Global Call Center Industry
Segment of the IT outsourcing market, the global call center industry involves players making communication between consumers and individual customers possible. Both inbound and outbound telecommunication services are provided by call centers, with the aim of maintaining optimal client relations, reports IbisWorld.
While industry performance for call centers had a very strong forecast before the recession, the outlook has changed somewhat. However, research from Global Industry Analysts predicts service revenue generated by the global call center sector will witness recovery to exceed $189 billion by 2015.
Global call center industry revenue has been negatively impacted by the fluctuating economic environment as companies postponed outsourcing projects and industry players were obliged to lower prices to hold on to existing clients. Contract extensions and renewals were similarly postponed.
Call Center Technology
- The world interactive voice response (IVR) market is expected to reach almost $2.8 billion by 2017, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. IVR services form a central component of customer service strategies. Competition has intensified in the IVR market due to the economic recession, with contact call centers investing in technologies and tools to set themselves apart from competitors. Product upgrading and replacements have also been facilitated by following customer experience with a view to IVR optimization.
- Outbound IVR capabilities will continue to develop, being adapted for new channels like video and SMS. These developments will help IVR become more accepted compared with traditional modes of company-customer interaction. Outbound IVR technology allows companies to rapidly provide their customers with essential information, notify them of changes and deliver a personalized customer service with a proactive approach to customer communication.
- Though speech recognition applications were slow, they are now being adopted in a more widespread manner in contact centers, reports TechNavio. Advantages fuelling this change include improved customer satisfaction, a greater degree of accuracy and cost effectiveness. The cost of implementing speech recognition applications has also been falling, prompting contact centers to adopt them more readily. At present, market penetration is at about 30%, with vast potential for market growth. Industry players will need to overcome certain obstacles to capture a larger portion of the market. Such obstacles include language barrier, a factor that speech recognition vendors continue to focus their attention. Industry players will also need to concentrate of promoting awareness of the advantages offered by speech applications to expand their customer base.
- Research from Global Industry Analysts predicts the world market for voice/speech recognition systems and software will exceed $69 billion by 2015. Speech recognition technologies are used in developing products and services in other sectors. At present, market penetration is relatively low due to technology difficulties. Lack of accuracy in particular means acceptance remains low. Customer satisfaction could also be higher regarding recognition of spoken command, necessitating further development, especially for companies relying on voice-enabled systems. The voice recognition system and software market is expected to witness strong growth in the coming years. Industry players will focus on developing technology for accurate voice recognition and response.
Regional Market Share
- The US contact center industry dominates the global call center industry and is among the fastest growing markets. The US contact center industry is set to continue witnessing more than 10% yearly growth through 2017. Industry players will rely increasingly on outbound IVR for cost efficiency, thereby fueling industry growth.
- The EU contact center outsourcing market is witnessing a time of consolidation, reports Frost & Sullivan. Though cost remains a top concern for contact center clients, quality and added-value services are factors gaining importance. Between 2011 and 2017, strong growth is forecast for the public sector, retail/CPG, and travel and hospitality verticals. State funding is expected to result in a growing number of public sector contact center contracts.
The global call center industry is set to continue witnessing strong growth moving forward. However, industry players will need to continue investing in technology to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Contact centers will benefit more from the cost effective solution provided by outbound IVR. Overcoming technical difficulties in voice/speech recognition systems, along with finding solutions for the language barrier problem, will also help fuel industry growth.
Leading Industry Associations