How do you work out your cost per call (and save money using AI)?

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week

What is cost per call?

Cost per call calculates what it costs your company, on average, every time you handle a customer enquiry over the phone. Understanding the financial impact of every customer interaction on your business helps you optimise your operational costs to suit demand and your budget.

By effectively managing and reducing your cost per call, you can improve your financial performance, allocate resources more efficiently, and enhance overall customer service quality, leading to increased customer satisfaction scores.

How do you calculate cost per call?

In the UK, the average cost per call is £6.26. You can work out yours by dividing the total operational expenses related to call handling by the total number of calls your teams receive, and when you’re working out operational expenses, be sure to consider the true cost of hiring support agents to handle those calls. This includes holiday and sickness pay, pension contributions, induction and training, technology and equipment, as well as tax and recruitment.

Once you know your cost per call, you can find ways to reduce it, and business leaders now frequently turn to AI to accomplish this, feeling excited, optimistic, and motivated by the level of change it brings. To see what saving you can make, use our handy savings calculator.

Calculate your savings

Calculate the cost savings that will be achieved by adding an AI assistant to your website

Monthly savings
Return on investment (ROI)
0 hours
Equivalent saved resource
0 /month
Total calls, emails & live chats
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Total calls, emails & live chats

Move the slider above to match your total customer service load per month (including calls, emails and live chats).
To calculate accurate savings for your business, put your real figures in the boxes below to replace these benchmarks.

your current average cost per enquiry (calls, emails, and live chats)
of enquiries you wish to be handled by your AI assistant (without the need for a call, email or live chat)
your average hourly rate for customer service rep / agent (including costs such as training, equipment, recruitment)

Rethinking cost per call in the age of AI

Since 2020, chatbot use has doubled, and with large language models (LLMs) like GPT arriving in 2022, AI is no longer an alien buzzword ― industry leaders in every sector are aware of it. That means your customers are getting more comfortable all the time using and accepting AI automation as they grow ever-familiar with it. For Legal & General Insurance, even before 2020, 83% of customers using their AI assistant were already turning to it first over traditional methods of contact like phone and email.

What’s important now is to compare your cost per call for every enquiry your support teams handle to the cost of having an AI assistant handle them for you.

“The average cost per call is around £6 in the UK and we’ve reduced this to 5p per enquiry with our next-generation AI assistants. Barking & Dagenham Council, for example, worked out they were spending £4.60 on every call coming into their contact centre. In their first six months after the launch of their AI assistant, they saved £48,000 and went on to expand their AI-powered service to five more departments at no extra cost with a ROI of 533%.”

Photo of Abbie Heslep, Head of Customer Journey at EBI.AI. Abbie is caucasian with dark brown hair and wears a pink top. She is smiling at the camera.

Abbie Heslop

Head of Customer Journey at EBI.AI

With the rapid advancement of powerful AI assistants, cost per call is starting to take up far less significance in what we call the customer service pie. Now you can handle all the routine, repetitive, monotonous enquiries using an AI assistant, there’s no need for cost per call to dominate your customer service budget.

Using an AI assistant you can:

  • Solve enquiries for pence not pounds
  • Handle customer enquiries 24 hours a day, not just when your support teams are online
  • Serve customers on every channel
  • Respond in 130+ languages, instantly
  • Improve accuracy of responses too, leaving no room for human error

When a more sensitive or unusual enquiry demands the attention of your human agents, simply use live chat to immediately pass the customer over from your AI assistant to one of your team members, so they can benefit from their empathy and experience to fully resolve their issue.

Rethinking the customer service pie: 80% AI chatbot, 15% live chat, 5% phone

Launch an AI assistant for free

If you’ve already worked out your savings and want to give an AI assistant a try, you can get one live in less than ten minutes using only your website URL.

Platform screen showing a box to input your website url

Our advanced platform has all the features you need to scale your AI assistant quickly, cutting out the need to hire extra agents to cut down high call volumes and associated call costs, and transform your customer service, starting today.


How does AI-driven cost reduction impact customer service quality?

AI-driven cost reduction not only lowers your operational expenses, but can also improve customer service quality over time. By using AI technology to drive down cost per call, you can improve efficiency, speed up first response times, and deliver personalised support, which is one of the biggest opportunities for customer service innovation today. This dual benefit of cost savings and service excellence leads to increased customer satisfaction scores, loyalty, and overall operational effectiveness in your operations.

What impact does AI-driven cost per call optimisation have on resource allocation?

When you automate routine enquiries and reduce your cost per call, you can allocate resources more efficiently to improve processes and scale support services effectively. This means you can improve service quality, meet customer demands promptly with real time engagement, and achieve a balance between AI and human support that delivers cost-effective and high-quality customer experiences.

Why is regularly reviewing cost per call important?

With the increasing adoption of AI assistants in customer service, you’ll need to regularly review and adjust your cost per call to stay competitive and meet evolving customer needs. By adapting your cost per call metrics to reflect the impact of AI on operational costs and efficiency, you’ll stay up to date with industry trends, technology advancements and customer preferences to make cost savings and deliver exceptional customer service experiences that meet changing demands in every market.

Can cost optimisation lead to improved financial performance and customer satisfaction simultaneously?

Using an AI assistant in customer service operations can result in simultaneous improvements in financial performance and your customer satisfaction score. By reducing operational costs through AI automation, you can enhance efficiency, allocate resources effectively, and provide timely support to your customers. This dual impact of cost savings and enhanced service quality leads to higher customer satisfaction levels and NPS (net promoter score), increased loyalty, and overall improvements in financial performance for your organisation.