enterprises can also maximize savings by purchasing more minutes. CIENCE Technologies stands out for its exceptional lead generation service, while Signius shines in appointment management.

from Quick Sprout