Centralized vs decentralized healthcare call center

Centralized vs decentralized call centers in healthcare or otherwise requires you to establish a total cost of ownership across the two models. If you only have a handful of agents, a centralized model doesn’t give you the perceived benefits.

The pros and cons of centralized healthcare call centers vs decentralized ones have been a perennial debate. 

There’s no single, slam dunk formula that you can use or apply to come to an answer.

Rule of thumb

One general rule of thumb that we’d like to point out – a centralized call center brings in economies of scale and all the benefits from achieving economies of scale.

If your call center is going to be staffed with only a handful of staff, there would be no economies of scale to achieve.

This means that you don’t have the need to scale.

Let’s look at some points about total costs of ownership next.

Total costs of ownership

Operating costs of a location would generally break down into a few well known categories.

You’re going to have:

  • Real estate costs
  • Infrastructure costs
  • Utilities costs
  • Hiring costs
  • Training costs
  • Payroll expenses 

With a centralized call center these are items that you achieve economies of scale with.

In a decentralized healthcare call center, you’ll have to incur those same costs at each location.

Centralized vs decentralized call centers

However, a decentralized call center model allows you to leverage several benefits as well.

Labor arbitrage across locations wherein certain locations might be significantly cheaper than other locations. 

Real estate costs across locations might also vary significantly.

Having multiple locations allows you to have a backup site (of sorts) in case of natural disasters in one of your other call center sites.

In certain businesses, customers might simply prefer being served in their local languages. Some customers might prefer being able to actually see and interact with their customer service representatives as well.

As we mentioned before, these factors have to be studied carefully before you can make a decision between a centralized vs decentralized call center to service your patients.