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Best Overall Call Center Service for Small Businesses: TeleDirect Review

Credit: TeleDirect

After conducting considerable research and analysis of call center services, we recommend TeleDirect as the best overall call center service for small businesses in 2018.

We chose TeleDirect as the best overall call center service for small businesses because it offers high-quality service all around that meets any level of need for any budget. Primarily, TeleDirect's ability to blend a comprehensive list of inbound and outbound services with a pricing model suitable for businesses small and large makes it a versatile, effective call center to outsource your phone management.

Many call centers specialize in either inbound services or outbound campaigns, but TeleDirect offers every service we looked for in a call center. Its inbound services include complete customer service outsourcing, as well as tech support and helpdesk services. TeleDirect can also take orders and process them through your e-commerce website. Even less common services like event and seminar registration and reservations are available.

TeleDirect offers an equally comprehensive list of outbound services, which primarily serve to expand your customer base and build your brand in your current market or new markets you seek to enter. These services include lead generation and qualification services, customer retention, market research through surveys and polls, appointment setting, and customer follow-up calls.

A relatively rare feature of TeleDirect's outbound services is cold calling, which helps to forge new customer relationships even when you have not already established a list of qualified leads. Most other services do not perform cold calling in addition to their other outbound functions. All these services make TeleDirect one of the most comprehensive call centers we reviewed.

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free.

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TeleDirect offers a unique, flexible pricing model where you pay for the minutes you need and keep the minutes you pay for. There are no monthly subscriptions or annual contracts required; rather, you purchase a package of minutes at competitive rates and use them as you need them. When you run out of minutes, you can choose to purchase more or part ways with the company. This is a model that we did not encounter while reviewing any other company and gives you great latitude to determine how often and how long to use TeleDirect's services. You must, however, use at least 29 minutes per month to remain active with the company. 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 (99 cents per minute)                                                                  
  • 6,000 minutes – $5,580 (93 cents per minute)                                                 
  • 10,000 minutes – $8,800 (88 cents per minute)                     
  • 20,000 minutes – $13,800 (69 cents per minute)

TeleDirect includes three hours of setup and training for every purchase of minutes. Typically, according to a company representative, clients do not exceed three hours for setup purposes, but the company will alert you if it expects your specified level of need will exceed three hours of setup and training.

TeleDirect bills in one-second increments, meaning you only pay for every full minute that you use. However, the company does consider any agent work time after the call itself to be billable time. For example, if a call lasts three minutes and the agent spends one minute filling out related paperwork after the call, four full minutes will be deducted from your prepaid package.

TeleDirect is available 24/7/365, providing a constant destination for your customers' phone calls, regardless of your business hours or time zone. Not only is constant availability a boon for cementing customer relationships, but it also means a representative will always be available on holidays and weekends.

Our customer service experience with TeleDirect was satisfactory. The agents were knowledgeable and able to answer any questions we had, though our interactions did lack a personal touch or friendliness that would leave an even better impact on a customer. However, we never had to wait and always obtained the information we needed quickly.

TeleDirect employs any combination of shared, blended or dedicated agents that your business needs. Dedicated agents, call center employees specifically assigned to work for your business, can ensure more accurate and engaging service. Working with a dedicated agent not only ensures that your customers are of particular importance to the agent, but also improves the call center's individual accountability.

Shared agents manage several different accounts, meaning they have to pay attention to more than just your business. Blended agents, as the name suggests, are a mix of shared and dedicated agents for your campaign.

TeleDirect's agents can field calls in multiple languages, not just English and Spanish like many other call centers. If you have a clientele that speaks a different language, TeleDirect is likely able to accommodate them. TeleDirect is a great option for staying in constant communication with your global customers in their native tongue.  

One minor drawback to TeleDirect's service is that there is no live chat option in the event you require support. Of course, there is a customer support phone number, and the company also offers an email address. Overall, we found this limitation to be relatively insignificant, especially when compared with the list of services TeleDirect offers. TeleDirect does offer live web chat support for its clients' websites, however, so it can help your customers with your own business's products or services through that channel.

TeleDirect requires your business to use its services for at least 29 minutes each month to continue working together. While you'll need to consider whether your average call volume hits this mark or not, the 29-minute requirement is not very prohibitive next to some comparable companies' requirements. Overall, this is a minor consideration.

We chose TeleDirect from a pool of the dozens of call center services we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of call center services, visit Business News Daily's best picks page.

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, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site BuyerZone provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free.

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Adam C. Uzialko

Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and Business.com, Adam freelances for a variety of outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.