TeleDirect is our best overall pick for call center services. It's a comprehensive call center service that offers every inbound and outbound service we looked for. It also offers strong customer support and a flexible pricing plan that gives clients more control over how much they pay and how to use the minutes they pay for. Each of these aspects led us to select it as our best overall pick for call center services for small businesses.
For our other call center service recommendations, visit our best picks page.
TeleDirect agents are available to answer your calls 24/7/365. This is helpful if you receive a lot of calls after hours or on weekends. This company is also available to answer excess phone calls during regular business hours, so no customer call is ever missed.
Pricing and Fees
TeleDirect offers an alternative pricing model to the typical "per minute, per month" models. TeleDirect sells pre-paid packages of minutes that can be bought as needed (and minutes never expire). There are no monthly subscriptions or annual contracts required. Rates become increasingly competitive when you buy minutes in bulk, with the largest package coming in at a very low rate of $0.69 per minute. When you run out of minutes, you can purchase more or part ways with the company. This is a unique model we did not encounter with other call centers and gives the client great latitude in determining how often and how long to use TeleDirect's services. The pricing plans are as follows:
- 300 minutes - $387 ($1.29 per minute)
- 1,000 minutes - $1,100 ($1.10 per minute)
- 3,000 minutes - $2,970 ($0.99 per minute)
- 6,000 minutes - $5,580 ($0.93 per minute)
- 10,000 minutes - $8,800 ($0.88 per minute)
- 20,000 minutes - $13,800 ($0.69 per minute)
TeleDirect includes three hours of setup and training for every purchase of minutes. The company will alert you beforehand if it expects your specified level of need will exceed three hours of setup and training.
TeleDirect bills in 1-second increments, meaning you only pay for every full minute that you use. However, the company considers any agent work time after the call itself to be billable time. For example, if a call lasts 3 minutes and the agent spends 1 minute filling out paperwork after the call, four full minutes will be deducted from your prepaid package.
The only minimum requirement for working with TeleDirect is that you must use 29 minutes of service per month. This can be helpful if you're a small business and don't have a large call volume. Its pricing plan is unique in that you pay for the minutes you need and keep the minutes you pay for; there is no monthly subscription or annual contract requirement.
If you run out of minutes, you can simply choose to purchase more or part ways with the company. If you cancel service before using all your minutes, you are entitled to a refund of up to 80 percent of your unused minutes.
Call Center Services
The agents at TeleDirect can set appointments with your customers for installations, IT assistance, medical visits or nearly any other appointment needs your company may have. They can also take and process orders over the phone for you, which is especially helpful if your business relies heavily on e-commerce. The agents can answer any questions your customers have about your business; you provide the answers to TeleDirect when you sign up for its call center services.
TeleDirect maintains agents on staff who are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English fluently. Customer assistance is available in other languages as well, which can help you maintain strong relationships with all your customers, regardless of the primary language they speak. It can also lay the foundation for obtaining new clientele since your company can communicate with a larger audience.
TeleDirect is one of the few call centers we reviewed that offers every outbound service we looked for in our evaluation. TeleDirect agents can conduct customer surveys, asking them questions you provide about service, product function or other matters. They also perform scheduled callbacks to ensure your customers are satisfied and don't need more help. You can have agents call your customers back for nearly any reason.
The company provides lead generation services on request. TeleDirect will call back customers who have expressed an interest in your company and try to cement a relationship. TeleDirect will also text customers on your behalf, so long as the customer has given prior permission. Unlike other call centers we reviewed, TeleDirect offers cold-calling services to help build your clientele.
TeleDirect's outbound services could vary in price. Some outbound services can be included in your pre-paid package of minutes, but more comprehensive services, such as a complete outbound marketing campaign, require a dedicated agent and, as a result, cost more than the pricing packages listed above. To fully understand the cost of any outbound services you might want TeleDirect to perform on your behalf, discuss your plans with a sales representative and request a quote if the outbound services will cost more than just your pre-paid package.
Variety of Agent Models
Like other call centers, TeleDirect offers both a shared agent and dedicated agent model. However, it also offers the more uncommon (though not quite rare) blended or hybrid agent.
Shared agents answer calls for all call center clients on a first-come, first-served basis, while dedicated agents are paid hourly and handle only your account. Shared agents are much more cost-effective, while dedicated agents tend to far exceed shared agents in cost.
The blended agent is a third option that some call centers offer. Blended agents tend to handle a couple of a call centers clients, but are intimately familiar with your company, the products, and services you offer, and can go off script if needed. They behave similarly to dedicated agents but at a fraction of the cost, making them a good option for growing and medium-sized companies that require the added functionality but can't justify the high price of a fully dedicated agent. TeleDirect's semi-dedicated agents cost $1.10 per minute.
TeleDirect comes with access to a mobile-friendly online portal that gives you a window into your outsourced call center operations. The portal includes information about how many calls you've received, who the callers were, when they called, their disposition during the call, how many minutes of your plan were used each day and the average length of a call.
You can also use the portal to review and edit the script that TeleDirect's agents use when answering on your behalf as well as the list of frequently asked questions that agents must be prepared to answer. Any information in the online portal can be downloaded, along with caller information agents have captured.
Our customer service experience with TeleDirect was positive and informative, although representatives lacked some of the friendliness of other companies in our review. However, they were efficient and accommodating in providing the information we requested, even after we made it clear we wouldn't be making any purchasing decisions for our fictional small business for at least a few more weeks. We came away from the conversation with a better understanding of the company's pricing model, the service we could expect and the information we would have access to as a client.
In terms of customer support options, TeleDirect agents are available via phone. An email address is also available for you to reach out to TeleDirect representatives. However, TeleDirect does not offer live chat services, so you don't have quick, easy access to agents who could provide answers you can't find online.
The biggest limitation we found with TeleDirect's services is that the company does not offer a live web chat for customer service. The company does support live web chat for its clients, but if you'd like to reach a customer service representative to discuss your own account, you must call or email TeleDirect instead.
Further, TeleDirect has a monthly volume minimum of 29 minutes to keep your account active. This minimum isn't particularly high, but many other call centers have no minimum requirement at all. However, it is worth noting that no other call center in our review offers the same pricing model as TeleDirect.
TeleDirect has a full offering of both inbound and outbound call center services. It is one of the few call centers in our review to offer every outbound service looked for, and it has excellent back-end client support. With its range and quality of services, TeleDirect is an outstanding call center option, especially for outbound call services.
Editor's Note: Is your business looking for a call centerservice? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.
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