DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Call Center technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
Since the Company's inception in 1978, DSC has specialized in the development of communications software and systems. Beginning with our CRM and call center applications, DSC has developed computer telephony integration software and PC based phone systems. These products have been developed to run on a wide variety of telecom computer systems and environments.
The following article relates to call center technology or customer service best practices and techniques.
Call Center Statistics
Call Center Spending
The B2B market will grow from $145 billion in 1999 to $7.29 trillion in 2004. By that year, B2B e-commerce will represent 7% of the forecasted $105 trillion total global sales transactions. E-market makers are projected to facilitate $2.71 trillion e-commerce sales transactions in 2004, representing 37% of the overall B2B market. The worldwide B2B market is poised for explosive growth as the market is projected to reach $403 billion in 2000 followed by $953 billion in 2001. In 2002, the market will increase to $2.18 trillion, and at the end of 2003 worldwide B2B revenue is forecast to reach $3.95 trillion.
Gartner Group, 3/00
Worldwide spending on customer relationship management services, such as call centers and online computer help desks, are expected to rise at least 20%, to more than $40 billion, this year. And it should more than double that figure in the next four years. By the year 2003, firms are expected to spend $90 billion a year on CRM. This, in contrast to a 1998 worldwide CRM total of $33.2 billion in spending. CRM is defined for these purposes as "a variety of services used to design and operate customer-care systems that help companies attract, retain, service and expand customer relationships to generate business and improve the consumer experience."
France holds 17% of agent positions in western Europe with a projected growth rate of 26% in 1998-1999. In 1998, there were 75,000 call center agent positions in France with growth projections showing 104,900 agent positions in 2000 and 128,100 positions in 2002. That leads to a projected 3,000 call centers in France by 2002, nearly twice the number of call centers that were operating in France in 1997. Currently, there are approximately 2,500 call centers. Growth in the home banking and finance industries is expected to help fuel this forecast. Financial services in 1997 made up 20% of France’s call center market.
Datamonitor, via France Telecom, 7/99.
In 1998, the remote shopping, telecom and technology vertical markets were the top three spenders on call center technology in the US, spending $914.7 million, $805 million, and $512.2 million respectively on call enter technology. However, when you combine banking, financial services, insurance, and investment into one large sector, it becomes the top sector, spending $1.1 billion in 1998.
The worldwide call center services market totalled $23 billion in revenues in 1998, and is projected to double to $58.6 billion by 2003. (This is based on dividing the overall call center service marketing into these segments: consulting, systems integration and outsourcing.) Outsourcing is the largest segment, with $17 billion in 1998, or 74% of the total market, headed for $42 billion in 2003.
Frost & Sullivan estimates the size of the market for e-mail management systems: they predict the e-mail management market to grow 115.7% in 1999 and reach $223.3 million by 2005. The report claims that Brightware has the most market share of vendors in the category, with 28.0%, nearly twice the share of the number two vendor.
Frost & Sullivan, 5/99
In 1998, financial services firms spent $167 million on software, amounting to 23% of their call center technology budgets. That’s projected to rise to $364 million—or 39% of those budgets—by 2003.
Call center budgets have increased in each of the past four years. From 1998 to 1999, the increase was 18.5%. The average amount allocated to human resources is down 8% in that period to 56.1% of the total.
1999 Call Center Benchmark Report, Purdue University Center for Customer Driven Quality.
US and European companies spend 20% of their IT budgets on implementation of "customer care solutions." Together, implementation, consulting and training account for more than 50% of costs.
A report forecasts that from 1998 through 2002 growth in the US market in the number of call center systems sold will be 13.6%. The PBX-integrated call center market will have a sustained CAGR of 13.2%. The standalone market segment will have a CAGR of 9.4%. And the CO-ACD market will have a 36.4% CAGR.
Pelorus Group, 11/98
Spending by businesses and consumers via the internet will hit $124 billion in 1998 and more than $500 billion in 2002.
Brightware, citing an IDC report, 6/98.
The worldwide market for automated speech recognition products is projected to grow from $100 million in 1998 to $1.6 billion in 2002. The US market for speech-enabled auto attendant products is expected to grow from less than $10 million in 1998 to $250 million by 2001.
Phonetic Systems, citing TMA Associates, 9/98.
$700 billion in products and services were sold through call centers in 1997 and this figure is expanding by 20% annually.
GeoTel citing Telemarketing Magazine, 9/98.
The worldwide market for call center software will rise to $3.1 billion in 2003, up from $580 million in 1998. The US currently dominates the market with a 64% share. This includes new software, maintenance of current software and systems integration costs, but does not include CTI middleware and servers, database software, education and training and transitional costs.
In 1998, the call center software market will be worth $3.284 billion; in 2003, that will be $8.921 billion. Technology and telecom is the vertical industry that generates the most revenues for call center software providers: $576 million in 1998. Customer support and call center sales force automation is the fastest growing subset: $899 million in 1998. In total, the call center software market is growing at a CAGR of 21.5%.
The UK’s call center industry is chronically short of skilled staff and therefore more than one in ten calls leave customers feeling "irritated, annoyed or furious." The call center industry in the UK is growing at a reported 50% annual rate, with spending on computer equipment in centers alone rising from 300 million pounds in 1994 to 1.8 billion last year.
Financial Times of London, 2/98
The 1996 market for call center services in the US generated revenues of $15.4 billion. The forecast for compound annual growth rate in the U.S. call center services market from 1996-2003 is 15.8 percent.
Frost & Sullivan, 1997.
The call center operations market will grow 21% annually, from $7 billion in 1998 to $18 billion in 2002.
The CTI industry continues to grow at a steady rate, with 1996 revenues of $1.5 billion and growth projected at an annual rate of 27.4% compounded. Results show that the boards market is dominated by a few large manufacturers who control the majority of the market share, with competition based primarily on depth of product line and the ability to match volume discounts. The software market, on the other hand, is less concentrated, with competition in that arena depending heavily on a company's ability to partner with complementary solution providers and systems integrators.
Frost & Sullivan, 1998.
In 1997 insurance companies and securities firms bought $29 billion worth of information technology. That'll hit $38.5 billion by 2002. Firms in the US spend more on this than any other country. Datamonitor predicts that call centers in those sectors will grow at a compound annual rate of 12% over the next five years.
11% of the 78 billion contacts that occur annually between retail customers and financial companies are handled by telephone, growing to 16% by 2001. It is estimated that global financial services firms spent just over $3 billion (US) on IT related to consumer call centers in 1997. This spending is currently growing at an annual rate of about 10% and is expected to reach $3.3 billion (US) by the end of 1998, before accelerating to approximately 15% annual growth for the subsequent two-year period. North American financial institutions have historically invested the most in call centers, representing 68% of the total current investment. The strongest growth in spending, though, is predicted to come from the European market, as European banks and insurers start to employ call centers in larger numbers. Most customers interact with financial companies either through automated teller machines or physical branches. Electronic (non-telephony) just 1.4% of the total.
Spending on enterprise help desks was up in 1997. More than 70% of the IT managers polled said that spending on their help desks increased "significantly" in 1997. 40% said spending would hold steady this year, while 50% said that they expected spending to increase in 1998. 10% said that spending would decrease this year. About a third of those polled said that the key cost driver was the need to support a growing user base, while a quarter each cited distributed client/server apps and network-centric applications. Also a growing area of concern affecting spending—Year 2000 compliance projects.
Computer Economics Inc., 1998.