Telephone Call Centers
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, Conduent, Convergys, Sitel, and TeleTech (all based in the US), as well as Atento (Brazil), Teleperformance (France), and Transcom Worldwide (Luxembourg).
Global call center revenue was about $310 billion in 2016, according to JLL Research. The US, India, and the Philippines are leading sites for call center operations. Growth markets for the industry include countries such as Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
The US telephone call center industry includes about 5,100 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $22 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.
Companies in the industry may lose business to potential customers that choose to conduct call center operations in house; they may also compete with business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT services companies. The industry has been sharply affected in recent years by regulatory controls on telemarketing practices and strong competition from offshore operators, though geopolitical uncertainty presents an opportunity for reshoring to the US.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services are telemarketing sales, customer care, technical support, and call answering. Smaller companies generally specialize in one of these services.
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms