In the age of chats and social media, a call center is still key to managing customer queries. It’s the nearest experience to face-to-face engagement. But where before call centers are typically outsourced to providers for a large sum of money, today, the availability of cost-efficient call center software allows small businesses to tap into this channel.
They get the capabilities for interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration (CTI), automatic call distributor (ACD), predictive dialer, and call analytics, among others, augmenting their help desk and customer support operations. This is but the latest in the continuous disruption of the industry, things that you need to keep abreast of whether you are a vendor, developer, user, or an industry observer.
The call center statistics we culled below on the state of the call center industry will be of great value. You’ll get to know key data points like call center market size, usage, and future scenarios in one convenient place.
Call Center Industry Statistics
The call center has been transformed by the way customers communicate with companies–through various digital and online channels. Most industry users prefer the term “contact center,” which aptly reflects its omnichannel capability. Whatever the name, the call center has become a unified hub of communication tools, allowing for a direct connection with customers on various channels, platforms, and devices. Call centers are also now switching to cloud-hosted solutions due to the many benefits such as faster deployment, easier implementation, greater flexibility and scalability, enhanced security, and efficient management of field agents. Here are the key findings of our call center market research.
Global Call Center Market Size and Market Share
- 66% – global call centers located in the US (Statista 2019)
- 13% – call centers with annual revenue of more than $25 billion (Statista 2019)
- 57.7% – call centers with customer interaction by phone (Statista 2019)
- The software market for call centers was worth $16.28 billion in 2018. (Grand View Research)
- The global call center market that includes contact centers, multimedia access centers, and customer interaction centers is predicted to peak at $481 billion by 2024, propelled by the need for businesses to deliver customer-focused services. (Global Industry Analysts, Inc.)
- The Asia-Pacific is expected to become the fastest-growing market for call centers with a CAGR of 12.5% driven by the emergence of the region as a global capital for outsourced call center services. (Global Industry Analysts, Inc.)
- The cloud-based contact center market is forecast to reach a value of $24.11 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 25%. (MarketWatch 2018)
- The adoption rate of cloud-based contact centers was 2.2% in 2008. As of 2017, 62% of organizations have moved to a cloud-hosted call center software solution. (talkdesk)
- Cloud contact centers are 27% cheaper and experience 35% less downtime than their on-premise counterparts. (talkdesk)
- With up to 20% global call center market share, the Philippines has overtaken India to emerge as the world’s largest BPO destination and industry leader in contact center outsourcing. 60% of all US companies that use BPO services do so with Philippine-based offshore contact centers. (Entrepreneur)
- India-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is one of the leading call center service providers in the world. During its fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, the company generated approximately $21 billion in revenue. (Statista 2019)
- Another major player in the industry is the US company Convergys Corporation. In early 2014, the company acquired Stream Global Services. During that year, the revenue of the company increased by around $800 million over the previous fiscal year. In 2017, the company revenue decreased, reaching around $2.8 billion. (Statista 2019)
Global Call Centers Share by Segment
- 26% – financial services (Statista 2019)
- 24% – consumer services (Statista 2019)
- 13% – services sector (Statista 2019)
- 13% – technology, media and telecommunications (Statista 2019)
- 11% – life sciences and healthcare (Statista 2019)
- 9% – energy, resources and industrials (Statista 2019)
- 4% – government and public services (Statista 2019)
Geographical Distribution of Call Centers Worldwide
Revenue Distribution of Call Centers Worldwide
- 24% – less than $250 million (Statista)
- 9% – $250 million to less than $500 million (Statista)
- 8% – $500 million to less than $1 billion (Statista)
- 19% – $1 billion to less than $5 billion (Statista)
- 19% – $5 billion to less than $15 billion (Statista)
- 4% – 15 billion to less than $25 billion (Statista)
- 13% – more than $25 billion (Statista)
- 5% – unknown (Statista)
Largest Call Centers in the US by Number of Employees
- 47,298 – Allorica (Statista, August 2018)
- 47,152 – AT&T (Statista, August 2018)
- 40,832 – Blue Cross Blue Shield (Statista, August 2018)
- 40,622 – Wells Fargo (Statista, August 2018)
- 40,614 – Verizon (Statista, August 2018)
- 29,171 – Citigroup (Statista, August 2018)
- 28,874 – Conduent (Statista, August 2018)
- 28,144 – Bank of America (Statista, August 2018)
- 26,108 – JP Morgan Chase (Statista, August 2018)
- 25,941 – State Farm Insurance (Statista, August 2018)
The call center industry is big and will even become bigger as companies migrate their call center operations to the cloud, seeing the advantages of a SaaS solution with minimal maintenance and hardware requirements (a telephone, computer, and browser and you have a basic cloud call center setup). It’s also more affordable and can be scaled to handle larger call center operations when the time comes. This, even as many companies still find call center outsourcing profitable for small businesses.
Call Center Channels & Usage Statistics
How do customers contact businesses and vice-versa? With so many channels and devices available for communication, customers can easily connect with a company’s call center, customer support, and help desk units. On the other hand, businesses through their call center and customer support teams are able to respond quickly, if not in real-time, through phone and live chat or instant messaging in resolving customer issues and providing personalized service.
- 66% of consumers, on average, use three different communication channels to contact customer service. (Microsoft)
- 74% of Americans have used landline phones to reach customer service. (Microsoft)
- 83% of callers would avoid a company after a poor experience with an interactive voice response (IVR) system. (GETVOiP)
- Given the option, 55% of customers are likely to use visual IVR for service inquiries. (Zappix)
- 66% of both B2B and B2C companies use live chat for customer support. (Zoho)
- 41% of consumers prefer to live chat while 32% choose the telephone when contacting customer support, reflecting consumers’ need for immediate help despite the popularity of social media channels. (Kayako)
- Despite newer and faster forms of communication, 62% of consumers still want to use email to contact companies for customer service, 48% through phone, 42% via live chat, and 36% with “Contact Us” forms. (HubSpot Research)
- Seven social media channels are used by customers on average to reach brands, and 54% of customers prefer social media messaging channels than phone or email when it comes to customer care matters. (Sprinklr)
- 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication channels. (UCToday)
Easiest-to-Use Customer Service Channels in the US in 2018
Source: "Retail Report." Radial 2018 Designed by
You have to know the channels and platforms customers use and prefer when reaching out to you so you can deliver personalized and prompt service. With call center software, you have a variety of communication tools to enable real-time interaction with customers. This way, you can show your customers that you care enough to respond to them in the most efficient manner regardless of what channel they use.
Most Popular Call Center Software
- Zendesk. One of the leading help desk and call center platforms trusted by over 40,000 organizations worldwide including global call center companies. Read all about our thoughts on this platform in our Zendesk review.
- Freshcaller. Freshcaller is a young, yet very promising call center and multi-level IVR solution that allows users to restructure and modernize their cloud-hosted support systems. Let us walk you through its features in our Freshcaller review.
- RingCentral Contact Center. A robust communications system that helps businesses boost customer relationships. Learn more in our RingCentral Contact Center review.
- Genesys PureCloud. Genesys PureCloud is a comprehensive contact center platform built to reinforce customer support efforts and optimize your workforce. Our Genesys PureCloud review can introduce you to more of its key features.
- PhoneBurner. A power dialer and sales acceleration solution that greatly increases productivity over the phone without additional software. Here’s our PhoneBurner review to get you up to speed with its specs.
Call Center Customer Service Statistics
Call center and customer service functions are closely bonded together. After all, a call center provides the necessary tools required by customer service and support teams to respond to customers and reach out to them on whatever channel. This is part of a company’s goal of delivering quality and consistent service to improve customer experience, engagement, and satisfaction, which are vital KPIs and metrics for customer support teams. Call center data has shown the many positive effects of good customer service and the dire consequences of a bad one.
- When a customer problem is resolved on the first call, only 1% is likely to go to a competitor as compared to 15% when the issue is not addressed sufficiently. (Voip-info.org)
- 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds represent the global metric for service level in a call center, while the average speed to answer is around 28 seconds. (Cloudtalk)
- 95.7% of contact center professionals view customer satisfaction as the most important call center metric. (Call Center Helper)
- 75% of consumers look forward to a consistent experience across multiple engagement channels – social media, mobile, online, in-person, or through the phone. 73% will likely change brands if they don’t get it. (Salesforce – State of the Connected Customer)
- 89% of customers are retained by companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement. (Invesp)
- Compared to previous years, 89% of customer service professionals agree that customers now are more likely to share positive or negative experiences. (HubSpot Research)
- When they have a service question, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important. 60% of them define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. (HubSpot Research)
- 33% of Americans will consider switching companies after just one instance of poor customer service. (American Express)
- $75 billion are lost by businesses annually due to poor customer service. (Forbes)
Global call center satisfaction index, 2010–2019
- 2019 – Private 68% Government 63% (Statista)
- 2018 – Private 70% Government 68% (Statista)
- 2017 – Private 68% Government 68% (Statista)
- 2016 – Private 68% Government 67% (Statista)
- 2015 – Private 72% Government 67% (Statista)
- 2014 – Private 69% Government 63% (Statista)
- 2013 – Private 77% Government 72% (Statista)
- 2012 – Private 75% Government 69% (Statista)
- 2011 – Private 76% Government 69% (Statista)
- 2010 – Private 75% Government 64% (Statista)
Customers who have contacted customer service in the past month, US 2015–2018
Today’s consumers are more demanding and less patient when looking for answers to their issues. They will air out their disappointments with your service to others, and that is not good for business. It is even quite costly, as you’ve learned. Call centers follow certain benchmarks to ensure fast and efficient service, and call center solutions offer multi-channel capabilities to ensure consistency in the service you provide.
Future of Call Center Statistics
The rapid pace of technology is reshaping the way business and productivity tools are deployed and utilized. Call center software is no exception. Cloud-hosted solutions packaged as SaaS will become increasingly popular because of their affordability, scalability, and omnichannel capability. There is also the growing use of automation, artificial intelligence, and chatbots to streamline call center operations. Here’s what to expect.
- 33% of contact centers plan to invest in robotics and automation in the next two years. (Deloitte)
- 56% of companies in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector are planning to invest in AI. (Deloitte)
- 46% of financial services companies intend to have video chat capabilities by 2019. (Deloitte)
- 63% of contact center leaders agree that virtual assistants and chatbots make it easier for customers to have their issues resolved. (BusinessWire)
- Despite bots and automation, conventional technologies like the telephone and email will account for 81.5% of the total contact center inbound interactions. (Contact Center Helper)
- 50% of call centers that don’t use cloud technology reported they would begin using it before 2020 ends in order to have an omnichannel approach to customer service. (Masvoz)
Source: Deloitte Designed by
Call center employees worry that virtual assistants, chatbots, and AI will take over their jobs. That is a scenario that is not about to happen overnight, even if companies are already taking the automation route. The call center industry will still need skilled workers that can make the right decisions, perform remote troubleshooting, and provide contextual and logical solutions. Besides, customers still want to hear a real human voice at the other end of the line.
Leveraging Statistics to Optimize Your Call Center
What does our call center market analysis tell you? The figures are clear – call center is a booming industry, especially now when businesses realize the need for a more customer-centric approach to enhance customer engagement and interaction and, thus, improve the company’s bottom line. And with several channels available to you and your customers, our research underlines the need for your call center to have omnichannel capability. Our comparison of top 3 communications software can help you find the right solution that can serve as the backbone of your call center system.
It is our view that being informed on what call center software is and being aware of developments in the industry will help you determine the importance of having such a system for your business or, if you already have it in place, how to further optimize your operation by taking note of the important statistics and leveraging the call center research that we shared here.