Hiring Decisions: Virtual Assistants Vs Call Center

Virtual Assistant vs Call Center

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Hiring virtual assistants seems more cost-effective instead of a call center. After all, you want calls answered and records maintained.

How hard can that be? You are right, it’s not hard but you also know that it can be labor-intensive.

Furthermore, budgeting seems to be at the base of every hiring decision.

Therefore, it’s good to weigh your current needs with the amount you will be paying for a virtual assistant. You should compare it with what you would have to pay to a call center services provider.

Is there too wide a margin between the two? If the answer is affirmative, maybe something is amiss.

Do the virtual assistant skills measure up to your company’s standards?

What features and perks can you give up negotiating a better package for call center services for small businesses such as yours?

Key Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant or Call Center

A virtual assistant for small businesses can be an asset if they are proficient in virtual assistant tasks since they will have to handle everything on their own.

In a call center, reps have constant support from their managers, from neutralizing an angry caller to upgrading their software skills which helps your business eventually.

It might be tempting to choose one over the other. You might be in favor of call center services as they are much more reliable and can scale up or down based on market trends. You could also lean toward a virtual assistant because of less financial risk. You could pay hourly and see if they are a good fit.

Let us put the budget and the cost factor on the back burner and focus on three major areas. The insights you gain from these areas can help you make informed decisions while helping you to use financial resources wisely.

If a virtual assistant can get the job done, there is no reason for you to spend more on a call center.

Scalability Forecast

Currently, you may need virtual assistant services only.

Can you ascertain you will not be looking into more BPO services as your business grows, say in the next quarter?

You might need to expand your virtual assistant team or incorporate software to minimize in-house tasks for better productivity. The reverse could also be true.

Sometimes the market is slow, at others, it picks up speed.

However, if your analytics show that you will be operating at the same pace then you should go for virtual assistant outsourcing. You can negotiate better rates with a virtual agent given that your call load is light, and you do not mind the rep juggling other calls.

Modern Tools & Technologies

If your business relies on the latest tools and digital technologies, then investing in call center agencies is worth the cost. It is not stretching the truth that all call centers have become digital.

Whether they are providing you with a virtual representative from their in-house team or hybrid teams, the balanced use of technologies ensures your customers will not be in line for long.

For example, a call center may facilitate your customers with IVR systems, especially during offline hours. Similarly, they could maintain and track records in CRMs for better visibility into day-to-day calls.

In case you can do without these features and can rely on simple (free) virtual assistant tools for your daily tasks including call records, then virtual assistant hiring will be more suited for your business.

Comparison of Services through Free Demo

Some virtual representatives and call centers may offer you a live demo session while others may share real call records as samples. However, all might not be available for free.

In such a scenario, it helps to send an RFP to call centers and virtual representatives alike. Though it takes some patience, it will help you give a better insight into their specific approach and how it aligns with your business requisites.

For instance, they might add tailored script(s) based on your customer profile, making call management more effective.

Both would have some sort of transparency measures in place enabling you to assess calls and gauge how satisfied your callers are when dealing with your business through them.

In short, you need to be thorough in these matters and find out exactly how often you will receive such reports and insights.

Comparing the cost and the benefits each provides against your business goals will help you make a sound hiring decision.


Large enterprises receiving a limited number of calls can benefit from a virtual assistant. This is especially true when existing clients have access to and contact the required company persons’ direct lines, extensions, or cell phones. However, even if your business is at a fledging stage but you are experiencing or expecting a surge in calls, emails, and social media messages after your marketing campaigns, then choose a call center as it has the agility to scale the solutions up or down to better align with your business goals.

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