As industrial and economic globalization trends continue to develop in the world’s present market, the use of outsourced talent to accomplish a wide variety of tasks ranging from the rote and repeatable to the complex and mission-critical grows ever more ubiquitous.
Call centers, in particular, represent just one facet of a large and varied international outsourcing industry. However, the world’s call centers are arguably the most public examples of companies’ outsourcing efforts, facing customer directly in one-on-one interactions. This makes them especially important to the organizations that they represent.
Of course not all call centers are outsourced, nor are all call centers purely customer-facing operations. In fact, these centers vary in form and focus, depending on a given company’s objectives and use case. Here are a few common needs that are met by a dedicated call center:
This is arguably the simplest reason for a company to consider utilizing a dedicated call center to complement the rest of its workforce. Time is money and in-house employees who are tethered to phones all day have a harder time attending to their other duties. Call centers offload the unsung labor of call handling to trained experts in the domain, freeing up valuable in-house time for primary priorities.
Better Agent Performance
When dedicated call center agents are focused exclusively on handling calls, there’s often an improvement in important call center metrics like first call resolution. Tools like speech analytics solutions help monitor QA, ensure compliance, and provide insights that aid in agent performance management, as well.
Should your company need to put more effort into handling sales-related activities such as order management and appointment scheduling, it can help tremendously to pass this work on to a dedicated team.
Although most of your business’s tools and employees may work well together, there can still be a need for internal support providers who can give guidance or link distant divisions together efficiently in the event of difficulties arising at any time.
Below, you will find interesting statistics pertaining to call centers, their employees and their finances that may prove helpful in deciding whether the use of one for your own business’s strategy is appropriate.
Call Center Workforce Statistics
1. Cloud contact centers may be more reliable.
“Cloud contact centers are 27% cheaper and experience 35% less downtime than their on-premise counterparts.” – 88 Call Center Statistics You Must Read: 2019 Data Analysis & Market Share, Finances Online; Twitter: @Financesonline
2. The need for competent customer support is growing.
“59% of customers say that they have higher expectations for customer support than they had a year ago.” – 30 Call Center Statistics and 10 Metrics To Track In 2019, Time Doctor; Twitter: @manageyourtime
3. Many companies are coming up short with customer support.
“Only 26% of consumers responded positively when asked if they believe customer service centers provide great support, compared to 49% who did not.” – Daniela Puzzo, 5 Important Customer Service Statistics for Call Centers, Fonolo; Twitter: @fonolo
4. Larger call centers may struggle with higher turnover.
“Below is a study conducted by DailyPay on various attrition rates segmented by industry.
Call Center Turnover Rates
- Small-sized call centers: 17%
- Medium-sized call centers: 37%
- Large-sized call centers: 44%”
5. Phone support is still widely preferred by consumers.
“Consumers prefer the following channels: phone (61%), email (60%), live chat (57%), online knowledge base (51%) and “click to call” support automation (34%) (eConsultancy).” – Shauna Geraghty, 10 Customer Service Statistics for Call Center Supervisors, Talkdesk; Twitter: @talkdesk
6. A surprising number of call centers are headquartered in the U.S.
A survey of global contact center industry leaders carried out from November to December 2016 found that some 66 percent of their organizations were located in the U.S.” – E. Mazareanu, Call center services industry in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts, Statista; Twitter: @StatistaCharts
7. Many call centers have trouble adopting modern practices.
“Liveops, the enterprise standard for delivering on-demand remote agents for customer service and sales, today released its 2018 Call Center Industry Report, which reports the findings of a survey of more than 750 customer service professionals from organizations of all sizes and within multiple industries.
“The results categorized call centers in four stages of maturity. Two-thirds of respondents overall were ‘behind the curve’ in terms of evolving their traditional call center into a modern customer service operation.” – 2018 Call Center Industry Report Reveals Call Center Innovation Lagging, Globe Newswire; Twitter: @GlobeNewswire, @Liveops
8. Most consumers prefer real people over automated systems.
“When asked what the most frustrating aspect of a customer service experience is, over a third of U.S. respondents (34%) chose ‘Automated Telephone System (IVR)/inability to reach a live person for customer support.’” – Cathy Reisenwitz, 16 Call Center Stats to Help You Stay On Top of the Trends in 2018, Capterra; Twitter: @capterra
9. The introduction of AI in call centers may revolutionize the industry.
“Global call center AI market is expected to rise to an estimated value of $4.7 billion by 2026, registering a healthy CAGR in the forecast period of 2019-2026. This rise in market value can be attributed to the increased adoption of automated services in business operations along with innovations/advancements in AI.” – Global Call Center AI Market To Witness Tremendous Growth, Hitz Diaries
10. Many call centers struggle to provide ideal tools to their agents.
“60% of agents agree that their company doesn’t always provide the technology that staff needs to address the challenges they face when helping customers. 44% of agents lack the tools that are available to them and 34% believe they don’t have the right customer data available at the time of request.” – Contact Center Industry Stats – Technology, The Taylor Reach Group; Twitter: @taylor_reach
11. There is a growing surplus of call centers worldwide.
“There are tens of thousands of call centers around the world involving millions of jobs. In India there are over 250,000 call center jobs in Bangalore alone; in the Philippines there are over 700,000 such jobs. In states like Florida, Arizona and Texas call centers are big employers; Texas alone has over 600 call centers with 250,000 employees.” – Thomas Dichter, Call Centers Return To The U.S., Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes, @DichterThomas
12. Call center turnover may be trending down overall.
“In 2016, outsourcing contact centers had a mean turnover rate of 73%, in 2017 it was reported the turnover was only 49%.” – Megan Wells, Call Center Turnover Statistics In 2018, Daily Pay; Twitter: @ailypay
13. Consumers consider jumping ship when support staff lack patience and expertise.
“Experiences that would make customers take their business elsewhere include unfriendly service (60%) and employees’ lack of knowledge (46%).” – Customer Experience and Contact Center Statistics, Brad Cleveland; Twitter: @bradcleveland
14. Continuity matters to callers who have contacted support before.
“72% of consumers say that when contacting customer service they expect the agent to ‘know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights into their previous engagements.’” – 100 Essential Customer Service Statistics and Trends for 2019, Nextiva; Twitter: @Nextiva
15. Kind and enthusiastic agents make a major difference in service perceptions among consumers.
“More than two thirds of those surveyed (68%) said that a pleasant representative was key to their recent positive service experiences, and 62% said that a representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was key.” – #WellActually, Americans Say Customer Service is Better Than Ever, American Express; Twitter: @AmericanExpress
Call Center Finance Statistics
16. Simply picking up the phone more often can save businesses money.
“A 1% improvement in First Call Response = $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average call center.” – Silky Sinha, 30 Significant Contact Center and Customer Service Statistics, Ameyo; Twitter: @AmeyoCIM
17. The call center market may double in revenue by 2022.
“CustomerServ estimates the overall call center marketplace to be around $200 billion in revenue. By 2022, the global market is expected to reach $407.1 billion, according to predictions by business intelligence firm Global Industry Analysts.” – Nick Jiwa, Market Size: Just How Big Is the Call Center Industry?, CustomerServ; Twitter: @CustomerServLTD
18. A large portion of revenue is spent on manual caller verification in the U.S.
“U.S. contact centers spend $12.4 billion annually verifying the caller is who they say they are. 59% of calls require identity verification, but only 3% of these are handled entirely through automated processes.” – Alicia Johnson, 25 Stats That Indicate the Recent Trends in Contact Center Industry, Fusion Blog; Twitter: @fusionbpo
19. Projected growth of call center staff should be offset by innovative technological investments.
“Forty-six percent of global contact center decision makers project their contact centers to grow by 5% to 10% (as measured by number of agent seats) in the next 12 months, and 14% project growth of more than 10%.This approach is not economically sustainable.” – Kate Leggett, 2018 Customer Service Trends, Forrester; Twitter: @forrester
20. A work-from-home model may make additional savings possible, while maintaining high service quality.
“It’s estimated that every staff member who works from home saves the employer $25,000.
“With savings like this possible through a different call center business model, employers are able to improve their ROI without compromising on service.” – Top 5 Trends Driving the Growth of Virtual Call Centers, Snapcomms; Twitter: @snapcomms
21. Self-service may prove a powerful new option for customer service savings in years to come.
“Gartner Research shows that customers will handle 85% of their relationships with a company without ever interacting with another human by the year 2020.” – 5 Eye-Opening Customer Service Stats for Call Centers, CGS; Twitter: @CGSinc
22. For now, the trend of outsourcing call center operations to offshore markets continues to grow in popularity.
“Spending on outsourced services in the global market has grown in the last two decades, from $45.6 billion in 2000 to $86.6 billion in 2018. Almost double! And it’s not slowing down.” – The Ultimate List of Outsourcing Statistics, MicroSourcing; Twitter: @microsourcing
23. U.S. service representatives continue to receive competitive pay rates.
“Payscale.com reports that the annual salary for call center customer service representatives ranges from $22,000 to $39,000. Performance bonuses and commissions can increase those figures. Call center trainers receive $25,800 to $55,000 while call center managers earn between $35,000 to $75,000.” – What You Need to Know About the Call Center Industry, 4 Corner Resources; Twitter: @4_Corner
24. Customer experience can make or break your business.
25. Offshore call center agents continue to represent significant savings for U.S. companies.
“[…]a U.S. call center employee costs a company $20 per hour on average versus $12 per hour in India. That cost includes including labor, technology, and phone routing.” – Kimberly Amadeo, Call Center Outsourcing’s Effect on the U.S. Economy, The Balance; Twitter: @thebalance
How does your company’s call center stack up against the stats above?