Companies in this industry operate telephone call centers that provide telemarketing, customer care, and other outsourced business services on a contract basis. Major companies include Alorica, Convergys, Sitel, TeleTech, and West (all based in the US), as well as Atento (Brazil), Teleperformance (France), and Transcom Worldwide (Luxembourg).
Global call center revenue exceeds $300 billion per year, according to Everest Group. India and the Philippines are leading sites for call center operations. Growth markets for the industry include Vietnam, Turkey, Egypt, and Canada.
The US telephone call center industry includes about 5,200 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $21 billion.
Demand is largely driven by consumer spending and business activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficiency of operations. Big companies have the scale to provide services to large corporate customers. Small companies can compete successfully for small and midsized customers, because there are few economies of scale. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 55% of revenue.
The industry has been sharply affected in recent years by regulatory controls on telemarketing practices and strong competition from offshore operators.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major services are telemarketing sales, customer care, technical support, and call answering. Smaller companies generally specialize in one of these services. Call center operations are typically a function of business process outsourcing (BPO) services, which include the contracting of back office tasks (such as...