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December 28, 2007

Frost & Sullivan Assess North American Contact Center Outsourcing Market

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Companies throughout the country are increasingly outsourcing their contact center operations as the need for customer care continues to grow. According to Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), the North American contact center outsourcing market will continue to see impressive growth due to strategic, financial and technological factors.
 
This market in North America earned revenues of $20.7 billion in 2006. Frost & Sullivan estimates that it will reach $27.5 billion in 2013. Such estimates indicate significant opportunities for outsourcing firms, as well as the creation of jobs throughout North America.

“On the whole, outsourcing providers continue to prove their mettle by managing customer interactions at a lower cost with consistently better results than in-house contact centers,” noted Frost & Sullivan Strategic Analyst Michael DeSalles, in a company statement.
 
DeSalles continued: “Work-at-home agent (WAHA) providers play an important role in engagements that span the full spectrum of industry verticals including financial services, retail, travel and hospitality.”

The research firm indicates that the promising market growth in the future will be a result of the current positive U.S. economic climate and the greater acceptance of call center outsourcing across business verticals.

For this anticipated growth to become a reality, outsourcing firms must first contain cost, improve agent efficiencies and deliver high-quality interactions to remain competitive in this market.  

Frost & Sullivan analysts believe the most evident challenge in call centers today is one of complexity. There are a myriad of factors that have contributed to this in blended inbound and outbound call centers. Diverse and complex products and services are now being offered, although there is also a sharp increase in consumer demand for speed and multi-channel media touches.

“In this highly competitive market, organizations are looking to drive process improvements by moving the needle on service quality to enhance brand equity,” said DeSalles. “Meeting end-user demand for quality and speed in a multi-channel environment is a challenge for even the most experienced outsourcers.”

Real market opportunity appears to lie in gaining more market share from existing client engagements as well as from prospects that operate in-house contact centers. Those providers seeking new clients must address all aspects of risk mitigation in order to attract these potential customers.

Companies are looking for industry-centric solutions from providers that have a history of measurable results. Those vendors that fit the bill will find significant opportunities in the market. For those that are lacking, they will find it increasingly difficult to effectively compete.
 
To learn more about contact center outsourcing and other trends in the call center jobs market, please visit the Call Center Jobs channel on TMCnet.com, brought to you by CallCenterClassifieds.com.
 

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers whitepapers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is The Challenge of Maximizing Service Availability and Security.

 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page. 

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