The contact center market has demonstrated high growth in recent years and with constant business process outsourcing, the growth is expected to continue in the future. The contact center market was valued at USD 365 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period (2020 to 2025).
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several market changes. While in-house contact centers still dominate the market, the transition to cloud-based contact centers is significantly growing due to the social distancing norms, which are keeping offices from operating at 100% capacity.
Asia Pacific is the largest market for contact centers with the Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, and Singapore being the largest hubs for contact centers. The U.S. occupies approximately one-third of the global market with regions like California and Tampa being the contact center hubs.
The market for contact centers is highly fragmented with the top five suppliers occupying nearly 35% of the overall share. The market consists of a fair mix of players whose core competency is contact centers as well as IT service providers with capabilities spanning into contact center services.
Market barriers are relatively low as the capital cost required to enter the market is low. However, the fragmented nature of the market along with competitive pricing might act as deterrents to new market entrants. There is a migration from an in-house contact center model to a cloud-based model with the introduction of automation and chatbots. With the increase in service outsourcing as well as an increase in the number of contact centers, the bargaining capacity of both buyer and supplier is limited.
Some of the major players in the market are 7.ai, Inc., Alliance Data Systems, Inc., BT Communications, Concentrix, Convergys Corp, Genpact, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, etc.
The primary cost of a contact center is the cost of labor. Variable labor costs make up 60-65% of the overall cost incurred by a contact center. In addition, there are other labor costs like fixed labor and tech support labor costs. At present, technology occupies a nominal cost head in the overall cost structure. However, with the transition to cloud-based platforms, the technology cost is expected to increase significantly to automate several tasks. This, in turn, will reduce variable costs.
Additional to the cost structure, the lifetime cost also includes several other elements. Some of the noteworthy elements are the cost of the property, licensing cost, marketing cost, etc.
Value-based pricing is the most common pricing scheme followed in the industry. This leaves high negotiation margins and therefore, scope to maximize profits. There are contact centers that also operate on a flat-fee pricing scheme to standardize their cost of operation. The contact center market procurement intelligence report provides a detailed analysis of the cost structure of the service along with the prevalent pricing models that prominent suppliers in the market opt for.
Led by the Philippines, China, and India, APAC is the largest regional market. The U.S. is also a very lucrative market for contact centers. Some of the other key markets include the U.K., Germany, and Brazil.
From a sourcing perspective, the majority of suppliers opt for an in-house service provider engagement model. Since the core competency is that of contact center services, it makes sense for an operation as well as cost perspective to operate on an in-house engagement model.
Contact centers operate using two models. The most prevalent operating model is that of a basic provider. In certain cases, where there are several parties involved, a performance-based operating model is followed.
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Component wise cost break down for better negotiation for the client, highlights the key cost drivers in the market with future price fluctuation for different materials (e.g.: steel, aluminum, etc.) used in the production process
Offering cost transparency for different products / services procured by the client. A typical report involves 2-3 case scenarios helping clients to select the best suited engagement with the supplier
Determining and forecasting salaries for specific skill set labor to make decision on outsourcing vs in-house.
A typical newsletter study by capturing latest information for specific suppliers related to: M&As, technological innovations, expansion, litigations, bankruptcy etc.
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