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TeleDirect Review

Best Overall Call Center Service for Small Businesses

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting considerable research and analysis of call center services, we recommend TeleDirect as the best call center service for small businesses in 2019.

We chose TeleDirect as the best overall call center service for small businesses because it is a versatile service that offers a unique and flexible pricing model. TeleDirect also offers all the core inbound and outbound call center services we looked for. It is a strong choice for businesses of all sizes, needs and call volumes.

TeleDirect employs nearly 400 agents. It provides shared, semi-dedicated and dedicated agent services. All agents answer the phones domestically in one of two U.S.-based call centers. TeleDirect's headquarters are located in Sacramento, California.

To read all of our call center service recommendations, visit our Business News Daily best picks page.

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs. 

We chose TeleDirect as the best overall call center service for small businesses because of its unique, flexible pricing model and comprehensive inbound and outbound services. Its versatility makes it a great choice for businesses small and large, regardless your company's call volume or scope of required services. Its combination of shared, semidedicated and fully dedicated agents gives businesses even more options. TeleDirect agents are also able to support a multitude of languages besides English.

With TeleDirect's pricing model, minutes can be used flexibly across all services. This grants even the smallest businesses access to TeleDirect's more advanced services if needed. TeleDirect's high-volume per-minute usage rates are competitive, while its lower-volume packages are comparable in price to other call centers we researched.

TeleDirect's pricing is based on a prepaid package of minutes rather than a monthly subscription. Purchased minutes are available in perpetuity and never expire. There are no long-term contracts, so when you run out of minutes, you can simply walk away. If you cancel before all your minutes are used, you could receive a refund of up to 80 percent of your remaining minutes. TeleDirect requires a minimum usage of 29 minutes per month to keep your account active, however. Pricing tiers include all inbound and outbound services provided your account is set up accordingly. TeleDirect's pricing plans are as follows:

  • Plan A: 1,000 minutes cost $1,100 ($1.10 per minute)
  • Plan B: 3,000 minutes cost $2,970 (99 cents per minute)
  • Plan C: 6,000 minutes cost $5,580 (93 cents per minute)
  • Plan D: 10,000 minutes cost $8,800 (88 cents per minute)
  • Plan E: 20,000 minutes cost $15,000 (75 cents per minute)

TeleDirect also includes optional add-on services for 10% of your per-minute usage rate. These include:

  • Call recordings
  • Text notification
  • Patch time
  • Interactive voice response (per call)

TeleDirect bills second to second, meaning your account is only charged for the time used. Many other call centers and answering services we reviewed use incremental billing, which can significantly inflate usage levels by rounding up the amount of time used. TeleDirect does bill for agent work time after a call, meaning any time an agent is working on your account (whether they're connected to a caller or not), you are billed. However, agents are trained to keep after-call work time to a minimum, so it shouldn't significantly impact your usage.

TeleDirect checks all the boxes when it comes to core call center services, as well as some useful additional features. The company includes both inbound and outbound services for businesses of all sizes.

Here are some of the key services that TeleDirect offers.

  • Live answering: TeleDirect's agents will answer calls on your behalf in a professional and helpful manner. Shared, semidedicated and dedicated agents use a script, which you provide and that you can customize at any time through the TeleDirect client portal.
  • Message taking: Agents can take down messages, including the caller's name, contact information and reason for calling. The message can then be forwarded to contacts in your company via email.
  • Customer support: Customer service functions take live answering to the next level. TeleDirect agents can assist callers with their questions or concerns. For customer questions, you provide TeleDirect agents with FAQs (and their responses). If agents are unable to assist a caller based on the available information, messages can be forwarded or calls can be patched to individuals in your business.
  • Tech support: Tier 1 tech support is also available with TeleDirect. Agents can provide basic troubleshooting assistance to callers who are struggling with products or software. For more advanced issues, messages and calls can be forwarded to your business.
  • Order processing: TeleDirect agents can assist callers with purchases from your e-commerce store, capture payment details and verify the transaction goes through.
  • Lead follow-up: Agents can follow up on previously captured leads, whether its an email list or leads captured on previous inbound calls. Lead follow-up is one of TeleDirect's key outbound call center services.
  • Email and web chat management: TeleDirect agents can manage your company's email and live web chat channels, giving your customers additional ways to contact your company.
  • Market research: Another outbound service, TeleDirect agents can conduct market research through polls and surveys of customers and leads.
  • Client portal: TeleDirect's client portal provides users with detailed information about account usage, remaining minutes, incoming calls, types of calls and the duration of calls. You can also make any changes to your call script, which is updated in real time for TeleDirect agents.

TeleDirect provides services in multiple different languages. Many call centers only support English and Spanish, but TeleDirect employs agents that speak several languages. If you serve an international customer base, TeleDirect will likely be able to accommodate your needs.

Some of TeleDirect's additional services (which cost extra) are core features included in the base price of the fees other call centers and answering services charge. For example, call recordings are useful for listening in and ensuring agents are performing up to standards. Some of the call center services we evaluated include this feature at no additional cost – the same goes for text message notifications, which also cost extra with TeleDirect.

The other limitation we noted with TeleDirect is that the company requires you to use a minimum of 29 minutes each month. While this is neither cost-prohibitive nor difficult to reach, most of the call centers and answering services we evaluated didn't have a minimum usage requirement. However, it is worth noting that those services are based on monthly subscriptions rather than prepaid packages of minutes.

Overall, there were few significant limitations we found with TeleDirect. For the most part, TeleDirect is a strong service with flexible pricing that accommodates the needs of virtually any business.

Our customer service experience with TeleDirect was above average. We quickly connected to a representative who walked us through a few questions to learn more about our business and what we needed in a call center. We were then transferred to a sales specialist who discussed TeleDirect's services with us in more detail and explained the onboarding process.

We asked questions about TeleDirect's pricing model, agents, services offered and its billing processes and policies. The representative was forthcoming, friendly and knowledgeable. She forwarded us a more detailed proposal after the call but explained that in order to develop a truly specialized plan, she required more information about our hypothetical business. Overall, the customer service we received from TeleDirect was quite good.

TeleDirect agents are available via phone and email. TeleDirect does not offer live chat services.

Ready to choose a call center service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs. 

Adam C. Uzialko

Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.