A recent market report suggests that the global call center industry could grow to nearly $500 billion in value by 2027, a 5% compound annual growth rate. These projections represent an upward revision in previous trends, attributed largely to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass migration toward remote work and customer service. As more businesses operate with a distributed workforce and digital infrastructure, customer service will be increasingly outsourced – in other words, expect the call center industry to continue its growth in 2021.
Many customers simply don't like to place a customer service call, preferring text-based services. It's no surprise, then, that live web chat services are expected to grow by 87% over the next 12 to 18 months. Live chat has long been a nice option to add to your website, giving your customers another way to contact customer service agents. However, it is becoming a must-have, especially for potential customers interacting with your brand for the first time. More than 41% of all customers prefer live web chat, while 50% of mobile users look for the feature when visiting a website. Offering this channel is a way to stay competitive and boost customer satisfaction, especially when fielding initial questions from a potential buyer. Many call centers have integrated live chat into their services and can set up the channel, embed it on your website, and provide an agent to manage incoming customer requests.
Artificial intelligence continues to be a key driver of growth in the call center service industry, especially when it comes to interactive voice response. IVR is the automated phone tree that callers often encounter when contacting a customer service department. IVR with AI and machine learning enables better recognition of caller accents and intonation, and supports more efficient call direction to the appropriate agent and department.
AI isn't just becoming a mainstay for IVR; it is essential to mine data for insights into customer needs and satisfaction. Call center services are increasingly offering access to data-driven reports that support better decision-making around marketing, customer service delivery and even inventory management. Quality assurance in the modern business world relies on data, and machine learning is essential to make the troves of data that businesses capture every day useful.
September 2021: A ransomware attack targeting Covisian, a major Spanish call center (along with its Latin American subsidiary GSS), froze IT systems and disrupted the organization's ability to serve its clients. This led to customer service disruptions across multiple countries. Affected by the cyberattack were various businesses, including Vodafone Spain, Madrid's water supply company, and media organizations, including multiple television stations.
The cyberattack is a reminder that not only is cybersecurity critical for individual businesses, but for their partners and suppliers as well. In 2021, the cost of a data breach is on the rise, increasing 10% to $4.24 million on average per incident, according to the annual IBM Cost of Data Breach Report. Unique challenges posed by organizations with significant remote workers compounded this increase. The cost of data breaches for businesses with more than 50% remote workers reached nearly $5 million on average per breach. It took IT teams nearly a month longer to respond to breaches at companies where most employees worked remotely. Developing a cybersecurity strategy and incident response plan should be critical priorities for every business.
June 2021: Market research from analysts at Grandview Research anticipates a 21.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the global contact center industry, which was valued at $20.5 billion in 2020. At that rate of growth, Grandview Research estimates that the global contact center market will exceed $90.6 billion by 2028. This growth rate underscores how quickly businesses are adopting contact center solutions worldwide, including on channels like phone, email, text message, and live web chat.
April 2021: A recent market report released by Market.biz on the global call center market found that artificial intelligence (AI) used in call centers was worth roughly $930 million in 2020. That value is expected to more than triple in the next decade, reaching more than $3.1 billion in total value. The growth, the report suggests, will be driven by rapid implementation of AI solutions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. AI solutions are focused on a variety of improvements, including an enhanced customer experience, more responsive chatbots and a reduced need for agent call time.
June 2020: A market report released by Technavio anticipates the global call center outsourcing market will grow by $13.54 billion through 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3% for the industry. The report also acknowledges that the market is significantly fragmented and includes a wide range of service providers. North America leads the way, capturing 38% of the industry growth. One the major drivers of growth, according to the report, is robotic process automation (RPA), which involves the use of chatbots and interactive voice response trees to automate certain call center functions, such as customer identification and call routing.