The Best Contact Center Outsourcing: The 2021 CRM Industry Leader Awards
Market research firm Technavio has predicted that the call center outsourcing market is poised to grow by $14.1 billion through 2025, progressing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 3 percent during that time.
Organizations, current research suggests, continue to find it more cost-effective to locate their call centers in areas with a lower cost of living. Also impacting the industry segment’s growth is the rise of emerging countries as call center destinations.
The services available primarily from outsourcers include phone, email, and chat support. Though voice has long accounted for most of the revenue, chat is expected to witness some of the largest exponential growth, according to experts.
Also expect outsourcers to increase their use of automation, including chatbots and virtual agents powered by advanced artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
And, when it comes to industries, financial services firms are among the largest users of outsourced contact center services.
The contact center outsourcing market is competitive with mild fragmentation and multiple vendors with region-specific operations. Many companies are increasing their market presence by investing in new or improved solutions or by entering into strategic mergers and acquisitions.
The Top Five
When the COVID-19 pandemic first surfaced, Alorica, which employs 100,000 people across locations in 15 countries, quickly mobilized 90 percent of its accounts and most of its employees to work from home. The Irvine, Calif., company has now made that capability available to others in the contact center industry with its release of Alorica Anywhere, an end-to-end platform for agents in a work-at-home environment. The company also this year partnered with Talkdesk to bring Talkdesk’s cloud-based contact center platform with Alorica’s operational execution and workforce.
Concentrix, which acquired Convergys in 2018, had operated as a subsidiary of SYNNEX until going public in December. Now on its own, the company, which is based in Fremont, Calif., has more than 250,000 employees working inside 275 facilities in 40 countries, making it the second largest outsourcing services provider in the world. Ian Jacobs, a vice president and research director at Forrester Research, likes the company for its depth. “Concentrix has truly verticalized outsourcing and consulting solutions,” he says. “From device support in the healthcare market to managing loyalty program interactions for travel and hospitality brands, Concentrix digs deep into many domains.”
Sitel, a perennial favorite among analysts, really boosted its position in the market this year with its acquisition of Sykes Enterprises for $2.2 billion in June. With that deal, the Miami-based company now employs 155,000 people in 39 countries, serving more than 600 clients in more than 50 languages. According to Jacobs, it turned Sitel “into a top-tier outsourcing behemoth, with vast delivery capabilities essentially across every important region.”
Teleperformance, by far the industry’s largest service provider, is based in Paris and employs close to 350,000 people in 80 countries. It supports billions of customer connections every year in more than 265 languages and 170 markets. Though analysts note that the company faced some unique challenges at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, “it has shown it can not only handle the future of remote and hybrid work, it can lead the way in that transformation,” Jacobs says.
TTEC, which is based in Englewood, Colo., is one of the smaller providers in CRM magazine’s Top Five. It employs just 58,500 employees worldwide, and that’s after acquiring Avtex earlier this year and VoiceFoundry in August 2020. But what it lacks in geographic reach, it makes up in capabilities, technology offerings, and partnerships with industry giants. “TTEC has a strong omnichannel delivery model married with a strong business transformation process,” Jacobs says. “The outsourcer has also broken new ground with its own technology development.” TTEC also recently strengthened its position in the government sector with a blanket purchase agreement from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and an expansion of its FedRAMP authorization.