Colonnade publishes industry commentary on U.S. contact centers.
Contact center operations (“CCO”) are an integral operational component of service companies. CCOs handle a range of critical functions, including customer service, telemarketing, technical support, and debt collection. CCOs are utilized across several industries, from insurance and financial services to technology and telecommunications. Some business models, such as direct-to-consumer vehicle service contract (“VSC”) sales, are entirely dependent on contact center operations to originate sales and provide customer service. Players in the VSC sector, as well as several other industry verticals, currently “in-house” their contact center activities, presenting a compelling growth opportunity for the already large and expanding $23.0 billion U.S.-based outsourced CCO market.
The U.S.-based outsourced CCO industry is growing due to several macro-level changes, from shifts in the U.S. economy to advances in technology and rising global labor rates. More companies are selecting onshore CCO solutions over offshore service providers as global labor rates continue to rise. Driven by geopolitical and socioeconomic dynamics, rising global labor rates continue to make offshore alternatives less economically attractive than in prior decades. In addition, advances in CCO technology allow agents to work remotely, placing additional downward pressure on real estate expenses associated with traditional brick-and-mortar contact centers. Finally, digitally-enabled consumers demanding multi-channel service options continue to push companies to recruit higher-skilled onshore agents capable of delivering complex customer service experiences through technology-driven solutions. The costs of installing and maintaining “higher -tech” CCOs are more predictable onshore versus offshore.